New bicycle compounds coming to B5 and G3 parking structures

Antoine Abou-Diwan

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The Matador Bicycle Compound in the B3 parking structure is the first of three gated enclosures for students and faculty. Nayeli Pelayo/ Staff Reporter

CSUN has approved the construction of two more bicycle compounds in the B5 and G3 parking structures in an effort to decrease bicycle theft and encourage a more economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

“They should be up and running by October if things stay on schedule,” said Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and community relations officer.

The new bicycle compounds will offer similar benefits to the bicycle compound located on the ground floor of the B3 parking structure, which was unveiled on Earth Day.

“It’s in a locked, gated area and access is restricted to students, faculty and staff,” Villalobos said.

Those who want to utilize the bicycle compounds need to register with the Department of Police Services and pay a one-time, $7 fee, Villalobos said. Access is keyed to the user’s driver’s license, which must be swiped at the compound’s electronic gate in order to gain access.

Unlike the bicycle compound in the B3 parking structure, whose funding was provided by the Department of Police Services, funding for the new bicycle compounds is coming out of the campus quality fee, Villalobos said.

Sharon Eichten, chair of the student fee advisory committee said that the Student Allocation Committee, a group of students and faculty advisors, makes recommendations to her office based on input from students. Suggestions including how funds collected by the campus quality fee should be allocated.

“We met last spring, and the bike compound was one of the recommendations we forwarded to the vice president of student affairs,” Eichten said.

According to the Division of Student Affairs, $34,000 was allocated for the bicycle compounds construction for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Similar to the bicycle compound in parking structure B3, the bicycle compounds in parking structures B5 and G3 will have electronic gates and lighting.

“I want to register my bike tomorrow,” said Kevin Chuiang, 25, an English student, while he was unlocking his bicycle from the bicycle rack next to the Sierra Center courtyard.

Carlos Parraguirre, 22, a civil engineering student, has a different concern.

“Is there another way of getting in and out without a drivers license?” he asked. “I don’t have one.”

Parraguirre said his bicycle is his only mode of transportation.

Yulia Gavrilova, 20, a psychology student, was surprised that CSUN currently has only one secure location to lock one’s bicycle.

“The bike racks are fine,” she said as she locked her bicycle to one of the bicycle racks near the Oviatt Library.

Dean Yuchi, 21, an Intensive English Program student, was not aware that the bicycle compound in parking structure B3 is available, nor of the two new bicycle compounds.

Yuchi said he would continue to use the bicycle racks that are located at various points around campus.

Villalobos said the bicycle compund appears under-utilized.

“It could get a lot more use,” she said.

Villalobos said convenient locations might be an issue for students and faculty.

“We’ll have a compound on the north side of campus,” she said. “We will have a compound on the east side of campus.”

Villalobos added the housing area could be the next location for a secure bicycle compound.