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Dori: Can I take an abandoned Lime bike to the dump?

(City of Bellevue)

I have a question for all of the outstanding legal minds out there, because I honestly do not have the answer to this question.

About two weeks ago, my wife and I were going for a walk with our dog. As we were walking up the hill to get home, I saw someone on a Lime bike struggling to get up the hill. They got off the bike and left it on my neighbor’s parking strip. For almost two weeks, the Lime bike has remained on that strip. It’s annoying and ugly.

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On Sunday, we were going to make a dump run. So I took a picture of the abandoned bike and put this out on Twitter on Saturday night:

At about 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, I got a response from Lime asking me to fill out a form. Before 9 a.m., the bicycle had been picked up. I sent this Tweet giving them credit for their prompt service.

I’ve never had anything negative to say about Lime because it’s a private company that doesn’t cost you or me money. Pronto! bikeshare was different. That was run by the Seattle government when then SDOT Director Scott Kubly decided to rip the taxpayers off of millions of dollars — breaking ethics rules so he could get a job in the bike industry. It was a loser, money-sucking government agency put in by people who were incompetent and corrupt.

I’ll bet if Lime was a government-run enterprise, they wouldn’t have responded so quickly to my tweet. Private industry gets things done faster than government, with almost no exceptions.

Here is my legal question. If the bike had been parked on my property, could I have legally taken it to the dump? If somebody drops a cigarette butt on my property, I can pick it up and put it in my trash. Does the same go for an abandoned bicycle? I don’t want people to do this, because I have nice feelings about Lime. I’m just curious if I would have been in some sort of legal peril. Let me know what you think.

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