Bikes Make Life Better

Bike Friendly Universities: how to become one

Stanford and UC-Davis are known for their bike-friendly campuses.

Is that just because they’re in Northern California, where cycling year-round is do-able?

What about the University of Minnesota, Colorado State, Princeton, University of Michigan, Cornell and Rochester Institute of Technology? All have long winters. And they are all Bicycle Friendly University award winners!

Bicycling is rarely about climate or even about topography (there’s inexpensive gear to overcome both!). It’s about organizational commitment to making bikes an integral part of the culture. And that’s what a growing list of campuses are doing.

The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program from the League of American Bicyclists recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff and visitors.

College and university campuses are unique environments for their high density, stimulating atmosphere and defined boundaries – ideal conditions for bikes, regardless of climate and location.

Many colleges and universities have taken advantage of these conditions to become more bike friendly. They’ve implemented:

  • bike share programs
  • campus bike centers
  • cycling clubs
  • secure bike parking
  • bicycle education
  • policies to promote bicycling
  • and so much more

The BFU program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning.

The five E’s defined:

Engineering
This is infrastructure, like secure bike parking, well-designed bike lanes, coordination with city planners, and complete streets programs.

Education
This is all about safe cycling workshops, materials and communication.

Encouragement
This includes all the ways you encourage cycling from organized rides and bike events to bike share systems, campus bike hubs and incentive programs.

Enforcement
This involves targeted campaigns to encourage cyclists and motorists to safely share the road, deter bike theft and promote safe cycling.

Evaluation and Planning
This looks at systems for evaluating current bike programs and planning for the future.

So, how do you become a Bicycle Friendly University? Take the following steps:

  1. Assess where you currently stand on the five E’s
  2. Identify areas of strength and weakness
  3. Develop an action plan for areas of improvement
  4. Implement
  5. Measure and modify
  6. Apply for a BFU award

If you want help, please contact us to learn about our “Bike Friendly U in a Box.” We can quickly get you moving toward being a Bike Friendly University!


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