Redmond, OR implements Bike Index citywide

Redmond, OR is jumping the summer bike season rush by implementing a new Bike Index registration system for their city. Less than 20 miles from Bend, OR, Redmond marks Bike Index's expansion throughout the state and will increase ability to recover stolen bikes that may ferry between the two cities and throughout the region.

Redmond will encourage its citizens to register their bikes in a Redmond Bike Index portal. City police will then be able to manage these registrations and get in touch with bike owners throughout the city to take reports of stolen bikes and return found bikes to their real owners. The service is free to anyone and everyone who wants to register a bike.

Redmond has already served as a model city for utilizing Bike Index across multiple platforms to increase registration awareness and collaborate against bike theft. According to Lieutenant Curtis Chambers of the Redmond Police Department, he discovered Bike Index when a citizen proposed the idea during a presentation of law enforcement activities in central Oregon. "I researched a little bit but it so happens that we had a volunteer who was a bike advocate and who also came and spoke to me about Bike Index" around the same time, said Lt. Chambers.

With citizens, volunteers, and the Redmond PD actively checking Bike Index, the chances of stolen bikes being spotted and reported significantly increase and may even serve as a deterrent to potential thieves, who know that everyone will be actively looking out for their stolen cargo. Bend reduced bike theft by 60 percent over the course of a year by implementing a cocktail of proactive initiatives, including checking Bike Index.

"We are hopeful that by engaging bicycle owners in a larger network, people will think twice about stealing a bike in the first place, knowing that they may get caught and be held accountable for the harm they’ve done," said Lt. Chambers.

The Redmond PD have expanded their implementation of Bike Index in Redmond by contacting bike shops in the area, encouraging these shops to help their customers register their bikes. Bike shops play integral roles in their cycling communities, often identifying stolen bicycles that they remember selling to specific customers. Local bike shops are great sources of information for local cyclists, encouraging fledgling riders to invest in the most appropriate bike for their needs. Customers can trust bike shops when they say that registration might protect their new ride down the line. Many riders don't even know registration is an option.

"We just want people to enjoy a peace of mind and to protect their investment, because we realize that bikes aren't cheap," said Brian Lewis, Store Manager at Hutch's Bicycles, a local bike shop in Redmond that has been telling customers about Bike Index. "People rely on their bikes for transportation, exercise, or to have fun with family. And whether we're doing a repair, registering a bike, or teaching trail etiquette and safety guidelines, we want to offer more than just a product."

At Bike Index we want to decrease financial barriers to cycling. We make registration free for cyclists and give cyclists tools for protecting their bikes from theft or getting their bike back if it's stolen. And by bringing local organizations around the world on board and encouraging them to work together, we can register and protect an exponentially bigger number of bicycles.

Lt. Chambers says one of the biggest reasons for working with Bike Index is because of the price. "I would recommend that law enforcement across the country look for new and innovative ways to return property to owners. At a time when it always costs more to do business, Bike Index is wonderful opportunity to do more without costing more."

Bike theft will increase with the improvement in weather. If you are interested in implementing Bike Index throughout your city, send an email to lily@bikeindex.org.

Feature image by Visitor7 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons