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Projects Updates for Increase Bicycle Use
The University Libraries department of facilities is launching a small feasibility study to determine weather it would be cost effective to use bikes as a materials transportation medium.
Alex Bragg, Distribution Clerk
After Amelia Neptune took the excellent job at the League of American Bicyclists, the Campus Bicycle Coordinator position became vacant. The funding for this position is not available for FY15, so a funding request was submitted to the Student Sustainability Committee.Attached Files:
Applications are now being accepted for a new Bicycle Ambassador program at the University of Illinois. Bicycle Ambassadors are bicycling enthusiasts who will promote bicycling for transportation, raise awareness about the rights and responsbilities of cyclists, and foster a postitive bicycle culture on our campus. Interested students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to sign up to become a Bicycle Ambassador today!
Learn more on the Bike Ambassador project page: https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/bicycle-ambassador-program
A new Academic Hourly Position, Campus Bicycle Coordinator, has been created within the Facilities & Services division. Amelia Neptune, formerly a Sustainability Specialist in F&S was appointed to the position for the 2014 Fiscal Year (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014). The Campus Bicycle Coordinator will report to the Sustainability Coordinator within F&S, under the Engineering & Transportation Services department. The Campus Bicycle Coordinator will be responsible for promoting bicycles and bicycle education, enforcement, encouragement, engineering, and evaluation and planning.Attached Files:
The SSC bike parking award is for $225,000 to install approximately 1,000 new bike parking spaces on existing concrete throughout campus.
The SSC and the Illini Union agreed to support improvements at the southwest corner of the Illini Union, where there are existing “donut-hole” bike racks. These will be removed over the summer and replaced with stainless steel U-loops. Additionally, the F&S Grounds division has agreed to plant an additional tree in that area, which will increase shading for the bike parking.
Through Champaign County Bikes, the University has acquired 22 Varsity Bicycle Racks (which will hold a total of 44 bicycles) from Park-a-Bike in order to run a year-long pilot test of the racks. 10 of these racks will be installed for the year near the Union and the remaining 12 will be distributed in various high-visibility locations on and near campus, to be determined.
The graduate student working on sketches for the Campus Bicycle Network improvements has completed a majority of the campus owned pathways. In some cases, this has included site visits to specific areas, with the Transportation Coordinator and the Landscape Architect for campus.
The SSC-supported Bike Sharing Feasibility Study student intern held a review meeting with the Bike Sharing Steering Committee. The report is substantially complete and will be available this summer. As part of the Feasibility Study, F&S released a bike sharing survey to the campus and surrounding community in late March, and accepted responses throughout April. The Survey received 1,168 responses from students, staff, faculty, retirees, visitors and members of the community. F&S is working with the UI Bikes section of Engineering 315, Learning in the Community (LINC) course, to analyze the data from the survey responses. Students from the LINC course also conducted a focus group with undergraduate students in conjunction with the survey in order to dive deeper into the topic of bike sharing with focus group participants.
In preparation for the third annual C-U Bike to Work Day (BTWD), staff organized fundraising, publicity, volunteers, bike stations’ supplies, registration, and riders’ incentives. The University led the efforts to organize BTWD this year, in partnership with local governments and other agencies. BTWD is an opportunity to encourage and support new bicycle commuters across C-U, including students, staff and faculty of the University, in an effort to create a mode shift toward more bike commuting and less automobile commuting.
SSC granted a funding request from the Campus Bike Project (CBP) which will allow the current part-time hours of the CBP shop manager, a University employee reporting directly to F&S, to be expanded to full-time. The grant also includes a small stipend for part-time student employees to help staff the CBP. Sustainability Staff have been working with CBP representatives to develop the position description and conduct a job search, which attracted over 30 applications. The search committee, which included sustainability staff from F&S, as well as Bike Project volunteers and members, is currently in the process of narrowing the pool down to select a qualified candidate.
Bike to Work Day (BTWD) planning is underway. Staff raised $1,250 in February from sponsors, which goes to Champaign County Bikes for the event. Three on-campus Bike Station locations were organized, in addition to several off-campus Bike Stations. University Housing graciously agreed to provide food and drinks for the on-campus Bike Stations, as they did last year.
The Bike Sharing key staff members met with project champion, Mike Lyon from AITS, to provide a status update on the bike sharing feasibility study. The bike sharing intern developed a presentation about departmental bike sharing, which will be taken to Legal Counsel and Purchasing contacts for final approval. Then Colleges will be contacted before departments are approached to encourage departmental bike sharing implementation.
F&S Planning staff interviewed firms to engineer road improvements, including Fourth Street bike lanes from Armory Avenue to Kirby Avenue, and Sixth Street bike lanes from Armory Avenue to Gregory Drive.
The bike parking intern completed and submitted a proposal to the SSC to replace existing “donut-hole” racks with campus standard racks. He also met with staff at Christopher Hall and the Illini Union about upgrading their bike parking areas. Additionally, staff worked with a representative from Champaign County Bikes to arrange a pilot test of an alternative bike parking rack, the Varsity Rack.
The Campus Area Transportation Study (CATS) agencies met in February and agreed that the Campus Bike Plan document should be for University-owned pathways, and it should be in agreement with the City of Urbana Bike Plan, the Champaign Transportation Plan, and the County Greenways and Trails Plan.
The Campus Bike Project submitted a proposal to the SSC for expanded open hours with student assistants.
Plans are underway for a bike race on May 5 in the Research Park. About 300-400 race participants are anticipated. There will be a community ride that morning, as well as a race in the City of Urbana on May 6.
F&S continues to work with a number of student groups and individuals on bicycle-related projects:
- Bicycle Intern and Urban Planning student Grace Kenney has returned from a semester abroad and is now completing the Bike Sharing Feasibility Study this spring, as well as implementing departmental bike sharing with interested departments, using the Departmental Bike Sharing Manual produced by the Fall 2011 LINC class. Grace also helped with the master bike plan in January, and will be working closely with the Bike Sharing Steering Committee in the coming weeks and months.
- Bicycle Intern and Urban Planning student Holly Nelson is continuing to work on bike lane design recommendations.
- Bicycle Intern and Urban Planning student Patrick Clark is working on bike parking upgrade designs and recommendations, including SSC-funded improvements at the Illini Union, as well as developing the formal grant proposal for bike parking upgrade funding for SSC.
- GIS student Marcus Ricci proposed a GIS class project to analyze the location and quantity of bike parking in relationship to building doors and bike pathways.
- The UI Bikes LINC course, as mentioned above, is working with F&S on several projects related to both bike sharing and bike parking.
- An MBA class is studying the Campus Bike Project, among other bicycle-related topics, and will make a recommendation to the CBP for developing a self-sustaining funding model.
- Student Senator David Huang has drafted and will introduce a formal resolution to the Illinois Student Senate proposing the implementation of online bicycle registration through Ride Campus. (http://www.ridecampus.com/)
Members of The Bike Project steering committee met with representatives of F&S and SSC to brainstorm opportunities to help make the Campus Bike Project a financially self-supporting operation. This is in parallel to the efforts of the MBA class looking into this issue. The Bike Project will be submitting a Letter of Inquiry to the SSC before their current funding expires in May.
F&S staff attended the monthly Champaign County Bikes meeting in January, to discuss a potential use of Ride Campus and Varsity Rack in Champaign-Urbana. F&S is also working with CCB member Jeff Yockey to develop a steering committee to explore the possibility of implementing Ride Campus at the University of Illinois.
F&S staff and Patrick Clark met with the Illini Union to discuss improving bike parking facilities around the Union, and potentially having the Union be a pilot test location for the Varsity Rack.