Due to overcrowded racks, students biking to school may have to park farther away then they want, but according to the University Police, that’s just the rules of the road.
Though parking on campus can be difficult at the start of the quarter, students biking to class should think twice before deciding to chain their bike somewhere other than a bike rack.
Bikes not parked and locked in the designated racks will be impounded by the University Police. Students have 24 hours to pay the $10 fine or their bikes will be seized. The process is similar to having a boot put on your car.
“The first two weeks we try to educate as much as we can,” Community Services Officer Kevin Ratliff said. “The ultimate goal is to prevent people from parking illegally.”
“We get complaints about bikes getting impounded because there wasn’t enough parking in the racks by their building,” Ratliff said. He explained that the same rules for driving to school apply to biking. “Just because you can’t find a close parking spot doesn’t mean you can just park on the lawn.”
Ratliff said there is ample parking on campus for bikes, though he acknowledged that certain areas of campus are more impacted than others, such as the business and engineering buildings.
Some students disagree.
“There are some days that I have to go clear across campus to find a spot during peak hours,” mechanical engineering senior Stephen Murphy said.
Graphic communications sophomore Bryce Beatty said she hasn’t had any problems finding a spot on campus, but when she returns to Poly Canyon Village it’s a different story.
“I’ve had problems parking at Poly Canyon,” she said. “People bring their bikes to school and never ride them, so they just sit there taking up space, making it hard for those who do.”
Agriculture graduate student Troy Thompson recently received a warning on his bike for not locking it up in a rack.
“If I don’t find a spot I usually try to chain it somewhere it won’t be in the way,” he said.
Ratliff said that the university has had problems with students blocking disability ramps with illegally parked bikes.
Police may be responsible for impounding bikes but they aren’t solely responsible for the amount of bike racks on campus.
“We work with facility services and are constantly analyzing where bike racks should be put in,” police sergeant Carol Montgomery said.
Thompson doesn’t blame campus police for doing their job.
“I don’t think the warnings and tickets are a bad thing,” he said. “They are effective.”
Montgomery said that new bike racks are in the process of being ordered, but where they will go has yet to be determined.
Students that have questions about biking on campus, or need to rent a bike lock can contact Susan Rains of commuter and access services at 805-756-6680.