Implementation of designated bike lanes will greatly improve pedestrian and biker safety

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State’s campus is not exactly the most bike-friendly CSU campus, but some changes in policy may greatly improve this issue. 

As of 2007, a university policy prohibited students from using wheeled devices on main walkways, ramps, etc. as well as stairs and parking areas. The problem with this is it completely defeats the purpose of students bringing bikes, skateboards, longboards, or scooters onto campus. 

Wheeled devices serve not only to get us to school, but around campus as well. Walking a bike from the dorms to Amador Hall would take more time than just walking without the bike. 

In reality, it’d be much easier for bicyclists to ride on the roads in a designated bike lane, but Sac State’s campus is not well-equipped with those – making it a dangerous effort on the cyclists part for both road riding and campus riding as well, due to high pedestrian traffic. It is quite the conundrum, but the proposed solution might be the key to giving pedalers a cycling-friendly environment. 

One change to the policy involves adding bike and skateboard corrals around campus similar to Guy West Bridge, including signs and lanes to designate safe zones for bikes. That small change alone is enough to greatly reduce the amount of collisions on and off campus roadways. 

We’ve all at one point complained about a speeding bicyclist on main walkways, or a speeding car on campus. It’s not only dangerous, but incredibly annoying to think the problem could be solved by the university implementing bike zones, and the students following traffic laws. 

Other campuses around the state seem to already be on board with the designated bike lane idea, but no campus does it better than UC Davis. They are, after all, often referred to as the “bike capital” of California. 

The odd thing though, is that Sacramento ranks 25 out of 50 of the best biking cities in the country, according to Bicycling magazine, leaving many of us even more confused as to why we don’t already have separate car, bike and pedestrian areas. 

Thankfully, there were no reported bike-pedestrian related collisions in 2013, but more precautions and regulations will only make campus safer for everyone. 

UC Berkeley has taken a similar approach to bike and pedestrian safety as UC Davis, but rather than having designated bicycle lanes, the campus has designated walking zones. 

According to the UC Berkeley Police website, bikes are allowed everywhere: campus roadways, paths and courtyards. Everywhere except the “Walk Zone.”

“The Walk Zone is defined as Sproul Plaza, Dwinelle Plaza, Sather Rd. and any other clearly marked areas during the period of peak pedestrian traffic, 8am-6pm, Monday through Friday when and where bicyclists must walk their bicycles or be subject to citation. The Dismount Zone applies to all others on wheeled transport too, like skateboards and scooters…” 

Administration should not even have to think twice about voting yes on a change to implement wheeled device zones. Not having any pedestrians hit by bicyclists in 2013 is great, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened before. 

Just last weekend, an 89 year old woman died after being hit by a cyclist on a campus walkway. SJSU police Capt. Alan Cavallo said in an interview to the press that the path is a straight road and is well lit and that they don’t have many accidents on campus. 

But had there been a designated bike or walking zone, the collision could have been avoided. 

Every campus has cyclists, drivers and pedestrians and cannot expect us to all coexist on the same pathways. We deserve a safe campus and these new changes, if implemented, will do just that.