EDITORIAL: Transportation Limited by Theft

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EDITORIAL: Transportation Limited by Theft

By Tam News Staff

As reported in this issue’s article “Bike Theft Spike Prompts Security Re-evaluation,” the Tam community is dealing with the effects of a recent increase in bike thefts.

The implications of these crimes extend farther than individual students’ loss of property. The thefts discourage students who might otherwise bike from choosing this affordable and accessible mode of transportation. Biking is a significant component of Mill Valley culture and is a reliable form of transportation for students who do not have a car of their own or students whose parents are unable to provide rides.

It is not uncommon to hear students complain about parking difficulties in the over-crowded back parking lot and there is already a great deal of traffic throughout Mill Valley before and after school hours. The thefts may prompt even more students to drive to school if they cannot safely lock up their bikes. It is important that we do all we can to support alternative methods of transportation.

Tam’s administration is aware of this problem and has articulated that finding a solution is a high priority. Principal Julie Synyard is considering a grant that would allow the school to purchase a new type of bike rack that would allow students to use locks that are more difficult to cut. This would be great progress, though it would mean that many students would need to invest in new locks. The administration has also expressed interest in reassessing the security camera system, which has been confirmed to be outdated by the Mill Valley Police Department.

We emphasize the importance of this problem not only for students who consistently bike to and from school but for the entire Tam community, and suggest pursuing the above options, as well as a few other possible solutions.

We recommend moving the bike rack to a more central location on campus, like next to the Student Center or the back parking lot, as opposed to a busy street. That would mean that the bikes would no longer be along a major thoroughfare (Miller Avenue) and therefore not as easily accessible to possible thieves. Students and campus security would be the only ones with easy access to the rack and trespassers would be more apparent, especially if the security cameras were updated and signs were added in warning of the cameras’ presence.

Moving the bike racks might involve changing some school policies regarding bike use on campus, but it addresses the high likelihood that the thieves in this case are not members of the Tam community.

Whatever method the administration chooses to decrease bike thefts on campus, steps should be taken as soon as possible, considering the implications these thefts have for the entire Tam population. Our community should continue to place an emphasis on cultivating transportation options that are accessible and safe for all students.