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Alta Planning + Design Sustainable Campus Transportation Services

Go Green! As universities, colleges and companies look for ways to integrate sustainability into their long-range campus planning, nonmotorized transportation can offer a cost-effective solution to reduce your carbon footprint on campus. There are numerous low-cost options available to increase bicycling and walking on campus, and Alta staff can help you select the optimal set of services.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Planning Campuses require a specialized approach to bicycles and pedestrians that reflects the internal circulation needs and aesthetic style of the institution. Issues such as separation of bicyclists and pedestrians, adequate bicycle storage, policies on bicycle riding, and programs to encourage walking and bicycling are part of Alta’s Campus Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans.

Bicycle Friendly Campus Action Plan

Safety studies

The League of American Bicyclists “Bicycle Friendly Communities� (BFC) program recognizes cities, states, and businesses that support cycling and provide a model of how to be more bike-friendly. With the 2010 expansion of its successful BFC program to include educational institutions, universities now have an opportunity to be recognized for encouraging bicycling on campus, promoting an active, healthy lifestyle, and reducing their carbon footprint. Alta can assist universities in applying for recognition through the BFC program.

Bike Sharing Bike sharing is an innovative approach to campus mobility, combining the convenience and flexibility of a private vehicle with the accessibility and reliability of mass transit. Shared bicycles are available on demand, and are particularly suited to larger campuses where many students arrive by transit. Campus bike share can reduce demand for vehicle parking, help community members become more active, and give greater mobility to students who live in on-campus dormitories.

Bicycle Friendly Campus action plans Innovative street treatments

Bike sharing management

Personal Travel Encouragement Alta is a leading provider of individualized marketing of bicycling and walking. Our Personal Travel Encouragement (PTE) programs can reduce drive-alone trips by as much as 10 percent while increasing healthy active transportation habits. PTE programs are especially successful in a campus environment due to centralized communication channels, a target audience more likely to be active and car-free, and significant annual student turnover. Alta designs and implements programs of all types, from one-time pilot programs to multi-year programs.

Safety and Accessibility

Guided campus walking tours

Bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility represent critical elements of a non-motorized transportation network. A safe pedestrian and bicycle system reduces injury risk while attracting new walkers and bicyclists. Alta can help universities and colleges integrate appropriate safety elements into new facility design, and evaluate existing facilities to identify and implement improvements. Our design approach includes cost effective, high-impact solutions, as well as new and innovative safety improvement measures. Assessing safety concerns and developing a plan to improve safety is also an important aspect of effective campus risk management.

Training and Incentives Many people have never learned safe bicycling skills. In a dense campus environment this can cause serious safety problems. Alta’s nationally-certified trainers can provide educational courses and outreach for students, staff, and faculty on rules of the road, bicycle handling skills, and sharing the path. Creating a “Bicycle Buddy� or Ambassador program can reach incoming students and peers with information and support. In addition, Alta can design and implement walking and bicycling incentive programs. They can include commute challenge programs, benefits and priority bicycle parking, free access to recreation facilities for faculty and staff, and other desirable offerings.

Multi-modal transit access Bicycle parking design

Training for students, faculty, and staff

Our Experience California Polytechnic State University Cal Poly has experienced increased levels of bicycling associated with recent on-campus housing development. Alta prepared a Bicycle Circulation & Safety Study to develop strategies, programs and recommended facility improvements to mitigate potential confl icts between cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles.

University of Texas – Austin Alta worked with various stakeholders to develop a long-term campus-wide bicycle plan for the University of Texas at Austin. The Plan was developed in coordination with other concurrent planning efforts to enhance multi-modal access to, from, and within the campus. Alta developed a short- and long-term recommended bikeway network, enabling the University to implement improvements as funding becomes available.

Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

University of Utah Alta worked as part of a team to develop a Bicycle Master Plan for the campus to help create an efficient, integrated bicycle system both on campus and to surrounding neighborhoods. The Master Plan includes defined bicycle routes, lanes, dedicated paths, bicycle parking recommendations, and a bicycle station location plan.

