The Real.Est List
Dear Ms. Demeanor: Bike room misconduct
My condo has bike storage in our basement. There is a long wait list to get a space. This month I was notified that I finally got off the list, so I bought a new bike.
When I went to lock it up for the first time, I noticed that a lot of people are doubling up bikes in their spots. To the point that one spot even installed its own two-bike rack that spills into my space.
This obviously causes a lot of congestion and makes it very hard to get bikes in and out without knocking neighbors' bikes down. Should I write a note to my neighboring bikes or let our management know? I don't want my bike to be scratched from people taking bikes in and out, but I also don't want to snitch and have my bike scratched by an angry neighbor.
Excellent question and excellent instincts. It is always best to first deal with use and misuse of public spaces directly with your neighbors before getting the powers-that-be (and that-can-be-annoying) involved.
Reach out to your neighbor and see if there is a way to configure the two spots comfortably for three or even four. Doing your own research to this end can be a great way to open the conversation. Your time for a plus-one (bike and/or partner) may come sooner than you think.
If you find a great storage solution, pass on the information to other building bikers to relieve the congestion. If this approach does not work, going to the management with a suggestion for positive change (“Let's make the bike storage more efficient”) is usually a better approach than being a negative narc.
Happy biking trails and wear your helmet please,
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.