Brookfield defends its removal of bikes at HBC Centre
Despite taking a ton of heat yesterday for its confiscation (some characterize it as theft) of bikes locked at Yonge and Bloor streets, Brookfield Properties stands behind its actions, citing pedestrian safety concerns. In an email response to our earlier inquiries, company spokesperson Matthew Cherry offered the following:
"As adjacent property owner, we have the right to remove a bike or otherwise affixed object to property and the TTC pole on the sidewalk outside of our building if it poses a perceived risk to pedestrians... There have been numerous instances at this location where pedestrians have tripped over or have otherwise been injured by bicycles affixed to the pole. We apologize to anyone who believed their bike was stolen and in the future endeavour to provide either a verbal or written warning before removing a bike or other property from a prohibited area."
Given the backlash in response to cyclist Lisa Ferguson's initial complaint that Brookfield had stolen her bike, it's at least somewhat surprising to see the company take this stance, particularly given that the city's stance is that TTC post from which security guards are removing bikes is on public property. The only concession Cherry offers is that security will try to better inform cyclists before removal of their bikes. That's all fine and everything, but how in the world was this not happening in the first place?
What do you think? Is Brookfield justified in taking its hard stance on removal of bikes near the Hudson's Bay Centre?