Abandoned Bikes


SDOT responds to requests to remove abandoned bicycles that are secured to structures in the public right-of-way. This program helps keep our bicycle facilities, streets, and sidewalks from becoming cluttered with unused bicycles.

Situations Covered by This Program

This program deals with bikes which are chained, locked or otherwise fixed to permanent structures in the public right-of-way such as bike racks, utility poles or trees. 

The program does not apply to bikes which are:

  • Abandoned in the right-of-way but are not secured or locked to anything, and are therefore movable
  • Abandoned on private property.

How the Program Works

  • A resident reports an abandoned bicycle to SDOT.  You may call the program directly at 206-684-7623
  • SDOT conducts a site visit, and proceeds with bicycles which are covered by this program (as described above).
  • SDOT staff:
    • Takes photos
    • Records the serial number
    • Tags the bike with a notice stating that SDOT will put the bike into temporary storage after 30 days
    • Posts a notice in the area stating that the owner of the bike cannot retrieve it after 90 days.
  • After 30 days, if the bike is not removed by the owner and if the bike is not reported as stolen to the Seattle Police Department, SDOT cuts the lock and moves the bicycle to storage for 60 days.
  • After 60 days if the bicycle is not retrieved by the owner, SDOT donates it to charity.

This program is responsive to requests from the community, and is not currently funded at a level to proactively patrol the City for abandoned bikes.

Retrieving Your Abandoned Bike

If you abandon your bike (as described above), you have 30 days to retrieve it from the right-of-way. After that, you have 60 days to call SDOT at 206-386-1206 to retrieve it from storage.

Abandoned bike at a rack


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.