Campus is not bicycle friendly

    Despite the fact that the 2002 Transportation Parking Committee recommended to “”expand bicycle network facilities, including marking bicycle lanes on Gilman Drive, improving north-south and east-west bike connections, and installing additional bike racks,”” no progress has yet been seen on better bicycle facilities, and it still is a matter of course (especially at the new Eleanor Roosevelt College campus) to lock one’s bike to a railing in a pinch. The Price Center bike racks near Espresso Roma are regularly filled to capacity during the day, and the entire Warren Mall faces a regular dearth of bike parking. The problem is exacerbated when, for some unknown reason, every third biker decides to put his tire in the middle of a U-bar bike lock stand, occupying twice as much space as is required to secure his bike.

    Instead of marked bike paths that would actually get students from one side of campus to another to beat the 10-minute passing period, all across campus there are still signs proclaiming “”no biking”” and “”no skateboarding”” areas on virtually every possible major north-south throughway through the campus. And if a cyclist wants to legally traverse from the west side of campus to the east, he has to brave Gilman Drive and city bus drivers who like to play chicken with a four-ton advantage.

    The situation is entirely ludicrous. Instead of either banning bicycling on pedestrian paths outright and actually enforcing the rules, or putting up some expenditure to create a safe and effective biking system with clearly delineated bike lanes running the whole of campus, the school instead insists on putting up a few meaningless signs as scarecrows and relying on the bikers to not run anyone over. This writer is lucky to have not hit any pedestrians in his time here (although he has been hit by a car, which was not fun).

    Past issue of this fine newspaper brought with it a perennial attachment, the “”Centerpiece”” newsletter, that no doubt costs the University Centers an obscene amount of your student money (whether from fees or from money paid to vendors) to print. While this issue might be lauded for actually including some semblance of useful information, like the new route of the Cityshuttle, one “”front page story”” in particular was galling: The comparison of prices at Price Center and the outside world ‹ to prove that the Price Center is no more expensive.

    As proof, they sent a guy with a camera to a local Rubio’s and a local Subway to show that, indeed, the prices in the Price Center matched exactly those of the outside establishments. Now, think about that for a second ‹ when is the last time one can remember traveling out to Subway, of all places, for a cheap meal?

    Let us make a simple analogy here. Imagine, for example, that Orange County is filled with Mercedes and Lexus dealerships. The only cars you can buy in Orange County are those two brands, but you should not be expected to complain that prices for cars in OC are too high because, of course, the prices at those dealers match the prices at every Mercedes and Lexus dealerhip in California. You cannot make a rational comparison about prices with regard to the rest of the country if you do not have a Kia dealer across the street. Economics 1, people: Price comparisons are based on an equal basket of goods compared between different regions. Your point is moot if every establishment you have is an “”upscale”” fast food place.

    College students know better than that. There is McDonald’s, Roberto’s, the great Coti, or if all else fails, Ramen. It should by no means take over four dollars to feed a college student a decent meal that includes meat. Back in the various hometowns of many students, there were beloved family-owned burger stands that would serve up artery-clogging-sized hunks of beef for less than a couple dollars. The “”Centerpiece”” should know better than to try cramming the notion that $6 to $7 is an entirely reasonable minimum for food to be shoved down the throats of students.

    The waits for food are atrocious as it is, and the university embarks upon building another upscale dining establishment, a Japanese restaurant. Nothing against Japanese food, but in this writer’s experience, it has always been equated with much less food for much more money. If the lines are so bad, why can’t they just allow several of those simple greasy meal trucks to wheel up onto campus during lunch hours? If they are good enough to feed the people in Balboa Park, then they should no doubt feel right at home among college students. Where the hell is a simple hot dog stand?

    The “”n”” is back on Bonner Hall signage after repeated vandalism over the years. Someone apparently realized that if you remove an “”n”” from Bonner, you get a Bon er. This writer bets the “”n”” does not survive fall quarter.

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