“This proposed improvement to the bike system through the “new cross campus connection on Via Carta” was inadequately implemented and remains a hazard.”
Erik Castillo is a business administration junior and Mustang News culture columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
While the new Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics is truly admirable, the corresponding bicycle accommodations are not. Cal Poly’s bike friendly intentions are very poorly executed.
As it is now, the adjacent bicycle lanes to the Baker Center along Via Carta for a large part remain flooded with pedestrians. It may be easy to pass this blame to careless college pedestrians, but that is not completely the case. Currently, the corresponding bicycle parking racks obtrusively remain on the sidewalk adjacent to the building.
This is contradictory with our University Police Department’s parking regulations under Section 9 Commuter Student Parking, contending that “Bicycles shall not be parked where they impede pedestrian traffic or create a hazard i.e., parked on lawn areas, sidewalks or secured to lampposts, landscaping, stairs, railings, etc. Bicycles parked at any location on campus outside of a bicycle rack will be impounded and a fee will be charged prior to release.”
The bicycle racks’ current location directly on the sidewalk is essentially forcing commuter students to impede pedestrian traffic. This sidewalk barricade from the bike racks concurrently encourages pedestrians to impede on bicycle traffic in the bike lanes. While pedestrians could arguably walk over to the other side of the road not designated for bicycles or the sidewalk on the other side of Via Carta, the fluency of the bicycle lanes is still constricted by cyclists themselves, who are parking or retrieving their bicycles where they are supposed to, but remain blocking the bicycle lanes in the process.
This proposed improvement to the bike system through the “new cross campus connection on Via Carta” was inadequately implemented and remains a hazard. The implementation of Cal Poly’s bike plan on Via Carta obstructs “the goal of the campus master plan that called for … the transition of Cal Poly to a more bike- and pedestrian-oriented campus,” as mentioned in Cal Poly’s 2012 Sustainability Report, along with the title for San Luis Obispo as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists, awarded largely for bicycle traffic renovation plans.
These bicycle accommodations need to be reconsidered and should be addressed in Cal Poly’s Fifth Biennial Sustainability Progress Report for 2014.