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University earns silver ‘Bicycle Friendly’ award

December 27, 2018
River bike trail sign leading over a bridge near the University of RochesterThe Erie Lackawanna Railroad Bridge over the Genesee River is one of the trails near the University campus that bicyclists can use. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The League of American Bicyclists has announced its 2018 Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) awards, which recognize 45 colleges and universities for their outstanding support of bicycling to ensure healthy, accessible and eco-friendly transportation and recreation for students and staff. This year, the University of Rochester earned its first ever silver award.

Of the four achievement levels of bronze to platinum, the League presented seven gold, 16 silver, and 22 bronze awards, in addition to recognizing five universities and colleges with honorable mention status. The Bicycle Friendly University Program was launched in 2011 with the goal to inspire higher education institutions to develop more sustainable, livable campuses that make biking better for students, staff and visitors.

The University’s bike-friendly services and programs are administered through the Department of Transportation and Parking Management’s UR Connections program. UR Connections focuses on encouraging  alternative transportation options that can reduce the number of cars being driven to campus, thereby reducing commuting costs for employees, reducing campus congestion, and promoting the sustainability efforts for the University.

Among the new initiatives implemented this year that contributed to the BFU silver recognition  include the introduction of monthly bicycling classes (offered April through November) with a certified instructor from the League of Bicyclists. These sessions give riders the skills to confidently bike to work or school, including providing safety tips on navigating roadways. All classes are free and open to the University community and will be reintroduced this spring.

A new bicycle facilities/trail map also highlights the easy paths around campus for biking, as well as bike repair stations and lockers, and shower facilities for commuters.

The BFU application review process is a mixture of institutional reporting and on-the-ground bicycle advocate feedback. Each applicant must complete a comprehensive audit via more than 100 data points followed by a League call for input from local cyclists. This combination generates a picture of the institution’s performance of the “Five E’s”—engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. A national judging panel then reviews the information to determine the awards.

In 2015, the University received its first bronze BFU award. Visit www.bikeleague.org/university for more information on the 2018 Bicycle Friendly University awards.

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