Bikes converge on quad
October 18, 2008 4:09 AM
Hundreds pedaled to SF State for the university’s third Bike to School Day on Wednesday as the campus continues to become more bicycle friendly.
But while the university installed bike racks and announced plans for a new pathway since the last Bike to School Day during the spring 2008 semester, more work remains to be done, organizers said.
“San Francisco State is not nearly as bike friendly as it could be,” said Randall Orr, founder of the Bicycle Advocacy Group. The graduate student started BAG this fall after working with San Francisco’s Bicycle Coalition to encourage bicycling as healthy and sustainable transportation.
“[Bike to School Day] brings visibility to cyclists,” Orr said. “Many people don’t consider biking as a viable means of transportation. This display helps to advocate cycling. It gives cyclists a voice.”
“SF State is on its way to becoming a more bike-friendly campus. Today is a way to visually promote biking to campus,” said Suzanne McNulty, founder of the student organization Eco Students and co-founder of Bike to School Day. The event aims to connect the bicycling community and encourages others to pedal to campus, she said.
Bicyclists arrived as early as 7:30 a.m. for free bagels, fruit and coffee. Many completed surveys about their campus bicycling experiences and signed a petition supporting more bike paths, parking and a campus bike repair shop.
Those who parked in the quad’s special gated area received raffle tickets for prizes like Timbuktu bags, tune-up kits and helmets.
San Francisco bicycle shop Ocean Cyclery provided the top prize: a single speed SE Draft bike. Other events included a bike part swap, free repairs and a contest for the ugliest and sexiest bikes.
According to BAG member Brian Rebold, SF State still does not have enough bicycle parking. Students who need to park their bikes on railings because the racks are full often receive warnings for impound fines up to $55, he said.
The Bike Barn, a campus parking facility for bikes located in Lot 6 under the gym, is also an option, Orr said. But students have complained about the parking complex, its location and management.
According to Jason Porth, who works in SF State’s office of Government Relations, a bike path is already in the works and will be constructed this spring.
The path will run from Stonestown to Thornton Hall and will be a safer way to get to campus than 19th Avenue, he said.
SF State received funding to make this path from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and San Francisco County Transportation Authority. A $360,000 grant will help the university afford this $500,000 project, Porth said.
Some students also say that adequate bike paths would be beneficial for the campus.
“The campus needs separate paths for bikes,” said Nydia Brunner, who rides her bike to school on occasion. “I don’t feel safe weaving in and out of students.”
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