As the wheel turns

To bike or not to bike? The debate rages on.

Almost a month into the fall semester, the bicycle policy still remains a hot topic of conversation among those that navigate the stream of student traffic on a daily basis.

Last month, returning students found themselves in a for a rude awakening when their free-wheeling ways of yesteryear were forced to a screeching halt by the Department of Public Safety’s increased efforts to enforce an on-campus bicycle ban.  Many were up in arms about the rigid policy, complaining about the inconvenience of having to dismount halfway through their Tour de Class routines and the gruff treatment from DPS officers.

But, the ramped up enforcement efforts were not without cause.

The on-campus traffic during peak times is something to marvel at — pedestrians, skateboarders, service carts, bicyclists and even the occasional scooter operator fight for space on the school’s pathways every day.  The situation is exacerbated by the multitasking that each one of these individuals takes part in mid-transit.

What results is a game of human Frogger in which everyone is volunteered to be a participant.

According to Department of Public Safety Chief Carey Drayton, more than 100 cases of traffic conflicts occurred in the last year and a half, ranging from minor scratches to overnight stays in the hospital. One student has already been hit by a vehicle this year.

In fact, Drayton said DPS is considering stationing a law enforcement officer at major intersections to document any traffic violations as a way to curb the reckless patterns of bicycle traffic on campus.

Taking both sides of the debate into consideration, we want to know:

What changes should be made to the on-campus bike policy?


What do you think? Add your two cents to the conversation by submitting a comment in the entry form below.

7 replies
  1. Asher
    Asher says:

    I think eventually bike lanes would probably be the only reasonable solution, but if people are riding bikes to get to class faster, they would probably just ignore them and do whatever it took to get to class on time. In the short term, as much as it was annoying to have to walk my bike across intersections and get off and get back on, it didn’t really add too much time to the commute so I wouldn’t mind too much if that continued to be the case for now.

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Just create lanes or force bikers to move to the right of walkways. Or just ban them altogher except like on the back roads of campus… Everyone can easily make it from one end of campus to another in under ten minutes… I do it 3x a week …. If you can’t make it from kap to popovich hall in under 10 get your out shape self to the Lyon center and quit crying about dps telling you to be repectful of pedestrians

  3. Pepe
    Pepe says:

    Just build tunnels for people to travel across campus. Others schools have them in case of snow. I mean, if we have the money why not right?

  4. Ben
    Ben says:

    The problem in my opinion with the way bikes ride on campus is a lack of infrastructure and guided lanes. Pedestrians, bikers, and skateboarders all share a common walk area; this not only produces unneeded traffic but a ton of safety issues. The solution to this problem could be solved by painting conspicuous bike lanes. The major walkways on campus are wide enough to allow pedestrian walking and biking to coexist. Banning bikes is not the answer; creating a safe environment while keeping students interests in mind is.

  5. Chris Kidd
    Chris Kidd says:

    Creating pedestrian-only zones in the core of campus with large amounts of bike parking around the edges of campus can be an acceptable solution if, and only if, it is augmented with dedicated bicycle infrastructure from one parking area to the next and strong bicycle connections to the existing and planned bicycle facilities in the surrounding community. If space is going to be removed for bicycles, corresponding space needs to be created exclusively for bicycles. If there is useful, convenient, and safe infrastructure for bicycles on campus, DPS won’t need to police the movement of bicycles in the way they are required to now with their current bicycle ban, allowing the university to redirect those resources and work hours elsewhere to more deserving needs.

  6. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I don’t think an on-campus bicycle ban will work because students are busy and need a fast way to get to class. I didn’t have a bike for a week or so and I would have to leave 30 minutes before my class just to walk there in time, and I live three blocks from campus. It would really be inconvenient for students. I think the most DPS can do right now is force students to walk their bikes in the intersection and possible down Trousedale since it’s the most crowded in that area. DPS only has so many resources though, and it’s really hard to regulate students walking their bikes at all hours of the day.

Comments are closed.