Recently UC Davis got a gold rating among bicycle-friendly universities. Is your administration committed to earning a platinum rating and establishing UC Davis as the undeniable leader in university biking, and if so, how will you accomplish them in an era of huge budget cuts?
We are very proud of our gold ranking by the League of American Bicyclists as one of the top three bicycle-friendly universities in the U.S. UC Davis has been recognized for decades as the model campus for bicycle commuting. We are currently waiting on feedback from the league to help us pinpoint areas where we can improve. And, although the current budget climate does impose certain limitations, I’m confident that we will attain platinum status in the near future.
Our Institute of Transportation Studies administers and analyzes a Campus Travel Survey each fall that collects a wide range of information about our community’s commuting behavior. Among other things, the survey collects information about why students, staff and faculty choose one commuting mode over others. The results help determine what is needed to improve conditions for our current and potential bicycling commuters.
The latest survey revealed that many cyclists are concerned about safety and the need to educate each incoming first-year class in safe and legal cycling practices. In response, the UC Davis Police Department and Transportation and Parking Services have collaborated to develop an innovative Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program (BEEP), set to launch in Fall 2011. The program will give traffic violators the option of participating in an online bicycle traffic school that will eliminate their court-mandated fines and replace them with a modest fee for taking the class. The online school will also be available to anyone who wants to learn more about safe – and ticket-free – cycling in Davis.
To address concerns raised in the survey about bike theft, security and parking convenience, the campus this year tripled its annual investment to replace old, obsolete bike racks and will continue that trend in the future.
By continuing to serve the needs of our thousands of cyclists in this manner, we will continue to be rated by our peers in the top tier of universities in the promotion of sustainable transportation.
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