Richards: A safety reminder for bicyclists and pedestrians alike

Every year I’ve written for The Observer, at least one of my articles has been about bikes or biking on campus. Going into my third year at Case Western Reserve University, I figured I might as well make it a tradition. As a biker, I feel it necessary to remind bikers and pedestrians alike about the responsibility of getting around campus safely.

If you’re a biker, you can sleep in later and get to class faster than students who walk. However, biking comes with the responsibility of being courteous to pedestrians since they won’t see or hear you coming most of the time. 

Bikes are a great way to get around campus, and there is a lot of support for biking around campus if you do choose to cycle. However, it’s always a good idea to keep it slow, and it’s especially important to walk your bike in the crosswalks and dedicated walk zones signified by signs in heavy pedestrian traffic areas. Keep in mind that cyclists are prohibited from biking down the Binary Walkway.

If you’re a walker, you can do your part by being aware of your surroundings and trying to not take up the entire width of the sidewalk when walking in larger groups.

If you need one, the CWRU Police Department offers free bike U-locks with the registry of your bike into their system. This is to aid them in locating your bike with a unique ID number sticker should it get stolen. For more information, you can read more and submit a bike registration form online on CWRU’s Public Safety website.

CWRU also has its own Cycling Club, which you can find more information about on CampusGroups.

Unfortunately, the bike lane situation has not gotten better in my time here at CWRU. Bike lanes are now completely nonexistent on the quad, and the current sidewalk infrastructure does not scale well with the influx of pedestrian traffic before or after classes. As an increasing student population takes up more space on smaller sidewalks, cyclists should try and take roads when possible or walk bikes in highly populated areas to make sure everyone stays safe.

This leaves it to each and every one of us to be conscious of the decisions we make when getting around campus. We must be sure to respect the space that we have to get around, the safety of those around us and be cautious whenever possible.

Jason Richards is a third-year computer science student. He enjoys cooking, listening to music and taking ridiculously long naps.