Bike Lane requests $150,000 for new bike facility; other funding requests pale in comparison

Nicole Rund

Lane’s student government meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 4 featured a series of funds requests, despite the absence of several senators who were attending at a conference in Colorado. First, Mike Sims from Bike Lane proposed a new bike storage facility. His pitch, for $150,000, began with a description of the program.

Bike Lane lends bicycles to Lane students free of charge. The program has a 100 percent participation rate. With so many requests for bikes, not all students who apply get bikes. The re-purposed shed near the soccer field that houses the program currently leaks and has no room for expansion.

He requested that the money come from the transportation fund to build a new secure facility to hold 200 bikes. The suggested location is between Building 5 and Building 30, chosen for its easy bike access and because it is close to locker facilities. This would enable students to shower after biking to campus. Security would include key card entry and monitored video cameras.

Sims emphasized that a large portion of Lane’s transportation funds was allocated to fuel-based transportation. Over the past four years, $928,000 has been allocated to parking lot maintenance and $2.5 million was used to purchase bus passes for students he said. In contrast, Bike Lane’s cost over the same period was $39,000.

Sims added that plans exist to build dedicated bicycle paths to Lane and that the campus will need expanded facilities to meet future demand.

Lane is pursuing a LEED Silver certification for the Center Building’s remodel. The proposed facility would satisfy the requirement for campus facilities that will encourage the use of alternative transportation. The expanded bike facility is also necessary because some bike racks were removed during the remodeling of the Center Building.

Due to the size of the request, student government bylaws required the senate to table the motion until the next meeting.

The senate next considered a funding request for purchasing a better breakfast for attendees of the Northwest Student Leadership conference in Portland.

The requested amount was $13 per student per day, totaling $1,000. A question from the gallery challenged the propriety of the $13 figure. Quick research by Chief of Staff Robert Schumacher revealed that a breakfast in Portland typically costs $7-$12, according to the U.S. government.

The motion was also tabled.

Next came a funds request of $600 for two buses to transport students to a rally in Salem on Feb. 12. After a short discussion, the senate tabled the request. Oregon Student Association representative Phil Schiltz asked whether tabling the decision was wise, but the senate proceeded to other agenda items, including another funding request from the fencing club for new fencing gear.

Senator Anastasia Vail interrupted the proceedings and motioned to return to the discussion of funding the buses due to the urgency of funding the transportation costs early, rather than the night before the rally. After re-reading the bylaws and discussing the issue further, senators overruled the tabling requirement and voted 4-0-0 to approve the bus money.