The Sustainability Office politely threatened to start impounding bikes locked on railing, trees, light posts and other places they aren’t supposed to park. Hundreds of bikes were tagged with informational reminders and the warning: starting October 11, improperly parked bikes will be impounded.
So, were the bikes impounded? Apparently not.
Janet Moreland of the MU Sustainability Office said that she hasn’t heard of any bikes getting impounded as part of this campaign.
MU Police Department Captain Brian Wermer said, “It is no different than in previous years. We did not put any tags out to follow-up on.”
There seems to be some miscommunication between Campus Facilities and people actually able to enforce the rules. But the empty threats seem to have worked. A simple glance around campus can show you that: The folks on the south side of Strickland started parking on the north side; New parking additions next to the student center eased those tensions; The journalism students investigated the spots on the south side of the library; And everything seems to be generally happier.
Some of this might be due to the weather. Even though cold weather biking in Missouri is easier than you might think, many fair-weather bikers have opted to start walking. Another obvious solution is the addition of 85+ new racks near the Student Center, a few new racks in the Dobbs area and one near the Sustainability Office. Maybe people genuinely think the rules will be enforced.
Sore spots still exist. Parking near Plaza 900 dining hall is abysmally tight; no racks were added near the journalism school (even though it was listed as a priority in an October Tribune article); and managers in buildings such as the Student Center are beginning to notice that the same bikes are parked in the same spots every day — which means they’re taking up space for riders who actually use their bikes.
It’s nice to see this issue get solved. Now, if only this much fuss could go into teaching students how to bike safely…but that’s for another article.