League of American Bicyclists: UVM a "Bike Friendly" University
- By Joshua E. Brown
The League of American Bicyclists selected the University of Vermont as one of the nation’s most “Bicycle Friendly Universities,” Oct. 10, at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.
UVM was one of 26 schools in 20 states honored by the League for its leading efforts to “encourage students and staff to travel to and on their campuses on bicycles,” the group noted in a release.
“It does say something about how quickly in the past few years things have turned in a more positive direction for cyclists on campus,” says UVM’s Luis Vivanco, a professor of anthropology who was instrumental in applying for the award and promoting biking on campus.
“Just a few years ago it would have been difficult to imagine our new bike share program, the rise of an active student group -- “BUG” -- pushing for bicycle friendly accommodations, and the increasing support that various key offices on campus have been providing for bicycle mobility on campus,” Vivanco said.
Vivanco noted that improved biking amenities -- like more bike parking -- as well as the award application itself, was “ a real team effort,” drawing support from many people across campus including students in BUG -- as well as staff in Transportation and Parking Services, Physical Plant, Campus Planning, Residential Life, Office of Sustainability, Police Services, Student Government, the Campus Area Transportation Management Association and others.
“Not that we don't have major challenges still,” Vivanco said, noting that he hopes further efforts to accommodate and promote biking on campus will move UVM up from its current bronze-level award to the higher levels given by the League. Only Stanford University received the organization’s highest platinum award.
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, noted in his organization’s release that UVM and the other award-winning schools are models for universities and communities nationwide.
"For many Americans, the college years are when they are reunited once again with their bicycles," said Bill Nesper, director of the League's Bicycle Friendly America Program. "Bicycle Friendly Universities are welcoming them by making bicycling the safest, most efficient and enjoyable way to get around."
To learn more about the award visit: bikeleague.org/university.