Hi, I read Transit Miami daily, and I know you guys take suggestions for ideas for the blog. I was thinking TM could write something about bikes lanes at our local universities (most notable FIU and UM which have large biking populations). I’m a bicyclist at FIU, and I just recently wrote to our Facilities Department about the lack of bike lanes on campus, and the limited bike parking in many of our campus buildings, despite the large biking population.

Many buildings on campus, don’t have enough parking for the amount of bicyclists on campus. Some buildings, like the School of Architecture Building, and the Engineering and Computer Sciences Building, don’t even have bike parking, so people are forced to park their bikes on stairwells, handrails, and poles, making it dangerous for people walking around. Other buildings, like the Graham Center, the university’s student union, and Green Library, FIU’s main library, don’t have enough bike parking, and bikes are often crammed together or locked to tables, and handrails since there simply isn’t enough parking. An article on these problems at FIU, and possibly similar scenarios at other local universities could prove very educational and helpful for TM. Thank you!

-Kevin

Thanks Kevin. I think your observations on the lack of facilities at FIU is a perfect start on the subject. The least that local universities can do as part of their responsibility in providing safe and convenient transportation around campus is  by providing basic infrastructure like bike racks around campus. This is only a start, and should be as important to the university as providing lavish amounts of surface parking around its campus.

Does anyone else have suggestions for FIU or UM - or Miami-Dade College or FAU or Barry?

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5 Responses to Letter From Transit Miami Reader

  1. Felipe Azenha says:

    Kevin,
    Great job so far. Did you receive a response from Facilities Department yet? Bicycle parking is a central component to making bicycling more desirable. The parking should be secure and covered. Also the type of bicycle rack is important to consider. There are a lot of bicycle racks out there that are poorly designed. The inverted U racks are simple and functional.
    Keep us posted on your progress. We’d be glad to help anyway we can.
    Keep the pressure on!

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  2. kevin says:

    Hey Felipe, I wrote to the Facilities Department yesterday, but I still haven’t gotten a response. Two buildings are currently under construction at FIU, the Nursing and Health Sciences Building and the School of Int’l and Public Affairs Building. Based on the lack of bike parking in all the newer buildings on campus, I’m going to guess this two brand new buildings will not have bike parking.

    This really needs to be addressed, and is one of the reasons why I contacted them. I hope they can place more bike racks around campus, because the biking population really has grown in the last couple of years.

    I’ve been to other universities that even have bike lanes, and dedicated bike-only sidewalks, and it proves very successful. Along the main campus drive that encircles the campus here at FIU, bike lanes would prove very successful and make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around, as many drivers don’t look out for bicyclists.

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  3. Patricia says:

    Hi!

    At UM, they’ve been making a push for bicycling in the last couple of years. They have installed more bike racks, and started a program selling students bicycles at discounted prices, along with a free lock. They’re not super fancy, but they’re pretty decent. We don’t have determined bike lanes, but they painted bike symbols along certain sidewalks so people know that bicycles will be coming by.

    I’m an employee here, and a TM reader, and I have to say, I’m impressed and happy with the efforts that UM has been making. They also started a program where they give metro passes to the employees for free or at a discounted rate. Unfortunately, not a lot of people can take advantage of it because of our poor transit system, but there’s a good amount of people who do, including myself. When I heard that the university was doing this, I moved closer to the metro and got rid of my car. It sucks some days because the city isn’t designed for walkers or bikers, but if I ever need to do anything, we also got Zipcars! :)

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  4. Camilo says:

    As a person who parks their bike at the Computer Sciences Building all the time, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    There are some buildings that have no bike parking, though, which is a major disappointment. My main concern, though, is on the quality of the bike parking facilities. A good solid place to park a bike should be something with two points where one can lock the bike. Mostly around campus there are only the “wave” style and “comb” style bike parking facilities. Neither of these lend themselves to securely locking the bike up, or even comfortably getting a bike in there after more than a handful of bikes show up.

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  5. Patricia says:

    True, it’s not perfect and it can be better, but considering how it was 9 years ago when I was a freshman, I think there’s been a lot of improvement and they are taking some steps to make the campus more accessible to people who use alternate forms of transportation, other than the car.

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