Bikes and scooters allow campus mobility


Jenna Stepleman –  Photographer

Biking is simply less expensive than a car, said Quavon Lyons as he unlocked his bike parked in front of Engleman hall.

Lyons, a sophomore social work major with a minor in psychology, lives in New Haven and bikes to Southern’s campus daily.

“I live about a 15 minute bike ride away,” said Lyons, “I recommend it, but it isn’t always the easiest.”

According to Southern’s official website there is a very active bike community in New Haven. Some of the resources including three bike repair shops, community bike rides and a city-wide bike advocacy group, “Elm City Cycling”.

Lyons, who used to attend UConn said when he attended there he noticed there were many more bikers on UConn’s campus than on Southern’s campus.

“When I used to go to UConn the entire bike rack would fill up first thing in the morning, and it would stay that way all day,” Lyons said. –more–

He said while attending Southern he had an incident of a bike theft on campus.

The National Bike Registry says bicycle theft is the number one type of property theft on college campuses.

“I lost my last bike to theft, I would really recommend getting a good lock if your going to need to leave it for a long period of time on campus, or really at all,” Lyons said.

The FBI estimates that bicycle thefts total $350 million in the US each year, at an average cost of $250 per bike.

Ben Wooding, a senior English major has been lucky enough not to a lose his dad’s bike from the 1980’s to theft.

Wooding lives in Rockfall and his commute takes him about 30 to 40 minutes each way daily. He said this is why he chooses to bring a bike on campus to speed up the process from Wintergreen around to his classes.

“I like to bike, and it’s faster than walking in my opinion,” said Wooding. “I park over at Wintergreen and just ride to my classes.”

However, Wooding had some advice for people on the go to their classes.

“The sidewalks get crowded in between classes,” said Wooding, “so be careful if you’re weaving in and out of traffic.”

According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, there was an estimated 70,000 pedestrians injured in crashes in 2015, compared to 61,000 in 2006.

Imani Wilborne, a freshman studio art major, does not have a bike, but she does have an adult scooter.

“I commute to campus, not on the scooter, but I keep it with me because it’s light and easy to carry,” said Wilborne.

Her drive is a 15-30 minute drive when she can get driven but by bus it takes somewhere near an hour from her home.

“A car isn’t in my budget right now, even a bike was too much,” said Wilborne. “The scooter was less expensive and more easily carried off and on the bus.

Wilborne’s parting advice to someone who is considering using a scooter for transport on campus is to keep it physically and mentally close by.

“Make sure you always keep your eye on it,” said Wilborne. It’s easy to forget in class or not realize it’s in someone’s way.”

Photo Credit: Jenna Stepleman

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