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Monday, October 18, 2021

Humor: First-week accidents decline as UC Davis bans skateboards, cruisers, bikes

JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE
JAY GELVEZON / AGGIE

Number of crashes in and around bike circles sees greatest decrease

Davis updated its transportation laws early September after a recent study by TAPS showed that Welcome Week bike accidents decreased 46 percent when skateboards, cruisers and some bikes were banned.

The city changed its laws to forbid “four-wheel objects, such as skateboards and golf carts” (Section 3.1.81e) on the UC Davis campus. The new amendment also lists “cruisers and bikes that do not have a second and third speed option” (Section 3.1.81g) as dangerous and prohibited. UC Davis’ mobility assistance shuttles will be protected amid concerns that medical services would be hurt by the new ordinances.

“We are excited in the new, faster direction our campus is moving,” said David Landis, director of TAPS. “We felt that single-speed cruisers were actually slowing down the flow of traffic, which, as any experienced driver can tell you, is a danger to those on the road.”

While the move makes sense in terms of decreasing time on the road, there are economic and health concerns that surround the new change. Students who currently have cruisers and bikes will now mainly have to resort to walking. Bike shops say they will now be faced with a surplus of bicycles that have no function.

“While I understand the move, I don’t appreciate what it has done to my cruiser business,” said Tim Lillard, owner of Doug’s Bike Shop. “Many students choose to go with the cruiser for its safer features.”

Accidents are expected to increase if students reject the law, which has become an increasingly likely prospect for such a bike-centric campus.

“The law was a knee-jerk reaction,” said a UC Davis biker who spoke under the condition of anonymity. “Just get off your phone and ride faster. Pay attention to the roads. Welcome Week is always a nightmare. Students don’t know how to ride here, especially the new ones.”

Freshmen and transfers will have a difficult time adjusting to the fast-paced life that Davis now brings, but they are expected to spend less time on bikes than prior classes. For now, although the current state of transportation seems to be uncertain, once adjustments are made, students are expected to get to class in a safer and in less time.

As much as he didn’t want a change like this to occur, it’s something that Landis and TAPS said was “necessary for growth.”

Written by: Ethan Victor — ejvictor@ucdavis.edu

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