Bicycle racks open on Pearl

With the onset of spring and the first day of classes, Santa Monica College finally unveiled the hidden structure on Pearl Street: a 400-space bicycle rack, located between 17th and 20th Streets. After months of construction, students slowly flocked to the $600,000 structure, which took six months to complete.

"It was a combination of wanting to update our current infrastructure, but also expand it to meet the growing need," said Genevieve Bertone, director of sustainability at the college. "It sends a message to the community and also stands as a beacon of sustainability."

The project was funded by Measure AA, a 2008 Santa Monica-Malibu bond measure which allows the Santa Monica Community College District to issue bonds for improving infrastructure, among other things.

In addition to bicycle racks, the site also offers 50 racks for skateboards.

"I think it's good," said Dillon Ferenc, member of the Bikerowave DIY Bike Coop of Mar Vista. "I just don't like that they built it next to the smoking area. Other than that I'm happy with this new bike area."

Other students are not as content with the extra bicycle space.

"That's a waste of money, you know," said Ernest Gladstone, an SMC kinesiology major. "I feel like with the current situation at school, we have other priorities at SMC."

So far, there has been one reported instance of petty theft. On Saturday, a girl parked her black-and-white Rally Bike at 10:30 a.m. and came back at 2:30 p.m. to find it missing, along with the lock she used to park it.

"Historically, our bike thieves will attack at any time of day," said Sgt. Jere Romano of the Santa Monica College Police Department.

Romano said students have the tendency to leave their bicycles insufficiently locked, making it easier for thieves to steal.

Bicycles are not allowed to be ridden on campus.

The new bicycle lot will play host to a grand opening ceremony on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. There will be a parade, giveaways, free food, guest speakers, and a bicycle registration workshop.

NewsSimon Luca ManiliComment