The Ins and Outs of Biking Around Campus

Yasmin Gulec, Features Editor

Biking in the city has grown exponentially in popularity since the ‘90s with around 750,000 New Yorkers currently riding bikes daily. NYU students make up a portion of the many cyclists around New York City. Bikers have to follow the same traffic laws as the vehicles they weave around, along with remembering basic biking smarts, such as making decisive turns and not locking their bike to a tree. So whether you use NYU BikeShare, Citi Bike or own a bike, here are some tips and tricks to successfully ride around campus and the city.

Roads around campus are always unpredictable with constant construction on one end and crazy traffic on another. CAS sophomore Charlie Thomas has mapped the routes that are harder to bike on, especially if you are just getting accustomed to biking around the city.

“Broadway between 15th [Street] and 3rd [Avenue] is by far the sketchiest road to bike on,” Thomas said. “There’s no bike lane and little room for the cars to pass between the occasional parked car and moving cars.”

The best lane by far for students — especially if you live in Carlyle Court or Rubin Residential Hall — to bike on is Fifth Avenue because it has a dedicated bike lane and is well paved.

Parking is another issue that comes with biking around campus. As many have experienced, finding empty Citi Bike stations can be very difficult especially around Washington Square Park. Tisch sophomore Stephen Mellen has two designated bike parking spots around campus.

“Parking spot outside Weinstein [Residence Hall] or Kimmel [Center for University Life] are pristine,” Mellen said. “There is a spot on University [Place] and 14th [Street] that is great.”

Biking down to campus from Union Square becomes very fast and efficient thanks to these spots. A couple of other Citi Bike stations that are usually empty during 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. are the ones on Sullivan Street and Washington Square South — close to Elmer Holmes Bobst Library — and 6th Avenue and Washington Place — close to West 4th Street Station and Lipton Residence Hall.

Many students who own bikes are usually scared of leaving them locked around campus. CAS junior Andre D’sa is one of many students who shares this concern.

“I hate the idea of locking my bike around campus because I know someone can easily break the lock and steal my bike, or at least parts of it, “ D’sa said. “That’s why I prefer skateboarding.”

This concern can be quickly eliminated by using one of NYU’s special protected bike areas that belong in three locations: Tisch Hall Bike Parking Lot at Mercer Street and 3rd Street, Palladium Residence Hall Bike Room through the 13th Street entrance and the Meyer Building lobby on Washington Place.

Specifically on campus, watch out for the masses of students hustling to get to class. Walking students usually have their minds and eyes immersed in their phones rather than following the classic look-left-then-right rule. Due to their lack of attention, it is the bikers’ job to be extra alert. Students tend to jaywalk between cars on the road if the drivers are slow or turning, but never pay mind to any bikers wheeling toward them. Be sure to watch out for these risky pedestrians since the blame in an accident ultimately falls on the biker.  

Biking around campus is a great way to get to class faster, excise and be eco-friendly. Be sure to follow these tips and check out our map about parking spots to bike around campus like a pro.

Email Yasmin Gulec at [email protected].