So it’s official: the alarm about bike post security was both justified and an overreaction.
Yesterday, City officials conducted the 2×4 test on some of Toronto’s ring-and-post stands, concluding that they are brittle and can break when pried by that plank of wood. In case you were wondering, the tests were conducted off the streets, out of the scope of news cameras. Officials stated that they only know of eight confirmed cases of this happening, though the incidence is likely to increase since the Toronto Star told everyone how to do it. Still, locking your bike to the City’s ubiquitous bike posts remains one of the safest methods, save for the new bike locker pilot program.
Suggestions for improving the racks include using hardened steel for the ring section, which would be more expensive, or reinforcing the bolt joint with steel collars. Cyclists can help deter theft by locking their frame and wheel together with a secondary lock or chain, so even if the post is broken, the bicycle isn’t easily mobile.
Toronto is the North American capital for bike rack installations, but also holds the same title for bicycle theft. Much of the frustration comes from ineffective police response, as recently featured on CBC’s Metro Morning.