Immediately after passing an ordinance adding bicycle lanes to several local streets, the Anchorage Assembly passed a second ordinance designating three “sanctioned bicycle chop shops,” where stolen bikes can be spray painted and legally sold.
After the ordinance passed, Assembly member Daniel Volland told reporters, “Look, the Assembly can’t solve any problems. But we can sanction them, which kinda makes them not really problems anymore, right? There are already chop shops openly operating throughout Anchorage city parks, so we might as well make them official. Now, anyone who wants to use our beautiful bike lanes can go buy a stolen bike at an official Anchorage chop shop and enjoy the joy of bicycle commuting for themselves.”
An avid Anchorage bicyclist at the meeting when the ordinance passed expressed bewilderment at the move. “My girlfriend’s bike got stolen last week, and my friend’s bike was stolen a few months ago for the second time. Why even bike anywhere if your bike just gets stolen in broad daylight and chopped up and nobody cares? Why can’t we arrest people running chop shops in public parks? It just makes no sense.”
According to the ordinance, the three designated bicycle chop shops will be located in or adjacent to public parks and greenbelts due to their proximity to middle-class neighborhoods and bike trails. Assembly member Meg Zaletel, who recused herself from the vote due to a conflict of interest, told reporters, “These chop shop guys work really hard. You can’t imagine how hard it is to steal bikes all day, break them apart, spray paint them, and find customers. It’s a lot of work. Just be happy if you’re privileged to be one of the people being stolen from, and not one of the people struggling to make a living in Anchorage’s growing bicycle theft sector.”
Assembly member Felix Rivera, who voted for the ordinance, was overheard whispering to colleagues that he no longer attempts to commute by bike, and now commutes exclusively by car. “At least we don’t have sanctioned car chop shops,” Rivera was overheard saying. “Yet.”