On Saturday, it appeared that the Parks Department had instructed Doe Fund workers to cut the locks and confiscate perhaps a dozen bikes that were locked near the West Side bike path. Today we have an explanation from Hudson River Park spokesman for David Katz, but first a quick lesson on the distinction between city-run parks and places like Hudson River Park. Get out your pad and pencil!

Katz tells us that the Hudson River Park's "Parks Enforcement Patrol" (Go PEP!) is different from regular city Parks police; they are trained by city parks but are contracted by Hudson River Park, which is a public benefit corporation, a partnership between the city and state. "We're governed by a 13-member board of directors and operate on the premise that we're financially self-sufficient," says Katz. "So all the funds to support the staff and maintenance comes through income generated with rents and donations." Now, about those bike seizures, in Katz's words:

On Saturday a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer saw ten bikes chained to the "sea wall," which is what we call the fence that separates the walking path from the river. The officer went around to all the immediate areas asking patrons if the bikes belonged to them. None of them claimed them or knew who they belonged to. That was about 5 p.m. At that point the officer notified the operations desk to see if a permit was issued or if there was a special event or allowed in some way. At the command desk they checked and saw there were no permits or special events. At that point they took pictures of the area, and then cut the locks, as they would do with any unclaimed property in violation of park rules.

Katz tells us that at every major entrance to the park there is a Welcome to Hudson River Park sign that has the "topline rules." Ever read them? Neither have we. But apparently one of the rules says that securing bikes to objects other than bike racks is prohibited. "So these folks were definitely were in violation of that," Katz says. "And there were empty bike racks right by where these bikes were locked. We have more bike racks in this park than most." The good news is all the bikes were reclaimed. The bad news is that everyone got summonses.

"All ten bikes have been claimed and all the owners were issued Environmental Control Board summonses," according to Katz. "It's a fifty dollar summons with a default of $200 if it's unpaid in 30 days. It turns out all the cyclists were on the Queen of Hearts Party boat, which leaves from the north side of Pier 40." We asked Katz about maybe putting up more signs making it clear that locking to the "sea wall" is a no-no, but Katz told us they're satisfied with the number of "Welcome to Hudson River Park" rules signs, which are posted at every entrance. However, he says, "We are going to talk with the Queen of Hearts owner and the other party boat owners to let them know about the rules."