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Bicycle Project Updates: bike racks, bike parking, bike sharing, bike to work day, campus bike project

Posted by Kiley Miller on April 30, 2012

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.