With bike racks overflowing and railings and posts lined with locked bikes, the Students’ Association and UR Security are working to solve the problem of lack of parking space and an important consequence, bike thefts.

According to Director of Security Walter Mauldin, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students riding bikes, which has overwhelmed the current bike racks.
In a post on the Hive Web site by Co-Chair of the Projects and Services Committee and sophomore Bradley Halpern, 10 new bike racks have been purchased and will soon be up around the River Campus. Halpern also added that the SA was pushing Facilities to order more bike racks based on an overwhelming response concerning bike thefts from the most recent Rocky’s Report.

‘Let’s hope the manufacturers of our bike racks deliver their goods soon so we can take advantage of these items to help secure bikes properly with strong devices,” Mauldin said.

According to Mauldin, in the fall semester of 2008 the number of bikes stolen was 110. The fall of 2009 has actually seen a decrease to 86 bike thefts, but Mauldin reiterated that there were more bicycles on campus, leading to parking qualms.

In response to this problem, UR Security and the SA have collaborated on a bicycle registration program, which will be administered by Security.
‘[This program] includes data that is kept on file with Security and it includes a decal to be attached to the bike,” Mauldin said. According to Halpern, the objective of the program is to return stolen bikes.

‘The idea is that, should a bike be stolen, it can be more easily identified on the streets,” Halpern said. ‘The bike registration program will actually improve the ability to return stolen bikes to students.”

There is no timetable for when the registration will take place, but Halpern hoped it would be in place by the start of the winter storage program. A winter storage program currently in the works would allow bikes to be stored in a fairly large storage area in Spurrier Gym.
‘We have not finalized these programs just yet but it is looking promising at this point.” However, for students looking to wheel around in the winter snow, the program won’t fit their riding fancies once you retrieve your bike from storage you would not be able to return it.

The Eastman School of Music, before renovations, used to be home to a bike shed made out of plexiglass.

‘We would like to discuss more covered areas on campus,” Halpern said. ‘Maybe finding areas where there are large quantities of bike racks clustered together and putting a covered structure over them.” However, Halpern stressed that there were no plans right now for one of these structures.

According to the Hive Web site, the proposed locations for these new bike racks are: Riverview, Southside, the tunnel entrance at Morey and Lattimore halls, Goergen Athletic Center, the Fraternity Quad, University Health Service and Towers.

While Mauldin is anxious to implement this new plan, others have doubts about the ability of Security to effectively deal with this issue.

Senior Michael Jancsy, who was the student coordinator for the City Cycles program in 2008, has misgivings that Security will be able to solve the bike theft problem. Based on his past experiences in dealing with the bike theft problem, Jancsy believes that are other obstacles that account for the challenges to dealing with bike thefts.

‘Security was comically inept in dealing with City Cycles bikes,” Jancsy said. ‘Every time I dealt with them, the responding officer had to spend an inordinate amount of time calling their supervisor to ask permission to do simple things. Common sense was not part of their operating procedure.”
Berkowitz is a member of the class of 2012.
Bradley Halpern is currently a CT senior staff photographer.

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