LETTERS

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October 24, 2004

Letter to the Editor

Where's my bike?

Last week, the lock on my bike was cut and my bike was temporarily confiscated for parking in an illegal location. The bike rack outside of Pick was full, so I, without thinking, locked it to a railing near the entrance. When I came out of class a few hours later it was gone. I went to the campus police station to see if I could get to the bottom of things. Sure enough, outside the station, my bike was chained up with about 30 others. After talking with the officers inside I learned the University had ordered facilities personnel to cut the locks on bikes parked on stairs and handicap ramps, including commonly used locations in front of the Regenstein Library. In hindsight, I realize that my bike was parked illegally. I also realize that the University has the right to cut my lock and remove my bike when it is parked in an "illegal location." What I do object to, however, is the way in which the University has conducted itself. Cutting locks is perhaps the worst possible direction that the University could have taken in this matter. I am certainly a reasonable person, and if the University had sent out a campus wide e-mail, put an article in the Maroon, left a note on my bike, or put up signs in various locations, I certainly would have responded. It seems brutish of the University to take an "act now, explain later" position.I ended up talking with another student about this matter and learned that locks have been cut sparingly over the last month with increasing activity over the last few days. Obviously, this isn't a very effective means of letting the bicycle population know about the new policy. In this light, I ask the University to please post signs in order to make clear these illegal locations. If the University is going to limit commonly used parking locations, please give us more bike racks. The new bike racks all over campus are wildly inefficient for the space that they take up. Not only that, but the racks outside of the Reynolds Club have been taken down. Finally, the main reason I am writing is to warn the student body¬ósomething that the University should have done before acting. Please lock your bikes on the bike racks or be stuck with a $50 to $70 bill for a new lock.

Jack Schwarz

Third-year in the College