Campus gears up for new bike racks

Lizzie Martinez

Senior reporter

 

The wheels of student government have been set in motion, and the result is six new bike racks for the Linfield campus. This addition comes as the college moves toward becoming a campus that promotes
biking and walking.

“It’s surprising how much of a shortage of good bike parking there is on campus,” senior Eric Butler said. “However much people complain about not having enough car parking, bikes have it a lot worse.”

Currently, much of the suburb housing lacks bike racks, and most high-traffic locations, such as O’Riley’s  Café and Nicholson Library, have only one bike rack.

While this will not solve the problem, it will facilitate more opportunities for students to have efficient
storage for bikes.

Given the recent increase in bike thefts, sophomore Heather Snyder, Associated Students of Linfield College secretary, said the racks are especially needed to keep bikes on campus safe.

Butler agreed. He had a bike stolen from Linfield despite it being locked up in a storage rack. Though the new racks will not resolve that issue, they will help provide more places to secure bikes.

“I frequently see people locking their bikes to trees, hand rails and so on because the rack is already full,”
Butler said. “It’s difficult to use a bike frequently if there isn’t a good place to put it.”

Junior Duncan Reid has been working with Brad Sinn, director of Facilities and Auxiliary Services, to secure funding from various sources for the new racks. Both are members of the Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability.

The idea for the bike racks  originally came from Facilities Services, which sought out partners to fund the venture.

Each bike rack cost $500. ACES is sponsoring two racks, and Facilities is paying for three more.

The idea was raised in “Hot Topics” in the ASLC Senate and discussed in the Campus Improvement Committee, led by Reid.  Following the discussion, Senate voted to use $500 from the Senate Discretionary Fund to pay for an additional bike rack.

Reid and his committee formulated a list of five places where bike racks are needed most. The suburbs were named as particularly in need of the racks.

The top five places requested for bike racks were the Green Apartments, the Legacy Apartments, the White Apartments, Nicholson Library and between Campbell and Newby halls.

While some of these locations have no bike racks, others are high-traffic areas, such as the library, where the single bike rack is often full, Reid said.

The locations for installation have not yet been finalized. Sinn has already ordered the bike racks, and they will be installed on campus as soon as possible.

Butler said the new racks are a good start, but other problems need to be addressed also, such as the need for more overnight storage where bikes are protected from the rain. At the very least, Butler said, more covered storage racks, such as those by Pioneer and Dillin halls, need to be installed. 

“I’m all for anything that gets people driving less often, and more well-designed and well-placed bike parking is possibly the most important thing we can do in that direction,” Butler said.

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