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Pedal fees

Feedback sought for proposed mandatory bike registration

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 23:01

Bike

William Guerra

Bike

Shelby Knowles

Transportation Services is considering bike registration to be required of all bicycles on campus.

Bikes

Shelby Knowles

Students make use of University bike racks outside the MSC on Monday.

Mandatory bicycle registration may become a requirement in the future for Texas A&M bicyclists, according to the Bike District Plan proposal discussed in December by the Transportation Services Advisory Committee.

Texas A&M faculty and Student Government Association are searching for input on the proposal, which if enacted could require all bicyclists on campus — including visitors — to purchase a bike permit each year for up to $10, said Brittany Bounds, Graduate Student Council president and history graduate student.

Bounds, who is a member of the Transportation Services Advisory Committee, said Transportation Services is considering the required bike registration over the current optional bike registration and engraving to track the number of bicycles on campus.

Debbie Hoffman, associate director of Transportation Services, said the details are still unclear and the department is gathering feedback from students and faculty.

“We met last week with companies interested in submitting bids to complete the Bike District Plan, but they have until February to respond,” Hoffman said. “It is too early to determine if required bike registration will be recommended.”

Bounds said Transportation Services could also be enforcing the bike registration through penalty, ticketing any bicyclist without a permit.

The money brought in from permit purchases might be used to provide more bike racks to heavily trafficked areas or to fund other projects beneficial for the University, Bounds said.

Bounds said the proposal is a good way to track the number of bikes on campus — especially as the number of bikes increase along with enrollment.

“The benefits they propose are recovery — it would be easier for them to get a bike back to you if it was lost and it would also allow them to be able to track how many bikes there were on campus and help figure out where to place those bike racks,” Bounds said. “I think it is a good idea. It’s a good thing to know how many bikes there are on campus especially since we experienced a huge influx of bikes this last year and we don’t know how to track them.”

Chadlee McNair, sophomore finance major, said required bike registration is a good idea, but the cost and the penalty shouldn’t be so high.

“It’s a good idea, but they should make it five bucks and not ticket people” McNair said. “They should just lock their bike in place until they get a sticker.”

As someone who rides her bike every day, Kathryn Williams, junior political science major, said required registration would dissuade people from riding bikes to campus.

“By issuing this registration fee they are persuading people against bike riding,” Williams said. “The reason people ride their bikes is because it’s fast, efficient, healthy and free.”

The discussion is ongoing, Hoffman said, and there is nothing that is set for a vote right now.

“We mentioned this concept to our advisory committee members during the December meeting,” Hoffman said. “It was discussed that required registration was one of the few outstanding items from the recommendations made in 2008 by a bicycle subcommittee that might be an outcome of the Bike District Plan.”

 

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