Rumor spinning hides truth about bike ban issue

Many things have been said about the loud and frustrating debacle that has been bike regulation on campus this semester. It’s gotten to the point where no one can quite differentiate between the fact, the fiction and the just plain absurd.

In what might be the most anticlimactic uproar campus will see all semester, indignant students should know that nothing — not a single rule or regulation — regarding bikes on campus has changed since last year, and isn’t scheduled to.

Students, it seems, have been flying off the handle for no reason.

It’s understandable. After all, the walking-only zone punctuating campus traffic, coupled with the Department of Public Safety’s hoarse battle cry of “Walk your bikes!” has done nothing to discourage the ravenous ’SC rumor mill.

But as it stands now, the only restrictions facing on-campus biking is the no-bike zone on Trousdale Parkway and Childs Way, and even that is only in effect from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

That ban isn’t going anywhere — it’s been included in the SCampus  student guidebook this entire time — but the number of DPS officers patrolling the area will be decreased from four to two, and their only job will be to write citations, according to USC officials at a bike forum held last week.

The task at hand now is to re-evaluate how to best fold the ever-swelling ranks of bicycles into a campus that remains the same size.

Sixty-three percent of students surveyed in a Undergraduate Student Government  poll said they have been hit by bikes on campus. DPS, USG, Students Affairs and the Department of Career and Protective Services are all working to deal with the issue. What they all need is for students to collaborate and offer constructive insight — not just complaints.

A forum was hosted Sept. 14 as part of the Campus Conversation Series where students were able to share their ideas with administrators and get a better scope of the situation. Ultimately, attending future forums, voicing suggestions to USG and cooperating with the minor restrictions that DPS imposes upon our cross-campus excursions is the best way to get the bike situation back in the saddle.

3 replies
  1. Charlie
    Charlie says:

    I don’t think this changes the need for student involvement in creating a better bike policy. If so many students have been getting hit, it means something needs to change, and I think we students need to be the primary advocates of said change.

    If you want to get involved with creating this new policy, come to Leavey study room 3Z tonight at 6.

    Bike on.

  2. Chris Kidd
    Chris Kidd says:

    Additionally, despite there being “no changes in rules”, going from non-enforcement of a bicycle ban on Trousdale last year to a full-on enforcement of the same bicycle ban on Trousdale this year is a significant and jarring change for the vast majority of students (since a vast majority own bicycles). It is unreasonable to expect students to take such a large change in stride just because there was a continuity on paper that did not exist in reality.

  3. Chris Kidd
    Chris Kidd says:

    This situation could have been avoided had administration made the information distributed at the Bicycle Safety Forum available online for all students. Giving a large amount of information verbally to a small number of students encouraged hearsay, speculation, and misinformation.

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