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Projects Updates for collection: Bicycle Related Projects

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  1. Week 6 - Next steps

    The next steps for the project progress would be to review the past BFU applications from 2011 - 2019 to understand the stage we as a university are at currently and would help to identify, compare and contrast the work across these timelines to improve the status and make recommendations after reviewing the feedback. 


     

  2. Week 5 - Check in meeting

    In the past weeks,  Aparna reviewed the  BFU Application to understand the scope of work, did research/literature review work, and familiarized herself with the current initiatives taken by the university at present to combat bike thefts. Moreover, she also had a conversation with a transportation staff from UCLA and ASU who had recently reached out to me on their ideas/approach on this topic for a qualitative aspect of this project. The same was also discussed with her capstone advisor, Prof. Lindsay Braun to go over the progress and find better clarity. 

  3. Weekly Updates for the week of 11/7 and 11/14

    [11.7.22] All, Last week we completed the bike donation event with Working Bikes. Thanks to some Bike Project volunteers we were able to pack their truck full of bikes in about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, they were unable to take all of the abandoned bikes as there are about 50 left. I’ll work with TBP to deal with the remaining junk bikes as well as the ~200 we’ll keep for refurbishment.

    Last Thursday we were donated another pull-behind trailer, upping our count to 3 of them now. I will discuss with TBP ideas to make better use of these, as they take up a lot of space and we have zero demand for them.

    This week we will reinstate the First Visit Free policy as the cooler weather sets in.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 47

    Sales: $508
    Bike (refurbished): 1 for $225
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 12 for $61

    [11.14.22]

    All, I was out sick for a portion of the non-open hours, but we were still able to get a few bikes on the sales floor and strip some bikes. This week I’ll grab some more of the good bikes from the barn and we’ll get to fixing those. We reinstated First Visit Free and were able to help folks get rolling.

    I had an interview last Friday with a potential new hire and we’ll be having a staff meeting this week to get some of our new staff up to speed as well as provide a refresher for the returning staffers.

    Next week we will be closed for Thanksgiving break. We’ll reopen Monday, 11/28/22.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 45
    Sales: $434
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $100
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $103

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  4. Weekly Update: Reduced hours, Working Bikes this week

    All, While my jury duty service was still in effect, we had reduced hours as needed last week but were able to open fully Wed – Fri. It was the first week of noticeably fewer folks through the doors. As such, we got a few bikes on the sales floor and a dozen or so moved over from storage.

    Tomorrow we will host Working Bikes for our donation event. This is the first one since Nov 2019. We’ll have around 200 bikes to donate and hopefully will have a few folks available to help out and make it go quicker. They’ll be providing pizza for us, too. This event will halve the number of bikes left in storage. The Bike Project and I will sort through the remaining bikes in the coming weeks.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 43
    Sales: $475.50
    Build-a-Bikes: 2 for $100
    Memberships: 4 for $120

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  5. Week 4 - Check in meeting

    This week Aparna got in touch with the staff of transit services from Arizona State University to understand their approach to achieving the Gold BFU certification. 

    Sarthak and Aparna also had a quick overview of the materials shared and brainstormed ideas/recommendations to raise awareness in the campus community as well as keep bike thefts in mind. 

    The next steps would be to familiarize with the topic better, collect all the research materials and make notes/highlight the existing implementation, and make comments on these.

  6. Weekly Update: Strong Towns, Bike Summit, potentially postponing Working Bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was a busy one. We had Strong Towns talk on Tuesday and the Illinois Bike Summit on Wednesday. Got in some good networking, heard some interesting talks/discussions, and got buzzed by two MTD buses on my bike commute there and then one car on my ride back to the Bike Center. Oh, the irony.

    The cooler weather has curtailed our visitors, but we’ve had a few volunteers, too—always nice.

    Grabbed some bikes from the warehouse last week and will continue to do so as I can this week. I have jury duty potentially all this week and next week, which majorly mucks up my plans for setting up with Working Bikes since I can’t plan past day-to-day. Likely will have to bump that to early November unless circumstances change.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 42
    Sales: $266
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 3 for $20

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  7. Week 3 - Check in meeting

    In this meeting,  potential ideas for secured bicycle parking were discussed as ways to promote awareness among the campus community. A capstone proposal outlining the final objectives and deliverables was drafted and Sarthak helped support this discussion sharing an Excel sheet that has all of the goals, current status, and plans for the future of some mentioned ideas towards achieving the said objectives with challenges that are yet to be tackled. 

