Commentary  Car-free AND bike-free?!

McGill’s anti-bike and anti-car plan is certainly a big step in environmental stewardship, but it seems counterproductive in the long run. I can understand implementing a strategy to eliminate automobiles from the campus for the sake of the environment, but I’m not entirely sure why the administration does not allow bikers to ride freely on campus. If the policy is a pedestrian safety issue, then why not establish a system within the campus perimeter that is similar to Montreal’s own bicycle network? The current plan of adding bike lock spaces and promoting the Flat will increase incentives to utilize bicycles, yes, but this will undoubtedly come at the cost of the patience of McGill security guards in charge of getting bicyclists to walk on campus.

The University should consider creating its own network of bike paths parallel to the eventually car-free paved roads within McGill boundaries. Imagine a campus that could soon be car-free, bike-friendly, pedestrian-safe, and environmentally-conscious through the efficiency of one simple bike route system. I don’t pretend that such a plan won’t create some construction blockages within the campus, but I think it’s safe to say that given the amount of construction now in progress, the students have acclimated themselves to the inconvenience. After walking past the Milton Gates and the McConnell Engineering building every day for the past three months, many find that the renovations are hardly more than a slight eyesore and minor detour within a day’s trek across campus. Why not include such a bicycle system in the school’s $100-million renovation plan?

Nick PetrilloU0 Arts