Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does CSU Need a Bike Coordinator or an Alternative Transportation Coordinator?

A Fort Collins landlord who rents properties to students near Colorado State University has built "the Cycle Pad" or bike storage facility “to promote sensible transportation to our CSU student tenants.”As he explains, “this may not surprise you but many of our CSU tenants drive their cars to campus each day, rather than walk or bike. Now when you consider that our properties are located within 300 feet of campus the car thing is bizarre to say the least. So we are trying to help tenants break the habit by focusing on the bicycle as a safer, quicker, healthier and more enjoyable way to commute the 300 feet to CSU. All our tenants have cars; many do not have bikes…yet.”

Mom Explains why Students Don't Ride

A CSU mom writes with some pretty clear reasons why her daughter doesn’t ride at to CSU:
“My daughter is a bike-riding student at CSU this year, but I can give you some insight into what needs to change for cycling to take off at CSU.

First, there are only a very few lockers at CSU, which must be rented, and none of them are large. It's hard to carry a laptop, helmet, removable bike light, large books, etc. all day. My daughter drove her car to school when she was a member of the Visual Ensemble because there was no other place to store her flags, but in her car.

Also, it would be a big draw for cycling if students were able to ride between classes and this advantage was pointed out to them. However, there seem to be large areas of campus where bicycling is prohibited, making it difficult, if not impossible, to ride to classes in time. Bicycle lanes need to be really well-marked and allow access to all parts of campus in as short a distance as is reasonable. In winter, my daughter has had real difficulty riding her bike when it's snowy. Perhaps a snowplow/sweeper thing for bike lanes?

One other thing, she's had her seat stolen, her basket stolen, and she interrupted a guy trying to take her fender.... They need publicized cameras on the bike racks and a program to prosecute and scare the hell out of thieves. I would also publicize the number of thieves caught to show that the program is working and to scare them off.

One other thought: lights are required to ride at night which most students have to do. Bike paraphernalia is expensive. And, they have to get their bike registered. Maybe a mid-campus registration week with free light giveaway. '

Just some thoughts.

What Universities Have Bicycle Coordinators?

You guessed it: UC Davis and Portland State, both in towns with Platinum Level Bicycle Community Designations have them. Here are some resources:

Explore the UC Davis Bicycle Program here: http://taps.ucdavis.edu/bicycle/
and read all about Davis as a bike town here:
“A Bicycle Friendly Community - The Davis Model”(a paper presented at Pro Bike/Pro Walk, September 1998, Santa Barbara, CA)By David Takemoto-Weerts (UC Davis Bicycle Program Coordinator)Read David’s paperhttp://taps.ucdavis.edu/bicycle/education/community.cfm

Portland State University
Has a transportation options coordinator and a campus bike co-op: http://www.bikeshop.pdx.edu/

Chicago Department of Transportation has a University Marketing program that encourages students, faculty, and staff to bike/walk/take transit to campus in place of driving. The program is in place at the five largest universities: University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola, Northwestern, and DePaul. Each campus has a student intern who coordinates programming at the school. The intern is paid half by the University and half by the Chicago Department of Transportation. I coordinate the interns and assist with creating objectives and moving the program forward.

Univeristy of Minnesota twin cities campus
Has had a bike coordinator since 1996!http://www1.umn.edu/pts/biking.htm
I’m sure there are more.


oriello said...

Here at Univ of California Santa Barbara, about 15,000 people bike onto campus each school day. The UCSB Transportation & Parking Services has a Transportation Alternatives Program, an advisory Transportation Alternatives Board, & a supportive staff.

In addition, there is a student BIKES committee that uses
student-assessed fees used to improve bicycle facilities, education & safety. It helps that no undergraduates living within a mile of campus can buy a parking permit.

The school's upcoming Long Range Development Plan includes housing all 6000 new students, staff & faculty on University property by 2025, so the commute distances will lend themselves to biking/walking. Seems positive to me.

for Ralph Fertig, President
Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

Anonymous said...

. . . and the mother quoted above adds:

"it would be so good to make CSU more of a bike-friendly campus. I love the roundabouts for bicycles at Davis. 30 years ago when my sister was a student there, it was great fun and a freshman initiation to ride the roundabouts.

P.S. I wonder what would happen if parking permits were limited on a basis of proximity to campus, with exceptions granted on appeal?

Adam Fukushima said...

Stanford University seems to do a good job with bike promotion to students. Their website is pretty thorough on what programs they provide:
Adam Fukushima, Executive Director
San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition