This year, two facts have become clear to me as a student bicyclist. One, our school has become overpopulated. And two, bikers across campus are taking the hit from it. The University of Minnesota has started accepting more students each year, which would be great if our campus was also expanding, but it is not. As the student population explodes, more of us are forced to find housing off campus, and with the poor economic atmosphere, the cheapest way to get to campus is by bike. The University advertises itself as “bike friendly,” which I find to be only partially true. They have added a few new bike lanes on the roads, but where bike lanes are needed, such as in Northrop Mall, our campus is severely lacking. And along with this lack of rideable areas, there is also a lack of legal bike-parking racks. For those who lock their bikes to signs and railings so they can get to class, campus patrols are waiting to hand out tickets for illegally parked bikes.
So I propose this: If the University wants to keep expanding its student body, wonderful, but instead of wasting money on a Goldy statue in front of Coffman Union, we should take the fundraised money and put it toward something useful, like supporting our students living a “green” lifestyle and adding more bike racks around campus.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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