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Bicycles gone wild

(via Canva)

The latest urban crisis is bicycle abuse.

You’ve likely seen those bright green and yellow and orange bikes that you can rent using your phone. The bikeshare services allow you to ride them for as long as you like, and then leave them wherever you want to.

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Well, now there are complaints that riders are — gasp — leaving them wherever they want to. That includes in the middle of the sidewalk and lodged in trees. I saw a picture of one balanced on a no parking sign. The pictures are all over social media. As one person commented, this is why we can’t have nice things.

I doubt the riders themselves are doing this. I think it’s probably Twitter trolls taking a fresh air break. They walk around the block, tip over a few lawn Santas, throw a bike into a tree, then they’re back to the keyboard.

It’s not a major thing, but it makes urban life just a little less civilized.

When I read about it I was immediately hatching all sorts of nasty schemes to punish the evil-doers, like booby-trapping the bikes so that if anyone touches a locked bike for more than 15 seconds, it zaps them with 17,000 volts.

But then, I went downtown to take a look for myself and I noticed that while a few of the bikes were just heaped in a pile on the sidewalk, most of them were actually lined up very neatly in a way that made the neighborhood look alive and friendly.

In addition to the trolls who go around tipping bikes over and pitching them into trees, there are also anti-trolls who, if they see a pile of bikes, just decide pick them up and arrange them neatly.

What a concept!

I like that. I say that we all try to do that.

And If this approach doesn’t work we can go back to my electrocution idea.

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