CSS aims to curb bike thefts

Bike registry and free lock giveaways part of new program.

A wheel is all that is left of a bike chained to a rack on the 1500 block of North 15th Street. | John Moritz TTN
A wheel is all that is left of a bike chained to a rack on the 1500 block of North 15th Street. | John Moritz TTN

It’s a common sight on Philadelphia streets: lonely, broken bike locks hanging from sign posts, a constant reminder for the city’s riders that sometimes even a lock isn’t enough to keep your wheels safe.

For riders on Temple’s campus, biking to class comes with the same risk. But new data shows that the petty crime is actually higher at other city universities.

At Temple, bikes thefts are fairly common, but Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the school is no different from many other colleges or cities across the country. For example, according to a recent article by the Philadelphia Inquirer, new police data has shown that the University City neighborhood leads the city in bike thefts.

This year alone, 12 incidents of bike thefts have been reported at the Temple campus, and only two were resolved. However, Leone feels that the Temple Police have made bike thefts a priority, regardless of the low ratio.

Campus Safety Services has created a number of initiatives to give students an ease of mind while peddling to their next class. Yesterday, Aug. 26, a new bike registration program became available online to all students.

“Our officers, as well as the Philadelphia Police, can use the registration information to check someone acting suspicious on a bike,” Leone said.

The Temple Police has also promised a more aggressive approach in checking suspicious activities around locked bikes. However, with so much emphasis on stronger patrols throughout Main Campus, Leone said students should also take further precautions.

“It’s important to teach bike riders the proper way of securing their bikes,” Leone said. “A U-lock for the frame and wheel, with a cable for the other wheel makes the bike more difficult to steal.”

Most of the thefts occur due to improper locking techniques.

Some riders use cable locks that can be easily cut or they park their bikes onto unsecured objects, rather than designated bike racks. In order to promote awareness of these issues, Campus Safety Services is giving away free locks to the first 500 students who successfully join the bike registration program.

Edward Barrenechea can be reached at edward.barrenechea@temple.edu or on Twitter @EddieB_TU.

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