On the corner of Sierra Walk and Etiwanda Avenue, lying on a bicycle rack is a blue and white skeleton of a bicycle that has been stripped of its’ tires, lights and everything else valuable.
The problem of bike theft is unfortunately an all too common crime on campus, said Anne P. Glavin, CSUN chief of police. This is why the police department and a CSUN transportation group teamed up to build a fully-enclosed bicycle complex, Glavin said.
“We’ve had this idea for some time now, it was just a matter of getting together and pulling it off with the ideal space,” Glavin said.
According to Glavin, the bicycle compound, which is located on the first floor of the B3 parking structure, is secure and fully-enclosed by fences and offers good protection from the elements.
“It has the perfect configuration, there is no other fully-enclosed compound for bikes on campus,” Glavin said.
Students will be able to enter the compound after their drivers licenses are programmed by Physical Plant Management (PPM) with the student’s information and bicycle registration number.
Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and public information officer, said the compound is a good idea for those looking to get to school other than a car.
“It’s an alternative method of transportation, a green mode of transportation, an alternative option to riding your car to school and it’s more secure,” Villalobos said.
As a part of Earth Day, the police department had a table during which they promoted the free bike registration program and the new Matador Bicycle Compound.
“From the beginning of the fall semester we wanted to focus on increasing awareness of the bike registration program,” Villalobos said. “During move-in week, we strongly highlighted the program and we have a banner which we hang out every fall, but no one’s aware of the (bike compound) program.”
In order to enroll in the bicycle compound, students must fill out an application with the campus police department located on the west side of the B3 parking structure. They must also bring proper ID and pay a one-time $7 administration fee for as long as the student attends school, said Villalobos.
The bicycle compound will have 20 to 25 available spaces on a first-come first-serve basis and will have a 24-hour limit in which the bicycle can stay within the enclosure so that students will not park their bike and leave it there for three months, Glavin said. The enclosure is still an experiment, a pilot program, which if successful will lead to more parking structures built around campus.
“I strongly encourage all members of the community, if you use a bike or ride a bike to school, that you consider the compound for use, and if successful then we hope to add more on campus,” Glavin said. “And we would love to hear student feed-back about this.”
Josh Hill, 23, a junior majoring in sociology, had his bike stolen a week ago and thinks the bicycle compound is a good idea if it means more security.
“It was crushing, man. I had my bike locked straight through and they cut right through the cable lock with bolt cutters,” Hill said.
Galvin also added that biking is more economical and it would mean one less car on campus.
“If it’s eco-friendly and it’s secure than I’m definitely interested,” Hill said. “If it’s going to keep it from being stolen then that’s the point. You don’t want to lose your bike — your transportation — period.”