Construction displaces bike parking racks

Lauren J. Mapp/ The Mesa Press

A lack of bike parking on campus causes clutter at the few secure bike racks.

Lauren J. Mapp

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A big topic of discussion this semester is the massive mid-campus construction project. What has gone largely unspoken of however, is that before the construction tore through campus there were far more bicycle parking racks available. Now, the cycling student must fight to find a place that their lock will fit around while still adequately securing their bicycle. This has made a bike ride to campus an unnecessarily unrewarding experience.

While there are a number of bicycle rack sites located near the L-100 building and the gymnasium, those sites are not ideal for day long parking. These areas are outside of high foot-traffic areas, thus making them perfect spots for bicycle theft. As it is also nearly impossible to use a u-lock – which is a much more efficient security device than a cable lock – with these spots, it decreases the amount of usable yet safe places to keep a bike.

The racks that are located in safer areas on campus get used quickly, which had led students to get creative with where they park and lock their bikes. Bikes can now be found secured to benches, lampposts, fences, and many other places throughout campus. As a result, walk paths and stairways have become cluttered.

Before beginning the destruction and subsequent reconstruction of the F-100 and F-200 buildings, some prior thought should have been given to the fact that bicycle parking were being removed without replacement. Now that the racks are gone however, their swift replacement should be considered given their usefulness.

The space for new racks exists, for example in courtyard areas such as those near the cafeteria or the arts buildings, where some of the more secure, black triangular bike racks could be erected in these places. Both of these sites are highly populated which would help to make bicycle theft a rare occurrence. In addition to the better security of these areas, it would also be more convenient for students to park in these spots while en route to class.

By increasing the amount of safe bicycle parking areas on campus, the number of students cycling to class may also increase. This in turn will cut down on car traffic and issues involved with car parking, as well as encourage college students to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Besides the health benefits, cycling to class also helps students to save money on either gas or bus passes. With the high costs of textbooks, rent in San Diego, and filling one’s diet with balanced meals, one less expense can help a struggling college student a great deal.

Without sufficient bike parking, it becomes more of a hassle and less of a convenience to substitute biking for driving a car. By replacing lost parking spots, the benefits will radiate across campus.

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