USG to expand vehicle safety program to include bike locks

The Lantern
Bikes parked and locked on campus near 18th Avenue. Beginning next semester, the Undergraduate Student Government will be offering bike locks to students in an effort to increase safety. Credit: Lantern File Photo

In response to ongoing safety and vehicle theft concerns on campus, Ohio State’s Undergraduate Student Government will give out bike locks to students early next semester as a part of the newly coined program titled “Lock Your Ride 2.0.”

The project follows the success of USG’s 2022 Lock Your Ride pilot program , which provided students with steering wheel locks to combat automobile theft, Bobby McAlpine, USG president and fourth-year in city and regional planning and political science, said.

“We saw a total complete success of it last year, and we wanted to put our money where our mouth is and try to make sure every single student that has a vehicle — whether it be a bike or an actual car — will be able to lock their ride and feel safe on campus,” McAlpine said.

The program is set to launch between January and February 2024 and will initially offer 500 bike locks, according to Julius McIntyre, chair of the Undergraduate Caucus and a fifth-year in sociology.

“We’re doing the best that we can to get this to as many students as possible so it can keep students feeling safe or at least help students feel a lot safer now that their vehicle, whether it be a bike or a car, is being protected,” McAlpine said.

Keeping up with their goal to expand and improve the initiative for future Ohio State students, McIntyre said USG will use surveys to gather information about which students need bike locks and where resources are most required.

“Are you a commuter, are you a first-year, second-year — just to see where the need is most centered around,” McIntyre said. “Is there a high need, obviously in [residence] halls because students have to travel and walk everywhere?”

Though the program was intended to begin this semester, it was delayed due to shipment issues. McIntyre said the project cost $7,400.

“The end goal is to make sure that we’re addressing safety needs on campus. The USG [administration] this year has had a focal point on safety, and recognizing that safety does look different for everyone is really important and key,” McIntyre said.

According to McAlpine, this focus has also included highlighting resources for mental health, suicide awareness and the steering wheel lock program.

McIntyre is hoping to carry this on to the next semester.

“Even if the small things that matter, like a bike lock, can make an impact on one student, that’s really what the goal of this is,” McIntyre said.

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