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Abandoned bike policy to give back to students

Meghan Litten

 

Every day there are students at the University of Mississippi in need of a bicycle. They can be seen at any bus stop, left behind by a full bus; sitting in their car stuck in traffic, waiting for a parking spot to empty; covered from head to toe in sweat from having to walk all over campus. In a coordinated effort between the Associated Student Body, the Office of Campus Sustainability and the University Police Department, some of those students’ wishes will be fulfilled.

Chancellor Dan Jones approved UPD’s abandoned bike policy earlier this month, completing efforts already started by the ASB and Sustainability Office earlier in the year.

“This fall we had over 30 students apply to receive a bike through the Office of Campus Sustainability and the ASB’s Bike Give Back program,” said Meghan Litten, intern with the Office of Campus Sustainability. “We had originally planned to distribute these bikes last semester, but we wanted to provide all students with a bike who applied.”

After refurbishing bikes during the fall semester and winter break, the program is ready to begin giving out the bikes over the next month to students who do not own any form of transportation, Litten said.

An abandoned bike is defined as one that is “in a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being operated in its present condition, appears to have been left in the same location for an extended period of time and bears physical indication of having been deserted,” and/or one that “is considered improperly parked for an extended period of time.”

Once the bicycle has been collected by UPD, the owner of the bike is given 14 days to contact UPD. If the bike is not claimed, it is passed along to the Bike Give Back program, which then refurbishes the bike.

“This policy is important because we do not want our campus to look like we have abandoned bikes,” UPD Captain Michael Harmon said. 

“By removing abandoned bikes from campus we are not only helping maintain the beauty of the campus, but also we are deterring theft.”

Bike Give Back is an extension of Rebel Pedals, a bike rental program under the Office of Campus Sustainability.

Jim Morrison, director of the Office of Campus Sustainability and Office of Strategic Planning, said the office supports biking on campus because it is healthy for both the student population and the environment.

“Creating a positive bike culture on campus is important to the university,” he said.

Students are encouraged to register their bikes so UPD will have a way to get in touch with students whose bikes are picked up. Registration is free for all students through UM Parking Services.

For more information about Rebel Pedals and Bike Give Back, visit bike.olemiss.edu or to view the full abandoned bike policy, check the Ole Miss policy directory at http://secure4.olemiss.edu/umpolicyopen/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&poli....