The 17th Police District Bicycle Registry, an online bike registration pilot program launched in Philadelphia’s 17th Police District, hopes to help the city reduce its rampant bike theft problem.
The South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) safety bommittee, Bicycle Coalition and 17th Police District have teamed up to pilot the new online bike registry for the neighborhoods within Lombard and Moore streets and Broad Street and the Schuylkill River. Residents can now fill in the online registration form and within two weeks of doing so visit the 17th Police District to have a designated serial number etched into their bicycles.
Those piloting the program hope the registration will help police return stolen bicycles to their rightful owners and ultimately cut down on bicycle theft.
According to a 2011 report by the Bicycle Coalition, Philadelphia is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities with twice as many bicycle commuters, per capita, than any other major U.S. city and an increase in bicycle commuting by 151 percent from 2000 to 2009. The 17th Police District in particular has some of the highest ridership figures in the state.
Yet other numbers show a high level of bike theft throughout the city. In 2008, Kryptonite, the popular bicycle and action sport lock company, ranked Philadelphia the #1 city for bike theft.
Though the pilot program is only for residents in the 17th Police District, those leading the initiative say if successful, it will likely be expanded citywide.