According to bestcollegesonline.com, UC Davis is ranked number two under Stanford University regarding the most bike friendly campuses in the nation. UC Davis, one of Sonoma States’s neighbor colleges, is rated so high because of all the bike accessible pathways that line most of the campus. The hundreds of bike racks and bike lanes make it easy for students to get to class in a more environmental and time efficient way.
While walking the long trek of 50 feet from my dorm to my classes, I come in contact with a lot of bikes. A lot of these bike encounters ended in either me being inches from being hit, or hearing the bike and having to move five feet out of the way to make room for the bike rider.
Sonoma State is not bike friendly. There I said it. Yes, some parts of the campus have wider walkways, and therefore more bikes can get through, but most of the campus contains narrow pathways and rocky terrain.
Although I personally don’t have a bike here, I use my roommate’s bike if I’m ever running late to class or am just feeling a little lazy that day. From the biker’s perspective, I’m constantly trying not to hit people as I weave my way through a sea of people.
As a pedestrian, I have to constantly be on the look out for a bike coming up behind me in case I have to move out of the walkway. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that bikes are going to be on every college campus, but being that Sonoma State is such a small school, the annoyance of having to constantly move out of the way for bikes is getting old.
It’s only my first month on campus and I’m already getting tired of the bikes on campus. I mean, it’s not their fault that Sonoma State’s pathways from the dorms to classes are two feet wide.
If there are ways to create more bike paths separate from walkways or to make the pathways wider to fit both bikes and people, I would be all for that. It would not only help the school run smoother, but both walking pedestrians and people on bikes would be put at ease.
I recognize that this shouldn’t be Sonoma State’s top priority considering we are here to get the most out of our education, but I think that bike accessibility is something that should be brought up. Sonoma State will continue to grow and expand, and my only hope is that through this expansion, they will consider making more room for both walking students and students on bikes. I understand that Sonoma State supports bike riders through the numerous bike racks and by having a bike maintenance station that is located in the recreation center. I also know that Sonoma State prides itself on being a green campus, so promoting bikes would be nothing but beneficial to them and even add to their reputation on being environmentally friendly.
The amount of change and growth that Sonoma State will continue to go through will hopefully bring a change to the way bikes are seen as campus. I hope that bikes will no longer be seen as an annoying obstacle that runs students off the road, but a more peaceful and harmonious form of transportation.
Bikes will continue to be a popular form of transportation for college kids across the country. However, an important duty of the schools is to make sure that the bikes and walking pedestrians are keeping the peace throughout campus.