The UCSB Recreation Center now boasts almost 200 new bike racks as further evidence of the campus’s hospitality for bikers.
Aside from providing more space, the racks will also prevent illegal parking. Completed over Spring Break, the project was funded with $25,000 in student lock-in fees from the Associated Students Bicycle Improvements Keep Everybody Safe committee and $20,000 from the Rec Cen Governance Board.
Dennis Whelan, Campus Planning and Design senior campus planner, said the number of available bike spaces grew from 260 to 456.
“It’ll double the capacity,” Whelan said. “There wasn’t enough capacity before.”
B.I.K.E.S. program coordinator Emily Nord, a third-year political science major, said the Rec Cen has long been plagued by bike theft.
“It helps our campus to look better and makes it so that everyone who goes to the Rec Cen has a place to park their bike,” Nord said. “It helps students to feel safer and more protected from theft.”
B.I.K.E.S. Chair Nathan Pfaff said the racks are also designed to help students move their bikes more efficiently, helping improve the lot’s stream of traffic.
“The new layout of the racks will help improve the flow,” Pfaff said. “Before, it was hard for students to get their bikes in and out of the racks.”
The project is one of many efforts organized by B.I.K.E.S. to support the campus’s bike-friendly culture. Past projects include repaving the Music building, Storke Circle, South Hall and Kerr Hall paths during Winter Break.
Nord said the next major project will include repaving the pathway from Phelps Hall to Stadium Road. According to Pfaff, the path between Phelps and Campbell Hall has not been updated since its original construction in the 1970s.
“I think one of the big pushes is setting up a system so that things like that don’t happen — where things don’t get repaved for 20 or 30 years,” Pfaff said. “We want to do preventative maintenance.”
In early March, UCSB won a Bicycle Friendly Business Gold Award from the League of American Bicyclists and the Bike-Friendly University Gold Award, making it one of only two universities that received this honor nationally.