It is 7:30 a.m. on Monday when my front door swings open and I am submerged into another foggy morning. I wrestle my bike out the door and off the porch. Too early to be awake and too cold to be on a bike, I quickly compromise my way through downtown as I look for the nearest bus stop. But, when I reach the Regional Transit Center, five minutes early, I see three other cyclists territorially waiting to get one of the two spots on the bus’s bike rack. I realize I am not up for the competition and decide to trek it the rest of the way to school.
By Grand Avenue I reach an uncomfortable level of perspiration and lose all feeling in my freezing fingers when a picture pops into my mind. I recall the number of signs sporadically placed throughout campus last year stating, “Take the bus, carpool or ride your bike.”
These signs were part of a public relations promotion to motivate Cal Poly students to consider alternative transportation to school. Personally, the drastic rise in issued parking passes was enough for me to stop driving to campus. I’m a college student; I have the ability to brainstorm alternative methods of transportation. Therefore, the signs were more of an eye soar than a learning tool.
Finding a parking spot on campus is often impossible, but lately it is just as difficult to find a place to park your bike too. Congested bike racks, overflowing buses and only two racks on the front of each bus have become a problem. Cal Poly put a lot of money and effort into convincing us not to drive, but evidently, no one expected us to listen.
Every morning students are forced to snuggle up with their neighbor on the overflowing 8 a.m. bus. Often, people are left behind at the stop because the bus is well beyond max capacity. Ideally, while advertising alternative transportation methods, the university should have foreseen these situations and discussed a solution with the regional transit system, such as adding an additional morning bus to the busy routes.
Getting to school safely on a bike can be a challenge, but finding an empty bike rack is worse. Once again, this is something Cal Poly should have taken more into consideration. Bike racks from www.dero.com or www.bikeracks.com range from $200 to $2000 depending on size, color and artistic designs. The prices seem reasonable, but if the purchase of extra racks is too expensive for our budget, why not use our “Learn by doing” motto and pay Cal Poly students to design and construct additional bike racks. Students then have the opportunity to get creative and display their work on campus.
Traffic seems to be a problem on campus every year, and now with California Boulevard closed it only seems worse. Students got the hint last year with increased parking prices and congested lots. Now it is time for the university to step up and create a more convenient environment for those of us who choose alternative transportation.
Brittany Ridley is a Mustang Daily staff writer and music senior