    This week, Aparna is going to try to get in touch with the transportation team from other universities that have achieved the Gold BFU status to gather some ideas specific to raising awareness about bike thefts. This would navigate the research better. 

    Aparna is also spending her initial time on the project learning about the Bike registration process and other initiatives that are already ongoing at UIUC to help understand the way forward. She also has access to the iCAP portal to update and document the weekly meetings to keep a track of the project progress.

  8. Week 2 update: Objectives for capstone

    Questions and doubts regarding the literature review done in the past week were discussed including a capstone report outline highlighting the main topics of research. More research work to follow in the coming week to help familiarize with the project's background. Aparna got contact information from the transportation department of UCLA and Arizona State University to discuss the project with their transportation team as the 2 universities have achieved the Gold BFU status and hoping to get a sense of direction or any leads on this. She is also in touch with Prof. Lindsay Braun who is her capstone advisor, and Briana Barr, Thomas Valencia, and Lily Wilcock from the City of Urbana who are working on similar projects.

    The idea was to bring more concepts and recommendations for a bike-friendly university to the table. We might also try to involve the Student Sustainability Committee, which uses a comprehensive evaluative process to fund a project that incorporates student involvement and an ability to spark change on campus. Aparna would help identify a cause as a part of the bike-friendly project which would also serve as a student-led project to apply for the SSC funding. An excel sheet that charts out the current status of the project were shared by Sarthak for better clarity, which also includes feedback from BFU to help plan for the future and achieve the desired goal.

    Three main objectives of the proposal would be -

    1. To get the BFU application drafted and ready to submit by the month of May
    2. Ideas for SSC funding for the Bike Friendly University Project
    3. Educate students and create a plan for bike thefts so that incoming students are aware of how to protect their bikes and encourage them to use this mode of transportation.

    An overall capstone proposal that outlines the said objectives and a work plan will be shared in the upcoming week. Access to the iCAP portal will be granted soon to chart out real-time updates and minutes of meetings.

  9. Weekly Update: Strong Towns, Bike Summit, Working Bikes

    All, Big week of events! On Tuesday, Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns is speaking at the Illinois Terminal and I’ll attend to see how our work as bike advocates and a non-profit can help bolster a strong and vibrant community. And Wednesday is the Illinois Bike Summit at the I-hotel. I’ll be there all day and reducing hours at the Bike Center to account for that. Accordingly, we’ll be open 4 – 6p on that day. I never fail to learn something at this yearly event and am happy to see it back here on campus.

    I’ll be counting/organizing bikes for donation as well this week. Hope to have the Donation Day set by end of the week and so we can begin rallying for some support/help. WB has already agreed to pay for Manolo’s!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 51

    Sales: $1,214.50

    Memberships: 17 for $510
    Tire/tubes: 8 for $94

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  10. Captstone meeting Week 1: Introduction to the topics

    I, Aparna Padmakumar from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning am pursuing a master’s degree with a concentration focus in the field of transportation and currently is looking to take up a potential capstone project with the transportation iCAP team hoping to contribute to better bicycle safety/access on the UIUC campus. After multiple discussions and meetings with Sarthak Prasad,  the projects that I will be helping out with would be the ‘Bicycle Friendly University Status’ and ‘Reducing Bicycle Theft on Campus’ through the months of October until May. In today’s kick-off meeting (10/3/2022) previous data, studies, and information were shared with me for better clarity and expected to go through all the previously collected information on the iCap portal. Sarthak guided me through the 2022 Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) application to achieve Gold-level BFU certification and also the Bike at Illinois website as a source of information for the second ongoing project. I am also in constant touch with the other concerned team members to note down important background information on these 2 projects for a better sense of direction before our next weekly Monday meeting’

  11. Weekly Update: Slower times, Business Hours, Sorting abandoned bicycles

    All, Slower times here at the Bike Center (in terms of visitors). We’re almost slow enough that we can reinstate the First Visit Free policy. Not quite there, as we’ll have lulls but pick back up again.

    It was discovered that the CBC Google Business hours were not updated when we moved to M – F, which explains why we we’ve been so slow on Tues/Thurs. That has since been corrected so we’ll see if that impacts visit numbers this week.

