Concerns over bicycle racks to be addressed

For weeks students have been receiving warning notes to discourage them
from parking bicycles on poles after the bicycle racks near the Henry
Madden Library entrance were removed.
Esteban Cortez / The Collegian

Students have resorted to locking their bicycles to light poles and handrails after the University Police Department moved two bike racks near the Henry Madden Library entrance.

“It’s a hassle for me,” Jason Wara, a graduate student at Fresno State, said. “I don’t know why they moved those racks. If anything they need more.”

Wara rides his bicycle on campus every day. He has been forced to lock his bicycle to a handrail near the entrance of the library since the movement of the old bicycle racks.

“Those bicycle racks were always packed,” Wara said. “It [would be] helpful to have them placed where they were. I would really like to see them back.”

Wara is not the only student frustrated by the sudden move of the bicycle racks. Associated Students, Inc. president Selena Farnesi said that more than one student at several ASI meetings have brought the issue to the attention of ASI senators.

“There were two students who came to the campus issues meeting and brought the issue to our attention,” Farnesi said. “It’s my understanding that the University Police Department is in charge of traffic and safety and moved [the racks].”

Students attended the campus issues forums with questions as to why the racks had been moved, Farnesi said.

“They wondered why the racks had been moved, and said that having them near the USU was more convenient,” she said. “We are looking into it, and we are interested in responding to the concerns of the students.”

University Police parking administrator Amy Armstrong said that the move of the bike racks was in the best interest of those walking to class.

“The reason for the relocation of the bike racks from the Free Speech Area is to move towards protecting the area for pedestrians,” Armstrong said. “The Free Speech Area has been identified as the most densely traveled area by pedestrians. Safety measures are being taken to reduce the number of bicycles, scooters and skateboards through that area.”

Armstrong explained that the racks near the front of the library have been moved to various other buildings in the area to accommodate bicyclists.

“Plans are moving forward to create additional bicycle parking just south of the library,” Armstrong said.

She also explained that maintaining the safety of the pedestrians in one of the top priorities of the University Police Department, and additional measures will be implemented to protect those walking through the Free Speech Area.

Armstrong also added that it is important that bicycles are locked to bike racks and bike racks only.

“When bikes are locked to walk rails they can block disabled and emergency access,” Armstrong said.

Some of the racks that were previously in front of the library have been moved to the quad area, which Armstrong says is the closest accessible location for bicyclists to lock their bicycles.

At the next ASI meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19, someone from the university will be available to discuss the movement of the bike racks, Farnesi said. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the USU, room 312/314.