Schooling Sac City College on Bicycling

In the Sept. 2 Sacramento Bee article “Free bike program liberates Sacramento State students from their cars,” Li Lou writes of the program that gave away 75 bicycles to students who normally drove alone to campus. Made possible by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the giveaway promoted  the option of alternative transportation, dissuading some of the 26,386 students who drive solo to do otherwise.

I felt so proud to be a bicyclist, a Sacramentan and the daughter of a former SACOG executive. Then I thought about Sacramento City College in comparison to Sacramento State, and the high faded. Having just moved back to Sacramento from Davis, the self-proclaimed “Bicycle Capital of the World,” I am spoiled when it comes to infrastructure, facilities and education devoted to bicyclists.

bike racks At City College, proper bike access is cut off on the major bordering roads, with no bike lanes on Sutterville Road or on Freeport Boulevard north of Sutterville. This forces uneasy riders onto the sidewalk, which — believe me — makes you feel like a jerk. On campus, bike racks are few and far between, and most are exposed to the elements. Having my handlebars be too hot to touch after sitting in direct sunlight for a class period is pretty bad, but having it sit unprotected in the rain in a few months is unacceptable.

According to the Los Rios Community College Bicycle Access Report, prepared by the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates in 2007, City College’s new parking garage cost $35.2 million, adding 1,964 more parking spaces to campus. Do the math — that comes to $18,000 per free space. Now compare that to the 284 exposed, outdated bike rack spaces, and I’m longing for my Aggie days.

City College could take some lessons from its neighboring universities — perhaps start a bike giveaway program like Sacramento State’s, or at least invest in adequate bike signage, parking and street access. And students cannot just wait for this to happen; we should promote bike events and education.

Here are some resources to help get us started:
Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen
– Do-it-yourself bike care and maintenance
Sacramento Critical Mass – Monthly recreational overthrowing of the roads
Davis Bike Collective – Bike maintenance workshops and classes

Los Rios Community College District

Community College Bicycle Access Report

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September 16, 2009. Tags: , , , , . currents. 1 comment.