New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Left for Dead

The Segway was heralded by inventor and design engineer Dean Kamen as a transport device that "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy." Go here if you are not familiar with Kamen or the Segway.
There was tremendous buzz and speculation before its release - Steve Jobs claimed that it would be "as big a deal as the PC." After the product release and its grandiose claims, I had a gut feeling it would be a failure at least in urban areas like NYC for many reasons - cost ($5000), regulations, traffic, weight and parking - where would you put this thing? I even emailed Kamen himself, addressing all the problems I saw, along with the biggest issue of all - VANDALISM
Kamen spoke of all the sophisticated security devices to prevent theft, but in my opinion, he missed the problem of vandalism, not theft. Perhaps he doesn't know New York. Why would someone vandalize something they could not steal? For many reasons (like taking parts) and perhaps one reason not understandable to outsiders: because they can.
I'm sure people will take parts they do not know they have use for, because they are there.
Manhattan is a graveyard for abandoned bicycles, like the one in today's photo taken on Spring Street. Many bikes are stolen, even with special locks like the Kryptonite, and if they can't steal the bike, they will steal unlocked parts - yes there are ways of locking individual components, e.g. like seats.
When you arrive to see your bike stripped like that in the photo, I imagine it is rather disheartening. What's the point in taking the frame and where will you dispose of it anyway?
In 2005, sculptor David Shapiro did an outdoor exhibit, Left for Dead, at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. A melange of twisted abandoned bikes in various states were salvaged from the streets of the city. In the exhibit, Shapiro attached them to sign posts, embedded in the ground. And a thief was found to attempted to steal a seat from an exhibited bike.
The whole scenario starts to resemble soldiers who stole gold fillings from corpses in times of war. Even the dead are not safe ...

10 comments:

Just Roaming The Cities said...

It is so sad! Like the sad remains just waiting for the owner, who will arrive and be totally depressed that the bike has been scrapped...sad.

Lorelai said...

I recently had my cell phone stolen and the hardest part for me was understanding why someone would want an old cell phone?! What could you possibly do with someone else's beat up phone? It wasn't worth anything and i had the service disconnected immediately! But i think it all comes down to the simple fact that it was a shiny object not nailed down...

EmbroideryMachinesForSale.net said...

I believe it's the high price paid for scrap metal that is partially responsible for this. That's why you'll see homeless guys carting around shopping carts filled with metal scraps instead of bottles & cans these days.

Anna said...

Such a sad state of affairs when people resort to ripping off the parts. A couple of years ago I went to Savannah with my daughter's Girl Scout troop and the first thing that greated us as we stepped up to street level from the parking lot...was this exact type of scene. All that as left was on mangled bike tire chained up to the bicycle rack. What a sad impression it gives when visiting a city.

Chuck Pefley said...

Well it does prove Kryptonite locks are strong. I sure would be disheartened if this was my bike. So very sad.

Tomate Farcie said...

I had a lock like that for my mountain bike. The bike and lock were both stolen at the same time. Don't ask... They just took everything. People here in the Bay Area don't understand why people want to commute with their bikes on the train and refuse to leave them behind in the bike rack "where they are supposed to be" ; well, that is because you don't know if you'll find it when you get back! I'm on my 3rd bike.

By the way, Segways are way too expensive, and they look stupid. I wouldn't mind the looks so much, but they cost money and there is no where to park them. Or if you do, well... see my bike rack comment. Only this time, you don't risk losing a couple hundred dollars' worth of equipment but a few thousands. *sigh*

rian said...

woah.. i even was contemplating on getting a bike.. now i'm having second thoughts getting one..

MySatriaNeo said...

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SoLoMoN
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George said...

On the bright side, the lock works!

Bike Locks said...

Few days ago I bought the bike and I must be bought the lock for bike. It is safe for our bike. Its price is not too much.