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Bike Racks

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Bike Racks

Post  ramgrl on Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:34 pm

While I think the bike racks are a decent idea to keep students from hooking their bikes to every imaginable tied down fixture on campus, what about the students who like to walk? Personally I'm a little tired of having to dodge people flying across the sidewalks on their bikes while I am walking the entire length of the campus on foot. This $56,000 being spent on bike racks is all fine and well but can we do something to keep people from riding them on the sidewalks? When it gets crowded the bikes and scooters are dangerous for those of us on foot. I don't drive my car on the sidewalks and I am constantly hearing about how people who ride bikes want to "share the roads" but I don't see anyone voting to share the expense of these racks yet I have to pay for a place to park my car. I'd like to see something come in front of senate about all of the bikes on the sidewalks. I shouldn't have to worry about being run over because I am on foot walking the campus rather than riding a bike thru the sidewalks.

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Bikes on campus

Post  driverx77 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:39 am

Interesting observation. I am on campus five days a week and spend a great deal of time on foot around here. While I have not experienced the same issues you are describing, it is a valid point. We can start by raising awareness and pushing for a bit of courtesy and common sense. This is a congested campus, no doubt, but that doesn't mean it needs to be a reckless one.

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Re: Bike Racks

Post  RamRM on Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:34 pm

Maybe a "dismount" sign around high traffic areas, like the Cabel Library entrance, would add some element of safety. I know at least one student with a physical disability that has complained about a close call with a bike, I don't think she would classify it as a recurring problem, and neither of us would endorse policies that discourage bike transit, but there could be an assessment of the sidewalk traffic patterns.


A few other ideas on non-car transportation:

1. Create an actual space for scooter parking on the medical campus.
2. Create a process to clear out stripped bikes sooner. Unusable bikes that have been picked over for parts (presumably by thieves) remain locked to the racks for months.
3. Expand the VCU Bus service or reinstate free GRTC bus passes for VCU students.

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Theft Prevention

Post  RamRM on Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:57 am

The VCU Police have a bike registering program, the VCU Bookstores use RFID tags....

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/rfid-programs-to-deter-theft.php

Three Cool RFID Projects to Deter Bicycle Thefts
by April Streeter, Gothenburg, Sweden on 11.10.08


RFID to Deter Theft2 photo

Bike theft is a huge bummer and a always-growing problem in cities where bicycles are used more and more for daily transport. Amsterdam has always had a big theft problem, and 20,000 bike were stolen last year in the city of Copenhagen. Bike sharing programs nearly all share the feature of using RFID (Radio frequency ID) in order to identify bikes and help reclaim them if they are lost or stolen. Now RFID programs outside of bike sharing are on the upswing to try to reclaim stolen bicycles as well as deter thefts, and even reduce right-turn bicycle accidents.


1. University of Portsmouth, UK WASP program
At the University a system dubbed the WASP (Wireless Asset Security Protection) embeds a yellow-and-black RFID tag on bikes registered in the program. Students when parking their bike in safe zones can use mobiles to call their location to a server. On their return, they call to check out their bike. If the bike is moved without calling and entering a pin code to check out, closed circuit cameras may then zoom in on the area. One downside: students using the system have started to forgo the check in/check out as the WASP "safe zones" have experienced far less crime and theft. Bournemouth University is another high crime area where UK police have offered students free RFID tagging (though not linked to closed circuit TVs). And Immobitag is a private company offering RFID censors for about $20 - the tags might not deter thieves but they are connected to the country's police database if your bike is recovered.

2. Oregon State University 'Bug Your Bike'
This program started five years ago and implanted 250 RFID 'bugs' on bikes students register in a special database. Now OSU's Security Services are revamping the program, have registered 120 bikes in a database that is combined with the university transportation program, and is awaiting the arrival of more of the RFID bugs. OSU is using the program as more of a stolen bike recovery program, but hopes that as more and more bike are registered it will also deter thefts. The bugs are free to students.

3. City of Copenhagen, RFID project
The City has sponsored one pilot project implanting some of its bike-sharing bikes with RFID chips in order to keep track of the bikes if they are lost or stolen. Now a project with the Danish Technical Institute is investigating whether a better chip can be developed that would both help find bikes after they are stolen as well as deter thefts in the inner city. In the meantime, the City Council is taking a multi-faceted approach to help deter theft - the City has launched a campaign called "Kun en hykler stjaeler cykler" (Roughly: "Only a hypocrite steals bikes") and Bring Express, a large local bike messenger service, is promoting the anti-theft campaign on their backs (or the back of their bike bags) - Bring messengers have their bikes stolen on average once every nine months! In addition, the City is still planning an RFID chip system for bike identification, and is hosting a bike lottery. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/rfid-programs-to-deter-theft.php

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Re: Bike Racks

Post  RamRM on Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:03 pm

ramgrl wrote: This $56,000 being spent on bike racks is all fine and well

Is this verified?

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Re: Bike Racks

Post  driverx77 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:45 am

RamRM wrote:... or reinstate free GRTC bus passes for VCU students.

Nice call... and yes, the free GRTC bus passes for VCU students are back!

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Re: Bike Racks

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