Bike-Riding Banned On The OSU Oval Beginning April 17

Listen to the Story

OSU students, faculty and staff will 'Honor The Oval' beginning April 17th(Photo: Ohio State University)
OSU students, faculty and staff will 'Honor The Oval' beginning April 17th(Photo: Ohio State University)

University officials are calling it “Honor The Oval.” Starting April 17, the Ohio State Oval will be restricted to pedestrians only. Bicyclists and skateboarders will have to dismount and walk across the heart of campus.

OSU officials began studying changes to vehicular and pedestrian traffic last fall after a number of accidents occurred. After months of study, both short-range and long-term goals were established. One of those goals will be implemented April 17. It will turn the Oval into what’s being called a Walk Zone.

Lindsay Komlanc, a spokeswoman for the university’s Office of Administration and Planning, says the study helped identify how different modes of transportation interacted with one another.

“One of the ways we wanted to start to stress the need for us to separate the different forms of transportation was by establishing a walk zone on the oval to help show which types of transportation were most suitable for different areas,” Komlanc says.

Komlanc says there will be a culture shift taking place on campus that will begin with The Oval.

“We understand that this is a very large change and when you’re talking about the start of a culture shift we want to make sure that we spend a lot of time educating the university community about what it is and what it means,” Komlanc says.

One student who would not give his name described the culture shift this way:

“I think it’s bulls**t,”

But Komlanc says bicycles should not be ridden on sidewalks.

“A bicycle is a vehicle and a bicycle belongs in the road. For those areas where bicycles don’t want to be in the road or feel that it would be better not to be mixing with motor vehicles that’s perfectly fine, but it does mean that they need to interact with pedestrians and so we need to think about dismounting and walking bicycles,” Komlanc says.

“I think that’s kind of horrible. I don’t really like that that much,” says Josh Gonzales, another student.
Gonzales also thinks that banning bicycle-riding on The Oval is a bad idea.

“It’s a very large hub; to go from north to south or to go from east to west. Pretty much if you’re on campus you’re going to be on The Oval,” says Gonzales.

On the afternoon of April 17th volunteers will be out on the Oval educating students, faculty and staff about the new Walk Zone designation. The University will begin fining violators next fall.

  • Rachel Lewis

    Good luck with this.

  • rick james

    so dumb just leave the students alone.with how much they are paying they should be allowed to bike where ever the hell they want

  • Scott Winzenread

    How will they enforce it? Is OSU doing anything to make their roads more bike friendly?

  • Linda

    The most uncreative solution to a problem I’ve ever heard, if in fact there is a problem. I depended on my bicycle when I went to OSU. I rode it everywhere: to classes, to my apartment, to the stores. I never had a problem riding it on the oval. And I never had a problem with other bikes when I was a pedestrian on the oval. It sounds like a solution to a nonexistent problem that’s going to end up creating problems. Maybe the culture in need of a change resides in the Office of Administration and Planning.

  • Anon

    Bulls**t indeed.

  • Matt

    This is a horrible idea. Pedestrians are the problem on campus. They compromise their own safety by distracting themselves with their gadgets or just plain not paying attention to their environment, not by mixing with bicycle and automobile traffic.

  • Tom

    So how does it get enforced? OSU cops set up around the border of the oval every day? Who pays for that? Oh yeah, the students, who don’t want the rule in the first place, that’s who. And there’s no more of a problem with bike/pedestrian accidents on the oval any more than anywhere else. Seems arbitrary.