While campus authorities have only loosely enforced bicycle parking rules since the beginning of the school year, UCSB security officers say they will now start seizing all bicycles violating parking laws.
Farfalla Borah, compliance officer for the Americans with Disabilities Act, said the campus police and Community Service Officers have so far been lenient, simply issuing warnings to students with illegally parked bicycles. Now, however, Borah said all offending bicycles will be immediately impounded without warning.
According to the UCSB Police Dept.’s pamphlet on traffic laws, a bicycle is illegally parked when it is “blocking or otherwise impeding traffic … or impeding normal entrance to or exit from any building on the university.”
Additionally, the police department has declared it illegal to lock bikes to handrails, signposts or anything that could impede the movement of people in wheelchairs. Such bikes will be subject to impound.
Confiscated bicycles are brought to the CSO office at the Public Safety Building on Mesa Road. Students have 90 days to retrieve their bikes from the lot, or their bicycles will be impounded and sold. To retrieve an impounded bike, students must pay a $24 fine. If the bike is not registered with the university, students will also have to pay a $6 fee in order to register the bike.
Brad Becker, a third-year geography major, said he recently had his bike impounded after parking it in the walkway by the Humanities and Social Sciences Building.
“I was parked by HSSB where a bunch of other bikes were parked,” Becker said. “I came out, and I thought my bike was stolen. [The CSO bicycle impound office is] only open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. You also have to wait a day to get it. My problem is it really ruins your day when [the CSO office] is this far out. I feel like there could be a better way.”
Borah noted, however, that illegally parked bicycles often hinder the movement of people. He cited a recent accident in which a blind student fell on campus as a result of illegally parked bicycles.
“I’m trying to make sure we have a safe path of travel for people on campus, particularly those with mobility restrictions, low vision and the blind,” Borah said.