Recent developments in Baltimore's municipal bike-share community suggest that one program might be living on borrowed time.
Recreation and Parks officials reported today that more than 40 of the city's blue beach cruisers were stolen Monday. The cruisers, designated for use around Druid Hill Park as part of Baltimore's Ride Around the Reservoir program, were seized by a "large group of youths" who became violent when department staff tried to defend city property.
Officials have indefinitely suspended the Ride Around program, which has been popular in parks around the city since 2007. The program made bikes and helmets available to more than 3,000 people—for free—four days out of the week to make recreation more accessible.
To make matters worse, this grand theft bicycle comes in the wake of an announcement that contractor bankruptcy means the Department of Transportation's Charm City Bikeshare, a citywide 250-bike, 25-station program, won't launch at least until 2015—the second time the project has been stalled.
If any locals spot a purloined beach cruiser, they can report it to the Baltimore Police Department.