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48 Institutions Earn Bicycle Friendly University Certification
208 colleges and universities currently hold the Bicycle Friendly University status certified by the League of American Bicyclists
Each Fall, as colleges and universities welcome new students to their campuses, the League of American Bicyclists is evaluating applicants for its Bicycle Friendly University awards. The best campuses for people who bike offer well-connected infrastructure, bike maintenance and storage options, theft prevention programs, biking skills classes and social biking events, and the staffing to support better biking.
The Fall 2019 cohort in the Bicycle Friendly University program includes 16 universities and colleges earning the award for the first time, 12 that earned upgraded awards, and 20 renewing institutions, plus four earning honorable mentions. Among those upgrading are three universities certified as Platinum for the first time: the University of California Irvine, the University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin Madison.
“Campuses are incubators of the next generation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists. “To build safer streets, to encourage healthier communities, to empower more people to bike–colleges and universities can cultivate wider culture change by making biking a preferred option for people to get around campus. Renewing Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Universities like Stanford and Colorado State University are leading by example, from offering bike tours to prospective students to hosting free bike valets at football games.”
As any candidate for higher education discovers, the application process itself is a learning experience that guides decisions and produces self-reflection and evaluation. The League’s Bicycle Friendly University application sets achievement standards for colleges and universities to reach at the honorable mention, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum levels. Every four years, institutions must reapply to the program, hopefully upgrading their award by investing resources into making their campuses more welcoming to people who bike.
“At universities earning our highest awards, we’re seeing a few trends in places that are having success creating environments where more people are choosing to bike,” said Amelia Neptune, Bicycle Friendly America program director with the League. “Bike ambassador programs are showing people that biking is a great option, campuses are offering bike education in multiple languages for incoming students and staff, and colleges are filling the gap in commuter benefits for bicycle commuters. These are best practices that any campus–or business or community–could consider implementing on the path towards becoming a Bicycle Friendly University.”
See the list of new and renewing BFU awards in 2019, as well the complete list of all 208 current Bicycle Friendly Universities. Among the 48 awardees, this round features West Virginia University, the first Bicycle Friendly University in the state, and one of the smallest colleges in the BFU program, 700-student Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) Fergus Falls.
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to build a more Bicycle Friendly America for everyone, where everyone recognizes and enjoys the benefits of bicycling. Its Bicycle Friendly America program certifies communities, businesses, and universities that are taking steps to be more accessible by people biking. The League has certified more than 475 communities and 1,400 businesses. Applications for the 2020 round of Bicycle Friendly University awards are now open, at bikeleague.org/university.