    Last week I started sorting bikes at the warehouse for shipment/donation. We’ll be saving even more bikes than usual as we’re critically low on consumable parts like tires.

    We managed to rehab a Huffy to an acceptable degree. The frame was in good shape and we piloted a new freewheel system that should hopefully help keep those types of bikes rideable for longer. That bike sold in about 20 minutes. Demand for cheap bikes is evergreen.

    This week I’ll do more sorting at the warehouse and coordinating the donation, an interview or two, and otherwise business-as-usual.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 78
    Sales: $479.50
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $70
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tires/tubes: 9 for $58

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  12. Charging for e-bikes/scooters for students in Residence Halls

    Associated Project(s): 

    In fall 2022, the university has seen a great increase in the number of e-scooters, skateboards, and e-bikes on campus. Sarthak Prasad reached out to University Housing in summer 2022 to discuss whether University Housing has any plans to install any infrastructure for students living in Residence Halls to charge their e-bikes or scooters or skateboards batteries in their dorm rooms.

    Other universities have also seen similar situation on their campuses, however, due to the fire safety risk involved, they also do not allow these in their dorm rooms.

    University Housing confirmed that at this time, they have not received any query from students regarding the charging of their e-bikes, scooters, or skateboards. They also emphasized that the University does not allow these vehicles inside university facilities, including dormitories, (see CAM FO-35: In-Line Skates, Roller Skates, Skateboards, e-Scooters, and Self-Balancing Personal Transportation Devices).

    They also shared the same concern regarding these batteries being fire hazards and referred to the Fire Safety policy (see attached) created in 2020 in collaboration with F&S Safety & Compliance.

    Attached Files: 
  13. Weekly Update: iSEE interview, Replenishing bike stock, Working Bikes

    All, With the onset of cooler weather, we have seen a decrease in visitor numbers. But that has also correlated with a decrease in available for sale bikes.

    Last week I had an iSEE student come by to interview me and talk all things bikes, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that story. All publicity is good publicity!

    This week I’ll start counting/sorting bikes for the Working Bikes donation—actual date TBD—including moving some of the keeper bikes to the Bike Center to replenish our stock of B-a-Bs and For Sales.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 72
    Sales: $958.25

    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $135
    Memberships: 14 for $420
    Tires/tubes: 15 for $70

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  14. Bicycle Retrieval for abandoned bicycles: Completed

    The bicycle retrieval for abandoned bicycles that were impounded over the summer 2022 has completed, as of September 23, 2022. We had collected nearly 500 bicycles over the summer, and 24 bicycles were retrieved by the owners. The remaining bicycles will be donated to the Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign and Campus Bike Center for refurbishment, resale, and recycle. Nearly 60% of these unclaimed bicycle will be donated to Working Bikes, a not-for-profit bike shop which fixes up old cycles for sale or to be donated to global communities.

  15. Final numbers from Bike to Work Day and Light the Night

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Bike Month Planning team organized Bike to Work Day on September 14, 2022 from 7 - 10 am at 16 Champaign County locations, including eight on-campus. There were 893 registered to attend before the event this year and nearly 150 people registered on-site during the event! Champaign County Bikes were also present at Alma Mater and Hallene Gateway during Light the Night event as well as Bike to Market Day on September 17, 2022, to meet attendees who could not attend the Bike to Work Day event. The final number of pre-registered attendees (prior to Bike to Market) was 921, which is a new record for this event!

    Light the Night was organized on September 15, 2022, from 4 - 7 pm at three campus locations - Alma Mater, Hallene Gateway, and Campus Bike Center. This year, we used Planet Bike blinky lights with silicone straps. We distributed and installed nearly 800 bike light sets during this event! Alma Mater was, by far, the most popular location, where nearly 575 lights were distributed.

    Following the event, the Bike Month Plannign team discussed options for next year.

  16. iWG Meeting 9-9-22

    The iCAP Working Group met on 9-9-22 and discussed the following agenda. The meeting minutes are attached. 

    1. Introductions
    2. Reminder of our role on the iWG
    3. Edu006 Sustainability in Study Abroad: https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project-update/edu006-sustainability-study-abroad-submitted
    4. Edu007 Big10 Green Career Fair: https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project-update/edu007-big10-green-career-fair-submitted
    5. Bike program/bike registration free
    Attached Files: 

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