Thursday, September 27, 2007

UWM Needs New Bike Racks

For all the effort that UWM puts into encouraging its students not to drive to the crowded campus...they sure don't seem very committed to encouraging bicycle use.

Take a look at the bike racks at the Union, mid-day on a Wednesday:

A mob of bikes

They're jam packed. All three racks are full, and more bikes are locked to the guard rails around a nearby stairwell.

But look at the racks. They're the old-fashioned gridiron type. This type of bike rack is meant to have the bike's front wheel lifted over it. This requires a considerable ffort on the part of the users, especially if the racks are crowded. (If??

UWM bike rack

But many bikes today (such as my own hybrid) can't fit over these racks. Users then have no choice but to lock nothing but the front wheel -- an open invitation for the rest of the bicycle to be stolen.

Bike racks at the Grand Avenue Mall

Modern racks are a W shape, like these outside the Grand Avenue Mall downtown. They allow bikes to roll in without lifting and allow all types of bikes to be locked by the frame, not just the front wheel. They are permanently installed, rather than being a loose rack that gets shoved around when empty. And they are far more attractive.

UWM should be installing these, rather than letting this clear need go so inadequately met.

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