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Falling Down On the Job — A “Bike-Friendly” University’s Attempt at Campus Planning

Sometimes, in the midst of such prominent debacles as the “arming DPS” argument, the STFU contention, and the “raises disproportionately given to administrators over faculty” snafu, we become blind to the smaller, everyday failings that regularly come to pass on the UO campus. It’s the little things that make life worth boggling over: like, for instance, the impressive display of poor planning that currently resides outside PLC.

For those of you who know nothing about the English/Economics/Cinema Studies/nine-story hodgepodge building, the relevant information is thus: the front of PLC has two small fences positioned at its forefront which function (like every other grounded object in Eugene) as great bike racks. Given their position beside one of the University’s largest lecture halls, these fences have been used as such for many years, and without incident. However, this practice has recently been dubbed unacceptable, and public safety has declared that all bikes attached to these fences will be impounded. It’s all right, though, because they have graciously offered up an alternative mode of bike lock-up.


Again, it must be noted that there are starving children in Africa, and all things considered this is a small issue. However, one should also consider that this is a small, constant reminder of a larger administrative problem. Transportation is, for the vast majority of students, a daily concern, and the University’s shortcomings in regard to it are apparent. How many student editorials have been written about the lack of parking on campus, or the need for more, and more secure, bike lock-ups? In some ways the University has responded well, but in others–such as knocking out entire parking lots with the bureaucratic equivalent of a halfhearted shrug–attention to the issue has been lacking. In this case, the fact that the bike rack in question was delivered in this shape and manner is arguably worse than if nothing had been put in place at all. Getting rid of space for students to park isn’t new; getting rid of it and then replacing it with with an all but intentionally half-assed stand-in really seems to illustrate how many shits campus planners seem to give.

Thankfully, it would at least seem that some pedal-possessing rebels aren’t taking this injustice lying down.

Cycle on, freedom fighters. Cycle on.

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