University of Oklahoma Alta’s Bike Transportation Master Plan for the University of Oklahoma will create recommendations for a network of enhanced paths and bike lanes throughout the campus along with improved bike parking and other facilities. Bike connections to streets within the City of Norman are also being studied. Encouragement, education, enforcement, and evaluation programs will be part of the effort as well.

University of Oklahoma

University of Texas

University of Utah

University of Washington Alta and its partners are working with the University of Washington to plan and design a campus wide system of bicycle parking shelters and secure parking areas (SPAs). The system is designed to be a user-friendly, cost-effective, modular system of shelters that will assist the university in achieving its goal of having 20% of its faculty, staff, and students arriving at the campus on bicycle by the year 2020. The Alta team conducted independent verification of demand projections previously developed by the university and is now performing demand modeling and siting elements. Project team members are working closely with various stakeholders such as the Capital Projects Office, the Transportation office, the University Architect, Campus Planning and the University Landscape Advisory Committee to fully understand the critical issues associated with development of the landscape and site design packages.

Other Representative Projects Ū Brigham Young University Bicycle Master Plan, UT

Ū University of Dayton Bikeway Connector, OH

Ū NDSU Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Study

Ū CU Boulder Campus Master Plan & Pedestrian Safety Study

Ū Boise State University Bike/Ped Campus Plan, ID

Ū University of Arizona Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Ū Ohio State University Campus Bikeway Plan

Ū University of Washington Burke-Gilman Trail Corridor, WA

Ū City of Knowledge Pedestrian and Bicycle Systems, Panama

Ū Washington State University Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, WA

Cost Effectiveness Assessment Prior to investing in transportation-related infrastructure such as parking structures, it is prudent for universities to evaluate the cost effectiveness of all commute modes to campus. The results of this evaluation provide campus administrators with the data necessary to make well-informed decisions. Alta can assist universities in completing this assessment.

Innovation Alta is involved in a wide variety of innovative research and programs. Alta’s staff has helped develop many of the standards and practices in use today, with groups such as ITE, TRB, and FHWA. Our GIS-based models (such as StreetPlan, Cycle Zone, Bicycle/Pedestrian Demand Model) offer state-of-the-art tools to our clients. Other innovative services include: Ū Climate Action Plans and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies Ū Complete Streets Guidelines Ū Education and Training Ū Marketing and Public Outreach Ū Personal Travel Planning Ū Public Bicycle Systems Ū Safe Routes to School Plans and Design Ū Sustainable Transportation Policy Development Ū Transportation Research

GIS demand analysis and modeling

Who We Are Alta Planning + Design was formed in 1996 with the specific goal of offering the best possible services in the areas of sustainable transportation and recreation. Today Alta has over 90 staff in 22 offices and an international workload. On any given day, most staff walk, bike, or take transit to work. We are committed to transforming communities, one trip at a time, one step at a time, and one street, intersection, and park at a time.

Contact Us Toll Free: 877.347.5417

Campus master plans Secure bicycle storage facility

Office Locations: Arlington, VA Benicia, CA Berkeley, CA Boston, MA Boulder, CO Bozeman, MT Chicago, IL Davidson, NC

Durham, NC Jacksonville, FL/ St. Simons Island, GA Las Vegas, NV Los Angeles, CA Madison, WI Portland, OR Salt Lake City, UT

San Diego, CA San Rafael, CA Saratoga Springs, NY Seattle, WA Springdale, AR St. Louis, MO Vancouver, BC


Volume 1, Number 1

Best Practices in Campus Bicycle Planning and Program Development SUMMARY Universities are not only institutions of higher learning, they are also research and thought leaders and places of great innovation. This can be said about cutting-edge laboratory research, as well as sustainable transportation practices such as bicycle planning and program development. While the bicycle is obviously not a new invention or technology, there is a renewed focus and emphasis on prioritizing bicycling due to its many benefits, including health, economic, and environmental benefits. Additionally, students who become bicyclists during their time at university are more likely to continue bicycling after graduation. This white paper documents best practices in bicycle planning and program development at university campuses throughout the United States. by Sam Corbett, Joe Gilpin, and Rory Renfro

