Via Gothamist, ThisIsFYF and TheAwl, apparently NYPD cut through locks and confiscated bicycles yesterday along the Houston Street route of President Obama’s motorcade to his speech at Cooper Union.  And, apparently, there was no forewarning, notice or information about where all the bikes may have gone.  The Gothamist is working to keep folks posted, but this is sorta ridiculous.  All because you can make a pipe bomb in a bicycle frame.

The best comment I’ve read on these sites says this is part of his economic stimulus plan…now they all have to go buy new bikes.


  1. I like Bike Snob’s comment best. To paraphrase: They think that there might be a bomb so they send out cops in windbreakers instead of the bomb squad. It shows how much they care about the police.

  2. […] This is outrageous! Catching up on one of my favorite bike sites after being away from the internet last week, I came across this. Ridiculous! I mean there looks to be plenty of other things along the route that someone could put a pipe-bomb in. You would think this kind of thing would not be legal in AMERICA. Bikerumor […]

  3. Apparently, NYC wants to backtrack on all the bicycle-friendly progress they’ve made over recent years; this was just a lame excuse for some overzealous ass to target a small group. There’s NO excuse for not giving prior notice, a reason is isn’t really needed, just “BY ORDER OF THE NYPD”, or somesuch thing.

  4. First I agree this is uncalled for, the way it was executed that is. Notification should have been given that people’s moveable property has to be moved by a certain time and date or it is will be removed by the authorities.

    Second, this can not and should not be blamed on President Obama. I doubt he specifically said” “remove all bicycles along my motorcade route and do not give notice of doing so.”

    More than likely this was decided by the chief secret service officer responsible for the safety along the route prior to the President’s arrival there. They start planning this stuff far in advance and send and advance team to do so. The person in charge likely told NYPD to remove or have removed all moveable property, both public and private. It was likely up to the NYPD on how it was done. They were told what to do and it was left to them on how to do it, so I doubt the Secret Service made the decision to remove the bicycles with out notification of the owners. It is very likely this was all on the NYPD. and knowing their bias against cyclists, depsite what is stated publicly, they are probably the ones who made the decision to do this in the manner they did.

    Another thing to consider is perhaps there was a mis-communication within NYC departments and a notification that was supposed to have been sent out, wasn’t or was sent late and there was a deadline by which the property had to be removed so the NYPD had no choice. We are talking about a very large municipality and a miscommunictation like this can easily happen.

What do you think?