Bike shelters bring no-ride zones to campus

Cyclists will soon have to follow new guidelines regarding bicycle use on campus. The University of Calgary is planning to construct bike shelters as well as introduce no-ride zones at the school.

“What we want to try to do is create better relationships between the pedestrians and the cyclists,” said vice-president facilities management and development Bob Ellard. “Our strategy is to encourage people to bring their bikes but in a manageable way.”

The Taylor Family Library Quadrangle is one planned no-ride zone. Ellard said bike shelters will be conveniently located in order to accommodate the no-ride areas.

Designed by environmental design students at the U of C, each shelter is estimated to accommodate 30 to 50 bikes, with construction scheduled for spring.

“If it proves to be the right way to go we will have six in total in various locations around campus,” said Ellard. “We are trying to locate them in logical areas so people can go there, lock their bike with the assurance that it is safe.”

The plan for the new shelters has been met with enthusiasm from the campus community including Bike Root, a not-for-profit community bike shop on campus.

“I think it is really awesome,” said Bike Root volunteer Robert Wilson. “A guy came in the other day talking about how he got his bike stolen on campus and it was brand new and he had a nice lock on there, so I think bike shelters are a great idea because it will add to campus security.”

Ellard said the bike shelters and guidelines on bike routes on campus are being dealt with as a package deal. By fall 2011 Ellard hopes to inform students on the new guidelines and no-ride areas.

“We haven’t developed a total communication strategy but it will be through existing communication opportunities on campus,” said Ellard.

Ellard said after the plans are rolled out students shouldn’t be concerned that punishment is the goal of the change.

“In terms of enforcement we don’t want to get punitive with people who don’t want to abide by the rules,” said Ellard. “We do want people to respect the fact that if you’re riding your bike and I’m walking, we don’t want to run into each other.”

“I think people are pretty respectful and I definitely think there is that mutual respect between pedestrians and cyclists,” said Wilson. “I haven’t seen any blatant abuses of that. I think everyone is pretty good about riding with care and being aware about what is going on around them.”

Ellard agreed that bicycle use at the school is generally safe but said it could improve with the implementation of the new zoning rules.

“There has been a few incidents on campus, nothing too serious, but at some point someone’s going to get knocked down and hurt and we don’t want that to happen,” said Ellard. “The easiest way is to put some reasonable guidelines to help people conduct themselves.”

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