Today I wrote my first beat-related story as a reporter for the Missourian. The article explores MU Sustainability’s Bike Smart program and how they will use it to promote safe cycling across campus. Earlier this afternoon, I spoke with MU Sustainability’s Communications Manager Karlan Seville about Bike Smart’s upcoming awareness campaign and why students should register their bicycles with MU Police.
MU Sustainability to host Bike Smart safety event
COLUMBIA — The MU Sustainability Office will host its second annual Bike Smart registration from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Plaza 900 Amphitheater.
Bike Smart was launched in 2012 to teach cyclists the rules of the road and raise awareness about bicycle safety. The program also encourages students to avoid parking their bicycles along handrails, trees and light posts and instead use the designated bicycle racks on campus, said Karlan Seville, MU Sustainability communications manager.
Bicycles parked at forbidden locations are tagged with a warning for the first offense, she said. MU police can impound bicycles for multiple offenses and for blocking handicapped-accessible ramps.
Seville said she hoped students would attend the event and register their bicycles with MU police. If police find a bike on campus that matches the description of a stolen bike, they can check the serial number with the registration. Students must have their bikes present at the event to register them.
In 2012, 85 students registered their bikes with MU police. Before the first Bike Smart campaign last fall, previous bicycle registration events had not been as successful, Seville said.
The Environmental Leadership Office’s Bike Resource Center will also be at the event to do minor repairs and make sure the registered bicycles are safe for the road.
Pizza, drinks and free Bike Smart promotional gear will be distributed at the event.
The MU Sustainability Office has been placing cards in the spokes of bicycles on campus to raise awareness about safe cycling. Here are the tips:
1. Stop at stop signs and lights.
2. Yield to pedestrians.
3. Ride in the direction of traffic.
4. Avoid busy sidewalks.
5. Use lights at night.