By Catherine Brown–
Everyday, students ride bikes to get to class, to get home, or to get around the city. With better bike lanes, bike riding around campus could be made safer for everyone involved.
The biggest problem about bike lanes on campus is not necessarily the lanes themselves, but the lack thereof. Simply, there are too few bike lanes around campus for the number of people that ride bikes.
Without bike lanes, bikers either ride on the sidewalks or on the streets in car lanes — both of which are risky to the safety of the bikers and other pedestrians, as well as a danger to drivers.
And just like with electric scooters, bicycles are prohibited from being ridden on sidewalks.
Louisville Metro law states that bikes must be ridden on the sidewalk whenever feasible.
The Louisville Metro Government website says that “No person over 11 years of age or older shall operate a bicycle on any sidewalk within the geographical boundary limits of Louisville Metro, and nobody of any age shall ride on the sidewalk downtown.”
Lack of proper bike lanes makes following these rules and regulations difficult. As a result, cyclists ignore other bike safety laws put in place.
Unfortunately, the problem with asking for better bike lanes around the university is that many of the streets and sidewalks that surround the campus — like those beyond 2nd street near the residential areas — are not owned by U of L. Rather, many are owned by the city government. Thus, asking for improvements to be made means making appeals to the city council, not the university administration.
Nevertheless, poor bike lanes that end up affecting pedestrians and drivers are problematic and need to be fixed so that riders have more opportunity to ride in the lanes instead of sidewalks.
Additionally, improving the bike lanes could improve upon the problem of electric scooters on sidewalks.
When students take to riding scooters on the sidewalks, they get in the way of pedestrians and put everyone at risk. Plus, having a moving vehicle pass by you when walking is a nuisance.
If more bike lanes are added around campus — and if those bike lanes were widened –, riders would no longer have to share the sidewalk with those on foot. This would keep sidewalks safe for everyone and avoid accidents.