Campus Bicycle Master Plans While bicycling can and has emerged at some campuses through fairly organic means, campuses that have planned for bicycling by developing policies, programs and facilities to better accommodate bicycling as a legitimate transportation mode have yielded greater success in increasing bicycling rates. Campus bicycle master plans should be developed to be consistent with other campus planning documents, such as long range development plans or campus master plans. Campus bicycle plans should also establish seamless links with the existing and proposed bikeway networks of neighboring jurisdictions. Campus bicycle master plans typically include the following primary elements: • Vision, goals and objectives • Existing conditions assessment • Opportunities and constraints • Proposed bikeway network • Proposed bicycle programs • Implementation and funding plan

It is recommended that the bicycle plan be developed in coordination with multiple campus departments, including transportation, planning, police, and facilities management, among others. The development of the plan should also include campus outreach efforts, which could include public forums, workshops, and/or online surveys. Many universities have created Bicycle Advisory Committees to guide the development of their bicycle plans, which can be an effective strategy of ensuring that various bicycling issues and concerns are addressed by the plan. Lastly, it is important to note that the work is not finished with the completion of the bicycle master plan. It is vital that universities dedicate adequate staffing and financial resources towards bicycle plan implementation to ensure that the recommended improvements are successfully implemented.

City Coordination One of the biggest challenges that university campuses face when trying to increase their bicycle commute mode share is working with neighboring communities to create an environment that is safe, comfortable, and conducive to bicycling. Campus bicycle commuters typically log the majority of their miles riding on city streets

Perspectives in Planning is an occasional series from Alta Planning + Design, bringing you the latest research and innovation in nonmotorized transportation planning.

White Paper: Campus Planning 2 | alta planning + design

en route to and from the campus. Consequently, it is critically important that universities coordinate with the local jurisdiction to create a well-connected, seamless network of bicycle facilities between the campus and neighboring communities. This can sometimes involve multiple jurisdictions, such as the state’s Department of Transportation, and city and county governments. Since the 1960s, the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) has been coordinating with the City of Davis in bicycle planning efforts to create what many have called “The Bicycle Capital of America”. This level of “town – gown” coordination has resulted in a highly integrated network of bikeways that seamlessly transition between the UC Davis campus and the surrounding Davis community. In a city that is only 10 square miles in size, Davis has a remarkably extensive bikeway network – 50 miles of bike lanes and 50 miles of off-street paths. Bicycling rates have historically been among the highest in the nation at UC Davis and in the City of Davis, although bicycling rates have fallen in recent years at the university and within the city. Despite lower bicycle mode share rates than in the past, approximately 50% of UC Davis students still bicycled to campus as their primary transportation option in 2007.1 While bicycle planning efforts have waned in recent decades at UC Davis and the City of Davis, the strong foundation of bicycling facilities that was established between the 1960s and 1980s continues to be well-utilized by bicyclists. Establishing a working relationship with staff from local jurisdictions responsible for bikeway planning and implementation is an important step in improving bikeway connections to the campus. It is recommended that universities designate a liaison responsible for interfacing with the city on bikeway planning issues. Many universities have also benefited from partnering with their local jurisdictions on bicycle infrastructure projects or grant applications to advance mutually beneficial bicycling projects.

Innovative Facilities As the bicycle planning profession advances and matures in the United States, an increasing number of bikeway facilities are available to better accommodate bicyclists by creating a safer and more comfortable riding environment. In fact, several campuses have been on the leading 1 T. Buehler and S. Handy. “Fifty years of bicycle policy in Davis, CA”. Submitted to the Committee of Bicycle Transportation.

transportation | recreation | innovation

One-way cycle track at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts

edge in developing and experimenting with more innovative bikeway facilities, including one-way cycle tracks at MIT, buffered and colored bike lanes near the University of Arizona, and an entirely segregated system of bicycle paths at UC Santa Barbara. Universities are compact, self-contained communities that have the autonomy to develop specific infrastructure that will benefit the campus most. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide provides practitioners in cities and towns around the United States with stateof-the-practice solutions for on-street bicycle facilities. NACTO developed the Guide because many of its members found existing design manuals inadequate for their efforts to provide safe and visible bicycle facilities. The state of bicycle facility design has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years and the standard design manuals have been unable or unwilling to keep pace with best practices. To create the Guide, officials from NACTO cities and a team of top planners and designers launched NACTO’s Cities for Cycling project. They conducted an extensive survey of expert knowledge, design guidelines from cities around the world, and experience and case studies from innovative projects in the U.S. The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide website provides a thorough discussion with supporting illustrations of each treatment, including when it should be used, considerations for recommended elements and options for different types of applications. Real-life

