Students at the University of San Francisco are constantly on the move. Whether it be the hustle between classes or a two-wheeled ride to campus, Dons of the latter variety will soon experience more accommodations for bikers at USF.
In the works is a roofed, secure bike storage structure to be built in the upcoming years. While the final design and location have not yet been determined, USF Facilities Management will be working with junior architecture student Bryce Costley to develop the bike shelter.
“As biking has become a more popular mode of transportation to the USF campus, the amount of secure bike parking must increase…a covered shelter offers more security and will also keep bikes out of the rain,” said Robin Kuehn, the transportation sub-chair of the sustainability committee and a senior history student.
Costley’s model recently won an architecture and design student competition hosted by facilities management, USFpedals, and the ASUSF Sustainability Committee. His design can house up to 72 bikes on a two-level locking fixture, and includes lockers and a changing space, all of which can only be accessed with a USF ID. The outside of the structure features an open area for educational sessions and meetings. According to Liz Miles of facilities management, the final design components will implement a roofed structure with secure racks in a space of 600 square feet, which is about the size of a large living room.
The fear of theft and weather damage are the top factors deterring USF community members from biking to campus, said Steve Zavestoski, an environmental professor behind the Bicycle Transportation Plan. “The promise of covered and secure bicycle parking would attract people who otherwise do not bring a bike to campus. When people feel respected for their choice to use a bicycle for transportation, they are more likely to continue making that choice,” he said.
Of 127 bike rack spaces available throughout campus, only 73 of them are being used, according to the USF Bicycle Transportation Plan headed by USFpedals. The plan hopes to create more amenities for USF’s cyclists in order to better adapt to San Francisco’s prevalent bike culture. One of these amenities includes doubling the number of campus bike racks to 20, and including covered and secure parking options for 250 bikes before 2016.
Bikes are often improperly parked in areas like the bottom of the Lone Mountain stairs or at the entrance to the Kalmanovitz amphitheater because most of the current racks are in inconvenient areas located away from where riders can keep watch of their bike, as stated in the plan. In a 2011 USFpedals survey, nearly 500 of the 620 students, faculty, staff, and USF community members said that a free, covered, secure bike parking area would persuade them to ride a bicycle to campus.
Kuehn said, “Hopefully the new bike shelter will be a place where cyclists and non-cyclists intersect to form new friendships, share stories, exchange biking tips, and brainstorm ways to make USF a more sustainable campus.”
For more information on the USF Bicycle Transportation Plan, visit www.usfpedals.org.