Bicycle parking lot officially launched

A beat-bumping bicycle parade kicked off the official opening of the 400-space bicycle parking lot on Pearl Street. Fifteen bicyclists took part in the parade, riding through the campus with speakers on high volume to raise awareness for the Bike Parking Grand Opening Ceremony. The event was organized by Genevieve Bertone, director of sustainability at Santa Monica College, and the school's Eco-Action Club and Bike Club.

Event activities included bicycle registration workshops, lock sellers, free giveaways, free pizza and recyclable water bottles, and even a bicycle-driven mixer that made smoothies for the students.

With a large group of students in attendance, guest speakers were welcomed with claps and smiles.

The guest speakers included Bertone, as well as SMC's Superintendent and President Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Associated Students President Parker Jean, director of facilities planning Gregory Brown, and Santa Monica City Council member Ted Winter.

The energy was high among both participants and speakers.

"Well, we're just really happy that we had great weather and we have a good turn out," said Brown. "Everybody seems very excited about the new parking area and it has come out better than our expectations."

Even though the bicycle rack was officially opened at the event, it has been available for students since the beginning of this spring semester.

There was more to the event than just free food and a cool bike mixer. There was even a soap bubble machine onsite, blowing bubbles to the passersby under the hot California sunshine.

The AS contributed financially to making the event a success.

"As far as this particular event today, we have funded about $7,000 to provide some of the bike giveaways, helmets and some other items for safety, a little bit of food, and bottles to encourage students to reuse their bottles," said Jean.

The new bicycle rack is on Pearl Street adjacent to the Liberal Arts Building, across the street from the Campus Police Office.