On the evening of Monday, Sept. 12th, I had some time to kill while waiting for a meeting on campus. I decided to go to the library. I, as usual, was riding my bike. I approached the sign warning me I was about to enter the controversial dismount zone. I was excited to see that it is only in effect from 7:00am to 6:00pm. Being that it was 7:30pm I stayed on my bike and rode on to the library entrance. As I stopped and got off my bike I was disappointed to remember there are no bike racks nearby. I looked around, and not seeing any signs posted prohibiting it, I locked my bike to the handrail nearest the wall of Starbuck’s Coffee. It was completely out of the way. It did not obstruct any walkway, or the use of the handrail. I am an avid cyclist and commute all over this city on my bike. I have frequently secured my bike to, amongst other things, handrails. This is a common practice for many cyclist commuters. I went about my business in the library. Twenty to thirty minutes later a friend comes in and tells me they are cutting my bike lock. I ran outside to find campus maintenance had just finished cutting through. Thank goodness I got there to stop him from taking my bike away. As I expressed my anger at my property being destroyed the campus employee explained I needed to talk to campus security. I informed him that there is no posted sign prohibiting locking a bike there. He then pointed out a sign fifty feet away and not visible from where we were standing, on a separate handrail, saying, “No Bicycle Parking”. After asking, I was informed they would not pay to replace my lock. Without visible posted warnings, without any issued warning, campus security impulsively jumped into action. Some easy things would have prevented this situation. 1) If somethings prohibited, adequately post signs. 2) Declaring a dismount zone does not mean that all the bike racks have to be moved out of that zone. How much did the school spend on moving all the racks out and installing new ones?!
I don’t like it, but I will get off and walk my bike, but it’s extremely inconvenient not being able to lock up near the building I am going in. 3) How about a warning. I’ve seen bikes locked to lamp posts and trees around the SUB and they have been tagged with warnings and/or fines without locks getting cut. I feel like those that have made the better, healthier, greener choice to cycle, are now being punished. I issue a call to all student cyclists to help me send a message that the bike situation needs to be reviewed. Watch for me on campus as I rally more to this cause.