Lojack for Bikes?
Several years ago, Steve Levitt and Ian Ayres wrote a paper about Lojack, the silent anti-auto-theft device. They found that crime theft falls overall in areas where even a small percentage of the cars carry Lojack. I got to thinking about Lojack when we received this e-mail the other day from a reader frustrated with the volume of bicycle thefts in Brooklyn. It’s hard to imagine Lojack for bikes — the cost of a car is what makes Lojack worthwhile — but it’s also hard to imagine that there aren’t some creative solutions to the problem. Feel free to post them below. Here, meanwhile, is the reader’s e-mail:…a problem that’s been plaguing my Brooklyn neighborhood lately: bike theft. More specifically, the theft of bike parts (whichever parts — wheels, baskets, bells, etc. — happen to be unlocked). Being merely a disgruntled citizen, I don’t have any statistics on just how rampant this epidemic is, but, based on anecdotal evidence, I’d say very. The bike locks that I see most often see can only reach around the frame and one wheel — every time you lock up, you’re making a considerable gamble (even if you could lock up both wheels and the frame you’d be making a gamble, of course). Buying a second lock (which I’ve now done) is a) costly and b) cumbersome – lugging around one bulky lock is bad enough, but two really does make going for a ride much less appealing. Can you think of any better solutions? Is there a way that the police ought to be deterring bike theft that they aren’t? Is there something that we as a neighborhood ought to be doing?