This is What Happens to Bikes Locked Up Near the Light Rail in Tempe





















We received this earnest comment from a reader in Minnesota last week regarding a blog post about commuting on the light rail. "Marks" mentions, in part:


This bike is then locked at the station (this may add an extra minute to your commute) and leaves you unencumbered and relaxed for the rest of your trip.

And then in the summer, try starting your commute 3 minutes early (turning the 6 minute ride into an easy-pedaling 9 minute ride) and the heat might not even bother you.


Naturally, we thought of this comment upon seeing a vandalized, de-wheeled bicycle locked to a rack over the weekend at 3rd Street and Mill Avenue in Tempe, directly across the street from the light rail platform.

Not that we were surprised at the sight. The urbanized, bike-happy area surrounding Arizona State University has long been a feeding ground for thieves and drunken a-holes who take a sadistic pleasure to kicking a good two-wheeler when it's down. We knew "Mark's" comment about leaving the bike "locked at the station" didn't apply to the Mill Avenue light rail station.

What did surprise us, though, is that when we zipped down to the scene of the crime this morning to take a picture of the bike for this blog, it was gone -- but there was another bike in even worse shape just down the street. That's the one in the photo above.

We hope the cars at the park-and-ride lots are faring better.

Lock up a bicycle near a light rail platform? That's a good one.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.