New Mapping Project Aims to Identify Philly’s Bike Theft “Hot Spots”

Pretty much everyday that I lock up in front of our office building, I bid a silent, preemptive goodbye to my bike. It’s the best way I can figure to guard my delicate, bike-loving heart strings against what I figure is probably inevitable: that my bike will, at some point, get stolen. In eight years of city bike riding, I think I’ve come up with a pretty good locking system—involving both a cable lock and a U-lock—and while I’ve technically not had a bike stolen (yet), I pretty much operate under the assumption that it’s only a matter of time. I guess it’s the glass-half-empty part of me doing the talking.

A new project, reported by our sister site, The Philly Post, aims to shed some light on bike-theft patterns in Philly. While it may not save your (or my) bike from getting stolen, it can at least alert us to some spots where we maaaaay want to think twice (or three times) about locking up our wheels.

The project, which reminds me a lot of my own efforts to map covered bike parking in Philly, is being spearheaded by a Center City-based software-development company called Azavea. To start, a researcher there is sifting through six years of police data, which shows that since 2007, more than 10,700 bikes (!!!!) were reported stolen in Philly. Check out more details of the project here. And in the meantime, lock ’em up tight, guys.

Photo: Shutterstock