The Daily Illini

Editorial: The two-way biking street

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

The running joke on campus that it’s more likely for a pedestrian to be hit by a bike than a car is not far from the truth.

On our large campus with limited parking, bikes are the transportation of choice for plenty of students trying to get from one end of campus to the other in a short amount of time.

The University’s annual bike census shows how popular it is to get by on two wheels. Facilities and Services counted 5,657 bikes on campus in October of 2014, and added 600 bike parking spaces since June to accommodate the high numbers.

Choosing this form of transportation obviously has its advantages.

For students, it’s cheap, easy and convenient. And not many students can afford paying $660 a year on parking.

It’s also a sustainable alternative to taking a bus or car and helps reduce our carbon footprint.

Like anything, the increase in bikes has also posed some challenges. An overflow of bikes and a lack of parking spaces in some areas has the potential to cause fire hazards when the owners park them on unauthorized places like on fences or railings.

It can also cause some dangers while people are crossing the street — and we’ve all seen the occasional pile up.

Keeping up with the growth both in infrastructure and culture is important to encourage the cheap and sustainable transportation on a large campus.

The bike census shows a keen awareness of the importance of biking on our campus and an effort to make biking easier for those who rely on it.

The 600 new parking spaces along with the addition of widespread, safe bike lanes makes the biking culture on campus safer for riders and pedestrians alike.

Giving both pedestrians and bikers their own designated, distinct spaces will create a safer traveling environment overall.

As the infrastructure improves, we need to improve our campus culture for bikes both on the side of pedestrian and rider.

There is a certain animosity between bikers and pedestrians that isn’t going to go away without reaching a consensus.

Pedestrians need to look up from their phones and cross bikes lanes exercising the same caution they would use to cross the street and avoid walking in bike lanes. In areas without bike lanes, they should avoid walking multiple people across to make it easier for bikers to pass.

It is a two lane street. Bikers should be wary of speeding through high traffic areas like the Quad and should follow the same traffic laws as everyone else. In areas with pedestrians, bikers should exercise caution. They should slow down when they pass people on the sidewalk or Quad as well as alert them with by ringing a bell, honking a horn or with a verbal warning like “I’m on your left.”

As the physical campus itself becomes more bike-friendly, it will be easier for both bikers and pedestrians to reach an understanding.

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