Physical Plant: install more bike racks!

I went to Usdan today and was reminded of how frustrated I am with Physical Plant’s recent crackdown on “illegally” parked bikes. Where, I wondered, could I lock my bike without the risk of it being confiscated? The bike rack was full, the lamppost was occupied, and the handrails were taken, too. What to do?This issue was recently covered by the Argus. Liz Wojnar ’12 interviewed Cliff Ashton, director of Physical Plant, and I beg to differ with his view. While Ashton’s statement was correct:

Bike racks are, and continue to be, provided in many locations, convenient to classroom, dorms, Campus Center, and other buildings. However, in spite of best efforts to provide bike racks, locking of bikes to handrails continues.

… his statement overlooks the real problem. The issue isn’t so much the convenience or the location of the bike racks. It’s that there are simply too few bike racks to reasonably accommodate the number of bicycling students on campus. Says Ashton:

We often see bikes locked to handrails within 30 feet of an empty bike rack.

Well, more often, I see bikes locked to handrails within 30 feet of a fully-occupied bike rack:Of course, bicyclists shouldn’t block handicapped access to buildings, or block stairways, or prevent egress from a building in the event of an emergency. But, when our only choice is to obstruct a handrail—or risk having our bikes stolen—we all know what students are going to do.

Physical Plant, I beg you: stop forcing us to make that unfair choice. Install more bike racks as soon as possible.

18 thoughts on “Physical Plant: install more bike racks!

  1. Anonymous

    has someone brought this up to the WSA? FiFac has meetings with Physical Plant fairly frequently and they could easily bring this up.

  2. Anonymous

    has someone brought this up to the WSA? FiFac has meetings with Physical Plant fairly frequently and they could easily bring this up.

  3. Anonymous

    His statement also doesn’t address the possibility that the bike may have been locked to the handrail when the rack was full, only to have it empty out later.

  4. Anonymous

    His statement also doesn’t address the possibility that the bike may have been locked to the handrail when the rack was full, only to have it empty out later.

  5. Sheek

    Definitely agreed. Lorise and Hirise are especially unfriendly to bikes this year – the racks are always completely full, and the bike ramps are inanely blocked by the landscaping.

  6. Sheek

    Definitely agreed. Lorise and Hirise are especially unfriendly to bikes this year – the racks are always completely full, and the bike ramps are inanely blocked by the landscaping.

  7. Anonymous

    the problem with these bike racks is that they are poorly designed. the spacing is slim, and often doesnt leave enough room for bikes with larger forks. when this happens, the biker has to lock the front end of the tire to the metal post, which makes it more difficult for other bikes to fit in the space, because the pedals will often take up room where ones frame or wheel is. it gets too clustered, and getting your bike in and out of these things is often a pain in the ass and leads to leg and ankle scrapes or knocking over someone elses bike. notice in the picture how the bikes are leaning? thats because people dont really use kick-stands so much anymore. this also makes it difficult because bikes tend to get caught on each other when they are shoved too close together. example, a pedal getting caught in between the spokes of the adjacent wheel. i think, if you reeeally want to solve the problem, you should propose a more efficient bike rack design because: A. they take up less space, B. probably are just as easy to build (i know Bruce in the machine shop is a pretty creative guy when it comes to metal) C. are not all that expensive (its just steel, maybe the architecture or sculpture students could do it) D. look secure E. will make students happier. -brad

  8. Anonymous

    the problem with these bike racks is that they are poorly designed. the spacing is slim, and often doesnt leave enough room for bikes with larger forks. when this happens, the biker has to lock the front end of the tire to the metal post, which makes it more difficult for other bikes to fit in the space, because the pedals will often take up room where ones frame or wheel is. it gets too clustered, and getting your bike in and out of these things is often a pain in the ass and leads to leg and ankle scrapes or knocking over someone elses bike. notice in the picture how the bikes are leaning? thats because people dont really use kick-stands so much anymore. this also makes it difficult because bikes tend to get caught on each other when they are shoved too close together. example, a pedal getting caught in between the spokes of the adjacent wheel. i think, if you reeeally want to solve the problem, you should propose a more efficient bike rack design because: A. they take up less space, B. probably are just as easy to build (i know Bruce in the machine shop is a pretty creative guy when it comes to metal) C. are not all that expensive (its just steel, maybe the architecture or sculpture students could do it) D. look secure E. will make students happier.
    -brad

  9. Anonymous

    it should also be noted that the old fashioned bike racks like the one in the last picture do not allow you to properly lock up a bike (wheel and frame) with a u-lock. there have been instances when i have locked to a railing because of this. new bike racks need to be fully functional. ones like the one in the first photo work well.

  10. Anonymous

    it should also be noted that the old fashioned bike racks like the one in the last picture do not allow you to properly lock up a bike (wheel and frame) with a u-lock. there have been instances when i have locked to a railing because of this. new bike racks need to be fully functional. ones like the one in the first photo work well.

  11. Anonymous

    I have very frequently been unable to find space on a bike rack, and once ruined a wheel from forcing my bike into a too-full rack.

  12. Anonymous

    I have very frequently been unable to find space on a bike rack, and once ruined a wheel from forcing my bike into a too-full rack.

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