The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

THE CAMPUS BICYCLE
My alma mater is making like some European village. Eckerd College has scattered 50 yellow bikes around campus for random student use, in an effort to make the campus less car-dependent.

It's a neat idea, although if you're so lazy that you have to drive to class, you should be shot. It's not a big campus; total student body is under 2,500. When you're in college, you should expect to walk around a lot; you've got the rest of your life to drive around. I had classmates who did regularly drive to class, and I thought it was pathetic.

I see that human nature is already starting to muck up the works:
A few riders already have done minor damage to the bicycles, while others have found creative ways to ensure the bikes stay put.

Some bikes have been found hidden behind trees. Others have been found without seats because the previous rider took it to class. Some bikes are being stashed overnight in dorm rooms.
It's not a surprise. People are greedy and possessive by default (see the case of the iceberg artist). If you make something like this freely available to everyone, most are going to try to abuse it.

The thing is, I remember that when I was in attendance, there was a constant problem with bikes getting stolen. I believe they'd routinely catch some off-campus highschool kids doing the stealing. I'm surprised they haven't run into this for the yellow bicycles. Now that the news is in the paper...