Recently, the League of American Bicyclists announced 46 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFUs), making the total 182 BFUs in 45 states and Washington, DC. Bicycle Friendly Universities are a cutting-edge group of colleges and universities across the United States transforming their campuses and the communities around them.
“From renewing Platinums to brand new Bronzes, this latest class of Bicycle Friendly University awardees show a wonderful commitment to safety, health and sustainability through their efforts to support bicycling on campus,” said Amelia Neptune, Director of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America Program. “We applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike.”
Two states welcomed their first Bicycle Friendly Universities this round. South Dakota’s Black Hills State University in Spearfish and Rhode Island’s Brown University in Providence both achieved Bronze BFU status.
The University of California, Davis, continues to be one of the most bicycle-friendly campuses in the country, renewing its Platinum BFU status. “The university prohibited car travel through most of the UC Davis campus 50 years ago. Only transit vehicles and the occasional maintenance and delivery vehicles are allowed — and even then, they are only allowed at limited times of the day. All the roads that used to thread in and around the campus are now car-free and are essentially really wide bike paths.”
The University of Montana in Missoula, MT, a renewing Gold BFU, also has a largely car-free campus. As a bonus for this northern site, “most internal bike routes are located on pathways that are incidentally heated by the campus’s steam tunnel network. Internal bike routes do not accumulate snow as a function of this below-ground heat source.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln renewed its Silver BFU status. One of the ways that they communicate cycling information is with the League’s Smart Cycling materials. “We have had good success reaching individuals by using the League’s Smart Cycling Quick Guide at tabling events on campus. This has been a great resource to use when you just have a few minutes of interaction but can help share information about the ‘Rules of the Road’ with individuals.”
Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, a new Bronze BFU, found that applying for BFU status was a big step in becoming more bicycle friendly. “The application process has already enhanced the bicycling experience on the Texas State campus. A community of students, faculty, and staff have been connected as result of the application. Bicycling gaps have been identified, and several have been rectified as a result of this application. A BFU designation will continue to provide a roadmap and motivation for future improvements.”
Other universities have also established groups that work to make the bicycling experience better for all cyclists on campus. From the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, which moved from Bronze to Silver BFU status: “For the first time in many years, we have dedicated an entire working group that focuses solely on bicycle resources, infrastructure, education and safety. This group’s collective knowledge and experience in serving campus cyclists will allow the group to more effectively enhance those resources available to cyclists.”
The latest class of Bicycle Friendly Universities will maintain their 2017 awards through 2021, at which time they’ll be required to reapply to the BFU program to either maintain or improve their award status. In addition to the 46 new and renewing awards given this year, four campuses are being recognized as Honorable Mentions in 2017. Campuses that receive no award or Honorable Mention are provided with feedback to improve and encouragement to re-apply to the BFU program after implementing the League’s feedback to earn the Bicycle Friendly University title.
To apply or learn more about the BFU program, visit www.bikeleague.org/university.Tweet Print