Image by flickr user hiveImage by 20080716bikes.jpg Bike confiscation, it's a touchy issue.
You probably didn't know it, but the city of Charleston requires that you register your bike. If you don't, your precious bike (whether trike or Trek) stands to be yanked from the streets by cops and sold off.
Now the fee is only $1 and it (theoretically) can help get your bike back if stolen, but the policy is so lightly enforced that it only seems to affect the impoverished that have suspect ownership rights to their rides, and the college kids that leave their bikes locked up on telephone poles. I've never heard of it helping anyone get their bike back.
It's a long-hated policy that just got worse: In the past, the city was required to advertise and sell the bikes back to the public, but now city employees can keep them all in the supposed name of making the city green.
It's understandable that there needs to be a system to get old and forgotten bikes off racks, but putting a warning sticker on the bikes prior to removal makes far more sense.
I like the spirit of the policy, but with its lax enforcement and minimal public awareness, it needs to go.