Bike Rebellion Erupts at UC Berkeley

UC BerkeleyYou would think that an eco-aware campus like UC Berkeley would do everything it can to support its students who opt to use their bikes around campus. Instead, the college charges high fines on bike-related infractions and is issuing bikers many more citations.

Students at Berkeley recently swallowed steep tuition hikes, but they balked at $220 fines given to bikers. A number of students have joined the Facebook group BikeBusters and created a movement to protest the increased number of citations. The Los Angeles Times reports that between August and November, the campus police have issued 103 bike-related tickets, an increase of 41 percent since the prior year. Students are being penalized for riding through “dismount zones” where they are required to walk, and for locking bikes to railings. Many students protest that there are insufficient bike-racks.

The creator of the BikeBusters Facebook argues that high fines are exploitative, and some members of the group urge any students who are fined to plead “not guilty.” They point out that the no-bike zones would be more tolerable if there were any bike paths that cut across campus.

Yet other bikers on campus view the protest group critically. They feel that the students should have followed the rules in the first place.

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