Tuesday, February 19

Campus repair station keeps bikers going

Self-service bike repair next to the Strathmore Building

Self-service bike repair next to the Strathmore Building

Sarah Rogozen

Fixing flat bike tires just got a little easier for UCLA cyclists.

Near the Strathmore Building on Westwood Plaza stands a newly installed bike repair station, fully outfitted with the tools necessary for cyclists to self-repair problems they may have on or near campus.

The $1,400 station, which became functional on Sept. 26, contains a bike stand, an air pump and other basic tools, including wrenches and screwdrivers, said Michael King, transportation planner for UCLA Transportation.

“It’s a quick repair station with tools so you can do the repair and get on your way,” said Renee Fortier, executive director for UCLA Events and Transportation.

Fortier saw the station at the University of California transportation and parking directors conference in spring and wanted to bring the concept to UCLA to improve bicycling conditions on campus.

“I personally used to ride a bicycle all the way through my (undergraduate) years,” she said. “I am familiar with having a flat tire or needing another quick repair.”

Fortier said the cost of the station should be considered in the context of the high number of cyclists on campus.

“If you look at the fact that it is one of the greenest ways you can commute, it is really worth it as an investment in the campus to encourage people to feel secure about commuting to campus, knowing that if they get here they can fix a problem,” she said.

Reception to the station has been positive in the short time since it was installed, King said.

Matthew Palmer, a program coordinator for the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, said he has already used the station to put air in his bike tires and adjust his seat. He has been commuting to campus from the Westside since 2008.

“Before I would go to the John Wooden Center bike repair shop. Now that the bike repair station is a little further south (of campus), I can commute to the bike station and fill up my tires with air and be on my way,” he said. “For convenience reasons, it has been great.”

UCLA Transportation plans to install an additional station near 100 Medical Plaza in the future, barring access issues that transportation facility may run into, King said.

Beyond adding more bike parking, transportation officials also plan to install a station near the Kinross Building as part of its current renovations, he said.

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