For many UC Davis students, the end of spring quarter means beach trips and BBQs – but for Transportation and Parking Services it means hundreds of bikes left on campus for the summer.
“We really encourage students not to leave their bikes on campus during the summer months,” said David Takemoto-Weerts, bicycle program coordinator for TAPS. “Not only do excessive unused bikes take up valuable [bike rack] space and pose a tripping hazard, they are also very tempting for thieves.“
During the summer, TAPS personnel regularly patrol the campus for abandoned bikes, which they then post with impoundment warnings that give the owner 48 hours to remove the bike, Takemoto-Weerts said.
Impounded bikes not reclaimed by their owners are often put up for sale in the annual spring bike auction, which TAPS holds in early May.
Though TAPS only impounds bikes that appear to be permanently abandoned, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the abandoned bikes from bikes temporarily left on campus, Takemoto-Weerts said.
“Students should know that if they leave their bikes on university grounds for long periods during the summer, they are subject to impoundment,” he said.
Bike abandonment is especially a problem in the residential housing areas on campus, Takemoto-Weerts said.
“Often what we find is that first-years who are not allowed to have cars return their second year with their cars and never come back for their bikes,” he said. “Student housing can easily accumulate a lot of bikes at the end of the year that are never reclaimed.“
Residents who leave their bikes on housing property after the move-out date are fined an “improper checkout fee” of $75. Student housing staff warns residents that bikes must be removed from housing premises prior to the move-out date so that the problem of excessive accumulation does not occur, said Emily Galindo, director of student housing.
“[The staff] sends a notification by mail to both the students and their parents, stating the expectation that students take all belongings, including bikes, with them when they move out,” Galindo said. “After the move-out day, we tag any bikes left on the [housing] grounds with impoundment warnings.“
Students who wish to keep their bikes for the upcoming year can store their bikes with TAPS during the summer. Starting tomorrow and continuing through finals week, TAPS will take student’s bikes into its summer storage for a fee of $20, Takemoto-Weerts said.
“It is a really convenient service for students because it is right on campus,” he said. “However, we only accept up to 250 bikes, so I suggest that students bring their bikes in before the end of finals if they want a guaranteed spot.“
Student housing has also partnered with Door to Door Storage, which will pick up residents‘ items from their dorms during move-out week and store them locally for the summer. This service can also be used for bike storage, Sheehan said.
Graduating seniors and other students looking to get rid of their bikes have a variety of options.
Students can donate bikes to the Bike Barn, which accepts bikes during any of its open hours, said Nick Prsha, a manager at the Bike Barn.
“The bike can be in any condition,” he said. “We usually will build the bike up if it‘s in decent condition. If it‘s really rundown, we can usually strip it and use the parts to build other bikes.“
The Davis Bike Collective, located at 4th and L Streets, also accepts bikes in any condition for a tax write-off, said Darin Wick, a first-year who volunteers for the Bike Collective.
“If donors are not concerned with the tax write-off and can’t make it to our open hours, we will also accept donations left in the bike racks outside the shop,” he said.
For students who have lost the keys to their bike locks, TAPS also provides a lock cutting service during business hours. However, this service tends to become very impacted during finals week, Takemoto-Weerts said.
“Typically, our lock cutting service becomes really busy because students who lost their keys anytime during the year will suddenly decide to move their bike now that school is ending,” he said. “I suggest students try to take advantage of this service as soon as possible.“
The lock-cutting service is only provided on campus and bikes must either be previously registered with TAPS or undergo registration at the time of service.
For more information about bike services that TAPS offers, call 530-752-8277.
ERICA LEE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org