While college coaches are awaiting the bracket results for the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament, bicycle program coordinators at 32 universities have been waiting for news about their own bids for recognition.
The League of American Bicyclists announced the results this week for its inaugural 20 awards in the Bicycle Friendly Universities program.
Stanford University in Palo Alto led the list with a platinum designation, followed by two universities with gold — UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.
Nine others received silver level awards and eight received bronze awards (listed below). Nine of the 20 are in Pacific coast states.
Over the years, the League has awarded 150 bicycle friendly designations to communities across the US. Last year, it decided to extend the program to college campuses.
This is a great idea, because it goes beyond reducing traffic and parking congestion on college campuses. It instills in students the idea that bicycles are a serious and effective means of transportation.
Bill Nesper, director of the League's Bicycle Friendly American Program is quoted in a press release:
“Universities have long served as incubators for developing bike‐friendly cultures and practices, and that has a big impact on the expectations that students bring to the workplace and beyond. With the launch of the Bicycle Friendly Universities program, we’re able to highlight the crucial role that academic institutions play in shaping a more bike‐friendly future.”
To make a big for recognition, colleges had to fill out a 27-page application with nearly 100 questions. The document essentially sought to determine how well the colleges met the “5 E's” — engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation.”
Stanford must have scored in every case. The League noted its cycling network, education programs like the Bike Safety Dorm Challenge and bicycling incentive programs. One-in-five students at the university currently commute by bike.
Another university that scored well was UC-Davis. The town of Davis received the first platinum-level bicycle-friendly designation in 2005; now the unversity has its recognition. In reporting the award, UC-Davis estimated that nearly 17,000 students, faculty and stuff use bicycles on campus daily.
The League made the official announcement of the Bicycle Friendly Universities at the National Bike Summit, which is going on in Washington DC this week.
The winners are:
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
University of California-Davis
UC Santa Barbara
California State Long Beach
Colorado State University,
Boulder Fort Collins
Portland State University, Portland, OR
University of Arizona, Tucson
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
University of Washington, Seattle
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Boise State University, Idaho
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Emory University, Atlanta
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Michigan State University, East Lansing
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
UC Los Angeles
University of Maryland, College Park
The Bicycle Friendly University website tells how to apply.
Photos above taken on a trip to UC Davis in 2008.