The “problem” of not enough bike parking has reared its head at yet another place in Portland: Lewis & Clark College.
With growing bike use, a new school year, and the Bike Commute Challenge going full steam (L & C is a perennial front-runner in the 500+ employees category), bike parking at the small college nestled in Portland’s Southwest Hills is at a premium.
As a result, many students have taken to parking bikes anywhere they can; including inside the Templeton Campus Center. That’s a big no-no, according to the school’s Director of Transportation and Parking, Mark Morgan.
Last week he sent out an email to graduate students warning that bikes not locked to available racks would be subject to impound. I was forwarded a copy of that email and have pasted it below:
“We appreciate and encourage bicycle use on our campus. Bicycles, however, are not permitted inside of the Templeton Campus Center. This foyer area is used regularly for activities and is not suitable for parking bikes. Those seeking a place to park their bike under cover and out of the rain can use the bike rack outside, located beneath cover of the Council Chamber.
…bicycles must be parked outside of Templeton regardless of the weather.
Also, please be advised that bicycles must be parked in designated bicycle parking racks and not locked to stairway handrails, light posts, signs, or other appurtenances or building interiors not designated for bicycle parking. Bicycles parked in this way are subject to impound by Campus Safety.”
After the email went out, Morgan heard complaints from students that there were simply not enough racks available. He discussed the problem with Lisa Pogue, Director of Administrative Services. Pogue says she walked out of her office one day and saw, “bikes locked to the handrails…there were clearly not enough bike racks.” She added that, “we want to make sure we fulfill the needs of anyone using alternative ways to get to the school.”
“[Bike parking] is something I’m continuing to address… we’re trying to keep up with demand.”
–Director of Transportation and Parking, Mark Morgan.
In a follow-up email to the students, Pogue wrote that she and Morgan agreed that, “at this time, South Campus does not have enough bike racks for the number of individuals wanting to park their bikes. We will be rectifying this situation soon.”
After hearing “quite a bit of response” from his email, Morgan has taken action. He has directed the Campus Safety department to not impound bikes locked to handrails until the bike rack situation is improved; and, he has put in an order for six new racks that will park 12 bikes.
In addition, Morgan says he’s already recently added new racks at the Templeton Center and at other places around campus.
But even Morgan realizes that this probably won’t be enough, “there probably will be other places to add bike racks and I will do so as I see them. It’s something I’m continuing to address…we’re trying to keep up with demand. It probably will be an ongoing project to add [bike parking] capacity as we go along.”
The new bike racks will be installed in the South Campus in the next few weeks.