Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students benefit from registering their bikes

With both the size and population of campus growing, many students are reaping the benefits of biking to class, a form of transportation that comes with its own standards and regulations.

“Currently anyone using a bicycle on campus is encouraged to register their bike,” Stuart Glaeser, manager of University of Alabama transportation services, said.

Glaeser said, for now, the bike registration is free and non-mandatory but is “strongly encouraged.”

When students go to register their bike, they will be required to enter the bike’s “vital” information, such as make, color, serial number and even a picture of the bike, if they choose.

“This information can be used in the event the bike is lost, stolen or needs to be removed for rack maintenance,” Glaeser said. “It allows us information to be able to contact the owner and have them move the bike so we do not have to impound it. We also gain vital information through registration that allows us to look at the number of individuals utilizing bike racks and bike lanes that allow for future infrastructure to accommodate the cycling population.”

Katherine Kosich, a junior majoring in English, said she once had to prove ownership of her bike in order have it removed from a rack after the lock broke.

“Once, I broke my lock, which left the bicycle attached to the rack, and two wonderful grounds people came and used some sort of industrial bolt cutter to cut open my U-lock,” Kosich said. “They were extremely sympathetic and helped me out after I provided proof that it was actually my bicycle – it was fabulous.”

The registration of bikes also helps prevent students from having their bike impounded. According to Glaeser, if a student’s bike is left unattended, several attempts will be made to contact the student. If the bike is left unattended for more than 30 days, the bicycle will then be impounded.

Glaeser said after holding the bikes for the six months prescribed by Alabama state law for abandoned property, the bikes are auctioned off.

“One of my friends actually had his bicycle confiscated over winter break during his freshman year, which upset him because he wasn’t even aware that that was the rule,” Kosich said. But she also said she understands the necessity of removing seemingly abandoned bikes.

“Then again, you have those bicycles taking up the already precious bicycle rack space with the obviously flat tire,” Kosich said. “In the end, though, I guess if you are crazy enough to abandon your bicycle on a rack for more than 30 days and the owner is properly informed of the bicycle regulations on campus, then perhaps it is fair.”

As far as bike safety goes, Kosich said she’s not completely dissatisfied but still feels more can be done.

“Though there are some bike lanes, there are not nearly enough to make me feel at ease when I’m pedaling next to those roaring Ford F-150s and hurtling Range Rovers,” Kosich said. “I, for one, am certainly not looking forward to riding alongside the cars when the bike lane just sort of ends on University toward downtown.”

Nathan Papapietro, a graduate student in the physics department, said he regularly depends on his bike and feels campus is generally biker-friendly.

“Most dangerous is people racing through campus while texting and driving. The bike lane on university, where the one way entrance/exit is right where they are redoing the building, is dangerous for bikers and walkers alike.”

Papapietro said he especially finds his bike useful when biking to and from the University Rec Center, as well as other places that are on the edges of campus.

Overall Kosich said the benefit of a bike outweighs any of the troubles that come with biking to class.

“I can sleep in and take my time before classes in the morning and can quickly zip home after late night library time,” she said. “I can avoid paying for any kind of expensive parking pass and gasoline, and I can, for the most part, park right outside of the buildings. I can incorporate exercising into my daily commute – you don’t even notice it after a while – and I can beat you to class. if I feel like it.”

Students interested in registering their bike should visit the transportation services website at

More to Discover