Portland’s City Council has adopted a new ordinance to remove abandoned bicycles – or bicycle frames – that are locked to city bike racks or sign posts.

Councilors approved the measure Monday, giving the city staff legal authority to seize bikes that are obviously abandoned. City officials said they receive periodic complaints about old bikes taking up space on storage racks or creating an eyesore.

Under the new ordinance, an abandoned bike is defined as any bike locked in the same location on public property for one month or longer that meets at least two of these criteria: it has no tires or wheels; its handlebars, seat or wheels are warped or missing; it is inoperative because its chain is missing, rusted or broken; it has a visible layer of dust on the seat or handlebars.

The city’s Department of Public Services will tag a suspected abandoned bicycle and give the owner 72 hours to remove it. If the bike is not removed, the city can take it and store it for a minimum of 30 days. Unclaimed bikes will be donated to a local nonprofit that specializes in refurbishing bicycles.


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