Frustration with Pitt's bogus bike policy

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IHeartMyBike
Participant
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Thank you all for the comments and advice. The potential to change anything is looking bleak, but it’s good to know that support is out there.

dwillen: My building IS bst3. I wonder if you have seen me bringing my bike in. I am friends with one of the evening security guards who told me there are at least 2 other people that do the same thing.

Just as an update, I have started bringing my bike into the building as before with no problems although I have been bringing my lock everyday just in case. The regular guard is back now and I am hoping that the facilities guy forgot about the whole thing and started doing his actual job. If stopped again, I am tempted to do as StuInMcCandless suggested, but I doubt my boss would “be on board” which is half of the reason that I am disappointed about the whole thing. He is not actually in the same building as I am so he has no idea that I am still bringing the bike in and I doubt he cares, but he has indicated that there’s a load of Pitt BS that you just get used to over the years and deal with. So sad.


dwillen
Participant
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IHeartMyBike, I probably have seen you carry your bike in. I don’t have room in my shared office space, or I’d do the same. I almost always have a lock with me in my panniers though. Feel free to call me if you want to borrow a U-Lock for the day. I’ll private message you my number.


IHeartMyBike
Participant
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I was again told that I shouldn’t bring my bike in yesterday… this time by the regular morning guard. Apparently word of the previous incident got back to him.

Clearly this isn’t something that is going to blow over in my building. I have attempted to ask the parking office for an exception to the sacred policy since I transport fragile glass slides in my saddle bag for work, but (surprise, surprise) they are not responding to my messages.

So you know what: starting tomorrow, I am going to do what steevo suggested. I’ll lock my front wheel outside and carry my bike up to my office. They actually go to the trouble to define a bicycle in their policy:

“Bicycle” means every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, and supported by either two tandem wheels or three wheels, one of which is sixteen inches or more in diameter.

Without the front wheel, the item does not fall under this definition. This will sort of suck because I’m a woman with admittedly weak arms and a heavy bike. Also my front wheel is not a quick release, but it will be worth it. Don’t f@#k with me Pitt. I’ll let y’all know how this goes.


Benzo
Participant
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What about parking your bike in Forbes Tower Garage or The port authority garage across the street near Meyran & Sennot?

Both have bike racks, and Forbes tower does have a security guard desk near the garage entrance (not that I know how well they watch it, but I park my bike here frequently)


netviln
Participant
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go pick up a qr skewer from freeride..


abrenner
Participant
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In light of this thread, it was a bit funny and a bit sad to come across this news article in the University Times promoting Pitt’s support of bike commuting (in collaboration with BikePGH’s car-free Fridays, by the way):

Biking to work buys you breakfast June 18

Parking and Transportation Services thinks that they support bicycle commuting:

“that [alternative transportation] message aligns with PT&S’s longstanding support for commuting alternatives. “It’s a natural fit for us,” said PT&S director Kevin Sheehy.”


dwillen
Participant
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The parking people don’t respond to any messages, ever. I don’t know if they have the capability of responding to web mail. You have to go in there and talk to them. The ladies always seemed pretty nice to me, but of course I’m always going in there to pay them money.


edmonds59
Participant
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Well, now you have the name of a human being who is on record, who should now be required to stand behind it.


Lyle
Participant
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A QR skwer won’t be enough if she has solid axles.

But don’t underestimate the comedy value of un-bolting a nutted axle just so you can lock it up. I have a gigantic crescent wrench that I can loan you for some added spectacle. I also recommend making loud “unscrewing*” noises when you do that.

(*I’m not sure what those are, but use your imagination.)


surly jason
Participant
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I’ve been following this interesting thread … What’s the latest?


dwillen
Participant
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When I saw a nutted axle locked to the rack, I knew there was a different security guard before I even walked inside. Bummer IHeartMyBike :(

Did he give you any trouble bringing your bike parts in?


Lyle
Participant
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That’s usually a very sad photo, but in this case, it’s beautiful!


dwillen
Participant
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It made me smile. I pictured it being unbolted in front of the front door with many “unscrewing” noises.

I really hope hauling the bike parts didn’t turn out to be some big argument with the guard. He seemed agitated when I came in and wanted a closer look at my ID badge (normally I don’t even take it out). Probably didn’t help I was wearing a shirt with a big ass bike on the front, carrying my panniers. Dude probably just hates bikes.


IHeartMyBike
Participant
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I love that when I went to post on here dwillen had already taken a pic of the front wheel! Was thinking of doing it myself, but had to be at an early meeting and I was worried that I may be delayed at security.

