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Fighting bike theft should be part of parking plan

Casie Gillette locked her bike to a crowded rack as she arrived to work in Boston last week.

Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

Casie Gillette locked her bike to a crowded rack as she arrived to work in Boston last week.

Beth Teitell does a great job pointing out a number of cases around the Boston area where there are definite bike parking inadequacies as cycling’s popularity continues to grow (“Bike-parking blues,” Page A1, July 8). Boston is not alone. New York, for example, has only 152 bike parking spots for every 100,000 people.

As private bike ownership increases, cities and other organizations are left to provide bike parking and combat theft. Although only a small number of bike thefts are reported, the FBI estimates that in 2010, more than 200,000 bikes were stolen across the United States.

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In a more recent survey of more than 250 bicyclists in Boston and elsewhere, conducted by Bikefrastructure, more than half the respondents had had one or more bikes stolen, which made “security of bikes while parked” one of riders’ top concerns.

Boston and other cities should be commended for trying to keep pace with demand for bike parking and increasing access to bike sharing, but I urge readers, riders, and future riders to continue to push city planners to include secure bike parking in the planning picture as a way to battle theft.

Robert M. Whitson

Manchester-by-the-Sea

The writer is founder of the start-up Bikefrastructure, which is developing bike racks.

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