On Bike to Work Day, CSOs were impounding bicycles at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Biology II Building. Students felt that their bicycles were unfairly impounded and complained. Based on the accounts and examination of bike impound rules, it seems that the CSOs overstepped their authority by impounding bicycles that were clearly more than six feet away from the nearest door and did not block pedestrian traffic.
As a member and co-chair of AS BIKES, I have gotten the chance to become intimately involved with bicycle improvements and related issues regarding the Goleta Beach bike path, the Broida Bike Path and West Campus. A few years ago, bicycle issues had fallen to the wayside of campus planning. A schizophrenic relationship with bikes existed on this campus. Although the campus loves them because they are a great alternative to cars and promote active living, it had a hard time dealing with the large numbers of bicyclists streaming back and forth and overflowing large bike parking lots.
The bike infrastructure on this campus went through a long period of neglect until two years ago, when a new team with a positive attitude toward bikes joined this campus and started exerting its influence. Marc Fisher and Marsha Zilles have been the most consistent supporters of making this campus a model for bike access. They have followed their passion with financial commitment to an improved bike infrastructure and collaboration with students.
But there are many other voices on campus that range from distaste to open hostility toward bicycles. That’s why we need passionate and consistent student support. Ed France, Kamron Socklov and I have worked well to improve the bicycle situation on campus, but we are graduating seniors and we need you to continue this work and get involved. Otherwise, there will not be a platform for student voices on bike path issues like the controversial and questionable impounding that occurred last week by the Biology II Building and the underhanded removal of the bike path that ran by Kohn Hall last year. AS BIKES provides the platform where students can organize and give a collective voice to the bicycling community.
We need to build a larger group that can continue this exciting and important work. If we don’t, we will not have a say in whether the Pardall tunnel will remain. And they can continue to put stop signs on the bike paths and keep raising ticket fees without any public input. If you care about your biking future and want to have a voice, come to the AS BIKES meetings Thursdays at 1 p.m. in the Goleta Valley Room in the UCen and start fulfilling your biker duty.
Soumil Mehta is a senior geography major.