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  • jules

    the perpetrator should be a high priority for police. Not just for damaged caused by tacks they have laid, but the suspension of belief needed to assume the person is an otherwise law-abiding, upstanding citizen. we’ve seen this over-and-over, where criminals are tolerated as nuisances – right up until they discover the point in their committing crimes of escalating severity at which the law comes down hard on them.

    the problem is they are unlikely to be caught red-handed. the discreet act of spreading tacks in the night isn’t likely to be picked up by a camera. but someone knows who is doing this, other than the person themselves. somewhere, someone or some people are discussing this and not telling the cops.

    • Dave

      How high a priority? If we had a line from 1 to 10 with terrorists, murderers and rapists at 1 and jaywalking pedestrians at 10, what score would you give the tack dropper/s?

      • jules

        I would put it at a 5. but given that there haven’t been – to my knowledge – too many terrorist attacks in Boroondara lately, I think a 5 is pretty high up there on the police’s hit list.

      • Lyre_bird

        Apparently the term “Jaywalking” was invented to de-legitimise non-motorist use of the roads. Ironic, huh?

      • Davo

        I’ll give it a 1.1, I’m impressed the police even responded. It’s such an easy crime to get away with then simply relocate, then relocate, then relocate.

  • Steel

    I’ll be there in spirit as I’m away this weekend.

    Good luck with protest.

  • Craig Taylor

    I think there is an element of double standards at play too.
    If this was someone spreading tacks on the Eastern Freeway my bet would be that it would be a high priority and resolved very quickly. Instead its just people cycling and therefore not a major concern in the eyes of those responsible.

    • Jessy Vee

      But even if it was a case of double standards, I remember reading about two motorcycle crashes that occurred due to tacks in tires. Surely that’s a serious traffic accident, Vic Police? :(

      • Dave

        It seems that it’s serious enough to warrant the attention of an Inspector.

        The resources needed to solve it will be the same resources that would warn off the culprit and make them lay low for a while. As with real major crimes, the break will inevitably come due to a stroke of blind luck or astonishing stupidity on the part of the culprit.

    • Jessy Vee

      But even if it was a case of double standards, I remember reading about two motorcycle crashes that occurred due to tacks in tires. Surely that’s a serious traffic accident, Vic Police? :(

  • Craig Taylor

    I think there is an element of double standards at play too.
    If this was someone spreading tacks on the Eastern Freeway my bet would be that it would be a high priority and resolved very quickly. Instead its just people cycling and therefore not a major concern in the eyes of those responsible.

  • OverIt

    It’s clear we’re dealing with a sociopath/s, it won’t help by protesting, it might even make it worse. Hidden camera’s or maybe a chance arrest by either police or citizen while in the are in the act is the only hope.

  • Dave

    Had a good laugh at the demand for surveillance cameras. This is the real world, not CSI.

    • CC

      Am i reading this right, a heap of people are going down to protest … to attain $500,000+ in resource spending?

    • Jerome

      Agree, but it doesn’t need to be wizz bang technology, it is well known which stretches of road get tacked, just need a go pro duck taped to a tree with a battery pack, when tacks are reported go over the last few hours of footage and you have a decent start

      • Dave

        Good luck finding anything useful from a GoPro at night.

    • YodaAndTheBike

      Hi Dave

      I am the organizer of the protest. You might trivialize this but its more than just punctures. The tacks are having the following effects:

      (1) Punctures, lots of them. The number would be in thousands now.

      (2) Cyclists are crashing and being injured. No one seriously so yet that I know of but that is just a matter or time.

      (3) The tacks are being dumped onto the road shoulder which is where most cyclists would prefer to ride. Many cyclists are now choosing to ride in the traffic lane to avoid the tacks, which not only irritates motorists, but also reduces the separation between cyclists and motor vehicles

      (4) The council is spending up to $20,000 / month of rate payers money to have the road swept.

      (5) Pets and children have been injured by the tacks.

