Cyclists, skateboarders show lack of respect for law

Illustration by Trevor Moore Photo credit: Trevor Moore

Illustration by Trevor Moore Photo credit: Trevor Moore

On a typical day here at Chico State you will undoubtably see a skateboarder or biker speeding through campus as if clockwork. But to one’s surprise, it is actually illegal to ride your bike or skateboard on campus.

Some students despise the skaters and bikers and think the campus police need to be more proactive in enforcing this rule. Others, like myself, believe the rule is outdated and needs to be changed.

Safety is an obvious concern when it comes to bikes and skateboards on campus. Having bikes swerve through students during busy hours of the day is just asking for an accident to happen. But still, students disregard the safety of other students and even the law.

I personally have seen multiple accidents on campus in my four years here. I’ve seen bikers run into pedestrians, skaters run into bikers and every combination in between. Usually no major injuries occur, but it’s only a matter of time until the luck runs up and someone gets seriously injured or even killed.

One way to slow this issue down would be for campus police to heavily enforce the rule by patrolling campus during peak times and writing tickets without exceptions. Right now, campus police are way too lenient.

Once I was riding my board on campus and I was approached by an officer who politely asked me to walk the board, which I did. But it didn’t deter me from riding it later on that week because I didn’t think I would be ticketed. If officers wrote tickets without giving warnings first, the message might stick with the student.

The more logical and cost-efficient solution would be to instate a bike path on campus. If there were a designated area where bikers and skateboarders could ride at their own risk, then pedestrians would generally feel safer knowing a bike isn’t going to come jetting directly toward them. Having a separate lane would also decrease the risk of Chico State getting caught in a lawsuit by an injured patron, since the bike lane would warn riders to ride at their own risk.

I imagine the bike path running through the main part of campus where club and Greek life members set up tables, then it would run along the asphalt path in front of Holt Hall and end in the street leading to Modoc Hall.

A bike lane like this would be beneficial for all. It could lower the time it takes for students to get from class to class, increase the safety of riders and pedestrians, allow police to handle more important issues and serve as an incentive for students to life a healthier lifestyle by encouraging them to ride to school instead of drive.

Nick Bragg can be reached at [email protected] or @Nick981 on Twitter.