More Consistency Needed for Game Day Bicycling Rules
by Daniel Black
I am an alumnus of the UA, and employee of the Athletic Department.
I just wanted to describe the events that took place Saturday that lead to a confrontation with the game-day police while I attempted to ride my bike to work. Hopefully talking about my experience with the Athletic Department, the university and the Traveler can start a dialogue to establish the rights of bicyclists on campus.
While traveling west on Maple Street, I attempted to make a left-hand turn on Razorback Road, and was stopped by police. Police informed me that I am not allowed down Razorback Road heading south on a bike. I ask if I may join the pedestrians walking south while walking my bicycle, police said no and offered no explanation. I tried to find out how to get to work but was threatened that I wouldn’t like it if I asked any more questions.
Continued west on Maple Street past Hembree Alumni House. Traveled through neighborhoods west of Razorback Road. I dismounted from bicycle and tried to cross Razorback Road at Markham to enter stadium at ramp. Police refused and informed me that I am not allowed on Razorback Road. I attempted to ask officer a better route to get to work. He got frustrated with me and told me to leave and go up the hill with my bicycle.
I went back up the hill on Markham and traveled further south through parking lots where tailgating was going on. I was still dismounted from my bike when I joined foot traffic on the east side of Razorback Road by crossing at the crosswalk near the HPER. As I walked north on sidewalk with bicycle the same officer as before approached me and was obviously upset that I was walking with my bicycle . I was legally detained, asked for my id, threatened with a ticket , my bike being impounded and eventually arrest. The officer was not with UAPD. During the detention I tried ( in what I thought was a reasonable and respectful manner) to attain information as to how to get to work. Each attempt I made to ask a question was met with hostility and eventually I was told that if I “say one more word and you are going to jail.”
Before the situation escalated any further Lt. Gary Crain from UAPD came by to see what was going on. Crain informed me that bikes were not allowed in the stadium perimeter or the area surrounding. He informed me that from Cleveland Street to Sixth Street no bicycles were allowed. I thanked Crain for his patience in helping me get to work I left to lock my bike up outside of the area described.
The confusing part of this ordeal was the non-consistency of information I got from each different officer. To my understanding what I was first informed was that I was not allowed to ride down Razorback, then I was informed I was not allowed on Razorback Road with my bicycle regardless, then I was told I cannot walk up the side walk along Razorback Road with my bicycle. Finally I was informed that bicycles were not allowed within a certain proximity of the stadium.
This is my fifth year at the Athletic Department and I have consistently ridden my bike to work , parking at Gate A for all five years. I have never had this problem and was unaware that such a policy existed. Further the attitude of police towards me left something to be desired from a person that is espoused to be a civil servant. I do not believe I violated any state, city , or federal law in my actions and yet was threatened with arrest for trying to obtain information from police in how I could go to work.
Thanks for your time.