The League of American Bicyclists recently released a list of the most bike-friendly campuses in the United States for 2018.
The schools that made the list not only provide students with bike racks for secure parking and safe bike routes for getting to class, they go the extra mile to improve bike accessibility for all students and faculty, writes Hailey Middlebrook for Bicycling.
To determine the most bike-friendly colleges, the League reviewed both institutional reporting and on-the-ground bicycle advocate feedback, according to a press release from the organization. Each school was then measured on their performance in the "Five E's": engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation.
"What I like about these awards is that it doesn’t matter how big, small, urban, or rural the campuses are," says Amelia Neptune, a program director at the League. "We love seeing the creative ways the schools are promoting biking and making safer, healthier environments to do it."
Related: One thing the campus of the future probably won't have? Parking.
This year, 45 colleges and universities earned a Bicycle Friendly University status by the League. Here are the seven campuses that earned "gold" status:
1. University of Kentucky*
2. University of Maryland, College Park*
3. Harvard University*
4. Dickinson College*
5. University of Utah*
6. University of Vermont*
7. University of Washington, Seattle*
Note to readers: EAB congratulates member institutions that appear on the list. Member institutions listed above are marked with an asterisk.
The University of Kentucky topped this year's ranking in part for the creative incentives the school offers students and faculty, writes Middlebrook. For instance, faculty who opt out of a parking pass for the school year earn a free bike-share membership or credit to spend at a local bike store. And students who don't have a car on campus get free access to bike rentals. This year, Kentucky also hired a full-time faculty member dedicated to improving cycling support on campus.
Middlebrook writes that in Dickinson College's effort to improve bike accessibility on campus, the college not only acquired a fleet of bikes for students to rent out, but also opened a bike shop on campus. "They've made a biking culture where there wasn't really one before," says Neptune—proof that "[e]very school can be a little less car-focused and a little more bike-supportive," she adds (League of American Bicyclists award list, 11/5; League Staff, League of American Bicyclists, 11/14; Middlebrook, Bicycling, 11/29).
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