New bicycle-repair stations outside Adams and Parkhurst halls are there for faculty members and students to pump up their tires and make minor repairs.
Former Environmental Science Club President Kristian Page proposed the idea of the stands, called FIXIT stations, almost two years ago.
The $16,300 project finally came into being in January through use of GC’s Student Green Fee.
Another facet of the plan, Pocket Shelters, which are essentially covered bike racks, have not yet been built, and Page is not sure about the specifics of their installation schedule.
“I’m a bike rider,” Page said, a double major in senior outdoor education and psychology. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a huge problem on campus.”
The FIXIT stations and Pocket Shelters are meant to fix this problem of too many cars oncampus by encouraging more students to ride bikes to class.
“Everyone has a car here,” said sophomore transfer student Elizabeth McCrary. “I think it’s crazy that freshmen are allowed to have cars on campus. At my old school freshmen weren’t allowed to bring their cars, and I think that was a good idea.”
The limited amount of parking for GC students is only one of Page’s concerns. She also hopes that these new assets to the campus will reduce carbon emissions and a healthier lifestyle.
“I used to ride a bike to class, but I don’t anymore,” senior nursing major Chelsey Boucher said.
“I think the FIXIT stations are a great idea. I remember I used to need more air in my tires all the time, and it was always such a hassle to do it. This makes it so much easier.”
Page and Doug Oetter, the faculty advisor on the project, hypothesize that both the Pocket Shelters and FIXIT stations will be incentive enough for more students to choose bikes over cars, as a form of alternate transportation.
Once all shelters and stations are installed, they will test their hypothesis by counting how many bikes are on the racks and compare that number to how could be found on-campus before the installations. They will also issue a survey to GC students, faculty and staff before and after the installations to see if it has affected their attitudes and use of bikes on-campus.
If these projects do in fact affect an increase in alternate transportation, it will help show how dedicated GC is to conducting an environmentally friendly campus and possibly encourage
others to do the same.
“It’s more environmentally friendly,” Page said. “It took a lot of time, but I think it’s a great way to leave a mark.”