SA one step closer to bike lanes by campus

Hannah Baker

The SDSU Students’ Association is one step closer to implementing bike lanes near campus after the Brookings City Council unanimously voted to remove parking along various city streets near campus at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

There will no longer be parking for the following streets: Medary Avenue to Main Avenue on Eighth Street with Sunday exceptions near churches at the discretion of the church staff; 11th Street from Medary Avenue to Third Avenue; Eighth Street from 16th Avenue to 20th Avenue; 20th Avenue from Sixth Street to Eighth Street; and bagging for some events at staff discretion.

Several streets near campus were painted with “Share the Road” or Sharrow stencils in 2010, but SA was determined to take the motion a step further. They began pushing for parking removal along streets

to enhance safety for bikers and drivers alike, as removing the parking widens the roads for both. On Sept. 27 this request was granted.

“I think a safe route for bikes is important for Brookings and students,” said Brookings Mayor Tim Reed. “We did the share lanes first and that was a good first step but now we are realizing that they are not as safe as we had hoped.”

City Engineer Jackie Lanning said some parts of Eighth Street that will no longer have parking are not wide enough for bike lanes. She said streets need to be at least 30-feet wide to accommodate a distinct bike lane, and some areas on Eighth Street are only 26- to 28-feet wide.

“Those areas in the street would be unable to be marked with the striping, if bikes lanes were indeed implemented,” she said. “However, because those parts of the street will still have the Sharrow marks and parking will be removed there. This should leave sufficient space for bikers to get through.”

The request’s suddeness was a relief for SA President Mark York.

“This is something that’s been in the works for a long time so we’re really happy it’s finally on the way to becoming a reality,” said York. “When I leave SDSU, I can look in my rearview mirror and be like ‘I helped make that happen.’ It was a great team effort and we’re really proud it’s happening.”

SA Vice President Anthony Sutton said this was a first good step within a bigger plan.

“We’re excited students can have the opportunity to bike through the community more safely. That was always the number one issue,” he said. “The next step is getting actual biking lanes or routes now that parking will be gone.”

York and Sutton said when the striping will take place is unknown. Before it can happen SA has to make another request and go through the process all over again to get it approved.

“I wouldn’t expect anything really soon,” said York. “But this step shows you really can make a difference. This is proof of that.”