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projects are described for each design category, giving designers insight into best practices on the ground.

the following steps to improve their bicycle parking facilities:

Many of the treatments provided within the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide such as cycle tracks and intersection treatments can make existing campus roadways function better for bicyclists, often times providing more direct and faster connections to and across campus. Good on-street bicycle facilities can reduce rates of sidewalk and wrong-way riding and other unsafe bicyclist behaviors that can cause crashes on university campuses.


Bike Parking Universities throughout the nation share the common challenge of accommodating student, faculty, and visitor vehicular parking demand, often in developed environments with limited available space for expansion. Bicycle parking facilities present a tremendous opportunity to address this demand both in a cost- and space-efficient manner. Providing ample and secure bicycle parking facilities is vital to creating a bicycle-friendly campus environment. Compared with motor vehicle parking, bicycle parking is remarkably space-efficient, as at least ten bicycles can be parked in the space that it takes to park one motor vehicle, and it can be located closer to the user’s end destination. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon to have a shortage of bicycle parking facilities on university campuses due to high demand and the often constrained public space. Other campus bicycle parking issues include outdated or inadequate bicycle parking facilities, bicycle parking facilities sited in inconvenient or secluded locations, and high levels of bicycle theft. To mitigate some of these issues, universities can take

Covered vertical bicycle parking

Adopt a bike rack standard – to address the issue of outdated and/or inadequate bicycle parking facilities, it is recommended that a bicycle rack standard be adopted by the university campus architect or design review board. The bicycle rack should be securely anchored to the ground, allow locking of the frame and one or both wheels with a U-lock, and support the bicycle in at least two places.2 Once a standard (or set of standards) has been adopted, this bike rack type should be utilized for all new installations, and older racks should be replaced as funding allows. Racks can also take on a uniform design and color so that they are easily identified by cyclists.

2. Assess bicycle parking demand – determining the optimal amount of bicycle parking for a university campus is as much art as science. There are several techniques available to estimate bicycle parking demand, including basing bicycle parking demand estimates on bicycle mode share, bicycle parking utilization surveys, and residence hall capacity. Establishing minimum bicycle parking requirements for new building construction (and reconstruction) also provides an opportunity to proactively meet parking demand. Regardless of the bicycle parking demand estimation technique utilized, it is recommended that university staff continually monitor bike parking utilization rates and add additional bicycle parking to meet demand as funding allows. 3. Provide long-term bicycle parking – long-term bicycle parking typically consists of secure, sheltered bicycle parking to meet the needs of bicyclists that are more concerned about bicycle theft, storing their bicycle in inclement weather and/or storing their bicycle for extended time periods. Long-term bicycle parking can be supervised or unsupervised and can be provided in many different designs, ranging from bicycle lockers to bicycle racks enclosed within a room or “bike cage”. The University of Arizona provides a wealth of long-term bicycle parking options, ranging from lockers to secure, covered “bicycle enclosures”. Long-term bicycle parking is particularly important for on-campus residents, but 2 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. Bicycle Parking Guidelines, 2nd Edition. 2010.

transportation | recreation | innovation

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should also be strategically located around campus for use by off-campus commuters. 4. Provide high-capacity bike parking – some universities, especially those with space-constrained environments, are consolidating short- and long-term bicycle parking facilities into larger “high-capacity” facilities. For example, the University of Texas at Austin and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are both developing several high-capacity “bike stations” throughout the campus in an effort to centralize parking availability while reducing bicyclist/pedestrian conflicts near campus building entrances (where many bike racks currently exist). These centralized parking areas will include weather protection and may provide additional features such as bicycle repair facilities. It should be noted that this centralized high-capacity approach should be balanced with providing bicycle parking in convenient locations.

