I took the day off from work today because I had a doctor's appointment at the new Brigham and Womens Shapiro center . It's a beautiful building, and the artwork is surprisingly modern and interesting.
It was a lovely, cool morning, and I rode my bike because it's approximately five minutes from my house, parking is a nightmare on Longwood Ave, and I'm trying to exercise/downsize carbon emissions, whatever.
I locked my bike against a City of Boston standard issue traffic sign, andwhen I came out, was shocked to find this!
What the goddamn fuck??@? B+W Security had hijacked my bike! They chained my bike to the post along with a sign saying I had to call security to get it relinquished.
So I called the number (twice), and this fresh faced fella showed up.
He said something about a bike rack on adjacent streets, and that I should park there next time. That should have been obvious, as there was ample signage indicating where the bike rack was . (end sarcasm) So, as politely as I could I said, "Have a nice day, asshole," and rode away.
A few things to consider. If you notice in the picture, my bike is locked to a street sign, not to one of the fancy new light poles, which probably cost a lot and want to be maintained, and it's not locked to the handrail in the background. IF I had locked to either of these fixtures, I can totally understand B+W Security's actions. These things are obviously private property, shiny and new, and in the case of the handrail, a bike parked there could be seen as an impediment to public safety.
It's well known that bike theft is a huge problem, and a bike rack does little to deter this. Crowded in among several bikes, a thief will be able to work with less suspicion than on a single bike securely locked directly in front of a building. According to this site, Boston is the third worst city for bike theft. (The numbers might be a little dodgy there, but who cares? I want to keep my bike.)
So, I'm researching a little, got some wheels set in motion, as to the legality of this action. If Mayor Menino is suddenly such a bike enthusiast and is pushing really hard to make Boston more bike-friendly, surely bike security is a part of that plan. But I have a follow up appointment in three months at Shapiro, and I intend on parking in the same spot and bringing some tools with me to reclaim my ride.