Monday, May 27

Bruin Walk chalked

Along Bruin Walk on Monday, students were greeted by a makeshift lane, drawn anonymously in chalk and created for use by bikers and skateboarders.

The pathway extended from the top of De Neve Drive to the area behind the Powell Building. Large capitalized chalk messages at Bruin Plaza declared “Resist the dismount.”

“Look! Problem solved,” another message read, and pointed toward a chalked merging lane between the bike racks by the Morgan Intercollegiate Athletics Center.

The appearance of the lane coincided with implementation of the new Dismount Zone Policy, which went into effect Monday and prohibits cyclists and skateboarders from riding to campus on the major pathways ““ on Bruin Walk and through Bruin Plaza. The regulation bans all bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates and scooters from these two areas, along with the south side of Parking Structure 8, near the Fleet yard. Wheeled commuters cited for not dismounting in these zones risk a $202 ticket.

Since the beginning of the school year, UCPD and UCLA Transportation have distributed fliers on campus, sent maps to the dormitories and placed signs and sandwich boards warning students about the new regulation. According to the 2006 UCLA Bicycle Master Plan, the campus does not have any designated areas for bicyclists or skateboarders.

“I think it’s great that someone put that bike lane up. I think it’s essential that they have a designated area where people can skate and bike through. The school should actually put up a bike and skate lane,” said Joe Hale, a third-year geography and economics student.

Hale learned about the dismount policy when someone handed him a flier while he was skating down Bruin Walk. Many students, though, said they had not heard about the policy.

“(The policy) wasn’t publicized enough. … I bike from Westwood every day through Pauley Pavilion, and I haven’t seen any signs,” said Elliot Emmer, a fourth-year philosophy student. A regular bike commuter, Emmer said he believes a bike lane would be a better solution to the safety and traffic problem than adding more fees that students need to worry about.

The regulation comes as Bruin Walk has become more heavily trafficked with bicyclists and pedestrians, and the safety of all commuters has become an issue, said David Karwaski, Planning and Policy Manager for UCLA Transportation.

The $202 citation for violating the dismount policy was determined by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, not by UCLA, said Karwaski.

Unlike parking tickets, the money collected from violations of this rule is not used by UCLA. While state law requires parking enforcement revenue be used for alternative transportation programs, moving violations are a different case, Karwaski said.

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