Parking and Transportation Director Stacy Murren met with the Associated Students of UC Irvine two weeks ago in order to plan a smooth transition toward a heightened enforcement of ordinances against bicyclists and skateboarders on Ring Road, set to be the standard at UCI by spring quarter.
Last week students were able to see the early stages of this transition on Ring Road with newly painted ‘No Biking’ signs on the pavement as well as temporary plastic signs as reminders.
Campus security officers were also stationed on Ring Mall in order to remind students that despite lackluster enforcement in recent years, bicycle riding is prohibited on Ring Road and skateboarding is not allowed anywhere on campus.
According to Parking and Transportation, by spring quarter CSOs will be handing out tickets of an undetermined amount to violators of the policy.
Parking and Transportation hopes to educate students on this policy before monetary fines come into play, urging students to use the path circumscribing Aldrich Park as the main area of bike traffic. Many cyclists, however, will be quick to note that this path is difficult to ride on because of heavy pedestrian traffic and an uneven and steep hill gradient.
Skateboarders are offered no such alternative, as it is UCI policy that no person may ride a skateboard on campus. In the ASUCI meeting, Murren explained that this policy exists because skateboards do not have a brake.
Cyclists and skateboarders alike are disappointed by the impending policy enforcement.
‘I didn’t know about the rule but I think it’s ridiculous,’ said third-year psychology and social behavior major Aurora Leport, who has been skateboarding for about a year. ‘I usually use Ring Road because of the hills in [Aldrich Park]. I don’t see why we wouldn’t use it [even for skateboarding]. I understand [the administration’s] logic, but I don’t see it’s that big of a deal. I don’t hear about deaths because of it.’
‘I think it’s a dumbass rule,’ said fourth-year biological science and art double-major Kenneth Lee. ‘[Administration] doesn’t want you to drive because there’s not enough parking and they don’t want you to bike [freely] but they give you a $50 rebate if you buy [a bike]. It’s hypocritical because even if you get a bike, you can’t really use it. Basically, they just want you to walk everywhere and be late for class. Biking is just more convenient.’
The rebate referenced by Lee was an effort made by Parking and Transportations to lessen the commuter congestion at UCI as well as make the school more environmentally friendly. In past years, Parking and Transportation has offered a $50 subside toward any bicycle that a student would purchase in order to promote bike-riding on campus.
The policy has thus increased bike activity on Ring Road and has ultimately caused Parking and Transportation to implement higher enforcement by spring quarter.
Students may be stopped currently by CSOs but will only be given a warning and some literature on the administration’s transportation policies.
‘I was skateboarding near the ATMs when one of those guys who act like cops in the khaki uniforms told me, ‘Get off your skateboard,’ said third-year information and computer science major Jesse Rayad. ‘He followed me to the bookstore and all the way out to Pereira Street. He said I couldn’t even skate in the street. I was so pissed.’
Rayad added that CSO threatened to cite him if ever got back on his skateboard, though AS members later told him that no students will be cited until spring quarter.