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'Schwinn Graveyard': Derelict Bikes Linger On NYC Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Broken bikes litter New York City sidewalks.

There are so many that the city has actually created an agency to remove them.

Despite that, residents in the West Village say there are more derelict bikes than ever.

Louis Rudy is among those wondering why there are so many decrepit bikes tied up, tattered and abandoned on New York City sidewalks.

"What is the story with these bikes? who is bringing them, why are you leaving them? Did someone steal the wheels? What is going on?" Rudy told CBS2's Tara Jakeway.

A mess of abandoned bikes sit right in front of Rudy's restaurant, the Hudson Hound.

He's even named the eyesore.

"Oh, the Schwinn graveyard. It's just a pile of bikes that have been there since this summer," he said.

The defunct cycles are missing parts and are rusted out, and not exactly the best scenery for the front of his eatery.

"It's frustrating because you try to keep your business as appealing looking as possible," Rudy said.

The city sidewalk is public space.

"So basically our customers get to stare at that every day," Rudy said.

Six weeks ago, the pile of pedals was slapped with neon yellow warning stickers by the derelict bike enforcement team. The Department of Sanitation will pick up abandoned bikes if they meet the criteria: Unusable, missing essential parts, or if 50 percent is covered by rust.

West Village resident Michael Baily knew the "Schwinn graveyard" was all of the above.

"I called in the beginning of December to have them removed and they were marked," Baily said. "I was going to call again today to find out why they haven't been removed."

Baily lives above Hudson Hound, and continuously called 311. The Sanitation Department eventually showed up with stickers that warn the bikes will be removed if not claimed in seven days. That was in the first week of December.

"The problem is these things collect snow in the winter and that makes it really icy and hard for the sidewalks to drain," he said.

A few blocks up, more bikes were ticketed nearly two weeks ago.

"If the city is going to put a tag on it saying they are going to remove it, go ahead and remove it," Rudy said.

The stickers on the bikes say they should've been removed by Dec. 11. CBS2 reached out the Department of Sanitation, but hasn't heard back about when the bikes will be removed, if ever.

The derelict bike program was started in 2016, but in just one neighborhood Tuesday CBS2 counted dozens of bikes that meet the criteria and are still out on the street.

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