Boise State University is among the first honorees in the League of American Bicyclists’ new Bicycle Friendly Universities program. Announced this week at the League’s National Bike Summit in Washington D.C., the awards recognize colleges and universities that create exceptional environments where bicycling can thrive and provide a roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for bicycling.
“With fuel costs and carbon emissions on the rise and cities becoming more and more congested and unhealthy, now is the time for universities to step forward,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “From our groundbreaking research on renewable energy to this outstanding recognition of our efforts to promote and support alternative transportation, Boise State is proud to be among those setting an example for the future.”
Universities received awards in platinum, gold, silver and bronze categories. Stanford University took the only platinum-level award, with UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara taking gold. There also were nine silver winners and eight bronze, including Boise State, Cornell, Emory, Indiana University, Michigan State, UC Los Angeles, University of Maryland College Park and University of North Carolina Greensboro. Ten universities received honorable mentions.
“Universities have long served as incubators for developing bike-friendly cultures and practices, and that has a big impact on the expectations that students bring to the workplace and beyond,” said Bill Nesper, director of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America Program. “With the launch of the Bicycle Friendly Universities program, we’re able to highlight the crucial role that academic institutions play in shaping a more bike-friendly future.”
Among Boise State’s winning bike-friendly attributes are:
- More than 1,000 official spaces to park bikes on campus and an online map for users
- A new Bike Barn in the Brady Parking Garage (another is planned for the Lincoln Annex) with the capacity to store 65 bikes on special racks in a gated, weather-protected area
- Bike Barn in the Kinesiology Annex with the capacity to store 50 bikes
- Bike Corral that encourages football fans to ride to Bronco Stadium and take advantage of valet and security services
- Free compressed air station at the Campus Recreation Center
- Cycle Learning Center resources ranging from workshops on basic mechanics to products such as tubes and slime
- Showers, lockers and towels available post-ride in the Campus Recreation Center
- Annual Community Bicycle Congress
In its seventh year, Boise State’s Community Bicycle Congress seeks to engage the university and greater community in an open forum where local concerns can meet global knowledge about alternative transportation. The 2011 event will take place April 20-21 and feature workshops presented by Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists. The workshops will offer hands-on technical assistance to help community organizations achieve recognition as Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
“We live in a bicycle-friendly community where many businesses and agencies deserve recognition,” said Bicycle Congress founder George Knight, who recruited the local 2011 honorees, REI and Healthwise, to apply. “I hope these workshops motivate other businesses to participate. This is a community engagement project that could result in an interesting expression of community values.”
Knight, who teaches in the Department of Philosophy and commutes by bike, played a lead role in putting together Boise State’s application for the Bicycle Friendly Universities program, along with Geoff Harrison in Campus Recreation and JC Porter, John Daurer and Casey Jones in the Transportation Department. Porter chairs a newly formed Bicycle Advisory Committee helping the university implement its Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Master Plan, adopted in 2010.
“Being recognized by the League of American Bicyclists is both an end point and a starting place,” Knight said. “Lots of people share the passion that I have for bicycling, and their efforts over time have helped shape the supportive environment at Boise State. Our job now is to begin advancing to the next level.”
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.
Read Boise State’s comprehensive Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Master Plan and get event details for the Community Bicycle Congress. Learn more about the 2011 Bicycle Friendly Universities and Bicycle Friendly Businesses at the League of American Bicyclists website.
Media Contact: Erin Ryan, University Communications, (208) 426-4910, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Boise State University
As an emerging metropolitan research university of distinction, Boise State University plays a crucial role in the region’s economic development and famed quality of life. Idaho’s largest institution of higher education offers nearly 200 degrees and certificates in seven colleges. While remaining committed to the strong teaching legacy that has resulted in 11 Idaho Professor of the Year awards since 1990, Boise State’s added emphasis on innovation and creativity is fueling the fastest growing research program in Idaho.