      The bottom line is that this is a crime and it affecting the broader community.

      • Dave B

        Hey Dave – it is a crime and it’s having affects.

        However I think trying to catch the person is going to be hard if not impossible, which is a waste of resources (time, cash, opportunity)

        I would think that a cash reward for information which leads to the arrest will work more. Raise a $50k fund – get CrimeStoppers to manage the process for you. Money talks – there is a high % chance that more than 1 person knows who is doing this. Good information and an incentive I believe will give you a stronger chance of achieving your goals. Good luck and good on you for doing something about it.

        • Pete

          That would be the smart way of handling it IMO. Someone knows who is doing it, they just need a little incentive to talk.

          • Dave

            I agree – this is a minor to middling crime that will only be solved by good old fashioned police work, not spending $$$$$$$ on magical computer image enhancement programs that can turn grainy CCTV images into studio portraits at the click of a button. That stuff is good for keeping you entertained until the next ad break, not for solving a real world crime.

      • Dave

        I agree that it’s a crime and should be solved – but my point is more that the methods needed will come from The Bill, not from CSI.

  • Ghillie_Mort

    Perhaps someone should run a stakeout, covertly watching an area where they’ve been dropped before for however long it takes?

    • Soldiers of Fortune

      This sounds like a job for the “A-Team”

      “If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.”

  • Don Siri

    Is anyone getting the word out to the motorcyclists who use the road as well? Would be great to show some solidarity so that it’s not just seen as a cyclist problem.

  • Logan

    Has anyone considered creating a fund that would be paid into each time someone records a tack puncture? The fund would be a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) dropping the tacks. Basically, the more tacks that are placed causing more punctures increases the reward for catching the perpetrator. The perpetrator would effectively be increasing their chance of getting turned in by continuing to place additional tacks in the road. Cyclist, cyclist’s friends and family, businesses that are supported by cyclists, etc. could sign on committing a dollar for every puncture. Am I making sense? The actions of the perpetrator are indirectly causing the opposite of what they want to happen. There was a town in Germany that unwantedly played host to a neo-nazi parade once a year. The town tried many ways to get rid of the paraders, but finally landed on this: For every km the paraders marched, the town donated a certain dollar (deutschmark ?) amount back to itself (somehow). All the townsfolk came out to cheer on the neo-nazi paraders to walk the whole distance of the parade route so they would be inadvertently raising more money for the town. They even placed signs along the route that marked how much money was raised at each km. Hopefully, with all the “misguided” support of their parade, the hate group would find somewhere else to march. I feel like this could be a really effective strategy for combating situations like the tacks on the road. Once a week, someone could update the sign showing how much the reward was up to. Just a thought. I’m looking at using this strategy to make changes elsewhere, but I really don’t know how effective it is. I’m probably just being crazy. Carry on.

    • YodaAndTheBike

      Hi Logan

      There is an app under development that will record the date, time and location of the puncture, allow a picture to be taken and all the relevant details will be sent through to police. This will allow the police to narrow down the “where” and “when” and at the same time, gather some data around the costs.

  • Allez Rouleur

    There is a very, very hot place in hell for the person doing this (or just in Darwin!). I’m over in the U.S. but I’d like to see this looney caught and then publicly tortured.

  • geoff

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the perpertrator is in fact a cyclist. Just like the CFA volunteer who lights fires in order to attract some attention, we might be seeing a cyclist with some sort of mental disorder doing the same thing

    • Then head on over to Facebook and see comments about people holding the Strava KOMs on the boulie being questioned…..

      The pattern of the tacks and the spread always looked to be tossed at speed from a moving car, thrown from the center of the road towards the bike lane. Some tacks ending up on the footpath, a lot against the gutter. Not the pattern you’d expect if someone was dumping them behind themselves from a bike. Just my observation.

