Final - Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in

Promoting Bicycle
Commuting on Campus
Joe Slade
Georgia Institute of Technology
LCI #2088
• Why ride a bicycle to work?
• Challenges and misconceptions about bicycle
• Advantages of bicycle commuting on a college
• Promoting bicycle commuting on campus:
Practical suggestions
Benefits of Bicycle Commuting
Quality of Life:
• Physical Fitness
• Mental health
• Increased productivity
• Livable communities
• Save time over commuting
and exercising separately
• Reduce pollutants
• Reduce sprawl
• Encourages awareness of
bicycling as a means of
Economic Benefits:
• Lower health care costs
• Reduces need for
automobile ownership /
maintenance & fuel costs
Inverse association between physical inactivity and mental health, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 38(1).
Misconceptions: Fitness / Difficulty
Photos courtesy of Rivendell Bicycle Works, Copenhagen Cycle Chic
Carrying Things to Work
Burley Bicycle Trailer
L.L. Bean Backpack
R.E. Load Messenger bag
Queen Bee Panniers
Be Presentable
Smelling Nice
Looking Good
•Shower before you leave home
•If your commute is short &
weather nice, just wear work
clothes on the bike.
•Allow time to cool down,
potentially change
•Leave clean clothes & toiletries at
the office
•Shower after you get to work
•This is one major benefit of
working in higher ed—many of
us have access to a gym/shower.
•Otherwise, consider leaving a
week’s worth of clothes at the
•Perhaps drive in on the
weekends or M/F to drop
off & pick up.
•Some health clubs offer
shower & locker only monthly
fees (cheap).
Common Crash Causes
Advantages to bicycle commuting on a
college campus
•Community of people who are potentially interested in
•We tend to have access to secure bike parking on
•Generally easy access to a gym with showers
•Easy form of affordable, sustainable
transportation for students
•A captive, idealistic population!
•We can serve as role models and influence
a generation of students!
Promoting bicycle commuting
on a college campus
1. Remove potential barriers
2. Outreach
3. Education
Removing Institutional Barriers to
•Campus Master Plan
•Traffic flow & patterns
•Language—is it a roadway “improvement” for all types of
users, or only motor vehicle operators?
•Are bicycle lanes or sharrows and footpaths included?
•Is there a campus / community Bicycle Master Plan?
•What is the availability of bicycle racks and lockers?
•Are the racks in good condition and easy to use?
•Are the campus safety officers familiar with
local bicycle codes?
•Do officers on bicycles follow laws?
•Student groups focused on sustainability
•Human Resources (Bicycle Commuter Benefit)
•Parking & Transportation (Alternative Transportation)
•Campus Sustainability Officers (Bicycle Friendly University)
•Faculty / Staff
•Current Bicycle Commuters
•Potential Bicycle Commuters
•Spin classes, people who live nearby, gym members
More Outreach
•Current Bicycle Commuters
•Focus Groups
•How can we improve campus facilities / climate for bicycle
How can we otherwise promote bicycle commuting as a
viable option to potential commuters?
•Weekly / Monthly Sponsored Breakfasts
•Community Organizations
•Bicycling Organizations
•Sustainability Organizations
•League of American Bicyclists Classes
•Participants are 5 times less likely to be involved in a crash
•Lunch & Learns
•Many of our campuses already sponsor various brown-bags
•Reach out to departments on campus and offer free presentations
•Consider passive marketing campaigns
•Many people are taught to ride on the sidewalk or against
•These are two leading causes of bicycle collisions
•Place flyers with state / local laws near bicycle racks
•Educate not only people who want to ride, but people who drive,
especially as part of their work on campus
Additional Resources
• The League of American Bicyclists
• To learn more about bike commuting:
Evaluations & Questions
– [email protected]
– 404-385-6587
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