Bike Safety Concerns on Campus

The headline for this article was originally “Bike Safety on Campus” but has been changed to differentiate it from an article on the Opinion page with the same headline.

As students and faculty members are being forced to walk farther between classes, the demand for an easier mode of transportation becomes greater. Bikes have quickly become the most popular way to get from the main academic buildings to the Learning Center. While biking is a fast, simple way to get across campus, many complications have arisen with the recent spike in bike popularity.

Suraj Dakappagari ’20 commented, “All of the bikers could be more aware of the pedestrians and do a better job of getting out of the way. Bikers need to follow the rules and be less reckless. They really need to do a better job as a whole.”

Headmaster Christopher Burner ’80 recently met with student council about the conflict between bikers and pedestrians. When asked about the meetings student council held and the solutions they came up with, Sophomore Class President Ellie Frato-Sweeney ’20 commented, “Students need to do whatever is necessary to make sure the sidewalks and streets are safe, since that is our primary concern. We need to respect both the pedestrians and the bikers, and if we can do that, I’m sure the campus will run smoothly.”

While there have been many small altercations between bikers and pedestrians, it was not until a recent serious accident between a student and a teacher that members of the administration decided to take action. Dean of Students Wendy Skinner gave a speech at Morning Meeting, suggesting students on sidewalks should be required to yield in any way necessary to let bikers pass.

However, a much simpler solution to this problem could also be made. Josh Weinberg ’19 stated it most eloquently saying, “Bikers need to ride on the street and not the sidewalk, period. For instance, if a student needs to go from Ellsworth to the LC, it is not unreasonable for them to go around the MAC and past the main entrance, instead of causing havoc for walkers on the sidewalk.”

A new path has been designed with yellow paint to designate a portion of the road leading to the LC so cars can pass students without complication, but conflict still arises as bikers sometimes use this section in addition to the walkers.

The problems that have arisen from bikes are surely solvable with the proper adjustments.

– Noah Frato-Sweeney ’20

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