Fresno State needs rider-only lanes

Free Speech Area at Fresno State. (Jorge Rodriguez/The Collegian)

With over 25,000 students enrolled at Fresno State, you can always find someone around campus walking from or to class. Oftentimes, many of them are in a hurry to get to their next class, and that’s when riders of all kinds try to whizz by walking students.

Bikes, scooters and skateboards are common to see around campus and in parking lots. But it is also just as common to see near collisions happen at least once a day.

Every occasion in which I’ve almost had an accident or witnessed one occur in front of me was because were either going too fast or weren’t really paying attention to who or what’s around them.

The university’s policy on skateboards, in-line skates, bicycles, motorized vehicles and scooters says, “A reasonable, safe and prudent speed, for riders on campus.”

But what is a reasonable, safe and prudent speed when you are already running late for class?

By then, you aren’t thinking of the rules, but rather of how late you are for your next class and how all these people on campus are in the way.

However, is that the problem or is it the fact that there are no bike routes or lanes on campus for students to ride freely on?

Many riders are forced to ride next to pedestrians all over campus, with only a few restrictions on where they are not allowed to go through, like the Free Speech Area.

Other campuses around the country and even the state have very strict guidelines on separating rider and pedestrian paths.

Fresno State could be doing so much more for its students as pedestrians and riders, like adding rider-only lanes around campus or simply enforcing the “wheels off” rule in the Free Speech Area more.

With the university population growing every year, it is crucial to address this issue. If it doesn’t, the conflicts and accidents that happen on campus will only get worse.

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