WKU needs better biking options

Emily Little/HERALD

Herald Editorial Staff

The Issue: Parking at WKU is still a wreck, and bicycling could provide a helpful alternative.

Our Stance: WKU owes it to students to make campus a safer place to cycle. 

Driving is no longer an option for most off-campus students, so many have turned to bicycles as a solution. WKU already offers a relatively biker-friendly campus, but there’s plenty more that they could be doing. There are plenty of cycling programs that have been proven to work by other universities that WKU could try.

The roads surrounding campus should have dedicated bike lanes for the entire length of campus. Bike lanes that only cover a portion of the road or a section of a nearby road aren’t enough. WKU should commit to making campus as accessible and safe as possible. 

Bicycle safety goes beyond traffic precautions, too. There have already been three reported stolen bicycles this semester, and one of those bikes cost $500. Students cannot be expected to use biking as a viable alternative to driving if they don’t feel safe leaving their bikes at campus racks.

Bike lockers are a well-appreciated feature at dozens of other universities including the University of Kentucky and Austin Peay State University. Most schools offer students a flat rate for a key to a locker for the semester. Investing in these lockers could quickly provide peace-of-mind to potential bikers.

WKU has an incredible program in Big Red Bikes, the on-campus bicycle library that repurposes abandoned and impounded bikes for free use by students.  There is clearly a demand for the service — the wait list is always weeks, if not months, long. 

However, Big Red Bikes currently relies on Transportation for their bikes. WKU funding could increase the number of bikes they have to lend out. An expansion and cost-reduction of ORAC’s bike rental service could also provide the same product without quite as much cost to WKU.

At the end of the day, students just need more parking spots. But if WKU isn’t going to provide that anytime soon, then they need to start providing better alternatives. Waiting around at South Campus for a bus is only going to seem like less of an alternative as temperatures go down. 

If you’re still concerned about the parking situation, write in to ask for these expansions to WKU’s biker safety. WKU isn’t providing the service they sold to students, and it’s about time they started making up for it in other ways.