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Campus attains platinum status as Bicycle Friendly University

11.14.2013

By Dateline staff

Photo: Green lanes for bicycles in the center of the Dairy Road extension

New green lanes are for bicyclists only; cars stay out! This is the Dairy Road extension, between the west entry parking garage and the Hutchison Intramural Field. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Earlier this year UC Davis earned platinum status as a Bicycle Friendly Business, adding to the campus’s gold status as a Bicycle Friendly University. But it was a platinum in the university category that we really coveted.

Today (Nov. 14) we have it — as awarded by the League of American Bicyclists. UC Davis thus becomes only the second school in the country to be designated a platinum Bicycle Friendly University.

“It’s a double platinum year for UC Davis,” said Cliff Contreras, director of Transportation and Parking Services, which includes the campus Bicycle Program. “We’ve worked hard for decades to encourage sustainable commuting modes to our campus, and this acknowledgement by the league shows that we have been on the right track.”

In fact, according to league officials, Davis (the campus and the city) “shines on all fronts,” referring to the city’s status as a platinum Bicycle Friendly Community, and now UC Davis’ platinum status in the business and university categories.

In upgrading UC Davis from a gold to platinum Bicycle Friendly University, the league recognized the school’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

UC Davis has invested more than $7.7 million in bicycle facility improvements over the past four years. The projects include three new roundabouts; an expanded, car-free campus core; and more than $500,000 in new bike rack installations.

The campus also boasts, in front of the west entry parking garage, Davis’ first green bike lanes — an added safety measure to separate bicycles and cars. The green lanes are for bicyclists only (not people driving in and out of the garage).

The league also commended what it described as “a pioneering effort”: the Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program, or BEEP, launched by TAPS and the Police Department two years ago.

BEEP includes an online bike traffic school that serves as an alternative to expensive fines as well as an effective means of providing bike safety education to the entire campus community. More than 2,000 people have successfully completed the course.

Proud to be a model campus

The league’s Bicycle Friendly University program began in 2011, honoring 20 schools in all with one platinum (Stanford), two golds (UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara), nine silvers and eight bronzes.

Upon receiving the gold award, Contreras said: “We’re going to continue to work hard to make the UC Davis Bicycle Program the best in the country.”

And now they have. “There are many campus individuals and departments who share the credit for this award and I especially want to acknowledge the hard work of TAPS staff who strive daily to ensure that bicycling continues to be the most popular commuting mode to campus,” Contreras said.

David Takemoto-Weerts, Bicycle Program coordinator, said: “I’m proud to be part of the campuswide team that has earned this recognition through many years of doing our best to promote bicycle commuting.

“With a bike mode share approaching 50 percent, upwards of 20,000 bikes on campus during peak use days, and ever-improving infrastructure and safety programs, we hope to continue to serve as a model for other colleges and universities working to increase the beneficial use of bikes for daily transportation.”

In a news release, league President Andy Clarke said: “As our Bicycle Friendly University program grows, the promise for a more Bicycle Friendly America does, too. Colleges and universities propel our leaders of the future, and more and more of those students are choosing bicycles as their transportation option of choice.

“We commend universities like Bowdoin College, University of California, Davis, and the University of Montana, who are leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future.”

With today’s announcement, the league has now recognized 75 Bicycle Friendly Universities in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The list includes Bowdoin of Brunswick, Maine (silver) and Montana (gold).

Earlier coverage

“Platinum award adds to campus’s bike friendly status,” Dateline UC Davis (April 22, 2013)

“We are officially a bicycle-friendly university, and a golden one, at that,” Dateline UC Davis (March 9, 2011)

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.


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