Bike registry program nets 500 in first two weeks

Photo by Alex Leber, SF Examiner File Photo

A new program registering San Francisco bicycles and their owners enrolled just over 500 bicyclists in its first two weeks, a small success story in the effort to reunite riders with their stolen bicycles. 

The program in question is Safe Bikes, a joint venture between the SFPD and SF Safe. Cyclists can log onto their website, register their bike’s make and model, and when victims report a bike theft to police they can be reunited with their two wheeled friend just as easily. There are 75,000 bike riders a day in San Francisco, according to the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s office, a buffet of tantalizing goods for bike thieves.  

More than 500 bikes is a small dent in that number, but for only a two week start it isn’t too bad. Safe Bikes Manager Morgan St. Clair said they’ve only just begun their outreach. Next month they plan to host an event at Twitter headquarters, where they’ll give away 50 Kryptonite locks, funded by the San Francisco Police Officers Association.

“We’ve only gone to three bike shops so far,” she said. But in the coming months St. Clair and her team of 15 volunteers have a city full of shops they plan to visit. 

An estimated 4,000 bicycles were stolen from riders in 2012, though only 812 were reported to police. St. Clair said there is a perception problem.

“They think the police department isn’t doing anything and say ‘oh, what the heck,’ and don’t think they’ll ever get it back,” she said. “We’re trying to change that mentality.”

In fact, the SFPD has been a strong driver of getting bikes back into the hands of owners, mostly at the behest of officer Matt Friedman. He runs @SFbiketheft, a Twitter handle that tries to recover stolen bicycles and link them to owners.  

And if you want to see a sight that’ll make a San Franciscan cry, show them the SFPD’s graveyard of stolen bikes.

There, hundreds of bicycles sit unclaimed, some of which may find their way into a children’s program at the behest of a Board of Supervisors resolution proposed by John Avalos. 

But ideally, the bikes would be reunited with their owners.

“We really want people to report more bicycle thefts,” St. Clair said. And to have those reports be effective, people need to register their bikes. You can register yours now by clicking here

P.S.  Guardian Editor Steven T. Jones had been planning to register his three bikes with the program, and then two of those bikes were stolen from outside his third floor apartment yesterday. They were a Trek Fast Track 420 road bike, purple with green tires, and a black Rocky Mountain bike with knobby tires and red handlegrips. Let his loss be a lesson to the rest of us: Don’t procrastinate, register today. 


With fees and taxes?

And riders will have to be trained, tested, licensed and insured?

If not, why not?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

Because that's intrusive governmental overregulation.

Who likes that?

Posted by Boss Tweed on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

Leah Shahum of the bike coalition is demanding hundreds of millions of taxpayer money for special bike projects to socially engineer citizens into a cycling lifestyle that is not of their choosing. She uses her tax exempt non profit status to campaign and lobby for political candidates who will further her anti-car agenda.

We heard they expect 20% out of the next multi-billion dollar bond and tax measures SF wants taxpayers to pony up next November. They want us to vote to raise our annual car license fees to pay for their anti-car street diets and other supposedly safe street projects. They claim we owe them their share but they they should have to pay a penny for the streets they claim are theirs.

Remember this the next time the city of San Francisco requests more bonds to improve your driving experience. VOTE NO! If you drive a car, VOTE NO on any more funds for Muni or the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA). Regardless of what they promise, the funds will be used against you to inflate parking prices, remove traffic lanes, slow traffic, and force you out of your car. If you voted No to a Wall on the Waterfront then please VOTE NO to any more funds for the SFMTA or Muni.

The next time you elect a Mayor, or a City Supervisor VOTE NO if they start parroting 'transit first" as an excuse to bleed your wallet. If your city Supervisor wants you to give up the safety of your family car to ride a bicycle on busy city streets then VOTE THEM OUT!

Posted by sfparkripoff on Mar. 01, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

God forbid anybody should get out of their car!

Posted by Raskolnikov on Mar. 01, 2014 @ 9:14 pm

I had a bike stolen a couple years ago from a locked storage unit inside a locked garage. Police showed up quickly and were very friendly. Nonetheless, they wouldn't even bother searching the bike inventory unless I gave them a serial number. I didn't have the serial number, thus I never got my bike back.

Why won't they index by make, model, year and color? That would have been much more helpful and I would have hopefully gotten my bike back!

Posted by Ryan Boyd on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

Those who steal bikes are clearly doing so because they've been squeezed out of the "normal" economy by discrimination. We should try restorative justice for these people and stop focusing on the bourgeois concerns of property owners. All property is theft.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 26, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

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