The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The motorcycle advantage

Photo by Via Creative Commons

Motorcycle and scooter transportation is culturally evolving and affects the university every year. As these means of transport become more popular in college towns, accommodations are made to fit the needs of both motorcycle and non-motorcycle riding individuals.
About 500 more motorcycle and scooter permits have been sold during the 2017- 2018 school year than in the 2012-2013 school year, said Melissa Maraj, Marketing and Communications Director of Transportation Services.
“Today, much of the motorcycle parking is located within close proximity to campus buildings, sidewalks and plazas,” Maraj said. “This creates conflict as motorcycles are driven in limited access areas where pedestrian traffic is high.”
The A&M campus has begun working toward diverse accommodations for all types of motor vehicles, according to Maraj.
“We also look at renovating the motorcycle parking spaces to the new increased standard size of four feet wide,” Maraj said. “It is not just Texas trucks that are getting bigger.”
Bryan Clossen, graduate student and vice president of the A&M Motorcycle Club, has ridden motorcycles since he was 19 years old, which he said has been very efficient since he moved to College Station.
“You can take your motorcycle anywhere you can take yourself, which is nice for parking right next to your classes,” Clossen said. “Being able to maneuver throughout campus saves a lot of time walking, taking a bus or driving to class.”
Clossen said he got rid of his car as a freshman and started riding a bike later that year. There are many benefits of riding a motorcycle, which Clossen said are reasons why he chose to switch to his motorcycle as his main source of transportation.
“My commute went from about 40 minutes to 11 minutes,” Clossen said. “Riding a motorcycle to class and work everyday makes me early more times than late because of the campus detours I can take to get there.”
Kushal Bakshi, graduate student and Treasurer of the A&M Motorcycle Club, said a shorter commute is beneficial to many people, not just motorcycle and scooter riders. Bakshi said motorcycles and scooters are also better on gas than cars or trucks, especially in a town like College Station.
“I got a motorcycle permit because they allow parking anywhere on campus,” said Bakshi. “Being able to park near my classes really makes riding a motorcycle that much better.”
Although there has been a steady increase in the number of motorcycle and scooter owners within the last five years, future plans may steady that increase. According to the 2017 Texas A&M University Campus Master Plan, there are some elements of the plan that counter the long-term parking policy for the university.
“Motorcycle transportation is one of many options that will play an important role in balancing demand for getting students, faculty and staff to and from campus,” Maraj said.

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