    • jules

      sounds more like a movie plot twist to me than reasonable possibility

  • Daniel

    This is a bit of a joke how long this has been going on for.
    I agree with the organisers. There reaches a point where flagrant and malicious criminality cannot be tolerated. The perpetrator will know that the police are looking into it and that it is causing damage, so their continued actions are a middle finger to the police and the law more generally.
    It sucks because it will be a drain on police resources, but at this point they just have to say screw it and pour whatever resources they need into. Work with the community to establish a neighborhood watch program. Figure out where these tacks can be purchased from and figure out who has being buying them in bulk. Offer a reward for information. As others have said, someone knows who this person is and should do the decent thing and tip off the police

  • Mandy Rudwick

    With the media coverage that’s been happening I think you might get closer to 3000 than 300 on Sunday. See you there! :)

    • YodaAndTheBike

      Thanks for supporting the ride Mandy

  • This is a small issue for the police to follow and a costly one to install cameras.

    As a suggestion, without being vigilante, perhaps an idea may also be for an organised rotational system of volunteer cyclists to covertly monitor and record vehicle registrations and dates / times of tack incidents, (possibly photographing walkers also from a distance). Data may give rise to some commonality, and potential suspect/s to report back to the police.

    • Dave

      “Without being vigilante” and volunteers conducting covert surveillance seem kind of contradictory. It wouldn’t be covert either, not if you want to capture enough detail to have a hope in hell of telling whether it’s a person or a yeti being photographed.

      • I hear you Dave, sure hiding behind a tree camouflaged is extreme – sitting on a chair monitoring traffic is equally covert, just not publicised or brought to attention.

        The point here is, clearly the person has not stopped yet, did not stop with the previous mass event, and continues same behaviour. As minority road users our resources and support is limited. Police are unable to offer surveillance, clearly the person does it when no one is around so catching them in the act is near impossible, therefore we should be constructive and come up with solutions to resolve the problem, as opposed to trying to catch this person without taking the law into our own hands, “vigilante” style.

  • scottmanning

    As I am north QLD, I won’t be there but I look forward to reading a story here on CT about how the protest went. Vigilante actions can never be tolerated.

  • Cav

    it may have already been said, but how about a good old stakeout?, i night each losing sleep for a few will bring tack-less joy for many

  • Paul N

    I have had 2 flats and I know of 4 others who have had flats due to tacks. Even though the Boulevard is less than 1km from home I now do not ride it as I don’t feel it is safe riding in the ‘car’ lane and I don’t want to get pointless flats if I ride in the ‘bike’ lane. So the tacks have had the desired effect on me. It is obviously someone fairly local.

    The amount of tree detris in the bike lane / shoulder, which causes you to ride right on the edge of the car lane, is also a safety issue.

    • Simon

      I’m close to the Kew bvd too and there is a middle option, ride on the white lane marking, it shows up anything dark. You do need to be constantly scanning of course and with good eyesight. Or just challenge your fear of drivers’ antagonism and ride outside the lane marking and only move inside it when a car approaches from behind. No one’s given me grief being outside the lane marking and I’ve had one tack in the past 15 months because I rode inside the line. I got more grief in past years heading southbound over the freeway since the dedicated lanes were installed and I didn’t use them. My unproved theory is it’s someone who accesses the boulevard from Wiltshire Drive as any anti bike grief I’ve had has come from around that area over the years.

  • Frank

    Call me an optimist but I think the solution here is publicity. Imagine if every newspaper and news network in Melbourne ran a story about the “boulie tacks”. Assuming the person dropping the tacks is sane – there is no way they would risk doing it again given the heightened awareness that would create.

    • YodaAndTheBike

      Frank, that is exactly what’s happening. I have had appearances on 3AW, ABC Radio and there is a Channel 9 News story coming out on Sunday after the protest tide. I think more media will follow on the back of this. If you are Melbourne based, it would be great to have you along.

  • bellthecat

    i’ve had tacks causing a puncture on Park street and royal parade this Monday. Drove me totally bonkers

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