League of American Bicyclists: Bicycle Friendly University Feedback

 

Feedback on University of Maryland- College Park’s application to be designated a Bicycle Friendly University – Spring 2011

The League of American Bicyclists has designated University of Maryland- College Park as a Bicycle Friendly University at the

bronze level. Reviewers were very pleased to see the current efforts, potential and commitment to make the University of Maryland a great place for bicyclists. Some of the highlights of the application are the bicycle master plan by Toole Design, bicycle coordinator position, the new bike parking lot, and helmet, lock and light giveaways.

The BFU review team expects great things in the future given the good local team and the coming improvements to the network and programs. Reviewers provided the following suggestions to further promote bicycling.

Four significant measures the university should take to improve cycling in the campus are:

Increase the amount of secure bicycle parking throughout the campus. We encourage you to expand the parking so that each commuter has a secure spot to park a bike and parking is placed in areas around campus according to demand. In addition, implement an ordinance that requires bike parking. Ensure that bicycle parking adheres to APBP standards.

Provide a bicycling skills class to students and employees on a

regular basis. Ideally the instruction would incorporate a classroom portion as well as on-road training. Contact your local advocacy group to see if there are classes in your area. Or invite a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) to your campus to conduct the class. For examples of educational materials visit: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/ To find a local LCI go to: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/course_schedule.php

Increase the number of arterial streets on campus that have wide shoulders or bike lanes. Continue to expand the bicycle network and increase network connectivity through the use of bike lanes, shared lane arrows, bicycle boulevards and signed routes. On-street improvements coupled with the expansion of an off-street system will continue to increase use and improve safety. These improvements will also increase the effectiveness of encouragement efforts by providing a broader range of facility choices for users of various abilities and comfort levels.

Conduct research on bicycle usage beyond the U.S. Census’ Journey to Work report to most effectively distribute resources and consider implementing a trip reduction program/ordinance. Consider performing multiple bike counts a year, to gauge seasonal changes and parking needs at maximum capacity. See good examples at http://bikepeddocumentation.org/ and http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=43801

Reviewers provided the following suggestions to further promote bicycling in each of the categories of the application:

Engineering

Provide opportunities for ongoing training on accommodating bicyclists for engineering, planning staff, and law enforcement, such as an FHWA course. Or, consider hosting a

Smart Cycling course for engineers and planners to better understand cyclists’ needs, behavior, and their right to use streets as well as multi-use paths for transportation.

Increase the amount of way-finding signage around campus. Here are some best practices from the Washington, DC area council of governments: http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committee-documents/t1dZW1k20070516090831.pdf

Use road diets to calm traffic and lead to a better use of roadway space http://cost.kittelson.com/system/datas/9/original/Road_Diet_Presentation_COST_July_2010.pdf?1285955514

Ensure that new and improved facilities to accommodate bicyclists conform to current best practices and guidelines – such as the

AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities and the state DOT’s own guidelines.

Education

Promote bike safety creatively to the student body by informing about local bike laws, promoting helmet use and proper locking. Consider Stanford’s multi-pronged approach to Bike Safety through events and programs such as a Dorm Challenge, a bike ambassador program led by Sprocket man, and a bike safety pledge.

Incorporate bicycling into the new students orientation program in order to reach all incoming students, faculty and staff. This can include distribution of bike maps, bike registration, reviews of bike laws and helmet and bike light promotions. This should include information for cyclists and motorists on their rights and responsibilities as users. Everyone should know that this campus wants to be truly bicycle-friendly.

Start a bicyclist and motorist ticket diversion program. Students given citation are offered an opportunity to waive fees for violations by attending a bicycling education course. This should include a classroom and on-road component. See what Stanford University has done http://www.stanford.edu/group/SUDPS/bicycle.shtml#diversion

Take part in an education campaign to prevent against bike theft. Provide students an opportunity to receive free or discounted U-locks. Post signage on proper locking techniques on bike racks and have police presence at bike events to teach about the importance of correct locking.

 

Provide a bicycling skills class to students and employees on a

regular basis. Ideally the instruction would incorporate a classroom portion as well as on-road training. Contact your local advocacy group to see if there are classes in your area. Or invite a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) to your campus to conduct the class. For examples of educational materials visit: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/ To find a local LCI go to: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/course_schedule.php

Encouragement

Launch a bike buddy or bicyclist mentorship program for inexperienced riders. A bike mentorship program that teams experienced cyclists with new-comers is a great way to encourage and educate novice commuters. Mentors can help educate on bike routes, gear, safe riding and much more. It also gives new commuters a support group to rely on and often makes them feel more secure and excited about their first few rides. For more information on mentorship programs see: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikemore/support.cfm#mentoring

Consider offering bike valets at events throughout the year to solve parking issues for well-attended events. For example, Boise State University offers bike valet service at football games. See what the University of Arizona is also doing to encourage bicycling through a year round bike valet http://parking.arizona.edu/bikevalet/

Promote the People for Bikes Pledge to students, faculty and staff. You can help this campaign make a statement through our sheer numbers by raising public awareness and demonstrating our passion to our leaders in Congress and in cities and states throughout the country. http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

Expand encouragement efforts, especially during Bike Month. Promote bicycling through events such as organized campus rides, a commuter challenge, car-free days and campus bike tours. Read about what UC Santa Barbara does during CycleMAYnia http://cyclemaynia.ning.com/events/ucsb-bike-to-workschool-day

Enforcement

Increase the number of police officers patrolling on bike. This increased interaction between enforcement and the bicycling community should also include targeting bicycle infractions and positive enforcement ticketing. Provide the proper training such as through the International Police Mountain Biking Association: http://www.ipmba.org/instructors.htm

 

Make stronger connections between the bicycling community and law enforcement. Ensure that police officers are educated on the “Share the Road” message and have a general knowledge of traffic laws as they apply to bicyclists. The institution should implement regular training for officers on this like an

Enforcement for Bicycle Safety seminar. This is a great continuing education opportunity for law enforcement.

http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe/case_studies/casestudy.cfm?CS_NUM=801

Evaluation & Planning

Expand efforts to evaluate the bicycle usage and crash statistics to produce a specific plan to reduce the number of crashes on campus. There are tools available including

Intersection Magic: http://www.pdmagic.com/im/and PBCAT. See the report Bicyclist Fatalities and Serious Injuries in New York City 1996-2005

Consider conducting an economic impact study on bicycling within your college/ university http://www.altaplanning.com/App_Content/files/fp_docs/2008%20Portland%20Bicycle-Related%20Economy%20Report.pdf

For more ideas and best practices please visit the

Bicycle Friendly University Resource Page

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One Response to League of American Bicyclists: Bicycle Friendly University Feedback

  1. Pingback: League of American Bicyclists: Bicycle Friendly University – Bike UMD

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