UNCW is ‘bike friendly’ Not really.

Eliza Dillard | Opinion Editor

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When I heard that UNCW was one of 26 universities nationwide to be named a bike friendly campus by The League of American Bicyclists, I had to laugh out loud. Was this a joke? Have they been down Chancellor’s walk at its peak of the day and observed the mass chaos?

The people who deemed the school bike friendly obviously have never tried to ride a bike on campus. Anyone who rides a bike to class will tell you that it’s not an easy task. People aren’t very friendly towards us bikers, and it’s dangerous out there, especially on Chancellor’s. At least once a day I see someone fall off their bike, hit a pedestrian, hit a skateboarder, hit another biker, or come very close to one of these scenarios.

In three years of riding my bike around campus, I have run over several feet, hit a few people in the arm with my handlebars, and one time I knocked a kid off of his skateboard and sent him flying into the bushes near Morton. And I’m just one person. Imagine all the other bikers out there with similar stories. Does this sound like a bike friendly campus to you?

Just the other day, the sidewalk from the Cultural Arts building to Friday Hall was too crowded to even maneuver a bike. I was forced to take a detour through the Cultural Arts parking lot where I was almost run over by a guy whipping out of a parking space. Granted, most people wouldn’t expect to check for bikers before they backed out of their parking spot, but that’s the point. I shouldn’t have had to make that detour through the Cultural Arts parking lot.

Just because there is a bike lane from Dunkin Donuts to the Cornerstone area does not mean that UNCW is bike friendly. That is probably the least crowded area of campus anyway, so the bike lane is virtually pointless.

If there were a bike lane from Randall library to Wag, a large majority of our problems would be solved. The traffic on Chancellor’s makes accidents unavoidable, so all traffic on wheels should have their own lane to take to class. This way, pedestrians won’t have to dodge bikers, bikers won’t have to dodge pedestrians, bikers won’t have to dodge skateboarders, and bikers won’t have to dodge each other. UNCW would be a happier, safer place for all.