Mandatory bike registration: cyclists benefit

Editorial by Kernel Staff

October marks the one-year anniversary of when UK Parking & Transportation (PTS) began mandating bicycle permits.

All full-time and part-time employees, students, children of UK students and employees and visitors to campus must display valid bicycle permits to park on campus.

According to the PTS website, these permits are free but have the same regulations as automobile passes.

The Kernel reported in a September 2009 article that the decrease in bike theft provided by bicycle registration programs at other universities led to UK’s initiation of a similar program.

For instance, Penn State’s bicycle registration program resulted in a 28-percent decline in thefts, and the University of Wisconsin saw a 20-percent drop.

In line with the other schools’ observations, an Aug. 25 Kernel article reported that bike theft is declining on UK’s campus. With more than 4,500 bicycles registered since July 2009, the program has offered notable popularity and success for bicycle-commuters.

Because the permit registration program is free, lasts for the lifetime of the bike and requests are easily accessed, students have no reason to bypass registration and risk impoundment. New bicycle-commuters should take advantage of the PTS registration program during the current start-of-school grace period to protect their bicycles on campus.

The serial number associated with each bike pass is one more measure that can work to locate stolen bicycles. PTS keeps record of the make, model and serial number of each bike upon registration, valuable information that can be forwarded on to campus or city police in the event of a theft.

Illegal bike parking issues can more easily be rectified if a bike is registered with PTS because the owner can be contacted using the registration information, thereby avoiding needless bicycle towing.

By making bicycle registration on UK’s campus mandatory, PTS is doing a service to its university community.

Students whose bikes are properly registered and display the decal may avoid impoundment and more easily recover stolen bikes. These students can also enjoy a more environmentally-savvy way to get around campus and improve cardiovascular health in the process.

Students considering riding bicycles on campus should bear in mind all of the benefits and take advantage of the free, convenient program provided by UK PTS.