Senior Chanel Zhan submits formal petition to alter bike rack structure

According+to+senior+Chanel+Zhan%2C+the+current+structure+of+the+bike+racks+is+inconvenient+for+bikers.+Some+racks+%28above%29+are+spaced+out+enough+to+allow+a+little+space+between+the+rear+wheels+of+the+bikes+for+students+to+walk+through.+Other+racks+%28below%29+are+too+close%2C+making+the+student+lift+their+bike+over+the+others.+Photos+by+Christophe+Haubursin.

According to senior Chanel Zhan, the current structure of the bike racks is inconvenient for bikers. Some racks (above) are spaced out enough to allow a little space between the rear wheels of the bikes for students to walk through. Other racks (below) are too close, making the student lift their bike over the others. Photos by Christophe Haubursin.

With approximately 300 bikers and one entrance, the bike racks can get crowded fast. Yet, the number of bikers isn’t the biggest problem. With construction on the fields this year, the racks had to be moved around, pushing some racks closer to each other. The lack of space between the racks is inconvenient for bikers: In order to get to an empty spot, they have to lift their bike over others. Senior Chanel Zhan came up with a solution.

According to senior Chanel Zhan, the current structure of the bike racks is inconvenient for bikers. Some racks (above) are spaced out enough to allow a little space between the rear wheels of the bikes for students to walk through. Other racks (below) are too close, making the student lift their bike over the others. Photos by Christophe Haubursin.

“I began to bike this year and the first day that I came it was a mess,” Zhan said. “I didn’t know where to park. I wanted to park out of other people’s way, but the way the system was designed was not feasible for everything to be organized.”

About a month ago, Zhan began drafting her petition and organizing her thoughts. For the next two weeks, Zhan talked to other bikers to get their opinions for her petition. She collected signatures for the petition over the following five days from staff members, bikers and other students.

Zhan presented the petition to assistant principal Brad Metheany, who told her that administration did have bike rack renovation on a list of possible projects. However, the school lacks funding — after receiving two quotes on the possible renovation in the past from facilities manager Chris Kenney, it is estimated that renovating the bike racks would cost approximately $30,000, and this money cannot be taken out of the general fund. Once the school has the money required, it plans to expand the bike racks, put in asphalt, permanently place the bike racks where they are adequate distances apart and possibly put in a retaining wall.

Until the bike racks can be permanently configured, Zhan pictures a temporary rearrangement of the racks so that they are appropriately spaced, which would not be as expensive.

“In my mind, it was more of a small-scale moving project, because right now half of the bike racks are located parallel, but the way I wanted it to be rearranged was to make more room between the racks,” Zhan said. “I measured the distance between the current racks and I also measured comfortably distanced bike racks and a number of bikes and got the average length from wheel to wheel to get a sense of whether the bikes do or do not fit.”

According to Metheany, Zhan’s proposal is “very feasible” if planned out accordingly. He hopes to at least reconfigure the racks over the summer, if not fully renovate them.

“I’ve been an administrator for 12 years … and for 12 years we’ve been looking for money,” Metheany said. “[We] would have [renovated] it 12 years ago if we had the money.”