About Bike Theft >The Problem >
2. Reducing flyparking
Flyparking refers to bicycles being secured to furniture not designed for that purpose, and is often an indication of insufficient provision of bicylcle parking furniture in the vicinity. Gamman, Thorpe and Willcocks (2004) argue that flyparked bikes are typically more vulnerable to theft as the furniture they are locked to tends not to provide optimal locking points for securing both wheels and the frame of the bike. Local police data for Camden, London supports this. Of all the bicycles reported stolen in Camden between 2004 and 2005, 72 percent were flyparked (London Metropolitan Police, 2006), Consequently, bike theft schemes have sought to reduce flyparking and thus reduce risk of bike theft.
At the University of Minnesota for example, flyparking on campus was identified as a major problem. In response the University of Minnesota Police Department, working alongside student monitors, initiated a scheme in which flyparked bicycles were issued with a warning in the form of a sticker attached to the bike. Thereafter, any bicycles found to be flyparked a second time were fined $34. Finally, repeat ‘flyparkers’ were 'booted' - locked with a bright orange U-lock – and instructed to contact a student monitor to pay a fine to have the lock removed. Results indicated that bicycle theft fell from around 350 incidents per year before intervention to less than 150 per year for the two year period afterwards (Cook, 2006).
Similar flyparking management schemes have proven effective in Amsterdam. Here, flyparked bikes were removed, registered by the municipality and then returned to their owners for a fee of €10.