Rails to Trails has published a thought provoking document regarding America’s need for bicycle facilities. Please keep coming back for a series of posts on how the University of Maryland and bikeUMD are working to improve transportation options for the students, faculty and staff.
Rails to Trails Report : http://www.railstotrails.org/resources/documents/whatwedo/atfa/ATFA_20081020.pdf
Investments to encourage increased bicycling and walking can
reduce miles driven in three ways:
• Because a majority of car trips are short, bicycling and walking
can often be as fast and convenient as driving.
• More car trips can be shifted to public transportation when
well-integrated networks of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
provide convenient access to bus stops and rail stations.
• Investments to make communities conducive to bicycling
and walking promote a richer and denser mix of residences,
businesses and amenities, leading to shorter trip-distances even
for those who drive.
Here at the University of Maryland, most of the students live within one mile of campus. The Department of Transportation Services currently has a fleet of 62 buses that serves 2.6 million riders each year. This system has two main hubs, Adele H. Stamp Student Union and Regents drive garage. In order to facilitate biking and public transportation for short trips those hubs have enhanced bicycle facilities. There is parking for more than 50 bicycles right next to the Regents shuttle stop and twice that number directly across the street at the physics building. At Stamp, racks run along the front entrance and have also been added to the nearby parking garage on the inside near the exit. Furthermore the Campus Bike shop was moved into the building next door so that students needing bike repairs could get them close to the existing transit hub. Every Shuttle-UM bus has a bicycle rack on the front. With routes going as far as Burtonsville and downtown Silver Spring, this allows for considerable flexibility.
During class changes bicycle travel is considerably faster than car or shuttle travel. Posted speed limits are 20 miles an hour and Bikes May Use Full Lane signs from the federal manual on uniform traffic control devices will soon be installed near the campuses main entry and exit points.