Bikes, scooters deemed efficient modes of travel

Junior Will Martin rides his scooter across campus between classes. Martin said students can save time and gas by using alternate modes of transportation to get to school.

For students with the “parkingprobz” hashtag readily available in their queue, solutions can be found in a purchase much cheaper than a car.

Bikes and scooters offer students a reliable, cheap way to get to and from campus.

Junior Will Martin, who rides a scooter to school each day, said he sees benefits in not driving a car to campus — saving gas and saving time.

“The reason I started riding my scooter instead of driving was the parking situation here,” Martin said. “Another great benefit of a scooter is being able to bring it into classrooms.”

A trip that would typically take him 10 minutes to get to campus on foot only takes him five minutes on his scooter, he said.

Timothy Wakefield, owner of The Spinning Spoke Cycle Hub in downtown Florence, said there are many benefits students can gain from using alternate transportation, such as bikes, to get to campus.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very rewarding,” Wakefield said. “You feel a sense of accomplishment if you ride your bike somewhere as opposed to riding in a car somewhere.”

Wakefield said the more students choose alternate methods of transportation, the less problems campus will have with parking.

Senior Amy Anderson said she wishes she lived somewhere that made it easier for her to ride a bike to campus. But the route from her apartment would be rough because of the steep terrain, she said.

“Some days I wish I had a bike when I’m riding around for 20 minutes or longer looking for a parking spot,” she said.

Wakefield said students who ride bikes or scooters also tend to stay in better health.

Wakefield’s wife, Katie, who helps with the store, said riding a bicycle is more enjoyable than driving a car.

“Everything’s more fun on a bike,” she said.

Although using alternate transportation offers several benefits, it also has its downfalls.

“If you don’t live close to campus, it’s not as convenient,” Timothy Wakefield said.

When the weather is hot or cold students traveling a long distance will likely have a less enjoyable trip, he said.

He also said the lack of bicycle access on Florence roads is an issue, especially for safety reasons.

“It would be easier to ride long distances if there were more bike lanes,” Katie Wakefield said.

Martin said the road conditions also make it difficult for him to travel on his scooter.

“It’s not exactly the safest way of travel. The sidewalks here are not the smoothest,” he said.

Timothy Wakefield said he believes the city is working to get more bike racks, and it would increase students’ accessibility to downtown and allow them to do more exploring around town.

He said he also noticed a significant number of students and professors visiting his store, especially at the beginning of the semester.

Hopefully they are joining the movement toward alternate transportation, he said.