All bicycles on campus are now required to be registered with the school and have a sticker with the owner’s name and an assigned number placed onto the crossbar area near the handlebars.
The use of bicycles by commuters and residents as a means for transportation is widely encouraged on the SUNY New Paltz campus. However, where they’ve been parked in the past has been seen as a problem, according to Facilities Operation Manager Gary Buckman.
Obtaining a sticker is free for all students; the school will not make profit and registration is solely for identification purposes, Buckman said.
Buckman said he feels the new bike policy will be a positive change to the aesthetic of the SUNY New Paltz campus. After so much renovation and work to beautify the campus, he says it’s “unsightly” to have bikes latched to trees and lampposts when there are available racks.
If bicycles are found parked somewhere other than a designated zone (i.e. attached to a tree), a staff member from the Facilities Operations office will check for an identification sticker and attempt to contact the bike’s owner to move it to a rack. If unable to contact the owner, a staff member will cut the lock, relocate the bike to a designated parking rack and lock it with a lock that belongs to the office. The student will then be able to contact the Facilities Operations office for assistance with unlocking the temporary lock.
There is no ticket or charge for parking in an undesignated zone. According to Buckman, cutting the lock is the staff’s “last resort.”
Fourth-year accounting student Sam Zuffante said he didn’t really see a problem with where bikes were being parked during his time at SUNY New Paltz. He said he felt this policy would never have to be implemented if there were a sufficient number of racks in the first place.
Buckman and his staff are working to solve this problem to give cyclists adequate space to park their bikes. Bike racks of five, nine and 11 spaces have been added in front of dormitory halls, classrooms and other buildings around campus. If there are regularly an inadequate number of spaces in a particular area, the Facilities Operations Staff promise to put more in where they are needed, Buckman said.
Students must register their bikes to park on campus.
“People will need to be patient,” he said, “but we’ll get them racks.”
Buckman said that he feels the success of the new bike policy will depend on the cooperation between the Facilities Operations staff and cyclists. He said there is a “grace period” of a few weeks while faculty and students are made aware and familiarize themselves to the new bike policy.