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Prevent Theft

Bike Shelter in LICIn many ways, it’s easier to park a bike in NYC than it is to park a car. However, bikes are stolen a lot more frequently than cars so you have to be smart about where and how you park your bike.

Choose a spot that is highly visible, preferably near the main entrance into your building so there is increased security presence. Lock your bike to something that’s permanent and sturdy. Lock your bike to a bicycle rack, a parking sign, or lamppost. If you want to ever see your bike again, do NOT lock your bike to subway railings. (It will be removed by the city.) Locking your bicycle to a tree is harmful to the tree… and could cost you a $1000 fine! So don’t do it.

Do not lock to trees or subway railings.

After you’ve found your rack/sign/post, look up. Make sure your bike can’t be lifted–lock and all–over the object.

Make sure to lock all parts of your bike that can be easily removed from the frame. It’s a good idea to lock your frame as well as the wheels to your post.

Invest in a heavy metal chain or strong U-lock. It’s better to pay $150 for one really good lock than having to purchase a new bicycle several times a year.

There are over 8,000 city-installed and -maintained bike racks throughout the five boroughs. There is also sheltered parking available for bikes. For locations and more information, see the NYC DOT page on bicycle parking.

For extra piece of mind, register your bicycle at your local police precinct. Your bike will be marked with an identification number using an engraver. In the event that your bicycle is stolen and later recovered, it can be traced back to you through the ID number.

*Diagrams used here are from the NYC DOT “Bike Smart” brochure (PDF).

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