Washington State University’s “Green Bike” Bike Share program features student cards to access the system and a local mechanic.

trips. The international community has experimented with bike share programs for nearly 40 years. Until recently, bike share programs worldwide have experienced low to moderate success because of theft and vandalism. In the last five years, innovations in technology that bring increased accountability along with proprietary, non-standard bicycle designs have given rise to a new generation of technology-driven bike share programs with enhanced security. Modern bike sharing can dramatically increase the visibility of cycling and lower barriers to use, requiring only that the user have a desire to bike and a smart card, credit card or cell phone. Bike sharing systems are particularly well-suited to many campus environments due to the following factors: • Strong commitment to sustainability and green

transportation options High-capacity bicycle parking near housing

• High concentration of people in a fairly compact

Bike Sharing

• High percentage of students living on or near

Bike sharing systems are comprehensive mobility systems that use a fleet of bicycles and stations spread over an area to provide inexpensive and accessible transportation to communities. They have been described as a “system of individual public transport” and are wellsuited for short trips, typically three miles or less. Bike sharing systems are energy efficient and zero emission, and are quick and cost-effective to implement compared with other types of transportation infrastructure. Bike share programs provide safe, convenient access to bicycles for short trips, transit-work trips, and/or tourist

transportation | recreation | innovation

campus environment campus who often do not have access to a motor vehicle • Accommodate intra-campus travel needs of

faculty, staff, and visitors • Existing bicycle infrastructure

UC Irvine has led the way with a campus bicycle share system with stations to accommodate 40 bikes located at several locations around campus. The $40-per-year program is open only to UCI affi liates with a current employee or student identification number. The first 250

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subscribers received a helmet, safety light, lock and water bottle. Washington State University installed a $140,000 automated system for its bike program. Students swipe their identification cards to unlock a bike from one of four docking stations on campus. The convenience has drastically boosted the use of the program.

Bicycle Programs Developing and fostering a strong and sustained campus bicycling culture requires more than simply providing bicycle facilities to better accommodate campus cyclists. Concurrent to adding bikeway facilities, it is vital to also develop campus programs, policies, and incentives to provide information and resources that can be effective in increasing bicycling rates. Bicycle programs should be developed to advance the four programmatic “E’s” of bicycle planning: encouragement, education, enforcement, and evaluation. Following is a brief description of the purpose of focusing on each of these “4 E’s”: • Education: community understanding and respect

for the roles and responsibilities of cyclists and other transportation users, such as pedestrians and motorists.

• Evaluation & Planning: institutional support

and collaboration to track rates of bicycling and encourage additional growth. Table 1 provides a summary of some of the more interesting bicycle programs in place at various universities.

Evaluation and Monitoring After putting forth efforts to create a more bicycle friendly campus, universities should dedicate resources toward evaluating and monitoring campus bicycling trends. Data collected through evaluation and monitoring efforts paint a picture of how the campus community is responding over time to bicycling needs and university investment. At the very least, universities should collect data on bicycling activity rates to track bicycling usage over time. If resources exist, universities may also want to collect data on bicycle related crashes, bicycle theft, and other safety related issues such as user conflicts. The Table 1: Innovative Bicycle Programs at U.S. Universities University


Emory University


• Bicycle safety classes • Bicycle events calendar • Mobile bicycle repair center

Harvard University


• Interactive bicycle map • Departmental bicycle program • Bicycle safety classes



• Bicycle commuter benefit program • Bicycle fix-it stations

Stanford University


• Campus bicycle coordinator • Bicycle repair stands • Helmet discounts • Bike safety pledge program

University of Arizona


• Bicycle safety videos • Campus bicycle station • Bike valet program

University of California, Davis


• Bicycle coordinator • Bicycle barn • Bike auctions

University of California, San Diego


• Pedal club • On campus bike shop • Campus commute challenge

University of Washington


• Bike safety classes • Ride in the rain challenge • Bike rooms, lockers and shelters

University of Wisconsin, Madison


• Campus bicycle coordinator • UW bike swap • Bicycle lockers and cages

• Encouragement: increase bicycle ridership and

foster the creation of a strong bicycle advocacy community and bicycle culture. • Enforcement: support for a safer environment for

cyclists and other nonmotorized transportation modes.

