Community

Keep your bike safe, secure

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

It takes a good bike thief just under a second to cut a cable lock and maybe a day or two to sell your stolen bike on Craigslist, Britslist or chop it into parts. Since 2012, between 250-400 bikes have been reported stolen annually. When our police officers inspect bikes that are found with alleged suspects, the vast majority of the time the serial number on the bottom of the frame hasn’t been registered. The suspect goes free. With your bike.

May is Bike Theft Prevention Month in Bellingham. You can register your bike with ease at events like Bike to Work and School Day, Ski to Sea, and at Galbraith trailheads. Local brew pubs will feature tap nights for people to get their rides registered, too. And you can do it on your own at http://www.cob.org/stopbiketheft. This simple registration process helps police get your bike back to you if it gets stolen. And because our program is not restricted just to Bellingham, if your bike is picked up by Seattle police or other jurisdictions, it can be returned to you.

There’s an important step that everyone can take along with registering your bike: lock it up the right way. U-locks—the clunky, heavy, not really sure how to carry this damn thing—is the best lock to use when you’re out and about. I’m not saying it’s foolproof, but it’s light-years ahead of that easily carried cable lock that won’t do much to save your bike. Cables don’t cut it. When your bike’s outside, U-lock your ride.

Realizing that I’m straying a bit here from the theft-prevention narrative, but as a means to keep all of your body parts where they were intended to be, please ride like a driver. That means being seen by motorists and riding predictably and lawfully. No one wants to run over a person who’s biking—well, that’s not true—there’s some real jerks out there, but most sane drivers just want to get to their destination. Be seen, wear a helmet and use your lights.

I’m happy to report that WTA is adding 10 new bike racks—five of them covered—adjacent to the downtown bus station. This bike parking station will have a pump, a repair stand and coverage by video surveillance. This is a great addition, but we need bike lockers downtown to keep your bike safe while you shop, eat, drink or spend time with friends and family in the downtown core. As your Council representative for downtown (and surrounding neighborhoods), I strongly support bike lockers at Depot Market Square and the Commercial Street Parking Garage—to start. Contact your council member and the mayor if you agree.

There’s a bit of a silver lining happening with bike thefts: They’re down from previous years. In the first quarter of 2018, 39 bikes were reported stolen, down from 58 last year and 98 in 2016. Bellingham Police conducted a “bait bike” program that netted multiple arrests over several months. Almost every time the bait bike was put out, it was stolen. It could have been the rainy and cold weather that kept the number of stolen bikes low, but proactive police enforcement with a high success rate probably didn’t hurt. Either way, bike thefts are down. Let’s get together as a community and keep it this way. Register your bike, U-lock it when you’re out - and most of all, have fun riding and be safe out there!

Dan Hammill is the Ward 3 Representative for Bellingham City Council

Past Columns
Saying Goodbye

December 11, 2019

Cold and Alone

December 4, 2019

Big Money Politics

November 13, 2019

A Win for the Birds

July 24, 2019

Road to ‘Nowhere’

June 26, 2019

Game Changes

April 24, 2019

Salish Sea Science

January 23, 2019

Cherry Point Amendments

January 16, 2019

Invest in the Future

September 26, 2018

A Desperate Call

August 29, 2018

Criminalizing Protest

July 18, 2018

Threshold Fund

June 13, 2018

Imprisoned Splendour

May 9, 2018

Pathways to Homeownership

April 25, 2018

Yes on I-1631

April 11, 2018

Divide-and-Conquer

October 11, 2017

Schools and Planning for Growth

September 27, 2017

Events
Today
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Coffee Brewing Class

2:00pm|Camber Coffee

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Splitboard 101

6:00pm|REI

Sparkling Wines

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Celtic Christmas Concert

6:30pm|Anacortes Transit Shed Events Center

Marina Albero Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

O Christmas Tea

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Holiday Favorites

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Songs of Peace with Kulshan Youth Choir

5:30pm|First Congregational Church

Bellwether Premiere Wine Social

5:30pm|Lighthouse Grill

Holiday Party

6:00pm|Camber Coffee

DSA Movie Night

6:00pm|Academic West

Winter Pop-Up with Taylor Shellfish

6:00pm|Aslan Depot

Peaceful Poetry Reading

6:30pm|Village Books

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Storm Music Extravaganza

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Peace, Love, and Ukuleles

7:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Avalanche Awareness

7:00pm|Backcountry Essentials

History Holiday

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Friday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »