BikeUT to install new bike racks to relieve overcrowding

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Brian Thorne, a mechanical engineering sophomore, parks his bike in the Quad courtyard Sunday afternoon. About 23 new bike racks will be installed around campus soon due to the bike situation.

Photo Credit: Haipei Han | Daily Texan Staff

Bike racks at UT have become overcrowded, forcing the University to install new racks across campus in the coming weeks.

The influx of a larger freshman class this semester has created a larger demand for parking space. BikeUT, a branch of the University’s Parking and Transportation Services, is allocating $13,000 for the purchase of about 23 new bike racks to be installed in the following weeks, said Sam Cortez, Parking and Transportation Services administrative associate. Most new bike racks are being installed around the most used areas on campus, including Robert Lee Moore Hall, Gregory Gym, the Perry Castañeda Library and various residence halls around campus.

“I think a lot of freshmen bring a bike with them even if they don’t use it,” Cortez said. “It is like a school supply for college.”

Biology junior Tyler Jarvis said it is difficult to retrieve his bike from an overcrowded rack.

“I came out of Gregory Gym and another biker was trying to untangle our bikes by taking off my pedal that was stuck in his spoke,” Jarvis said. “He was there for 25 minutes trying to free his bike from mine.”

According to Parking and Transportation Services’ rules and regulations, bicycles locked up to anything other than a bike rack are considered improperly parked. This can be a tricky rule to follow when overcrowded bike racks force bikers to secure their bikes elsewhere, such as sign posts along the sidewalk.

Bikes that are improperly parked can be impounded and the students may have to pay a fine to retrieve them. All bicycles that are parked on campus must also be registered with Parking and Transportation Services.

BikeUT stresses the importance of buying a quality lock because 90 percent of stolen bikes are not locked properly or do not use a U-lock. The proper way to secure a bike is to connect the front tire and frame to the bike rack using the U-lock and a self-locking cable to lock the back tire to the bike rack.

UT Police Department officer Darrell Halstead said most bikes are stolen from racks near residence halls, the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center and the engineering area buildings.

“It is important to utilize a two-lock locking system as well as to register your bike,” Halstead said. “When a bike is registered students give the make, model, color and most importantly the serial number.”

Printed on Monday, October 1, 2012 as: Students find relief in new bike racks