Shomik Mukherjee and Gwendolyn Wu
Associated Students Bike Committee will fund the placement of more bicycle racks on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus at the Physical Science Building, Chemistry Building, Phelps Hall, and Robertson Gymnasium.
A.S. Bike Committee, which is sponsored by the UCSB student body with a $1.25 lock-in fee, will fund about $126,800 worth of bicycle racks for the buildings. In November, the committee funded the building of racks at South Hall, Psychology, and the Life Science Building. The Campus Planning Committee, a university-affiliated group, works to ensure the building of the racks following Bike Committee’s funding decisions.
The move comes amid some angst from students on social media. In a Feb. 21 Facebook post on one of UCSB’s “Free & For Sale” social marketplace groups over the weekend, third-year global studies major Olivia Donnelly criticized the university’s policy of impounding unparked bicycles. The post, which said the university “doesn’t provide enough bike racks,” received nearly 600 likes on Facebook.
A.S. Bike Committee Chair Kevin Jin said he reached out to Donnelly after seeing the post. He stressed that his committee is working to ensure more bike racks around campus, but noted that many students are not aware of the locations of certain racks. Specifically, Jin said, there are racks on the west side of South Hall that not enough students know about. Jin is a third-year Economics and Accounting major.
For starters, Bike Committee will rerack the above lots on campus. Physical Sciences North, Chemistry North, Phelps Hall North, and Rob Gym will have new peak racks, the high-low structured bike parking currently at buildings like South Hall. The group allocated up money for the racks during a vote on Feb. 13.
Bike Committee’s proposed bicycle parking lots at the Student Resource Building and Bren School of Environmental Studies would scrap current lots for larger ones. At the SRB, workers would reduce the size of the lawn in order to accommodate for additional bike racks. A proposal sent out by the committee indicated that the work done by contractors would “add a permeable bike parking lot with bike racks, realign the existing bike path, and add new plantings which would be irrigated with recycled water.”
At Bren Hall, bikers would encounter a new bicycle parking lot, made possible with the modification of current irrigation systems and plants. The new lot “would entail grading away from the building,” according to the group’s proposal.
Bike Committee would work with True Nature, a landscape architecture business in Goleta. According to minutes from their Feb. 23 meeting, the entity has allocated $10,500 and $12,000 to the SRB and Bren respectively.