On April 3 the Department of Public Safety launched their free bike registration program in conjunction with the Student Government Association Bike Auction. A Formal Bicycle Operation and Parking Policy was also established.
The bike policy was newly created in response to a change in the city ordinance, which no longer requires bike registration.
Paul Verecchia, Chief of Police, said, “The major difference is that bike registration is now going to be done by the College.”
According to the policy, bike registration stickers should be displayed on the front seat tube of the bicycle. Public Safety also has the right to impound any and all bicycles that are not registered.
Verecchia also stressed the importance of bike registration. He believes that it acts as a crime deterrent and helps public safety return unattended or stolen bikes to their proper owners.
He said, “We feel very strongly about the importance of bike registration, simply from a crime prevention standpoint.”
However, the new policy does not just deal with bike registration. It also reinforces that bike racks are the only approved place for the parking of bikes. The department expects some initial shock to the idea that students can only park bikes in designated areas, despite the fact that this has been the policy all along.
Verecchia said, “We recognize that there are some challenges as far as available parking for bicycles on campus and the campus police are sensitive to that.”
In regards to enforcement of the new policy, Verecchia compares the implementation to the warning tickets that were distributed earlier in the year to bikers and skateboarders on St. Philip Street. These tickets aimed to inform riders of the traffic laws without fining them.
Verecchia said, “It’s going to be enforced with the objective of educating rather than sanctioning.”