“Bad luck” is what the Penn Police called it when Bill Ding reported that his bike had been stolen.
Ding, a College sophomore, was among the Undergraduate Assembly representatives who added their perspectives to the UA’s discussion on bicycle safety at their Sunday night meeting. After being informed of an “uptick” in bicycle-related injuries last year, the UA is aiming to address some of the most common biking issues this semester.
These problems include bike theft, pedestrian-biker collisions and biker-car collisions.
UA representative and College junior Joyce Kim suggested that additional bike racks are needed in highly-trafficked areas of campus like David Rittenhouse Laboratories. The addition of more racks might prevent some bike theft, Kim said.
Kim also said that biking regulations need to be more strictly enforced, although she commended the effort that the Penn Police have been making over the past few weeks with distributing informational flyers about these regulations.
According to Kim, the flyers inform bikers that they cannot ride on Locust Walk between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., that they cannot ride in the wrong direction in a bike lane and that biking is not permitted on sidewalks.
In order to better inform the student population of biking rules, UA representative and College sophomore Yessenia Moreno suggested including a more comprehensive unit on biking during the Division of Public Safety’s presentation to freshmen during New Student Orientation.
UA representative and College sophomore Varun Menon noted that violations of these rules regularly affect pedestrians around campus. “I almost got run over [by a biker]. I know several of you have almost been run over,” he said to the Assembly. “Many bikers do not follow the simple laws that cars do.”
Kim added that, in the long term, an initiative to bring two-way bike lanes to the streets around campus would be beneficial to bikers, who are in danger of potential accidents with cars.
UA representative and College sophomore Aidan McConnell said that he will be working with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, PennCycle and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphiato bring about solutions to bicycle theft and both pedestrian and biker safety concerns.
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