Bikes Need a Home Too

%28Photo+Chris+Ayers%29

Chris Ayers

(Photo Chris Ayers)

(Photo Chris Ayers)
(Photo by Chris Ayers)

 
Walking around the Chapel Glen residence halls on upper campus, near Fort Douglas, it’s hard to miss the dozens of bikes locked to benches, trees, railings and light poles.
In response to an increase in the number of bikes students are bringing to campus—especially those in student housing—the U’s Housing & Residential Education built new bike racks near these buildings. Even with these additional spaces, it is evident by the makeshift racks there is not enough storage.
HRE planned additional bike storage sites at multiple dorms, with the intent to finish them before the school year started, yet some of the projects were not complete when students moved in this fall. The Chapel Glen bike parking site had 10 new bike racks, but by Sept. 7 more bike racks had been added. However, even with the new racks some students still had to lock their bikes to benches and railings at night.
Alexandra Zimmermann, a bicycle coordinator at the U, said HRE and the U’s Facilities Management want to build indoor bike racks similar to those at the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community for more students to use.
“[We] are aware we need more bike parking and more bike options,” she said.
Zimmermann said this is a priority for the U and hopes the bike situation at Chapel Glen, and in the rest of housing, will be addressed soon. She did not have a date for when the bike projects would be finished, but said HRE is paying for the racks.
There are currently 19 indoor bike storage rooms on campus in the dorms. A student resident has to pay $42 per year to have access to these indoor storage areas. Still many students with bikes prefer to save the $42 and lock their bikes outside, even if they’re locking their bike to a tree or light pole.
Bo Wagner, a sophomore in environmental science, said biking is the best way to get around on campus, but he worries about losing his bike to petty theft by not having a good place to park it.
“[The U] needs more bike racks, especially up at the dorms,” Wagner said. “I know 15 friends last year who got their bikes stolen. It’s incoming freshmen who need to be warned about the bike situation.”
There was a long line of student bikers taking part in Bike to the U day on Sept. 4, many with a similar opinion on biking as Wagner. Although bike usage declines during the winter months, the overall trend is being promoted on campus and in the Salt Lake valley as an alternative to cars.
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