Bicycle Coalition

By Kyle Hearing

311 is one way for Philadelphians to improve their communities by reporting issues and watching them get fixed. Essentially, you can contact 311 using the Philly 311 app, visiting, dialing 311, tweeting @philly311, or walking into their office (Philadelphia runs the only walk-in 311 service center in the country), and someone will relay that issue to the agency responsible for fixing it.

The vast majority of 311 submissions make their way to the Streets Department, the agency in charge of issues like right-of-way obstructions, pothole repairs, and traffic signal emergencies. One of the lesser known, 311-reportable, issues handled by the Streets Department is the presence of an abandoned bike.

These mangled wrecks look terrible, remove valuable bike parking, and pose potential problems for mobility impaired individuals. If and when you see an abandoned bike, first, make sure it’s abandoned; then, please report it to 311.

If you use the Philly 311 app (which we have found to be the fastest way of doing this), follow the steps below.

Bicycle Coalition

After you add a photo and location of the bike, be sure your description includes how the bike is locked (rack or pole), and what color/brand it is. The Streets Department will then tag the bike, giving the “owner” 10 days to remove it.

Bicycle Coalition

In the event that no one removes the bike in ten days, the Streets Department will come back and cut it free.  

We have heard that the Streets Department is planning to conduct a sweep of the city in late spring/early summer to remove any and all bikes reported as abandoned, so submit that rusting frame at the end of your block today!

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