WASHINGTON - D.C. police are urging people to refrain from calling 911 to report frustrations about the numerous dockless bikes strewn about the city.
That reminder comes after WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle tweeted a screenshot from neighborhood listerv in Georgetown appearing to direct other residents to call 911 to report people riding the dockless bikes as suspicious.
There's a lot of anger on the Georgetown listserv over dockless bikeshares, so much so that one resident admits calling the cops on people for merely using the bikes. (See below.) Another resident wants the attorney general to look into the companies. (For what? Unclear.) pic.twitter.com/ohexrAUg5s— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) December 26, 2017
While recognize your frustration, the MPD urges residents to refrain from dialing 911 to report suspicious activity for merely utilizing bikeshare services. We have engaged the bikeshare companies & are actively working to identify a solution that works for everyone— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 27, 2017
D.C. police acknowledged 911 has been receiving calls with complaints about the bikes, but the Office of Unified Communications said it does not have an exact number of calls concerning the bikes because it doesn't categorize them in a way that is searchable for a keyword such as bikes.
In a statement, police wrote, "MPD urges residents to refrain from dialing 911 to report suspicious activity for merely utilizing bikeshare services."
Neighbors are frustrated about the bikes being parked in areas that block sidewalks or driveways. They have also found many bikes knocked over and seemingly littering streets.
Other Georgetown residents told FOX 5 they think it's a major stretch to tie up emergency lines with complaints about the bikes.
"It's a little ridiculous,” said Larry Calvert. “It's kind of escalating too high in my opinion. I have seen them around. I think they are a little obtrusive, but to bring it to that level is pretty ridiculous."
Feedback about the bikes can be directed to 311 or the District Department of Transportation.