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#1 2010-02-16 12:53:46

catalpacasa
Member
Registered: 2010-02-16
Posts: 5

Where can I lock my bike?

I did a search for this post, but nothing came up so I figured I'd post here and see if anyone can answer me. I just got yelled at by a State Trooper for locking my bike to a parking sign. I've been locking here for a year and a half and this is the first I've heard anything about it. What are the laws? Any links? Oh yeah, it's wasn't on the Capital grounds, but close enough for a Trooper to see me.

THANK YOU!!

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#2 2010-02-16 15:01:41

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

By Texas law, bicycles can park on a sidewalk as long as they don't obstruct pedestrians and/or traffic.

http://bicycleaustin.info/laws/tx-bike. … alkparking
"(d) A person may stop, stand, or park a bicycle on a sidewalk if the bicycle does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic on the sidewalk."

However, I don't know if that applies to your situation or not -- I don't really have much information.

In general, you can lock your bike to a parking sign.  (Note that this usually isn't a good place to lock your bike -- it's too easy to either lift the entire pole and free the bike that way, or remove the bolts that hold the sign and raise the bike over it.)

Your best bet would have been to ask the trooper why not, and ask where he suggests that you lock your bike.  Even if there is no law that says you can't park/lock your bike there, that wouldn't always stop him from cutting the lock and impounding your bike, and then you'd have to prove your bike was legally parked and that could very well be impossible.

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#3 2010-02-16 15:58:20

catalpacasa
Member
Registered: 2010-02-16
Posts: 5

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

The sign in question was cemented into a grassy area, so impeding sidewalk traffic wasn't an issue. I prefer to lock to a bicycle rack, but by the time I show up for work, all the bike racks look like jenga explosions. The last thing I want to do is lock my bike, jam in anothers in the process, and then raise the wrath of a fellow biker. I do know that the trooper was new or I have never seen her before. She didn't gripe when I locked my bike to a different parking sign just 10 feet away, so I don't really know why that sign was such a big no no.

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#4 2010-02-16 18:09:33

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

Well, it sounds like the only way you'll ever find out is to ask her ...

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#5 2010-02-16 18:19:01

catalpacasa
Member
Registered: 2010-02-16
Posts: 5

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

I'm hoping not to see her again, but if I do, I will.

Thanks for posting!

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#6 2010-02-17 14:58:02

waterloo_cycles
Member
Registered: 2008-08-30
Posts: 12

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

might be worth taking a picture or two when the rack is full and asking the building management about getting additional parking racks

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#7 2010-02-17 16:24:32

catalpacasa
Member
Registered: 2010-02-16
Posts: 5

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

The racks are on the Capital grounds. Even if I did ask the "management company" for more racks I'm sure it would take 6 or 7 legislative sessions before it was even brought to the floor.


That trooper wasn't stationed near me today, so I had no problems locking it to the same signage as I've always done. The trooper who was stationed actually waved hello to me.


Weird life.

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#8 2010-02-17 20:22:59

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,240
Website

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

Just a reminder to folks -- from the front page of http://BicycleAustin.info check out the "Laws" menu, which will tell you just about everything you wanted to know about bike laws.

If what you're looking for isn't listed ... that probably means there's no law against it.  The law rarely tells you what you *can* do, only what you *can't* do.  So if it's not prohibited, then it's okay.

And catalpacasa, it's certainly a bummer when they tell you you can't innocently park your bike at the Capitol, but it could have been worse.  Once there was an anti-war rally at the Capitol, and one woman had a sticker on her bike that said "This Bike is a Pipe Bomb", which is actually the name of a rock band, but law enforcement didn't see it that way...

BTW, I'm typing this from an Amtrak train, where I just started a 40-hour train trip from Austin to California.  To my amazement, Amtrak has apparently just added WiFi service to its trains.  Whoo-eee!

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#9 2010-02-17 20:48:32

catalpacasa
Member
Registered: 2010-02-16
Posts: 5

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

I love Amtrak!
I took a trip from Austin to New York and back.
The views through Pennsylvania were amazing!

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#10 2010-02-18 09:39:21

allendemling
Member
Registered: 2008-12-23
Posts: 9

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

If the area you park doesn't have enough bike parking, and it is not on capital grounds, as you said, then you should contact the Bike Program with the city of austin and request more parking. If they have the extra racks, and there are places to put them, they will do it. Jason Fialkoff is the one to contact.

Moderator edit: No email addresses, as per forum rules.

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#11 2010-02-18 11:24:39

deh
Member
Registered: 2008-08-19
Posts: 3

Re: Where can I lock my bike?

Although the legislature is ultimately in charge, the Capitol grounds are controlled by the State Preservation Board.  That doesn't mean that they're easier to work with, but it means you don't have to wait for a session to get things done and *might* mean that showing a photo of full racks would be helpful.  http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/spb/spb/Contact/Contact.htm

I only ever found adequate racks on the north side (near the Reagan building), although my recollection is that there are a couple of spots near the Supreme Court building (also on the North).  I've also parked on the east in front of the State Library and the southeast near the old Land Office (now the Visitors Center) building, but I may have just used signs in those cases.  I never found or used racks on the south or west sides.

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