Speed feedback signs on shared facilities

Bicycle Program

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University of Colorado, Boulder has a hotline for “near misses” between bicyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians, and enters all information from these calls into a database for tracking purposes. There are four basic approaches to evaluating campus bicycle commute mode share and activity. Following is a brief discussion of each approach: 1.

Campus Cordon Counts – this survey methodology consists of conducting actual physical counts of bicyclists (and other transportation users if desired) at various entrances to the university campus. It is recommended that the following issues be considered in designing the cordon count methodology: a. Survey the peak morning commute period at a minimum. b. Mid-week days are best to survey – avoid Monday and Friday as they are not representative commute days c. Select a time of year that is fairly typical for campus – September, October, and April are often good months to survey. d. Follow the same approach every year – once counting methodology is established, remain consistent so that data can accurately be compared from one year to the next. e. Hire students – students are often looking for valuable work experience and this is a good opportunity to provide it to them and complete the survey at a reasonable cost. f. Hope for decent weather – however, if weather is not ideal, make note of rain or inclement weather as lower bicycling counts could be attributed to the weather. It is also possible to adjust count volumes for weather or seasonal variations if sufficient background data exists.

Depending on the volume of bicycle activity, this survey methodology can provide the opportunity to collect secondary information, such as gender or helmet usage. If resources do not exist to complete a full campus cordon

transportation | recreation | innovation

Bike rack signage can provide useful information

count, this survey methodology has been successfully utilized to measure bicycling rates by counting bicyclists at several key locations on campus. 2. Bicycle Parking Utilization – this survey methodology is similar to campus cordon counts except instead of counting cyclists entering the campus, surveyors are counting parked bicycles on campus. The issues listed above apply to this survey effort as well. Additionally, the following items should be considered as part of this survey effort: a. Prior to conducting a utilization survey, complete an inventory of bicycle parking facilities to identify parking capacity. b. Develop a survey route to make efficient use of the surveyor’s time. c. Instruct surveyors to look for “rogue” bicycles parked outside of designated bicycle parking areas and include them in the count effort. 3. Online Commute Survey – unlike the two approaches described above, this survey methodology does not include field work and instead relies on survey respondents to self-report their commuting activity. The following issues should be considered when developing the online survey: a. Provide respondents with a full menu of commute options, including multi-modal options such as transit/bike (e.g., bicycling to a transit stop, then taking transit for the remainder of the trip). b. Request no more than one week’s worth of

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Table 2: Summary of Bicycle Activity Survey Methods Survey Method



Cordon Count

• • • •

High degree of accuracy Fairly easy to design and administer survey Provides location specific commute data Dataset can easily be compared between years

• • • •

Can be time and resource intensive Difficult to categorize bicyclists by affiliation (e.g., students, staff, etc.) Difficult to capture all bicycle trips due to temporal/spatial gaps Does not capture intra-campus bicycling activity

Bike Parking Utilization

• • • •

High degree of accuracy Fairly easy to design and administer survey Provides location specific data on bicycle parking demand Dataset can easily be compared between years

• • •

Can be time and resource intensive Difficult to categorize bicycles by affiliation (e.g., students, staff, etc.) Difficult to capture all bicycles parked on campus due to temporal/ spatial gaps Misses bicycles that people bring into buildings (e.g., offices or residence halls)

• Online Survey

• • • •

Can categorize bicyclists by campus affiliation Not very time or resource intensive to conduct Can easily ask for additional information Can better capture nuances of multi-modal trip making behavior

• • •

Dataset is not as accurate when people self report trips Greater potential for survey error, such as multiple respondents, sample size issues, etc. More challenging to obtain location specific data

Automated Counter

• • • •

Can provide consistent and long-term sources of user data Can be used to understand weather and seasonal variability Can be used to track long term growth in bicycling No volunteers to coordinate

