Despite Georgetown’s hilly landscape, many students opt to use bicycles as their preferred mode of on-campus transportation. Bike racks are ubiquitous on campus, lining sidewalks and surrounding academic and residential buildings. [The problem of bike theft](, understandably requires Department of Public Safety action. The most recent move by DPS to prevent bike thefts has fallen short of its potential.

Under current procedure, when a DPS officer finds an unlocked bike on campus, he or she will take the bike to DPS headquarters, where it can be safely retrieved by the owner. Such a policy is reasonable and is intended to prevent potential thefts.

In March, DPS announced a new bike registration program. A registration system makes for a more reliable monitoring program for stolen bikes, and also allows DPS to notify the owner if it takes an unlocked bike to its offices. To register a bike, a student has to pay a $5 registration fee (or $25 for a bike lock and a registration), and in return, he or she receives two stickers: one for the National Bike Registry and one for DPS.

any students were undoubtedly happy to see DPS establish a service that would benefit the student body. After the spree of bicycle thefts that marked last fall, the program was a welcome solution.

As of Sept. 25, however, only 20 bikes have been registered, [as reported by the Georgetown Voice’s blog, Vox Populi]( The program is only as good as the number of bikes it protects, and that number is pitifully lacking.

It’s time for DPS to adjust the newly created system to cater to student needs. The existing registration process is not student-friendly; most students don’t even know about it in the first place.

At the moment, a student has to bring his or her bike to the DPS office on the first floor of Village C West to register it. If DPS could instead devise a system whereby students could complete the process online and pick up the registration stickers at the office, the number of registered bikes would likely increase.

The more immediate solution to the program’s shortcomings, though, is simply to spread awareness of its existence. DPS ought to send an e-mail to students at the beginning of each semester and post flyers around campus and on bike racks; these would all be straightforward, cheap ways to get the word out about the program. They would also have the added benefit of ensuring that all passers-by know that bikes at Georgetown can be, and probably are, registered, thereby deterring thieves altogether.

DPS had the right idea when they announced the bike registration program in March. But the system is only worthwhile if it is made use of, and, at the moment, unnecessary speed bumps are slowing down progress.

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