Shortage prompts acquisition of new racks.
In response to an overwhelming number of student bicyclists, SAC has purchased four new bicycle racks that will accommodate 56 more bikes.
The bike racks cost about $1,400. Money to fund the purchase will most likely be allocated from the parking budget, which has about a $30,000 surplus, said Ron Jones, interim facilities manager.
Rack locations have not been decided, Lt. James Wooley, district safety and security supervisor said.
The installation of new racks comes at a time when parking spaces are scarce.
Students are securing their bikes to anything bolted to the ground.
Bicycles have been found locked to trees, light posts, hand rails and even water mains around campus.
“In an attempt to find parking, one student even locked his bike to another student’s bicycle that was secured to a rack,” Security Officer Elizabeth Motley said.
The need for additional bicycle parking has become more pressing in recent months.
Spokespersons from OCTA said that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of bicycles used on buses in recent years, and that in 2011 Metrolink introduced bike cars to accommodate the growing bicycle population.
With fuel costs soaring above $4 per gallon, many students have started cycling as an alternative to driving.
“You save a lot of gas, and we live close to school, so we might as well ride our bikes,” SAC student Isreal Ochoa said.
David Gilbert, a student cyclist for four years, typically locks his bike to benches or poles rather than the racks.
“I think it’s just more convenient. Trying to lock it up to a regular bike thing doesn’t really fit my personal needs for it,” Gilbert said
Gilbert also said that one of the benefits of cycling is the convenience of parking anywhere.
But Wooley warns students against parking and locking their bikes against anything other than a bike rack.
“There are no cameras there. The cameras cover the bike racks, parking lots, and exits, but they can’t cover every inch of campus. No camera system can,” Wooley said.
With more than 19,000 students on campus and bicycles becoming more popular, Wooley said he hopes that the additional racks will solve the overcrowding issue.