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$10,000 grant to promote cycling

Funding by 511 will go toward bike racks

By Sinoti Iosua, staff writer
On April 26, 2014

  • New bike racks will soon populate campus replacing the current worn and limited racks. The new racks will provide students places on campus to lock up their bikes, instead of seeking out makeshift locations. Cody Casares / The Advocate

Students who use their bikes as transportation to campus will see a change in bike racks and locations soon.
Contra Costa College has been granted $10,000 from a group called 511, which provides transportation information for the Bay Area. 511 is a transportation information group managed by a partnership led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation.
For about a year, Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King has been placing requests for a grant to replace the older bike racks with newer, more stable ones, he said.
King said, "When I finally got the call, I asked how much we would receive and they said about $10,000."
With the much needed funds for bike racks, Buildings and Grounds will be responsible for installing the new structures.
As of now, there are new bike rails found near the Music Building which was recently renovated.
Sociology major Cameron Jones said he would like to see bike racks at every building instead of having them spaced out.
"They should definitely put the new racks in front of every building because there will be more students here in the future after the reconstruction is finished," Jones said.
With 13 buildings on campus, there are only eight bike rack locations which are scattered around heavily populated areas.
The outdated bike racks make it hard to fit five bikes at a time on each, leaving students with no choice but to park farther from class than needed.
In hopes of increasing the number of new bike racks, King wants to promote a more green mind set among students by encouraging them to ride their bikes.
Psychology major Liliana Reyes said, "It's refreshing to start the day off with morning cardio because it gives me a chance to clear my mind."
Adding to the health and environmental benefits, students who ride their bikes to school generally get from class to class faster because they can ride to the next building.
A bike repair station located between the R Building and the Bookstore is equipped with essentials such as an air pump, allen wrenches and mini wrenches. Beside the repair station is one of the two bike lockers on campus.
The bike lockers provide extra security allowing students to place their bikes completely in the storage space and lock them in, ensuring access by only the student and Police Services.
These over-the-top bike lockers were provided by the same group roughly eight years ago with the help of former Center for Science Excellence director Dr. Joseph Ledbetter.
Reyes said, "When I go to softball practice I have to leave my bike at the fence where I can see it because the nearest bike rail is near the Men's Locker Room and I forget to grab my chain sometimes."
The lack of rails near classes provokes students to create their own bike racks and chain their bicycles onto handrails, campus maps and disabled parking signs.
When campus construction is complete the installation of newer bike rack models should be in place within the vicinity of each entrance to the new buildings.
Biology major Ana Huynh said the students who ride their bikes don't get the service needed like those who drive cars.
King said the grant given by 511 will soon give those who ride their bikes to the college more parking options. 

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