Campus Beat Reporter
For many years, the location of the historic Associated Students (A.S.) Bike Shop at UCSB has been the subject of intense debate, especially with regards to finding the shop a more permanent location.
The concept of having a permanent location has been put forth by different iterations of the A.S. Senate consistently over the past few years. At one of the first A.S. Senate meetings to take place during the 2019-2020 school year, the issue of a permanent location for the bike shop was again raised — this time, the cause was championed by newly inaugurated Off-Campus Senator Dagan Addinall.
The bike shop was founded in 1974 and is a student-funded non-profit bike space that fixes students’ bikes at a low cost. For students who rely on their bikes for transportation, the bike shop is a place for quick and cheap fixes, but the shop is currently tucked away in a less-than-optimal location: Trailer #324, hidden at the corner of Lot 29, and stationed beside the UCSB campus pool.
Student Bike Shop liaison, A.S. Off-Campus Senator, and third-year hydrologic sciences major Dagan Addinall was excited to be a part of A.S. in general, but specifically drawn to the bike shop because he had many friends who worked at the shop and knew the importance of having a reliable bike, especially since he had experienced bike problems as a UCSB student himself.
“I was pleased with the mission statement of the shop,” said Addinall in an interview with The Bottom Line.
Addinall revealed that the shop has never had a permanent location. The trailer that the shop is currently situated in was supposed to be there for a temporary period, and, according to Addinall and the A.S. website, A.S. currently has approximately $2.5 million dollars set aside of its $13 million total budget dedicated to finding a permanent location for the bike shop. There are currently 11 suitable and four preferred locations on campus that the bike shop could potentially be moved to.
Addinall noted that a permanent location would be safer for students. Currently, students have to swiftly pull off the bike lane in order to get to the trailer, which could easily lead to an accident as others are rushing to class or simply not paying attention. Addinall also mentioned that the current building is not up to safety standards.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Estefania Franco stated that many students want to apply to work at the shop, but at the shop’s current location, there are a maximum of six people who are able to work in one shift due to space constraints. Thus, a larger location could offer more employment opportunities to students. Franco also mentioned how a permanent location would benefit the work environment by allowing for small conveniences, like having shipments directly delivered to the shop in order to save time and money.
The bike shop has a floor plan and plans to settle in a permanent location by the end of the fiscal year. Franco added that a bigger location will allow the bike shop to give back to the community more than it already has.
The process of finding a new location for the bike shop hasn’t been easy, as is the case with any major change that threatens iconic structures. The plan to find a permanent home for the bike shop has faced a number of challenges that in the past have prevented the bike shop from launching a comprehensive initiative to find a new home. Addinall stressed the importance of voting, especially in campus elections, so that students’ voices could be heard against the objections.
For students at UCSB, a new permanent location for the bike shop could make accessing its services easier and safer in the upcoming years. Students will be able to access it much easier, employment opportunities would be more plentiful, and the shop may even be able to offer more services to students who need a quick fix.