The NCAA basketball tournament is down to the Final Four, but the bracket of Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU) is expanding. Today, the League advanced nine new universities to the elite ranks of bicycle-friendly campuses.
“As universities compete for students and status, becoming more bicycle-friendly is a winning strategy that energizes and invigorates staff and the student body, not just in March, but year-round,” said League President, Andy Clarke. “By making cycling safe and enjoyable, BFUs are both educating and empowering the next generation to adopt smarter, healthier transportation habits that will last a lifetime.”
Now in it’s second year, the program has grown to 35 campuses in 21 states. Click here to see the full list of Bicycle Friendly Universities.
With this round of BFU awards, the competition between conferences heats up. The Big Ten added the University of Michigan to BFU list and continues to lead with seven BFUs. The PAC 12 is a close second with six schools, including the addition this round of Oregon State University. The ACC added four BFU winners, rocketing them to third place with the inclusion of Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State University and the University of Miami.
While they’re out of the Big Dance, Duke is taking the lead in bicycling, turning an Honorable Mention in 2011 to a Bronze designation in 2012. “Over the past six months, we’ve addressed safety on all our roads, adding bike lanes, wide shoulders or sharrows to every street on campus,” said Brian Williams, Duke’s Transportation Demand Management Coordinator. “The BFU award highlights the work of the Duke community to make riding a bike easy.”
Also boosting the bicycle-friendliness of the ACC, Georgia Institute of Technology received the highest designation of the round with a Silver award. In addition to regular bicycling classes and rides led by the university president, Georgia Tech took the innovative step of launching the viaCycle campus bike sharing system. “Biking not only enhances mobility, it also has positive environmental and health benefits for our campus community,” said Georgia Tech president, G. P. “Bud” Peterson.
In the West, Boise State University moved up to a Silver award for a range of impressive programs, including a new Cycle Learning Center. “The CLC provides a central, hands-on learning environment that empowers campus users to bicycle through education programs, instructional clinics and support services,” said JC Porter, Assistant Director of Transportation at Boise State.
The BFU provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling — to apply or learn more, visit www.bikeleague.org/university.
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.