The City of Santa Cruz should reestablish the long-standing program of distributing unclaimed bicycles at the SCPD to youth in need. The City would partner with a nonprofit agency to manage the program, and bikes would be available for distribution to any other qualified nonprofit or government agency.
With a nonprofit partner picking up bikes from the City and handling administration of the program, there would be no direct expenses to the City. However there is potentially some loss of revenue from bikes which otherwise might have sold at auctions.
In 1996 City staff estimated that such sales might amount to $12,000/year, based on an estimate of selling 300 bikes a year for on average $40. However these were merely projections, not an accounting of actual sales that had occurred.
During the last two years of this program (from 2010 - early 2012), the City distributed 297 bikes in 2 years. However of those bikes, 66 were extremely dysfunctional or incomplete, and many more were in significant disrepair. Therefore it seems likely the actual potential revenue would be more on the order of $5,000/year or less.
Every year the City ends up with dozens or hundreds of usable bikes which are not claimed and must be dealt with somehow. Because the bikes are generally of moderate to low quality and many are in disrepair, they offer little cash value to the City through auctioning. On the other hand, the value to the community of these bicycles for youth is enormous. Every year from 1996-2012 dozens of youth who otherwise might not have access to a bicycle received one through this program, while tons of the leftover parts and frames were recycled at the Bike Church, which makes them available cheap-to-free to the community. These contributions to the community far outweigh the potential revenue from auctioning off the bicycles.
The proposal is for the City of Santa Cruz to reinstate the program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need, through a process open to any qualified nonprofit agency.
For details about how the program might work, see the attached proposal from the Bike Church, which worked with the City from 2008-2012 and is hoping to partner with the City again.
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What an awesome idea! When I was growing up, my bicycle meant that I was able to make it to volleyball practice and other extra curricular activities. It really changed my childhood. This is so much better than letting a pile of bicycles go to waste.
Love the idea. Can we do more to reunite stolen bikes with their owners also? SF has an interesting program that utilizes Twitter. http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Inside-San-Francisco-s-stolen-bike-warehouse-5014821.php#page-1
I voted in support. But it would be helpful to know why the city "abruptly ended the partnership without notice" regarding their contract with Bike Church. Would like to know what the city's concerns are. I'd also like to see some type of outreach to get these bikes and parts back to their original owners.
Dear Mary, we also would like to know why the City abruptly ended the program. Unfortunately they did it without giving any reasons ahead of time, nor even notifying anyone of the change. When we asked after the fact for an explanation we got one which does not feel very convincing: that they were unhappy with some minor aspects of the program which we were never given a chance to accomodate (namely, issues related to scheduling, delivery vs pickup of bicycles, disposal of scrap metal, and registration of bicycles--all of which are addressed in our attached proposal).
We suspect and at times City staff have confirmed (off the record) that the underlying problem may be that the SCPD doesn't like our neighbors! By which we mean SubRosa, an anarchist community space which is completely independent of the Bike Church, but which is located next door to us. The Bike Church for our part is not a political organization and has no issue with the police. In fact we have always called them on occasion to run serial numbers of suspicious bicycles, or in rare cases for help with aggressive indivduals. We're also now the first bike shop in town to start registering bikes on site.
Regardless of any of this, the fact is this program wasn't about the Bike Church, we were only administering the distributions. The real losers are all the kids and the other nonprofits that work with them, like Barrios Unidos and Project Bike Trip.
Yes Yes Yes! This proposal is NOT specific to the Bike Church -- it just wants to see the program reinstated by some community group. No downside has been presented (yet) -- so I say let's go for it and help out the local youth population.
As someone who has had four bikes stolen from me in the past 10 years, i want to see what bikes they have and check for mine. since the cops never did anything after my reports, maybe my bike is there ?
Well the police of course would rather get bikes back to the rightful owners but if they're not registered and if no one comes to claim them, there is no way to know who to give it to. So after 90 days they move the bikes out in one way or another. For long term recovery of bikes they have started promoting registration, and Bike Church is helping with that, but in the meantime sadly most bikes are not recovered but moved out, and therefore your stolen bikes will not be there unless it happened in the last 3 months.
Can't vote in favor until reason for terminating partnership are cleared up.
Well let's be clear this initiative and next week's City Council agenda item are not specifically whether or not to work with the Bike Church, but whether or not to distribute bikes to youth. The particular group to partner with would be decided later through an application process.
In addition, it is the City which has failed to be transparent with its reasons for terminating the program, so it would be odd to let the lack of transparency be an excuse for the City not to move forward. As far as their stated reasons, the Bike Church has offered to adjust the program to fit all 4 of their required changes, as you can read in our proposal.
Then why am I receiving email thanking me for voting for the project and supporting Bike Church? I don't have enough information to support Bike Church, but many questions why the city chose not to support Bike Church. My vote is rescinded. Also, how does an email list get generated from Civinomicon proposals?
Hi Mary - if you have voted on this initiative in the vote box on the right side of the page, your yes or no vote will be visible (to you only! nobody else can see how you vote) with a check mark in the appropriate box. To take your vote back, just click again in the checked box, and the vote will be undone. You can also change your vote by clicking on the other box.
With regard to your question " Also, how does an email list get generated from Civinomicon proposals? " I'm not sure exactly what you are asking, but will say that Civinomics does not share member email addresses or other information with anyone, and that how people vote is strictly confidential.
Honestly, there should be a referendum on the council's decision. This is one of the highest rated initiatives on this site, there was clear public support of an RFP process at the council meeting, and the council voted flagrantly against it.
Right now, I don't know where I could buy a used bike at a good price other than the flee market, and that just supports the black market.