City Desk

Not Using the Inaugural Bike Valet? You Can Still Park Your Cycle

Yesterday, the Washington City Paper's own Darrow Montgomery asked an important question in the comments section of a post focusing on the flood of RSVPs (as of now, over 1,300) the Washington Area Bicycle Association has received for its Inaug-Day bicycle-parking service: "What happens to bikes locked up outside these areas?"

Seeking an answer, City Desk contacted Kevin Griffis, spokesman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "As long as [a parked/locked bike isn't] obstructing traffic, it should be fine," Griffis said, but suggested we contact MPD to be sure.

D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes had this to say about the subject via email: "If your readers want to park and lock outside the parade perimeter as they would on a normal day that is fine." Hughes then added that bikers should, "Keep in mind there may be theft issues considering the number of people."

An email from First District Commander David Kamperin was similar in nature, except the officer had his own keep-in-mind. "Keep in mind [bikers] are prohibited from securing to official signs, posts, etc."

James R. Sebastian, the District Department of Transportation's bike program manager, also offered up some advice on inaugural bike parking:

There are no special bike parking spots besides the valet stations, but bicyclists can park where they normally are allowed to park: bike racks and other ‘stanchions’ in public space (like parking meters, streets signs, etc) EXCEPT for fire hydrants, poles in bus stop areas, within 25 feet of an intersection, and trees under 10 feet in diameter.

Sebastian said he doesn't know what Commander Kamperin meant by cyclists being "prohibited from securing to official signs, posts, etc."

photo by modomatic

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  • downtown rez

    Yes, locking to poles is perfectly legal. And I'm sure Sebastian didn't mean to say that a tree had to be 10' in diameter. The figure I recall is the trunk had to be 4"

  • Dave

    So then what use does the bike valet serve? If I can just lock my bike up myself, why give it to a valet?

  • Stephen

    Dave: What if you aren't a frequent rider and don't have a lock? Or if you prefer that someone watched your bike instead of it being subject to theft on the street? If you are not a regular rider, having a bike valet is an incentive to take your bike. And WABA is in the business of creating incentives to ride bikes.

  • Dave

    Point taken. I won't be using the bike valet, but I salute those who will be.

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  • al gonzales

    People - the Secret Service is the key mo-fo here. & "the parade perimeter" is the key phrase. If your bike is south of P Street & the Secret Service doesn't like the look of your bike or where it's chained, the chain will be cut.

  • John

    It comes down to this. You can have caring, cyclist centric people watch your bike for *free*, or you can have the secret Service or a thief just pluck it off the street for no reason.

  • Dave

    But can they cut through a U-Lock? Is that even possible?

  • http://www.waba.org Henry

    They can definitely cut through u-locks.

    The other perk of the valet is if you have panniers, bike lights, water bottles, or other stuff attached to your bike you won't have to worry about taking all these off and carrying them with you. The valet guarantees your stuff won't be stolen.

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  • Dave

    Damn...

  • http://thewashcycle.com washcycle

    In addition to what Henry said, you also get a commemorative ticket and spoke card.

    And, y'know how sometimes you walk back toward your bike and think, 'I hope it's still there.' You won't have to think that now. Peace of mind - you can't buy that.

  • http://thewashcycle.com washcycle

    Oh yeah, and Jim is right. No smaller than 10" in diameter.

  • http://washingtonpost benita berman

    Is there a limit to the number of bikes the bike valet can accept?

  • Rend Smith

    WABA is prepared to park about 2000 bikes.

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  • http://eblog.lt/mylife/ Janet Homes

    Thanks for the info its good to share. Can I ask you a rhetorical question about yourself? do you mind?

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