Use it (a U-lock) or lose it (your bike)

By:
10/16/2008

Like an ill-fitting brassiere, Georgetown has had trouble keeping its racks in order—bike racks, that is. While the bike storage areas are centrally located, bike thieves have had no problem pilfering student owned transportation of late. At least 16 students have reported stolen bicycles to DPS this semester. Though this number isn’t staggering, it is significant enough to merit attention. There is good news though: it isn’t that difficult to keep your bike chained to the rack.

It’s heartening to see the popularity of bicycles on Georgetown’s campus. Transportation doesn’t get much greener, cheaper, or healthier. Whether you’re heading to an internship downtown or zipping off to class, a bicycle can be incredibly convenient and expedient for Georgetown students. Now they just need to learn how to lock them up.

Flyers that have been appearing around bike racks advertising Kryptonite U-locks for sale in the DPS office in the bottom of Village C West are a great boon for security-conscious cyclists. DPS charges a mere $25, cheaper than the locks cost in local bike shops.

Made of solid steel with a protective cover for the all-important locking mechanism, the U-lock is the most effective theft deterrent available to bikers. Chain locks of plastic-coated braided steel are cheaper and more manageable, but can be cut in seconds. U-locks are nearly impossible to break without heavy industrial equipment and are so indestructible that some come with $1,000 insurance policies protecting the bikes they lock up.

However, the paper signs did not appear until bicycles started being stolen. A cheap and efficient solution would be for DPS to affix permanent signs to racks warning of bicycle thefts and encouraging the use of U-locks.

DPS is working successfully to solve their end of the problem: they recently informed the Voice that they caught and arrested a suspect for stealing bicycles. Two bikes and a moped were recovered. DPS has done their part; it is the bikers’ responsibility to invest in U-locks and make sure their bicycles are under lock and key.

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