• •

Can be somewhat expensive for a permanent installation Typically used in fewer areas than with cordon counts

commuting activity, as survey respondents may not accurately recall their travel patterns beyond this time period. c. Distribution is critical to generating a representative sample – utilize campus email distribution lists and social media opportunities such as Facebook and Twitter to reach a broader campus population for greater accuracy in data extrapolation. d. Offer a prize through a raffle – this will also increase the response rate, especially if a valued prize is offered, such as an iPod or book store gift certificate. e. Send reminders to respondents – send at least one to two survey reminders to survey respondents before closing the online survey. f. Provide a hard copy survey option – some people may not have access to a computer. 4. Automated Counts – passive detection such as infrared scanners, pneumatic tubes, video detectors, slab sensors, or embedded loop detectors can be configured to count cyclists at specific locations approaching or within campus. These devices can provide a more complete picture of usage patterns rather than a snapshot. a. Can be used to track seasonal variability and weather variability. b. Data collected in a few locations can be useful to

better understand information collected via any of the means above. It should be noted that each of the survey methodologies described above has advantages and disadvantages. Table 2 presents a summary of the different survey approaches.

Bicycle Friendly University The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) has recently added the Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program to its Bicycle Friendly Community program in which cities apply for recognition as bicyclefriendly communities. The BFU program was developed to recognize universities that promote and provide a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Similar to the Bicycle Friendly Community program, LAB recognizes universities with four levels of bicycle friendliness – bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Most universities find the BFU application process to be educational, as they learn what is required to become bicycle-friendly; it also serves as a barometer of their progress. In addition to recognizing applicants for their efforts to provide a bicycle-friendly campus, the LAB also provides individualized feedback on how each applicant can create a more bicycle-friendly campus environment.

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Table 3: 2011 BFU Award Winners University

BFU Award

Stanford University


University of California, Davis


University of California, Santa Barbara


California State University, Long Beach


Colorado State University, Fort Collins


Portland State University


University of Arizona


University of California, Irvine


University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


University of Oregon


University of Washington


University of Wisconsin, Madison


Boise State University


Cornell University


Emory University


Indiana University


Michigan State University


University of North Carolina, Greensboro


University of California, Los Angeles


University of Maryland


for the campus community. As discussed above, working on the following bicycling issues will “get the wheels spinning” and improve bicycling conditions on university campuses: 1.

Develop a plan – creating a bicycle plan provides the campus with the blueprint towards becoming more bicycle-friendly


Work with local jurisdiction to improve bicycle facilities – while this can be challenging, this coordination pays huge dividends for campus bicycle commuters


Innovate – sometimes the tools in the toolbox are inadequate to address the unique travel patterns at university campuses, so experimenting with innovative treatments may be an effective approach to improving bicycling conditions


Meet bicycle parking demand – providing safe and secure bicycle parking facilities is a key element of creating a more bicycle-friendly campus


Consider bicycle sharing – while not as critical as some of the other topics discussed, a campus bicycle sharing system is a valuable resource and demonstrates a strong commitment to bicycling by the university


Develop bicycle programs – to complement bicycle infrastructure improvements, it is strongly recommended that bicycle safety classes, bicycling incentives, and other related programs be developed


Set up evaluation/monitoring programs – this is an important step to ensure that university campuses can document the impact that their efforts are having on bicycle activity on campus


Apply for BFU designation – to reap the rewards of creating a more bicycle friendly campus, it is recommended that universities apply for recognition through the BFU program

Table 3 presents the universities that were recognized in 2011 through the first round of BFU applications.

Conclusion In many ways, bicycling is the ideal mode of transportation for university campuses – it’s quiet, it’s clean, it’s inexpensive, it’s sustainable and it’s space efficient. Universities interested in becoming more bicycle-friendly can do so at fairly low cost by prioritizing bicycling as a viable mode of transportation

Sam Corbett is a Senior Associate in Alta’s San Diego office. He also served as Assistant Director and Planning and Policy Manager for the University of California system. Joe Gilpin, Associate, manages Alta’s Bozeman office. He is a planner with a background in advocacy and research in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rory Renfro, Associate, AICP, is a planner in the Portland office. He regularly gives presentations at national conferences on best practices in bicycle and pedestrian planning.

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