Oct 302008
Authors: Madeline Novey

Early last month, CSU sophomore Elizabeth Abajian noticed a trend among her peers — the lack of parking for bikes on campus had become a problem they’d been complaining about since the start of the semester.

Instead of just listening to their feedback, the senator for the College of Applied Human Sciences for the Associated Students of CSU took it upon herself to determine where the greatest need for bike racks was.

After a three-day comprehensive evaluation of the CSU community, Abajian and ASCSU Vice-President Quinn Girrens collaborated with Jennifer Johnson, a groundskeeper and bike rack coordinator for Facilities Management, to add a minimum of 100 bike racks to high-traffic and high-congested areas on campus this year.

Abajian narrowed her search down to eight high-traffic “problem areas” on campus that she believed needed the immediate addition of bike racks. These included areas on both sides of the Morgan Library and the Plant Science building, among others.

Officials said the initiative to bring more bike racks to campus began in response to an “evident need” -for more parking for bikes — students had started to lock their bikes to trees, railings and even to other bikes as the number of parking spaces became limited.

“I think the number of riders to campus has increased exponentially from last year to this year,” Johnson said. “It’s due to the cost of gas going up, the cost of CSU parking stickers increasing, and then the whole green movement for the university wanting to be carbon neutral.”

Johnson said that she believes it is the responsibility of the university and not the students to pay for the new racks.

The student government president and vice president allocated $4,000 from the student government budget to purchase five bike racks to fulfill one of their 2008 CSU presidential campaign promises.

Due to the fact that between 9,000 to 10,000 students and faculty members ride their bikes to campus every day, Johnson said, a significantly greater number of bike racks are necessary on campus.

Johnson said she added 20 bike racks to campus two years ago, and that she added an average of only 10 racks per year in previous years before.

Johnson said that she has talked with a number of departments and organizations on campus to see if they are willing to pay for part of the overall expense. And while funding for the racks is not yet secured, she also said that the department members agree that there is a need.

The racks, which will ideally be purchased by Facilities Management and other university departments, are to be strategically placed at the high-traffic areas and around buildings on campus, including the Clark Building, the south side of Rockwell Hall and the old music building, among 20 others.

While students were excited that bike racks are both organizations’ financial agendas, some were skeptical about whether 100 bike racks will be sufficient to stem the parking overflow.

“I think it will help,” said Hannah Drinkwater, a freshman open-option major, who added that her friends said that the parking is “especially difficult” between the Morgan Library and the Lory Student Center.

“Considering the size of the freshman class coming in, 100 may not be enough; we may need 200 or 300.”

Girrens said the racks will help to alleviate the bike parking congestion on campus and will be installed on the north side of the Microbiology building before the end of the semester. ?

Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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