A self-use bicycle repair station was installed near the northwest corner of the UC Berkeley campus last week.
The do-it-yourself repair station is the first of three planned by the UC Berkeley Office of Parking and Transportation as part of a wider effort to accommodate increasing demand for bicycle services on campus and in the city of Berkeley.
The station is located near the intersection of Oxford Street and Hearst Avenue, on the east side of the campus Energy Biosciences building. The locations of the two remaining units have yet to be determined.
The repair station is a yellow, five-foot-tall metal stand with protruding metal arms used to suspend a bike by its seat. Various screwdrivers, wrenches and a tire pump hang off the stand via cables to make simple repairs.
According to Greg Haet, chair of the Campus Bicycle Committee, the goal of the self-use bike repair stations is to promote bicycle commuting and provide campus cyclists with the amenities to make their experience better and safer.
“Part of it is education, too,” Haet said. “We want people to learn to work on their bikes and make basic repairs.”
For cyclists who need help making repairs, the station comes with a scannable quick reference code that can be used to access detailed repair instructions on Internet-enabled phones.
Although initial feedback from the station’s installation has been positive, according to Haet, some members of the cycling community expressed concern with the maintenance of the repair station.
James Hill of the local Missing Link bicycle cooperative anticipated that the tool station would get pretty “beat up,” adding that constant maintenance would be necessary.
“The life of a loaner tool is short and painful,” Hill said.
According to Haet, maintenance issues and the stand’s durability were taken into consideration when it was designed. Broken or vandalized tools are easy and inexpensive to replace, he said, and other schools that operate self-fix stations, like Stanford University and UC Davis, have not had much of a problem with vandalism.
Cyclist Marcelino Enriquez, who works in the campus computer science department, said the new station is a convenient way to maintain his bike but added that less serious riders might be unlikely to use the station very often.
“Even if it only helps 10 people,” Enriquez said, “I think it’s worth it.”
The estimated cost of the bike stations is $1,000 per unit, according to Haet.
Contact Jeremy Gordon at [email protected]