Because ASU saw a 15 percent increase in bicycle theft across its campuses from 2013 to 2014, ASUPD, the university and the biking community are taking steps to decrease the 2015 statistics.
By offering services like bike valets and card access bike parking, ASU is providing secure parking options for cyclists. ASU is currently ranked as a gold-level bicycle friendly campus by the league of American Bicyclists, and according to the university’s bike page, “more than 15,000 people bike to and from ASU’s four campuses each day.”
ASUPD encourages cyclists to register bikes through the university’s Parking and Transit Service to help recover stolen bikes and return them to their owners. However, ASUPD is always looking for new ways to help prevent bike thefts across all four campuses.
“The bike valets and bike corrals are another level of bike protection ASUPD encourages all students, faculty and staff to use,” ASUPD Media Relations Specialist Nicole Franks wrote in an email.
ASUPD noticed a decrease in bike theft in areas where there are bike valets and card-access bike parking. There are currently two bike valets located on the Tempe campus with a third opening Sept. 24.
Bike valets allow students to drop bikes off at a secure and attended station. Cyclists will then be issued a ticket number that they can present upon retrieval of their bike at no charge. Hours of operation and additional details about the bike valets can be found at the university’s bike page.
ASUPD recommends bikers to use a U-lock along with a cable lock to help prevent bikes from being stolen.
“Never use only a cable lock when locking up your bike; the bike frame, the front tire and the bike rack should fit inside of the U-lock,” Franks wrote in an email.
One Tempe bicycle shop is aware of how detrimental bike theft can be, whether it is ridden recreationally or as a primary means of transportation, having a bike stolen can be expensive.
To offset the cost of replacing a stolen bike, State Bicycle Co. offers a $100 discount on the purchase of a new bike. Any brand of stolen bike is eligible for the replacement discount with a copy of a police report issued within 90 days.
Mehdi Farsi, co-owner and founder of State Bicycle Co., knows what it feels like to have a bike stolen.
“We really want to help anyone in that spot out, its good karma in the bike world,” Farsi said.
The shop believes the best thing they can do to prevent bike theft is to educate their customers.
ASU cycling coach and race director Constantin Schreiber said he would recommend that policy.
"Bike theft has been rampant on campus and that is a great incentive for students," he said.
ASUPD said there were about 503 bikes stolen on campus last year.
ASU Cycling Club President Scott Jones wrote in an email that “having your bike stolen would suck, and anything that gets you rolling again is a step in the right direction.”
Reach the reporter at Preston.Scott-Hall@asu.edu or follow @sgt_preston on Twitter.