Mike Howells/The Collegian
Bicycles and skateboards are a common mode of transportation for students around campus. Pathways around and through college grounds must accommodate enough space for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as the safety of all surrounding students.
A variety of designs and procedures have been created to help facilitate thousands of students traveling throughout the campus on a daily basis. Designating restricted areas of travel for bicycles and skateboards is a common technique to keep students safe. Signs are posted throughout certain areas of the campus to only allow foot traffic because walkways are too narrow.
Amy Armstrong, the public information officer for the University Police Department, said the importance of safety for all students on campus in regards to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
“We want all students to be safe,” Armstrong said. “Officers will give students a warning the first time they see someone riding through areas where signs have been posted, but if they are caught again there will be further consequences.”
Armstrong explained the difficulty involved with catching repeat offenders because it is difficult to track down one specific bicycle on campus.
“Bicycles don’t have a license plate like a vehicle would,” Armstrong said. “We encourage students to report any one they notice riding their bicycle through the hallways to an officer so they can try to catch them.”
Not all students violate these rules, but instead always abide by them and see the importance of creating safe pathways.
Public health major Shawna McClurg explained how she maneuvers safely campus on her longboard.
“I avoid areas where there are high amounts of traffic, or where there have been signs posted even if I am running late to class,” McClurg said. “I am always aware of my surroundings when I ride so I do not have an accident with anyone. All students have a responsibility for their own safety.”
The university explains the importance of safety in the university wide policy, which is designed to help keep students safe.
The university policy section 26.0.1 for the Use of Buildings and Grounds states, “Skateboards, in-line skates, and bicycles are permitted on campus and may be used as a means of transportation on the interior of university grounds as long as pedestrians are given the right of way and the rider travels at a reasonable, safe and prudent speed.” The university is designing and improving the university grounds to help lessen problems on campus. Doors that open outward have been outlined with paint to designate where the door will travel to help eliminate any potential accidents. Also the university is widening pathways around the college to help alleviate traffic through the campus.
Pathways around the Henry Madden Library have been expanded in order to allow for more bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Health science major Kelley Holcomb said she wishes for larger pathways because she was almost hit by a bicyclist when she was longboarding with her iPod on.
“If all pathways were wider there would be less accidents on campus, and more room to walk,” Holcomb said. “When I come to campus I want to feel safe, and not have the risk of being run over by a bicycle.”