Crews Use Blowtorches, Power Saws to Remove Bikes From Philadelphia Streets Ahead of Pope's Visit | NBC 10 Philadelphia
Pope Francis in Philly

Pope Francis in Philly

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Crews Use Blowtorches, Power Saws to Remove Bikes From Philadelphia Streets Ahead of Pope's Visit

Workers used blowtorches and saws to unleash forgotten or discarded bikes from poles and fences to spruce up the city for the Pope’s visit. (Published Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015)

Sparks are flying in Philadelphia as crews use blowtorches and power saws to remove locked, abandoned bikes from poles and fences across the city.

The two-day sweep ending Thursday afternoon is an annual cleanup that's also part of the city's preparations for Pope Francis' upcoming visit.

A spokeswoman for the mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities says 143 bikes are slated for removal. About 55 bikes had been seized as of Thursday morning.

Targeted bikes were tagged with warnings about two weeks ago to give owners the chance to move them.

Some of the abandoned rides will be given to a nonprofit that will rehab and donate them to local children.

Pope Francis will be visiting Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27. 

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