Nieuws - 7 februari 2013

In the racks please

We mean no harm, of course. But sometimes we are in a hurry. Quite often in fact. And then we like to park our bikes close to the entrance of the uni. And not in the racks. Then other people come back to find their bikes hemmed in. Irritating. I am sure you recognize the problem. The management at the Leeuwenborch hopes to tackle it with signs painted on the pavement.

Students don’t seem to take much notice of the new signs.
Leeuwenborch caretaker Jork de Vries understands what makes students park so messily. 'Students arrive at the last minute; I'm the same myself. Then they just want to leave their bikes in front of the sheds; they don't want to look for a space.' Pity, he says, because in the racks towards the back there is nearly always plenty of space.
Student Nadieh Tubben acknowledges the bike problem, but in her view it's because there are not enough bike racks. 'There are never enough spaces. It is a tug of war to get your bike out again, and you damage your bike in the process.'
A losing battle
Whatever the reasons for it, it is always hard to get students to change their behavior. The traditions signboards threatening that 'bicycles parks outside the racks will be removed,' are certainly not effective. Staff member Maya Slingerland knows why not. 'Everyone knows by now that those signs are nonsense. Bicycles are never removed.' The new texts on the pavements do not threaten any sanctions. They simply say, 'No bicycles here'. Who knows whether that will help? This week there was too much snow for the signs to be visible. But Nadieh has her doubts. If you ask her, it would have been a better idea to remove the posts in front of the bike sheds to create more spaces. 'No one takes any notice at all of those signs. Me neither. If there isn't enough space, there isn't enough space.' The caretaker is not so sure about that. 'It is a losing battle, but let's hope it works.'