[Currents header

January 6, 1997

Campus police to impound improperly parked bicycles

Monday, January 13, promises to be a bad-luck day for bicyclists who habitually lock their bikes to UCSC light posts, handrails, and transit shelters. That's the day the University Police will start impounding bicycles that aren't parked properly.

The crackdown is intended to make the campus more accessible to people with disabilities, says ADA Compliance Officer Susan Willats. "Illegally parked bicycles create safety problems for pedestrians and can actually prevent access for people with disabilities, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act," she says.

The University Police started placing warning notices on improperly parked bicycles on January 2. Starting January 13, owners of impounded bikes will be required to pay a citation and an impound fee and reimburse the police for resources spent unlocking the bicycle and removing it, Willats says. The precise cost to the bike owner has yet to be decided.

UCSC's traffic and parking regulations state that bicycles "shall not be parked, stood, or locked against any light post, stair railing, ramp, or any portion thereof, nor shall they block in any way curb cuts, ramps, or paths of accessible travel," Willats says.

Illegally parked bicycles are an ongoing problem, says Transportation and Parking Services director Larry Pageler.

"People become accustomed to locking bikes up to handrails, and they don't recognize that handrails are the means by which people with disabilities get up and down stairs," Pageler says. Bikes locked up to transit shelters are also a problem, he says. Sometimes they interfere with people getting on and off the campus shuttles and may also block wheelchair access.

--Francine Tyler

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