It is that time of year again—the annual bicycle abatement is happening at the Ohio State University. This program, undertaken by the Dept. of Transportation and Traffic Management. The bikes are then donated to a local program.
The department estimates it collects, on average, 400-500 bikes a year. During the sweep bicycles on campus are tagged with a yellow warning notice. Bike owners have two weeks to move the bikes after tagging. Unmoved bicycles are impounded up to 90 days.
The department stated that even with hundreds of bike racks all over the campus, during the semester bike parking is always at a premium.
Even after the bikes are impounded owners have a chance to reclaim them, given they are able to prove the bike is theirs with a bike lock key, photo identification, sales receipt or some other kind of reasonable evidence of ownership.
The unclaimed bikes go to Third Hand Bike Co-op. The Columbus based nonprofit offers the repaired and safety tested bicycles at low cost to the community along with inexpensive repairs and workshops to increase ridership.
Getting around is a concern for most college students – and on a campus the size of Ohio State’s navigating in a timely fashion between work, classes and home can be tricky. In an effort to help facilitate student transportation the University has entered negotiations with “bike sharing” company Zagster. This came about through a student-led initiative.
Zagster offers their customers a complete packages: bicycles, storage facilities, smart-phone technology, 24 hour customer support, you name it.
The Ohio State University believes that Zagster will offer the campus community the most comprehensive, user-friendly and cost-effective solution. The program will begin with 115 bikes and 15 stations. The bikes come in a variety of types to accommodate Ohio State’s diverse community. The types include: commuter bicycles, tandem, hand cycle, electric assist, heavy duty and three-wheeled cargo bikes.
Zagster currently operates bicycle-sharing programs at Yale University, Duke University, Princeton University, Santa Clara University and California State University, East Bay. The system’s bicycles are sited in geo-fences which are easy to move and scale and allow for dynamic rebalancing of the system based on demand or planned events.
The program could launch as early as this summer.