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You can report unusable bicycles that are chained to public property.

Public property includes:

  • Parking meters
  • Streetlights
  • Street signs
  • City-owned bike racks

You can also report a bicycle that is chained to and harming a City tree.

Bike Chained to Public Property

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is legally allowed to remove and recycle an unusable (derelict) bicycle chained to public property.

You can request the removal of a bike chained to public property if it appears destroyed and completely unrideable.

DSNY will not remove:

  • Bikes that are still usable
  • "Ghost bikes" that have been placed on public property as a memorial for someone who died
  • Bikes that are not chained to anything
  • Bikes that are chained to a private bike rack or any other private property
  • Bikes chained to a tree

Definition of Unusable Bicycle

For a bike to be considered unusable, it must have two or more of the following characteristics:

  • The bike appears to be crushed or unusable.
  • The bike is missing essential parts, such as handlebars, one or more pedals, rear wheel, or bike chain.
  • The handlebars, pedals, spokes, frames, or rims are damaged or bent. 
  • 50% or more of the bike is rusted, including parts like the frame, handlebars, and pedals, along with the bike chain attaching it to public property.

Bike Chained to Tree on Public Property

You can report bicycles chained to street trees or trees in parks that may be causing permanent damage to the tree, regardless of the bike's condition. Reports are investigated by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The City doesn't remove bikes chained to any private property and or maintain privately-owned bike racks or shelters.

You should ask the owner or manager of the property where the rack is located to remove the unusable bike. 

You can find out the name of a property owner by checking the Property Deed or Record.

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