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Flooded bike node causes consternation

Posted By Alexandra Blasch On September 12, 2011 @ 12:00 am In Facilities and Construction,News | No Comments

bike node [1]Sylvia Wang

A pool of water surrounds the bike nodes outside Olin Library the evening of September 3 after afternoon storms.

A recent rainstorm flooded one of the University’s new bike nodes and is causing students concern about the suitability of the bike nodes.

The node south of Olin Library was just one of numerous areas across the Danforth Campus affected by the weather. But the fact that the issues have come only weeks after the end of construction has left members of the University community unsure as to whether or not they are comfortable leaving their bikes in the nodes.

The nodes were installed earlier this year as places for students to park their bikes. They are the first of many to appear across campus under the University’s new bike plan.

The drainage problem was caused by about an inch of rain falling in around 15 minutes. Although the moderate node flood didn’t cause any lasting damage, some students worry that the rain could cause damage to their bikes.

“I would not leave my bikes in the nodes, because when bike parts get wet they tend to rust. If you don’t keep the chain or derailers lubricated they may not work properly or last as long,” said freshman Will Dewispelaere, a member of the University cycling team.

While other students also noted unease over the drainage issue, many said that they still plan to use the nodes.

“The rain has potential to ruin my bike regardless of where I park it so it would be worth the risk,” freshman Sam Glinsmann said.

Some students said that the parking options are still better than in previous years.

“Last year there weren’t enough racks, so I’m happy with the change. Even if there’s a risk that the racks may flood, people will probably still park their bikes outside Olin,” sophomore Becky Greenberg said.

Freshman Amy Brummer says that she will continue to park in the nodes but will keep an eye on weather forecasts.

“I would still park my bike there unless I knew it was going to rain. I think that it is a convenient place to park it, so I would not sacrifice moving it for convenience. However, if I knew it was going to rain it may change my mind,” she said.

According to Sarah Stanton, assistant project manager for Facilities Planning & Management, the nodes will be able to handle more extreme weather as fall and winter approach. They are all made of permeable pavers designed to absorb and drain water.

Stanton said that removing snow from the nodes should not be a problem, because it should drain similarly to rain.

However, she is open to reevaluating the situation if the need arises.

“We’re at a point now where we are at the first stage of implementation, and we will see what works and then adapt to it,” Stanton said.

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