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No room for bicycles on campus

Bike riders cannot pretend to be pedestrians and cars at the same time.

They’re pedestrians when they breeze by on the sidewalk, but they’re cars when they stop at streetlights and have license plates.

A few weeks ago, this seemed to be the topic of conversation, when bike riders were receiving tickets downtown.

Most college students are bike riders, and they had the right to be offended.

Bikes should be allowed on city streets.

They should not, however, be allowed to race through campus.

City streets are different. A class doesn’t pile out of Panera Bread every fifteen minutes, and most of the time, Main Street and Wooster have pretty calm sidewalks.

On campus, it’s a whole different world. I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but there isn’t an easy way to go from class to class if you’re on a bike.

Junior Jessica MacDonald agreed, saying, “I don’t like tiptoeing around and constantly looking behind me all the time. I’ve been rammed into by a bike rider before, and I know that it will happen again.”

Young and old students alike are terrified of bike riders on campus. To make it worse, most bikes are silent. It’s only when they screech into a bike rack six inches in front of you that you actually notice them.

If some bike riders say that riding their bikes to and from every class is faster, they just might be lying.

First, they have to walk to their bike and jangle around their keys until they find one for the lock. Maybe you have a combination lock, and you have to spin around the little lock until it hits the right spot. This all takes precious time.

By the time you’re finally freed from the rock, you have to really pedal hard the five minute ride to class.

Then the process reverses itself. You take the bike out of the rack, put the lock on and jangle around your keys until you find the right one.

The first ten minutes of class are spent trying to calm down your sweat. Still, these cyclists prefer to try to beat the clock using their bikes.

In a perfect world, the sea of students parts, and someone successfully rides through, unscathed. In reality the typical bike rider wobbles his way through everyone until the end of campus.

Avid bike enthusiast Corey Baum loves riding his bike around town and in campus. He believes that people should just let the bike riders “do their thing” and said, “I know how to handle myself [on my bike] and it’s when people move for me that I get into danger because I am traveling faster than they are. I’ve already calculated my move and it’s when people try to compensate for me that I start weaving around.”

Campus is just too high traffic. It’s bad enough that we have to watch out for skateboarders and golf carts, but we also have to watch for bike riders.

Sophomore Phil Tokarsky sympathizes with walkers,”it’s just insane,” he said, ” Why should I have to watch out for these bike riders? It’s impossible. From 9 [a.m.] to 4 [p.m.] it’s just wall to wall people.”

A bike is definitely necessary if you live off campus, because parking is limited and gas isn’t cheap.

At the same time, riding from your house or apartment and then into a mass of a thousand people when you hit campus doesn’t make sense.

Park your bike on Wooster or Thurstin, and then walk the rest of the way in.

Until they make separate bike lanes for everyone, bikes should remain downtown and on the sidewalks where they belong.

‘#160;

Send comments to Stephanie at [email protected]

‘#160;

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