Bike Lane

Pierce College should install a bike lane on the Mall to accommodate students who prefer this method of commute. More than 19,500 people bike to work on 593 miles of bikeways in Los Angeles every day, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Surely, Pierce students are included among that five-digit number.

According to the frequently asked questions on Pierce College’s website, there are bike racks set up at different locations of the campus so that students can securely lock their bikes when they attend class. However, very rarely do all of the classes a student is taking happen to be located in the same area. More often than not, students need to rush during the few minutes they have between two classes to make it in time for their next one. If the classroom is located on the other side of campus, walking simply won’t cut it; there’s no way to make it in time.

Picture a scenario in which a student starts their day in the Village, where they attend a communications class from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. As soon as this student finishes getting pointers on speech correction and audience persuasion, they have ten minutes to make it to the Center for Sciences Building for an oceanography lecture which starts promptly at 11:10 a.m. Unless they run, they’re likely going to be late. Worse yet, what happens if there’s a quiz that day?

Biking from one end of campus to the other provides students who already bring their bike with them to campus a very easy solution to this dilemma. They’d be across campus in mere minutes if only the administration allowed it. The bike racks are already installed, but Pierce currently has a restriction on riding bikes and skateboards on the school site, rendering the practicality of having them in multiple locations as decidedly ineffective.

The rule prohibiting pedaling on campus was probably implemented in an effort to minimize crashes and injuries to pedestrian students. Adding a bike lane to the campus would bring us one step closer to solving this problem. According to Bicycle Universe, other countries with higher rates of cycling, and lower rates of cyclist injuries, employ bike lanes. There would be a designated walking area and a separately marked lane for riding, eliminating confusion and students getting in each other’s ways.

The “no riding” rule was instated at Pierce years ago, but anyone attending Pierce today would tell you that the rule has very little effect as it doesn’t seem to be enforced. At least it isn’t enforced consistently enough to be making any kind of noticeable difference. Students who ride their bikes to school can frequently be found riding their vehicle of choice down the long stretch of the Mall. Why not make this pointless policing easier by nudging it into extinction?

Students should be able to ride their bicycles safely and freely with the administration’s permission. Pierce College would do well to promptly install bike lanes on school grounds.