This week, all of us in the bike mapping group chose one of four high traffic areas on campus and began to chalk the tires on the bikes in one of the bike racks in that area. We planned on chalking the tires twice every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for three days straight in order to get an idea of how many people were parking their bikes there for extended periods of time. Each time we chalked the tires, we recorded how many bikes were there, how many of those bikes were new since the last time we had checked, and made note if we noticed anything else that we felt was important.
It only took a couple minutes to do, but I had a really hard time remembering to do it while I was on campus. For that reason, I ended up with a few empty rows on my data table. I had the bike racks in front of the Bellsouth building and when I checked that morning, more than half of the bikes’ tires on the rack still had the chalk marks from Tuesday morning. So, it is clear that some students are storing their bikes there for, at least, days at a time. I think that these bikes probably belong to the students in the dorms across the street from the Bellsouth building. I lived in Berry last year, and I know a lot of the other girls who lived there kept their bikes, which they rarely rode, in those racks. This was because, unlike at McAlister, there were not any bike racks that were specifically for the Berry residents. The ones in front of Bellsouth were the closest, so we just ended up using those.
Today our group is going to begin working on the next phase of our project, creating a GIS map that shows the locations of all of the bike racks on campus. I am really surprised that something like this does not already exist somewhere. Hopefully students will make use of the map, so they can bike to campus without having to worry about whether or not they’re going to have a place to lock up their bike.