With an increase in injuries and school property damages caused by skateboarding and bicycling-related incidents, UCR implemented a new fall quarter policy that bans reckless bicycling or skateboarding on campus, including sidewalks and pathways.
“We want to make very clear that this policy is not a ban on skateboarding or cycling on campus,” said Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Business Operations Charles J. Rowley in a press release. “These wheeled vehicles are useful, environmentally-friendly commuter tools that students rely upon on a daily basis. However, in the interest of campus safety, we need to address problem areas such as excess speed or trick riding that can endanger individuals or cause damage to university property.”
The campus policy was previously presented by Chancellor Timothy P. White in 2012 and approved by Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley earlier this year as part of campus-wide security measures by the Campus Safety Task Force. The policy will lead to the creation of bicycle security cages and lockers to keep students’ belongings safer and a student awareness campaign about keep one’s electronics secure.
“Reckless” riding, as defined by the policy, means using a wheeled vehicle in a manner that “endangers public safety, threatens university property, or disrupts university operations.” It also includes aerially maneuvering the vehicle, transitioning the vehicle from campus walkways on to stairs, curbs, benches, railings, seating areas and other elevated constructs, or traveling at unsafe speeds with no method of stopping in crowded areas.
Students who violate the policy will be referred to Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs, whereas faculty and staff will be referred to their respective supervisors. Visitors who violate the policy will be directly referred to UCPD or asked to leave the campus.
Since its enactment, students have received the new policy differently. Some students support the university’s efforts to create a more environmentally-friendly campus, while others perceive the policy as lackluster and nearly impossible to enforce.
“I am glad that this policy is finally in place,” said second-year biology major and cyclist Kora Kowk. “It is very annoying dodging rude skateboarders and bicyclists that disrespect other people who are sharing the road.”
Other students, though supportive of the policy’s intention in curbing reckless skateboard and bicycle use, question if the implementation will be successful. Fourth-year business major and cyclist David Goodwin, for example, was skeptical about the changes that will result from the policy.
“I appreciate the idea behind creating this policy. However, I just don’t think that it will be effective,” said Goodwin. “How can the school expect this policy to be enforced without a method? I don’t think UCPD officers will run around on campus checking for disrespectful riders. Moreover, I think first-time violators should receive a warning instead of being sent directly to the Student Conduct.”
While the provision is still flexible for future adjustments, all members of the UCR campus community are still expected to abide by the policy. A riding safety and security campaign for the policy will be publicized in the upcoming weeks.