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AU named 'Bicycle Friendly' campus
11/14/13

Alfred University (AU) received a Bronze designation by the League of American Bicyclists’ (LAB) Bicycle Friendly University (BFU), a program that recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more “bikeable” campus for students, staff, and visitors.

This award recognizes AU’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. Only three other schools in New York currently have a Bike Friendly designation, all at the Bronze level: University of Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cornell University.

“Colleges and university campuses are unique environments for their high density, stimulating atmosphere and defined boundaries, says the LAB. “These factors make them ideal environments to incorporate bikes. Many colleges and universities have built upon these good conditions and embraced the enthusiasm for more bicycle-friendly campuses by incorporating bike share programs, bike co-ops, clubs, bicycling education classes and policies to promote bicycling as a preferred means of transportation. With the goal on this momentum and inspire more action to build healthy, sustainable and livable institutions of higher education, The League created the  Bicycle Friendly University Program,” according to the LAB.

The Bike Hub at Alfred University launched in fall 2009 and is entirely run and staffed by students. Twenty hybrid bikes are available for rental by students, faculty and staff, along with helmets and bike locks.  They can also have a bike repaired and/or stored over the breaks, for a nominal fee. The Saxon Bike Hub was created through the initiative of student co-founders and was funded by AU Student Senate.

The LAB notes that bicycling is on the rise, especially among the young people who are turning away from car ownership in large numbers. “More and more people are getting on bikes instead, and colleges like Alfred University are leading the way in making riding safer and more convenient on campus,” says the League.

“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,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We commend universities, like AU, who are leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future.”

The BFU program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas known as the Five Es: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning. This program is revolutionizing the way universities evaluate their efforts in sustainability, transportation options, and quality of life, while allowing administrators to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. There are now 72 BFUs in 32 states and Washington D.C.

The program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly University and the application has become a rigorous and educational tool. The four levels of the award – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for universities to continuously improve.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America by representing the interests of the nation’s 57 million cyclists. With a current membership of 300,000 affiliated cyclists, including 25,000 individuals and 700 affiliated organizations, the League works to bring better cycling to your community.

Founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880 by bicyclists known as “wheelmen,” its members were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads. The success of the League in its first advocacy efforts ultimately led to our national highway system.

The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are supported by program partner Trek Bicycles. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/bfa