Student Gov. ‘Spoke’ Up For Seattle U Bikers


Amy Truong • The Spectator

If you don’t bike, maybe next year you’ll start. It’s not rare to see bikers speeding about campus, even in the cold weather, or the pouring rain. However, due to a lack of secure bike racks and covered areas to park bikes—students have been discouraged from commuting via bicycle. But as of next fall, this reality will end.

Amy Truong • The Spectator
Amy Truong • The Spectator

The Seattle U Cycling Club talks with SGSU on Feb. 26 about making the Seattle U campus more bike-friendly.

This week, Student Government of Seattle University (SGSU) voted to allocate $8,000 toward a project for the

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construction of an enclosed bike shelter. While SGSU’s investment is far from the only money going into the construction—the shelter is projected to cost between $15,000 and $18,000—its contribution marks a turning point for the governmental body. SGSU has never put this much money toward any project. The movement was made easier by the fact that SGSU was not alone in funding the project, and because the planning for construction had already been moving along. According to the Freshman Class Representative, and one of the point people of the project, Meggie Green, most of the university departments involved were already aware of the project. Public Safety, Maintenance and the Department of Transportation were supportive of the project before SGSU voted to donate funds toward construction. The construction of a sheltered bike storage unit was, according to senior Max Snyder—one of the strongest proponents of the project—highly necessary. “This is a large scale campus improvement project,” he said. “Along with the wear and tear the weather puts on bikes, there’s theft. Capitol Hill is one of the top 10 bicycle theft areas in the country.” The threat of theft is one of the main reasons for the shelter’s construction. According to the cyclists who showed up to the meeting (most of them carrying their bikes with them into the meeting), there are major security concerns with the current bike storage system. Many of the cyclists expressed concern with both the location and style of racks currently in place. For one, they tend to be in low foot traffic areas, for example below the Murphy Apartments. This means that oftentimes, no one is watching stored bikes, and thus they are extremely susceptible to theft. Second, if they are in covered areas (which is rare), they are at the borders of campus. This means that commuters who bike are forced to park their cycles far away from their classes, making for low levels of convenience when it comes to biking to class. “It’s just too much of a hassle to try bringing my bike to school, at this point,” said student Nick Johnson. “The shelter is for marginal populations,” said Snyder. “It’s for those people who don’t ride their bike to school, either because they don’t feel safe or they don’t want to ride home on a wet seat. Those people who don’t currently ride, but would if improvements were made. In 2009, the State of the Student survey reported that 17 percent of students would ride their bikes to school if improvements were made. That’s well over 100 people.” Furthermore, Public Safety issued a survey that reported that 20 percent of students would be more likely to bike than drive to school if improvements were made. Construction on the shelter, which is going to be built out of a used shipping container and is designed to feature a rooftop garden, is set to begin sometime this summer. According to SGSU, liquid funds will be allocated once ground has been broken on the project. “It’s exciting stuff,” said Snyder. “It’s largely to be a sustainability project. Hopefully it will be constructed somewhere where security and access are easy.”