Leave your bike chained to a tree or light pole on the Boise State campus and you may be surprised when you return. The Parking and Transportation Department has implemented a new policy that states bikes must be parked only in university-provided bike racks.
“We’re trying to get cyclists to use correct parking procedures: not parking against the accessible handicap rails, not parking against handrails, not parking against trees,” said J.C. Porter of Parking and Transportation.
For now, warnings are issued in the form of green slips zip-tied to offending bicycles, but if the warnings aren’t working overall, the school is considering moving to fines. It would not be a revenue source, said Porter.
In a Sept. 15 letter to the editor published in The Arbiter, senior A.J. Duthie chronicled his beef with the new system. While in the Albertsons Library on campus, his bike was removed from the rail of an accessible ramp.
“I ran outside to find campus maintenance had just finished cutting through [the lock],” wrote Duthie. “After asking, I was informed they would not pay to replace my lock.”
Porter confirms that if a bike is a safety hazard, the lock will be cut and the bike impounded.
“If it’s a fire, life or safety issue, then the bike is removed,” he said. “The bike locks will be cut and removed and we bring them to a storage facility. People just to have come into our office and they’ll get their bike back with no charge currently.”
The code is a part of Policy 9010, enacted in March of 2011, which also created the walking zone in the core of the university. The plan also created a bicycle priority route around the perimeter of the campus core.
But since the bike racks are located on the edge of the zone—essentially at the fringes of campus—some cyclists claim the plan falls short on helping cyclists, while the university touts it’s Bicycle Friendly University status.