Don't lock your bicycle to a tree


So you think you've heard all of the asinine tactics the University of Arizona uses to suck money from students? Think again. Let me tell you this story of what happened to me. It's a real gem.

I am a student here at the UA and I use my mountain bike to get to and from classes like many of us do. So, the other day I park my bicycle outside the Economics building and go to class. When I return from class to unlock my bike, I find a red U-lock placed on my bike locking it to the tree which I had locked my bike to with my own U-lock. On the red U-lock is a sticker with a message from the UA Parking and Transportation "Services" stating that in order for my bike to be released from "immobilization" I must appear at the Parking and Transportation "Services" building before 4:30 p.m. Otherwise, my bicycle will be "removed." So I'm thinking "What the hell could I have possibly done to deserve this?" Then I walk over to the Parking and Transportation "Services" building to find out what the problem is. They proceed to tell me that locking my bicycle to a tree is against the rules. Further, they tell me that in order to get the U-lock removed, it will cost me $45! I tell them that this whole thing is ridiculous and that the only reason I locked my bike to a tree was because there were no bike racks present and locking my bike to a tree seemed safer than locking my bike to itself. Then they tell me "Sorry, but you still broke the rules." However, they decided to lower the fee to $22.50. I decided not to press my luck any further and paid them the money. They told me the U-Lock would be removed in about 10-15 minutes. "Perfect," I thought, "just enough time to walk all the way across campus again to get my bike!" I finally arrive back at the Economics Building to where my bike was and sure enough they had removed the U-Lock from my bike. However, some other "criminal" had locked his bike to the same tree I had. Big mistake, because a red U-Lock (probably the same one they had just taken off my bike) was placed on the bike locking it to the tree!

Only the UA Parking and Transportation "Services" could make a rule as insane as this one. How do they sleep at night knowing they are scamming students out of what little money they have by enforcing these ludicrous rules?

I am writing this letter to both vent my anger and inform other students: IT IS ILLEGAL TO LOCK YOUR BIKE TO A TREE (or if you do just remember to carry a hatchet in your backpack). By the way, not only is it against the rules to lock your bike to a tree, but it is also forbidden to park your bike against a tree even if your bike is locked to itself! I'm not making this up. This is straight out of the official rules and regulations for bicyclists so graciously given to me after I paid my fine.

To find what out other rules we are probably inadvertently breaking while using our bikes on campus, contact: Parking and Transportation Services 1508-1530 E. Sixth St. 621-1108.

Eric Frans

Still Angry Electrical Engineering Grad Student

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