Had a few too many single malt scotches at that house party and forgot where you locked up your bike?

At least your two wheels are going to a good cause. The Streets Department will be conducting abandoned bike sweeps Thursday Nov. 29 and Dec. 6. The bikes have been identified through Philly-311, the City’s if you have a question about City services call ’em up number, and tagged by the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU). Removing the abandoned bikes helps to make way for bikes that are actively in use, and all abandoned bikes collected during the sweeps are donated to local charities that specialize in refurbishing bicycles. Last spring marked the first sweep. It spawned 80 bikes for two charities, 40 each to Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW), in West Philadelphia, and Resources for Neighborhood Development.

A lone bicycle

“We couldn’t run any of our programs without donated bikes,” said Amy Wilson of NBW. NBW started as a Youth Cycle and Recycle program as part of the Bicycle Coalition in 1996. It was incorporated as its own entity in 1999. The bikes are used to supplement its youth and adult programs. Youths can acquire free bikes while adults can join programs where they fabricate their own. MOTU was initiated when Mayor Nutter took office to serve as a coordinating decision-making agency among other city agencies.

One can utilize the Philly-311 smart phone app to report abandoned bicycles. Reports should include a description of the bicycle, its location, any damage, and what the bike is locked to. This helps Streets Department employees from accidentally stealing bikes still in use. If your bike has been mistakenly identified as abandoned, MOTU advises you remove the rag and relocate the bike, or call MOTU at 215-686-9000. To avoid your bike being abandoned, try to pay more attention. Use that smart phone for a picture. Depending on your memory is so last century.

–Lou Mancinelli