[BVC-CHAT] proposed bicycle registration requirements - an alt. viewpt
thomaswoodfin at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 26 17:48:14 CST 2009
I agree with many of Layne's points. However, I will suggest that there is a dimension to this proposal that involves generating a revenue stream to make cycling improvements. I will agree that enforcement seems to be a nightmare but Transp Services seems to believe they can manage this. The primary reason that more bike lanes, controls, monitoring, etc. have not been implemented is that there is no funding available. Where all the fees from vehicular parking go, that's mysterious but I can imagine that those funds are all allocated to legitimate, necessary expenses. I don't care about the cars, I'm just interested in making cycling better, safer, easier.
There have been numerous reports, studies, panels, etc. on cycling, bicycles and the TAMU Campus. We know all the problems, the issues, the needs. Another study won't tell us anything new. However, few recommendations have ever been implemented (or very few of them) because there was no funding. I am willing to register my bike, in fact several bikes, at 10 bucks a pop to see improvements, enforcement, removal of the abandoned bikes, ticketing of riders that blow through traffic controls and create distrust among motorists, a No-Bike Zone enforced through the Academic Corridor of campus, etc. Put a nice shiny barcoded sticker onto each one of my bikes and then start to fix some of the things that deter cyclists.
Every student pays for the Rec Center whether they use it or not, the buses whether they ride them or not, the International Education Fee scholarship fund whether they ever go on study abroad, etc. Why not charge for bicycle registration? Charge the faculty & staff 10 bucks a pop for a bike. Make registration transferable if possible. But do something to get us off dead center on making the campus 'cycle-friendly'.
I truly do not believe that a 10-dollar charge is so serious a barrier to 'alternative transportation'. But that's my opinion.
Thomas M. Woodfin, ASLA RLA
3215 Innsbruck Circle
College Station, TX
----- Original Message ----
From: Layne Westover <westover at iodp.tamu.edu>
To: rweis at tamu.edu
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 3:34:04 PM
Subject: [BVC-CHAT] proposed bicycle registration requirements
Rodney E. Weis
Dear Mr. Weis,
It was brought to my attention by some other cyclists about the existence of some proposed bicycle registration requirements for the TAMU campus.
If my understanding of what I read is correct, then I have some serious concerns regarding the proposed regulations.
First, since bicycles have the same right to share and use public roads as do motor vehicles, I do not see how you can require a cyclist to register a bicycle in order to be able to ride it on the public roads on the university campus. Cars and trucks do not have to have a special TAMU permit to drive on the campus roads. To park, yes, they do need to have parking permits or pay a fee to park in a garage, but they only need to be legal under state laws in order to operate on streets.
Second, if TAMU would like to foster an activity, they should subsidize it, and if they would like to discourage an activity, they should tax it or require a fee. I would think that it would be in the best interests of not only the university, but the community and nation and environment and also individuals to use alternative forms of transportation rather than gasoline powered motor vehicles. We should be doing things to encourage bicycle riding as an alternative to driving cars rather than discourage it. All of the proposed regulations will have a negative impact on bicycle riding and ridership.
If more revenue is needed or wanted, why don't you start charging everyone to ride the buses? Why don't you raise vehicle parking costs.....again? Why do you want to make people pay more who have made a healthy lifestyle choice to discourage that activity? If the real problem is how to control the great number of bicycles that seem to be parked on the campus and never used or some other concern, I would think that there ought to be better solutions that do not require such draconion regulations and requirements and fees which will have the effect of discouraging people who choose to use a bicycle for transportation or recreation. Will the TAMU Cycling Team be subject to the same requirements? Why or why not? They ride on campus too. How about visitors from out of town?
I am a bicycle commuter to and from work on the campus. Another concern I have is that I own multiple bicycles and if one has a flat tire or mechanical problem, I might ride another. Would I have to pay separately for each one to ride all of them at different times? You don't even require that of motor vehicles. You seem to be making some assumptions that do not apply to all cyclists. The proposed bicycle regulations are ridiculous and unreasonable. Do you want to eliminate bicycle ridership to and on campus, or do you want to encourage it? I can probably think of other concerns regarding these proposed regulations, but these are the concerns that come to my mind right now. I submit them for your considersation.
TAMU Staff Member, Commuting Cyclist, Recreational Cyclist,
and Member of the College Station City Greenways, Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Task Force
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