I actually have several updates to share with you. In attempts to play nice, I made a request to the Assistant Director for Parking to allow me to bring my bicycle in due to the fact that I transport fragile and often heavy items for work (this is true). She did respond and notified me of the bike rack locations, said they are working on getting more racks, but was likely not able to grant the exception because bicycles represent a safety hazard in stairwells and elevators. I commented that I did not agree with that, but I would be happy to use the freight elevator when transporting the bicycle. Just got the final ‘no’ yesterday (a decision apparently made by Facilities, Env. Health & Safety, the Office of Research AND my building management)because bicycles represent an obstruction to safe pedestrian passage indoors. I never responded to that, but I informed my boss about my plans to a) remove the front wheel which allows me to bring in my ‘bike parts’ and 2) bring this to the Faculty Senate for review… to which he responded “you go girl!” (you can not appreciate how amazingly funny this response is unless you know how proper the man is at all times. amazing).

So that is the plan for now. I have not yet been given trouble bringing in the bike parts, but I’m sure eventually word will get back to the facilities jerk and he will try to find a reason to cite me on this. I am keeping a copy of the ordinance open to the definition page with the bike at all times just in case.

Also, I am inquiring about the proper procedure to address an issue to the Faculty Senate. I may be in search of a large number of Pitt employee signatures to support this in the near future, so keep a lookout!


Tabby
Participant
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you do go girl!


dwillen
Participant
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I know half a dozen cyclists just on my floor. I’m sure all my coworkers and bosses would sign just to support me. I contemplated a petition last year, but with the response I got it didn’t seem worth the effort at the time. I bet we could stand outside at Oakland’s July bike-free-friday event and get a ton of Pitt signatures.


Pierce
Participant
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Maybe you guys just need to get fives pieces of cardboard the size of your bike, then put the pieces around your bike and over the top and whola! the bike is no more of a hazard than a box.


dwillen
Participant
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It is funny. The guy that delivers packages in our building has this cart that is almost as wide as the hallway, and then he stacks boxes on it that go over the edges. There is literally no room to walk down the hallway next to the cart. You have to wait in a doorway for him to pass. I’m not suggesting he deliver the boxes any other way, only that their argument that bikes congest hallways is total bullshit.


Lyle
Participant
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If challenged, don’t say “this is bike parts”, just say “this is not a bike”. Don’t even admit that what you have is RELATED to a bike. It’s not a bike. Here, look at the rules. The rules say, right here, that a bicycle has two wheels. This only has one, therefore, it’s not a bike. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. If you don’t like the rules, mister, then you need to get the rules changed.


cburch
Participant
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have stu visit you at work and unicycle around the halls. thats not a bike either!


IHeartMyBike
Participant
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I love you guys. Thank you for helping me be able to laugh about this. In the end, this bureaucratic nonsense it’s all a game and I’ll be happy to play as long as I can before admitting defeat.

Excellent advice, Lyle. I will not use the “B word” to describe the item in question when bringing it in.

Never mentioned this before, but I work at the Cancer Center in Shadyside one day a week and was told that bicycles were not permitted in my building there a couple months ago as well. At the time, I believed that this was because this was also a building for patients, but this may also be a UPMC policy. I got around this by talking to the guys at the loading dock there who said they’s be happy to help in any way. I just enter the building that way which has worked out quite well. This is not possible in BST3 because of the security there.

Dwillen, great to hear that you have supporters on this. My plan is to go to the University Senate on this issue since it is the only means I know of. I sent a message to one of the committee heads last week, but received no response so I am going to email the president today. I created an online petition via google docs because I thought that that would be the easiest way to get a large number of signatures, but I would like to see what is the best suggested procedure before I officially get the ball rolling.

I know that Pitt wants to be able to have control of the situation, so I am thinking of suggesting something similar to CMU’s policy: “use of any indoor area for bicycle parking may be restricted when, in the best judgment of the person(s) responsible for the area, movement of the bicycle to that area or storage therein interferes with the routine activities normally conducted in that area”.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Can you try a foldie? Heck, if you can take them on regular buses, you should be able to stash it under your desk. Fact is, you could probably carry it right past the guard without him even noticing it.

EDIT: And why should he? It’s luggage. Maybe wrap a big Macy’s bag around it.

Also, unicycle lessons available upon request.


Nick D
Participant
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Iheartmybike, I met your husband a few hours ago. He came in my store just as dwillen was leaving.

Needless to say, it made my day pretty unique.


dwillen
Participant
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Yea, two cyclists standing around in an auto store chatting and a guy with a pedal pittsburgh shirt walks in. Small world :)

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