I actually thought the ban had been lifted back in 2000. This was my alma mater, I regularly rode my bike to school (not to class) back before 1995. Back then there were bike racks all over campus... now the racks only adorn the perimeter.
SDSU groups press for more cycle paths
By Sherry Saavedra
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 7, 2008
Students at San Diego State are fed up with a no-bicycling policy on campus.
Biking is a main mode of transportation for many college students. It's a green mode of transportation. And most days, San Diego offers near-perfect weather for bike travel.
But at SDSU, bikes must be walked on most of the campus. Riders can pedal only along the perimeter and on a service road that goes partially through the grounds. Many say it can be a hike from one end of the 270-acre campus to the other. Campus police enforce the no-biking rule with tickets.
A group of students that is trying to get more green initiatives going at the university is taking on the policy. The group wants to reverse it and is advocating for bike paths.
“This is such an issue that every student is aware of on campus,” said Justin Motika, a student vice president who will head up the “Green Love” student government campaign that includes a push for reversing the bike-riding ban. “San Diego is the type of environment where people ride their bikes.”
SDSU officials don't know how long the policy has been in place, but they do know why: safety. Enrollment has hit 35,695 students, and during peak instructional hours nobody disputes how congested the grounds are.
“Our concerns are having bicycles mix with pedestrians on the walkways during very busy times,” SDSU spokesman Tom Hanscom said. “Students can be in a hurry, and bicycles and walkers do not always mix well.”
In addition, some bicyclists harm the property, he said.
“There have always been concerns with some of the bike riders that come on campus doing bike tricks and stunts where they're jumping off benches and gliding down handrails and doing tricks that can cause physical damage to features on campus,” Hanscom said.
In the past year, SDSU police have issued 128 citations for bike riding or skateboarding (under a similar ban) in prohibited areas. Fines for these violations generally range from $50 to $250, Hanscom said. He added that in most instances students are given verbal warnings.
Motika said a reversal of the bike-riding policy would reduce traffic and pollution caused by cars. He said others – among them the Enviro-Business Society, or E3 club – have previously proposed lifting the ban and adding bike paths.
E3 member Ian Bevan, who is a green commissioner for student government, said allowing bike riding throughout campus makes sense given that San Diego State is preparing to expand and boost enrollment by nearly 10,000 students by 2025.
“Basically right now San Diego State's parking is horrendous at times,” Bevan said. “If you add another 10,000 students to our 35,000 students right now, what is it going to be like? Have they thought about this?”
Robert Djakovic, vice president of E3, said permitting bike riding throughout SDSU would improve the campus culture.
“It would create more of a sense that this is a community, that we're not just a commuter school,” he said.
Hanscom said the university is listening. “But if we bring (bike riding) back it's a matter of how can we route the bikes away from people who don't want to be struck by them.”
The issue of bike paths was raised at a recent University Senate executive committee meeting. And the senate's Environment and Safety Committee plans to consider a student proposal to add bike lanes during the spring semester.
Other college campuses vary in bike friendliness. Cal State San Marcos allows bike riding on campus. University of California San Diego prohibits bike riding on main outdoor walkways between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.