Vandals slash tires and seats, cut spokes on more than 200 Biket - KPTV - FOX 12

Vandals slash tires and seats, cut spokes on more than 200 Biketown bicycles

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Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Vandals slashed tires and seats and cut the spokes on more than 200 Biketown bicycles.

The damage was discovered Tuesday morning. The vandals also painted graffiti on the control screens of the bikes, as well as on the informational panels at stations and the screens of electronic kiosks used to check out the bicycles.

Biketown is a bike-sharing system that launched last July. The Portland Bureau of Transportation said Biketown has grown to more than 2,700 annual members and has been used by more than 45,000 people who have taken nearly 190,000 trips totaling 375,000 miles.

"All Portlanders should be saddened and outraged by this senseless act of vandalism," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees PBOT.

Motivate, the city contractor that operates the Biketown system, was cleaning up the graffiti and repairing the damaged bicycles within minutes of the first reports Tuesday morning.

"I'm personally just really, really disheartened," said Jude Gerace.

Gerace owns Sugar Wheel Works, and she was one of the first people who jumped at the chance to help clean up the damage.

"When something happens people want to show up and help. [Biketown] has helped a lot of people that don't have access to better transportation," said Gerace.

Gerace says she's not sure what message the people responsible were trying to send.

"There are so many people that use Biketown that are going to be affected by this," said Gerace. "I love bikes in general, and it just makes me really, really sad."

Anyone who sees someone in the act of vandalism or any other crime in progress should call 9-1-1 immediately.

Anyone with information about the vandalism to Biketown equipment should contact Officer David Sanders of the Portland Police Bureau at david.sanders@portlandoregon.gov.

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