am Stevens, one of MenloAtherton’s security guards, estimated between 200 and 150 bikes were parked in Menlo-Atherton’s bike cage on one Thursday. When the numbers were tallied up, the 30 by 60 foot enclosure accommodated 211 bikes in 131 slots.Project manager Brian Oliver assured us that, although no changes have been made so far, the administration has noticed the issue and is working for a solution. Sean Priest, dean of students, comments, “Arriving to school with no place to lock up your bike is a drag.” On September 22, Oliver placed an order for three new racks, that will provide roughly 30 new spaces. However, Eric Evans, a senior, feels increasing racks is not a solution to the problem. “It’s a matter of square footage,” he said. “It’s just basic math.” “We are looking at a number of ways to alleviate the crowded bike cage,” Priest stated. “One immediate step is to increase the number of racks in the bike cage itself. Other solutions are currently being discussed by the administration.” Priest continued mentioning groups or individuals could submit proposals to the administration if they wished. However, some students, like junior Tommy Chen, don’t feel any significant need for change. “Its kind of crowded,” he says, but he is less concerned than other students. In the meantime, students are getting creative. One afternoon those who arrived too late to assure themselves a slot locked free standing bikes together, attached to the edge of the racks, and on the fence. Temuulen BatEmkh, a sophomore, even locked his bike vertically to the cage, turning it 90 degrees. “I come out here and bikes have been suspended by their locks just hanging,” Jordan Petersen, junior, describes, “When you need to do that, you need to do something”. But oddly enough those driven to artistic solutions are not always those who arrive the latest. At 7:50 on Sept 27, of the 42 bikes at school many were already locked in alternative ways. Bikes were both inside and outside on the fence and two free-standing bikes were locked together.Although to Eric and others, more racks seem
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like a trifle improvement for the bike cage, the administration has its hands tied. Oliver explains that expanding the current enclosure is out of the question. The bike cage shares its back wall with the lunch kitchen, delivery trucks need to pass on their side, left and right-any wider and the cage would prohibit them passing. As for the side of the cage with the gate, a basketball hoop stands eleven feet away. Any closer and balls could get into the cage, damage bikes, hurt people, or ruin a pick up game. Constructing a new bike cage is “a necessity that everyone recognizes” Priest reports and “steps are being made to make a reality.” However, this is a long term solution that could take over a year. For a new cage to be built a location has to be decided, a budget made and approved by the treasury, fencing ordered, concrete poured-etc. The administration also feels caught when it comes to bike safety. In order to prevent vandalism, requirements have been make to lock bikes in the bike cage, but there is little to no room left in the bike cages to lock-up. The administration recognizes this and, though it is not ideal, has been allowing bikes to be locked to the exterior Some teachers are accommodating students who have trouble finding a place to lock their bike. Madeleine Besse told her students, “For heaven’s sake, if you ever have a problem, just lock your bike in here.” Margaret Ringler www.mabearnews.com
Published on Oct 25, 2010
Published on Oct 25, 2010
This is the October edition of Menlo-Atherton's student magazine. Doesn't the weather make you want to curl up by the fire with a nice copy...