Bicycle Coalition seeks to give riders voice


Dylan Nunez

The Bicycle Coalition aims to add more bicycle racks around campus.

Disgruntled and recreational bicycle riders at St. John’s have a new advocacy group to voice their concerns on campus known as
the Bicycle Coalition.

Founded by Paula Weiss, president of the Earth Club, and Irving Chase, a member of the Commuter Connection Club, the Bicycle Coalition seeks to bring bikers together from all over campus to make sure that the needs and concerns of student bikers are met. Whether it’s simply increasing the number of bike racks or proposing policy changes, the Bicycle Coalition hopes to influence
the future of biking at St. John’s.

“The mission of the coalition is to reach out to the campus community about these biking concerns, as well as promote biking in general,” the Bicycle Coalition said in a statement. “The coalition plans to promote and encourage biking through events and incentives, as well as propose policy changes.
“We hope to formulate that figure and use it to establish bikers’ rights and offer recommendations for improving
biking conditions.”

“When I first started biking to class, I noticed it was hard finding a spot to chain my bike and that’s when I realized there is a major bike rack shortage here,” junior Bryan Garcia, who bikes from Henley, said.

A quick look around campus on a Friday afternoon reveals that it’s not isolated to one building either, as the bike racks by Taffner, Carnesecca and St. John’s Hall are overflowing with bikes that have to be chained to nearby railings, trees and whatever else students can
find that’s nailed down.

“The lack of racks is surprising,” Garcia said. “Even at my dorm, if I get home too late, I have to tie my bike up elsewhere. The rack is full.”

Garcia isn’t alone in this observation either.  As a freshman, Ben Schmidt says he  also faces frustration finding parking for
his bike when returning to DaSilva.

“With a rack, I don’t have to worry about a bike being removed by security or tampered with because someone is annoyed a bench is used as a rack,” Schmidt said.

The Coalition itself is still in the developmental stages, but it already has big plans for biking at St. John’s. They hope to collaborate with Commuter Connection Club in the future to reach out to more commuters who may not already be aware of the new organization.

Bike-share programs, first made popular at first in Europe, are gaining ground in the United States just this year with bike-shares popping up in Denver, Washington, D.C. and New York. The Coalition also hopes to have a bike-share program, where bikes can be rented for short trips around the local area.