Columbia to accommodate bicyclists

By Samuel Charles

Columbia will now allow students to bring their bicycles anywhere inside campus buildings if there is no longer room available on provided bike racks. Previously, students were required to lock their bikes outside to designated racks.

The racks often became crowded and students were forced to look elsewhere for a place to lock up their bicycles.

The decision was reached after numerous complaints and suggestions were received by the Office of Campus Safety and Security.

Joe Leamanczyk, the project manager in the Office of Campus Environment, said there is a limited amount of money in the city’s budget for bike racks in certain areas.

Students have recently voiced their frustration through phone calls to the Office of Campus Safety and Security because of the lack of available bike racks outside campus buildings.

Columbia is competing with other institutions for the limited funds the city has for bike racks and will advocate for getting more bike racks on campus.

“We’re also looking at other opportunities we have on campus to supply bike storage,” Leamanczyk said.

The validity of complaints and suggestions, along with the sheer number of students that ride their bikes to class, were factors in this decision, according

to Leamanczyk.

Robert Koverman, the associate vice president of Safety and Security at Columbia, stressed the importance of being courteous when bringing a bike indoors.

“We ask the people who are bringing bikes in that they use caution, particularly if there’s an emergency that the bike needs to stay where it is because that could present a dangerous situation,” Koverman said.

Columbia has promoted the idea of sustainability in recent years with the recycling program and encouraging other means of transportation.

“If we’re saying we want to encourage [bicycling] then I think we are obligated to provide a reasonable amount of bike racks,” Leamanczyk said.