Armed with a large scale of the wheeled pathways map to showcase the designated lanes for riders and pedestrians on campus, CSULB Associate Vice President Division of Student Affairs Jeff Klaus immediately caught the attention of the Associated Students Inc. Senate at Wednesday’s meeting.
Wheeled pathways are a reference to the wheel decals on the pathways, an indication that non-motorized coasting devices such as bicycles and skateboards are allowed. The lanes are meant to be a shared path and meant to encourage alternative transportation methods.
The introduction of the pathways was implemented for lower-campus and the central quad, and new additions are coming to upper-campus by spring.
“I was tasked with rewriting the campus regulations around skateboarding and bicycles [so] I asked [students] ‘will you follow the policies if we change it’ and they said, ‘no,’” Klaus said. “So, rather than waste all of our time, I said, ‘Well how about we actually do something meaningful?’ The students had some great ideas.”
In preparation for the wheeled pathways, Klaus met with numerous staff, faculty, police and students to get a comprehensive understanding of what would benefit the most people. He said he walked the pathway numerous times to ensure that it was the best course, using a route that students helped map out.
“I just started biking on campus and I like that there is this type of delineation,” Sen. Jireh Deng said. “When you’re biking near the business building and towards the gym, it makes the pedestrians more aware that someone might be biking.”
Klaus noted that in the past, for students trying to find a route from lower-campus to upper-campus, there was no easy path that linked the two. He worked with his team to draw a picture of the area where pedestrians have trouble.
“One of the issues skateboarders brought up were riders having a problem with people [walking] and looking down at their phones,” Klaus said. “We as pedestrians are not paying attention and this causes a hazard for them.”
Major walkways will have painted lines to allow for pedestrians and wheels, and dismount zones are noted. Pathways are bidirectional due to the limited amount of space. Wheeled pathways are off of major thoroughfares and the speed limit for wheels is 5 mph.
Klaus said that poor signage may be a factor for people riding in no wheel zones. He said the small flyers are confusing to many students and lack clarity.
“How many people are really going to look for a little map somewhere? It’s not realistic,” Klaus said.
Sen. De Silva raised a question to Klaus about a pathway connecting lower-campus to upper-campus, citing the big hill.
“There is already a gradual plan, for a zig-zag, because the incline is extremely steep. It’s on the agenda,” Klaus said.
Due to the congested traffic of the central quad, that area will be piloted in the spring and monitored to see how effective the implementations are. Other areas have permanent changes.
The Senate’s unanimous response to the expansion plans was positive, with Sen. Raquelle Hafen enthusiastically sounding off her approval.
“Just so we’re clear, we need everybody to know, pedestrians always have the right of way,” Klaus said. “We have equal responsibility, but safety is our priority. Even if you’re a skateboarder or a cyclist, pedestrians have the right of way.”