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Indybay Feature
Mon Jun 17 2013
A Year Later, Santa Cruz Youth Programs Still Waiting on City Bicycles
Mon Jun 17 2013
City Violates Municipal Code by Distributing Unclaimed Bikes to For-Profit Business
Since 1996 the City of Santa Cruz has distributed unclaimed bicycles to youth in need through nonprofits such as the Bike Church and Barrios Unidos. Early last year they abruptly ended this program and have given bikes instead to a for-profit business called the Bike Dojo, which should not even be allowed under city code to participate in the program, and which has sold many of the bicycles, also in violation of the Municipal Code. Despite admitting these problems, the city continues to distribute bikes to the Bike Dojo while denying access to the nonprofits that used to participate.

The City began distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in 1996. For years the program was administered by the Santa Cruz Police Department, sometimes very successfully, while other times only intermittently or not at all. In 2008 distributions had stopped entirely and usable bikes were being sent instead to the landfill. At that time the Bike Church—a nonprofit repair shop and recycling center—stepped in, offering to help manage the program. Under the Bike Church's management and for all years prior, City bicycle distributions were open to all interested nonprofits and public agencies.

Youth and bicycle advocates are calling on the City to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles for free to youth through partnerships with nonprofit agencies, as required by the Municipal Code.

Read More | From 2012: City Ends Successful Bicycle Distribution Program in Secret Back-Room Deal
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