Last year, Boise State was recognized as a national honoree bicycle-friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists.
Boise was also ranked among the top 50 bike-friendly cities nationwide by Bicycling Magazine for 2012.
On this bike-friendly campus in a bike-friendly city, non-motorized transportation represents a significant part of transportation issues on the Boise State campus.
With well over 2,500 bike slots in place on campus, Transportation and Parking Services is occasionally faced with the issue of left behind bikes.
This is further compounded by the occasional student tendency to lock a bike to a tree or a bench.
“During the school year if we find a bike, we tag it. This notifies any possible owner that the bike is abandoned and may be impounded,” said Miska Chorny, parking supervisor for Transportation and Parking Services at Boise State.
Transportation and Parking Services follows a similar procedure for abandoned bikes discovered in the summer semester.
The school’s policy for left behind bikes adheres to Boise State Policy 9010, which defines Transportation and Parking Services’ authority to address the management of non-motorized transportation on campus.
According to Chorny, tagged bikes are left for a couple of days. If no individual steps forward to claim the bike and removes the tag, the lock is cut and the bike is impounded.
“People leave out their bikes sporadically. We tend to pay more attention to areas we know there are a lot of commuters and a lot of use, like the library and the quad,”
While bike abandonment may not be the biggest transportation issue on campus, students may be unaware that their bicycles may be impounded after a given period of neglect.
A bicycle considered abandoned can be impounded within 72 hours of being tagged, according to Boise State Policy 9010.
“We’ve probably claimed about 20 bikes so far this year,” Chorny said.
Once impounded, bicycles are securely stored for 30 calendar days.
A tag is placed where the bike was taken to inform a student attempting to reclaim his/her bicycle. Students can contact Transportation and Parking Services within the 30 day impoundment period to reclaim their bicycle.
After the 30 day period, the bike can be disposed of at the discretion of Transportation and Parking Services.
Abandoned bicycles may surface as an issue for students attempting to lock their bikes in designated locations.
“Lots of stagnant bikes (is an issue). Use it or lose it,” stated an anonymous student in a comment sheet response collected in the Boise State Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Master Plan report from 2010.