The $90,000 project to install 50 new bike racks on the University’s campus is nearing completion as summer rolls along on the Plains.
The campus bike committee, made up of Auburn faculty, staff and students, is dedicated to improving bike usage and facilities on campus with education and event coordinating.
Its goal for this project is to create bike paths that parallel pedestrian walkways or bike paths that are independent of pedestrian walkways, but lead to the same destination.
SGA President Owen Parish said riding bikes to class has become a popular means of transportation for students, so the need for better, more efficient bike racks is present.
Josh Brinkerhoff, senior in mechanical engineering, said he believes that Auburn isn’t the best campus for bikes yet, but that it is getting there.
“I ride my bike (to campus) two to three times a week,” Brinkerhoff said. “The bikers and walkers can get in each other’s way a lot.”
Brinkerhoff said the new bike racks are putting the old ones to shame.
“It’s not the biggest change in the world, but you can definitely tell a difference from the old rusty ones around campus,” Brinkerhoff said.
According to the Office of Sustainability, the University currently has 4.55 miles of on-road bike lanes and 1.8 miles of off-road bike lanes.
In their list of goals for campus, the bike committee advocates education on biking trends and safety, and it supports the addition of a bike shop in the Student Center and air pumps placed around campus.
Adrienne Newton, junior in nursing, said she thinks Auburn is already a bike-friendly campus.
“There are convenient bike racks and sidewalks everywhere,” Newton said.
Newton said she rarely ever rides her bike on campus.
“I usually take the transit to campus, and I enjoy walking,” Newton said.
However, despite not getting much use out of her bike, Newton said she believes the new bike racks, bike shop and air pumps are all great ideas.
“There have been times that I’ve needed air on campus,” Newton said. “I might be more likely to use my bike if we got that.”
On its website, the bike committee supports its cause by saying, “Biking is good for your health, it’s good for your pocket and it’s good for the environment. Out of all the alternatives to single-occupant vehicle transportation, bikes are the easiest, fastest, most efficient, and cheapest way to get to and from campus.”