Biker Beware

Bike commuters at the UA will get a chance next semester to commiserate with car commuters: bicycle registration and University-registered locks.

Parking and Transit meeting minutes from February 20th state that efforts are moving forward to put an end to pesky non-rack bike parking. Though it’s not set in stone, in the Fall 2009 semester, cyclists can look forward to buying a University-registered bike lock, perhaps to be included in the one-time registration fee– and still probably not have a proper place to lock it to. Bikes abandoned after two weeks will be confiscated by the University for inclusion in the Razorbikes program. Bikes improperly parked/locked will be ticketed with a $20 fine.

My gut reaction (full disclosure: I’m a bike commuter and UA staffmember) is that while this is addressing a problem and could potentially do some good things for cyclists, we are taking up less space, causing less accidents, emitting zero toxins and our parking is infinitely cheaper! At this point, I should probably stomp a little, also. What I want is to say is that more bike racks should have been installed before this talk ever started, but that won’t help the current situation, in which cyclists will be paying the price.

Bike racks are scanty on campus, and though it sounds like tooting my horn, the University should be glad they have so many people using bicycles instead of cars. Perhaps some materials from the half-empty Harmon Parking Deck could be cannibalized for bike racks. I agree that having a way to identify abandoned bikes is a good idea, and that said bikes could be commandeered for the Razorbikes program is even better. But what it sounds like to the two-wheeled drivers is that we’ve biked up the hill in all four seasons, we’re sweaty, and they want us to what?

This policy hasn’t been passed yet, so there is still time to reason. Check out Parking and Transit , Associated Student Goverment, and Staff Senate for lists of people you can jaw at. You can get all the dirty details on Parking and Transit here. For more heated discussions on registered bike parking on the UA campus, you can join the Facebook group U of A Students Against Bicycle Parking Fees on CampusWhere do we park when there's nowhere to park?.