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Screen shot from PhillyPoliceBikeRegistry.com

Screen shot from PhillyPoliceBikeRegistry.com

Good news everyone: A Center City Police District has finally unveiled their bike registry Pilot program. Residents of that neighborhood can now use a website to register their bike with the local police district in case it gets stolen.

The announcement comes amidst the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s call for a citywide bike registry program and Action News 6ABC’s detailed report on bicycle thefts in Philadelphia.

“This is a Pilot program. We did it here because of the high concentration of bike thefts in the city, and housing here doesn’t really afford many [indoor] parking spaces,” says Lt. Gallagher of the 6th District. The District includes most of Center City proper east of Broad Street. According to our data, there were 999 reported bike thefts in that district between 2007 and 2012.

The registry, continues Gallagher, has similar goals to those in the 17th and 26th Police Districts, as well as area schools: Deter bike thieves and, when they continue thieving, locate the bike they stole. Further, if the bike is recovered, registration cuts down on it sitting in a police warehouse indefinitely.

Gallagher says since the district’s soft launch late last week, 10 people have registered their bikes. They hope for more as the weather gets better this spring.

Here’s how it works: 1) Log onto PhillyPoliceBikeRegistry.com. 2) Complete the Registration Form and upload a photo of your bike. 3) There is no 3, unless your bike gets stolen. In that case, call the police.

The end goal of the 6th District program: Expand it outwards to the entire city, which we totally support. The District doesn’t have a date for doing that but, rather, wants to see how the Center City registry works out.

Therefore, if you live in the 6th Police District (or the 26th, or the 17th), we urge you register your bike. It’s easy. You can literally do it with your phone, in your house.

Randy LoBasso

Author

Randy LoBasso is the policy manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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