New bike racks ease apprehension

Racks located in front of each building on campus to promote alternative mode of transport

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George Morin / The Advocate

By Jason Sykes, Staff Writer

“A few years back, a student left his bike on campus for a while and every day the student didn’t come get the bike, a part of the bike was taken until only the tire was left,” Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said.

Contra Costa College has since replaced the old-fashioned bicycle racks that could only secure a wheel with new oval racks that allow for a safer lock-up, King said.

The new bike racks, placed in various locations across campus, allow students to better secure their entire bikes. The college was able to get the new racks through 511 Contra Costa, an organization that donated the bike racks. King said about $1,500 was donated to the college to have the new racks implemented around campus.

“We tried to put the bike racks near the front door of every building around campus,” King said.

Buildings and Grounds wanted to make things more convenient for students riding their bikes to school, as well as for such students to feel safe when leaving their bike unattended.

The campus also provides bike lockers for any student or staff member who wants to ride their bike to campus, King said.

Chemistry professor Joseph Ledbetter said, “ The best and most expensive, secure bike rack is an enclosed locker.”

The college provides these lockers to anyone who desires to ride their bike to campus. Students and staff can purchase a bike locker for $20 for the entire semester through Police Services on a first come-first served basis.  The bike lockers are $20 less than the $40 it costs to buy a parking permit each semester.

Criminal justice major Kyle Lampley said the bike racks are more secure and are in great spots for students who use bikes as transportation.

Many students still tend to tie their bikes around handrails that should be used by those who have trouble maintaining balance while walking. The college has installed new secure bike racks to eliminate that issue.

Dr. Ledbetter said, “As long as the oval shaped bike rack is anchored in concrete rather than being bolted, it is the second best solution behind bike lockers.”

Many bicyclists around campus still have gone to the extent of using poles as a spot to lock up their bikes. Liberal Arts major Jovell Vance said that when people lock up their bikes in places such as handrails they are inconveniencing those who actually need those rails to walk.

“People should use the new bike racks to lock up their bikes because that’s what they have been placed here for,” Vance said.

With the old-fashioned, straight-line bike racks, there were a variety of ways people could take someone else’s bike parts. But with the new oval shaped bike racks, “people can’t disconnect the bikes,” King said.

King encourages riders to take advantage of the oval racks.

He said he is willing to apply to get more bike lockers if students would like to see those around campus more than the bike racks.