North Texas Daily

More than 200 bicycles were impounded last June by UNT Transportation Services

More than 200 bicycles were impounded last June by UNT Transportation Services

More than 200 bicycles were impounded last June by UNT Transportation Services
January 22
18:21 2019

UNT Transportation impounded between 200 and 300 bicycles last June following the end of the 2017-2018 school year, according to UNT Transportation communication specialist Trista Moxley.

However, Moxley said it is only at the beginning of the summer that the UNT Transportation office impounds a large number of bicycles. Throughout the year, the department impounds less than 50.

“Our annual practice of finding abandoned bicycles and impounding them allows us to ensure that the bicycle racks on campus aren’t overloaded with abandoned bicycles,” Moxley said in an email. “[And] leaving no space for students who depend on bicycles to get to and around campus.”

The process of impounding a bicycle begins with the department going around campus and leaving impound tags with instructions on bicycles. At the beginning of the summer, the transportation staff tags every bicycle on campus.

“The bands have instructions written on them to remove that tag, so that the bicycle is known not to be abandoned,” Moxley said. “Then, as a department, we wait for at least two weeks. Last year, due to some other events on campus, it was actually closer to three weeks.”

Once that time passes, any bicycles left on campus are picked up and taken to impound with a 30-day period to pick them up before a bicycle is sent to surplus.

Converged broadcast junior Tai Tran said he had his bicycle impounded when he left it on campus over the summer.

“When school started again, I went in to go talk to [Transportation Services] because I did some research about what happens with the bikes and all that,” Tran said.

Tran said he was eventually able to recover his bike after two hours due to confusion over what he needed to have in order to get his bicycle.

To retrieve an impounded bicycle, a student needs a valid photo ID and proof of ownership, such as a sales receipt, a serial number or a description of unique identifier.

Tran said that once he was cleared to retrieve his bike, he was taken by Transportation Services to a warehouse. He estimated it to have “over a hundred bikes” inside.

If a bike is not claimed within the 30-day period, it “can legally be sent to surplus and sold as abandoned property,” Moxley said.

But impounding is not the first step for dealing with a bicycle that may qualify.

“If a bicycle is attached to a tree or a railing, or if it is impeding traffic on the sidewalks, Transportation Services staff may try to move it out of the way or to a nearby rack,” Moxley said. “But unless it’s there for two weeks or more with an impound tag, we don’t impound it.”

Psychology senior Courtney McMillian said that while she does not really use a bicycle, it would be upsetting for someone to have their bike impounded if they left it somewhere.

“There’s not very many bike racks so sometimes they get full,” McMillian said. “So if they’re going to do that, I would say maybe put more bike racks in.”

Moxley said there are plans to evaluate bike racks and move less utilized ones to heavier traffic areas, but adding more racks would likely not change the number of impounded bikes.

“We don’t impound bicycles that aren’t left for at least two weeks after everyone has left campus,” Moxley said. “[And] if we don’t impound the abandoned bicycles, any additional bicycle racks will eventually be full and unusable for those riding bicycles every day.”

Any student who thinks their bicycle may have been impounded can check the UNT Police Abandoned Property List.

Featured Image: An improperly secured bicycle to a hand railing outside Rawlins Hall. Image by Cindy Ngo. 

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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