WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Meghan Leiseberg, communications director of physical facilities at Purdue, said the more than one mile of new bike routes on campus will be a step forward to a safer campus. President Mitch Daniels created the new Bicycle Task Force that came up with the idea earlier this month.
"The main priority of the task force activity is safety both for bicyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists," Leiseberg said. "Also, looking at convenience and trying to create a bike route system that is well connected with the existing routes that are on campus."
During the next few weeks crews will be working on creating the new bike lanes in the north part of campus.
"This is an area that has a very high volume of circulation throughout the course of a day on campus, and the lanes will help us differentiate the different areas where bicyclists and pedestrians will be moving between class periods," Leiseberg said.
But not everyone is on board. Purdue Police Lt. Pete Wislocki said it sounds like a good idea, but it may be hard to convince the thousands of people walking through campus on any given day.
"In a perfect world yes, but I don't think it's going to help tremendously, but the service drives and sidewalks get so jammed at any given class break with thousands of people it's just hard to negotiate," Wislocki said.
Wislocki said while the numbers are low there have been times when bicyclists and pedestrians collide on campus.
"We do have bicyclists that will collide with a pedestrian," Wislocki said. "We're also out there enforcing and bicyclist have to remember to obey the law as a vehicle would."
To help make the transition smoother Wislocki said officers will be patrolling the new lanes.
"Officers that do maybe see people in the bike lane and bicyclists trying to negotiate around them we can tell them to move out of the bike lane, let them have that because you have the rest of this area to walk," Wislocki said.
Wislocki said it's important that everyone on campus is aware of their surroundings as the bike lanes are created in the next few weeks.
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