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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA brings home the gold as a bike friendly university

Tom Price

The bicycle racks outside Coronado Residence Hall jammed with bikes for the 776 students that live in the dorm. In September UAPD will start a Traffic Education and Enforcement program.

The UA has been named one of the top universities in the country for its bike-friendly campus.

Nationwide, universities are ranked as Bicycle Friendly Universities by the League of American Bicyclists. This year, the UA made the cut and received a gold ranking.

The League of American Bicyclists is an organization that protects and educates people on the safety of bicycles and cyclists. Its mission is to spread awareness of bicycle safety and make the country more bicycle-friendly.

Of the 127 universities recognized by the league, the UA was one of 12 to receive a gold ranking and plans to receive the platinum ranking within the next four years. The platinum ranking is the highest level of achievement, with only five universities taking this rank.

Florence Dei Ochoa, marketing and public information manager for Parking and Transportation Services, explained why the UA has received this ranking in an article for UA at Work.

“The entire region is known for its favorable bike environment,” Dei Ochoa said. “The climate allows for nearly year-round bike riding; on a congested campus, it’s important for students to have other means than single-occupancy vehicles to get around campus.”

According to UA at Work, to qualify as a bicycle-friendly university, the campus must welcome cyclists of all skill levels and provide the proper tools needed to travel around campus. Universities are required to inform students and employees about the areas they are able to travel by bike and areas where they can’t.

According to the article in UA at Work, PTS reported that about 10,000 bikes are ridden on campus per day.

Kimberly Henderson, a neuroscience and Spanish sophomore, said she has not had bad experiences biking on campus.

“I really don’t ever get into complications, but there are a lot of bikers so sometimes finding somewhere to park my bike gets kind of annoying,” Henderson said. “I really enjoy riding my bike to class because the bike routes are well-respected by cars and pedestrians. I always feel safer riding my bike to class because strangers never approach you and [they] just let you be.”

The UA services cyclists with a bike valet and enclosure that allows students and employees to leave their bicycles in a secure area in front of the Nugent building. With the valet, students on campus are able to leave without having to lock their bike in individual spaces.

PTS encourages students and employees to make suggestions for improving steps toward the next four years in achieving the platinum-level ranking.

Leah Kaplan, a chemical engineering sophomore, shared her experiences with cycling around campus and the all-too-common crime of bike theft.

“I live on campus, so I don’t have to deal with biking to campus, but I do bike to classes about three days a week,” Kaplan said. “It’s sometimes more convenient to walk if my classes are close together because there are so many pedestrians and other bikers I have to watch out for, which can be difficult.”

Kaplan said she parks her bicycle in front of the building where her class is.

“A big concern of bikers on campus is bike theft, which continues to happen regularly and I know a few people whose bikes were stolen,” she said. 

Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.

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