Pedaling to Platinum: CSU named among elite Bike Friendly Universities

Colorado State University buzzes with bikes. With more than 23,600 bikes registered to be on campus on any given day, and with a university in the heart of a community heralded nationally for a love of bikes, it’s no surprise that CSU was named today to the prestigious Platinum Bicycle Friendly University list. CSU is the only university in the state and one of only five in the nation recognized as platinum by the League of American Bicyclists. To reach platinum status, the university had to demonstrate that it is an exemplary campus for bicyclists, welcoming cycling at every level, and has a number of people biking at much higher levels than the national average. CSU is the first university to climb directly from Silver to Platinum, skipping Gold, in its quest for top recognition for supporting biking on campus. “This recognition is a nod to the entire cycling culture in Northern Colorado and Fort Collins,” said Aaron Fodge, alternative transportation manager for the university. “The work of many people at the university, and our strong partnership with the city, creates a seamless transition for cyclists from city to campus, and the strong commitment from so many crafts an optimized bike-friendly experience for our students, faculty, staff and guests. We hope to see more and more of our community try out bicycling as a mode of transportation to and on campus.” Numerous biking amenities on campus As part of its commitment to supporting bicycling on campus, Colorado State University has:

“Our campus embodies the love of cycling that is a part of the larger culture of Northern Colorado,” said Lynn Johnson, vice president for Operations. “While riding a bike has always been a mode of choice on campus, we’ve particularly made great strides in the last few years in infusing bicycling on and to campus into our infrastructure. This recognition is a great demonstration of our commitment to sustainability, as well as to providing safe, smart commuting options to our students, faculty and staff.” [caption id="attachment_25169" align="alignright" width="300"]Colorado State University students ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center, November 4, 2015. Colorado State University students ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center on Nov. 4.[/caption] Designation creates great cycling The Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bike-able campus for students, staff and visitors. The program provides the road map and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling. “In its fourth year, we’ve seen the Bicycle Friendly University program reach an exciting level of growth and momentum, as more and more campuses support bicycling in new and innovative ways,” said Amelia Neptune, the Bicycle Friendly University program manager. “From bike storage inside dorm rooms to bicycle-powered music festivals, we applaud this round of universities for raising the standards of what a bicycle-friendly campus looks like.” The League of American Bicyclists also recognizes Bicycle Friendly Communities; Fort Collins was named a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community in 2013. From 2000 to 2013, bicycle commuting rates in large Bike Friendly Communities increased 105 percent, far above the national average of 62 percent and more than double the rate in non-Bike Friendly Communities, according to the League of American Bicyclists. CSU's 'green streak' continues This recognition complements an already long list of sustainability awards Colorado State University has received.
  • CSU was honored as a 2015 Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in April.
  • In March, CSU was recognized as the first university ever to earn a Platinum rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, called STARS, an independent assessment that measures sustainability efforts at universities and colleges around the world.
  • Also in March, The Princeton Review ranked CSU 12th overall in its Top 50 Green Colleges list, and fifth among public research universities in the country.
  • In July, CSU was named the nation’s most sustainable university by BestColleges.com.
  • In August, CSU was named among the top five in Sierra magazine’s Coolest Schools green ranking.
  • The Pavilion at Laurel Village and the Powerhouse, two of the university’s newer facilities, achieved LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
bike friendly infographic   Assets for media Photos Click photos in story to enlarge for print-quality downloads Additional photo options Colorado State University students ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center, November 4, 2015.   Colorado State University community members ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center on Nov. 4.   Colorado State University students ride bicycles on the bike path on Plum Street, November 4, 2015.   Colorado State University community members ride bicycles on the bike path on Plum Street on Nov. 4.   Colorado State University students ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center, November 4, 2015.     Colorado State University community members ride bicycles on the bike path south of the Student Recreation Center on Nov. 4.   Ram bicycle sign     Bike routes are designated on campus with the university's mascot on a bike.     Infographic Click infographic to enlarge and download  

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Take survey to help CSU elevate bike-friendly rating

Colorado State University is aiming to become recognized as a premier Bike Friendly University, with a gold or platinum a rating given by the League of American Bicyclists. Currently at silver status, awarded in 2011, Colorado State University is seeking consideration for a higher rating. The League of American Bicyclists evaluates university from across the nation each year. The Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes university with infrastructure to support biking across and to campus, as well as universities that promote bicycling as a way to commute. Universities are evaluated for their bike share programs, educational efforts, and infrastructure to encourage biking, as well as bicycle safety enforcement. “Colorado State University is proud of our accomplishments to make the campus more bicycle friendly since our application in 2011,” said Aaron Fodge, alternative transportation manager. “We hope to elevate our ranking to support our city’s ranking as a Platinum Bicycle Friendly City.”bike friendly u silver As part of the application process, Colorado State students, faculty and alumni are invited to complete a survey to share information with the League in support of CSU’s application. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BFU_2015_93 The survey will be open through Friday, Sept. 18.  The input received through this survey will help inform the final award decision and will inform feedback that CSU will receive later this fall.  

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Grant to CSU helps faculty, staff bike to work

Faculty and staff 50 years and older can get Back on the Bike, thanks to a Kaiser Permanente grant. The grant, awarded to Parking and Transportation Services, supports a program to help faculty and staff become more comfortable riding a bike to work. The program, Back on the Bike, is now seeking participants for sessions starting the fall semester. The program, geared toward engaging more people in active transportation and physical activity, helps CSU employees who want to bike to work assess their health, tune up their bike, get safety gear, and learn tricks to travel in traffic and overcome other safety or comfort obstacles through personalized travel training. To qualify, faculty and staff must be at least 50 years old, live within a Fort Collins zip code, and want to commute by bicycle. Training helps with health, safety concerns Back on the Bike will offer faculty and staff travel training programs including:

  • Confidential health assessments administered by the Recreation Center
  • Free bicycle tune up
  • Free bike safety gear including a bike lock, helmet, light, and carry bag
  • Hands on travel training and bicycle skills development
  • Eight monthly training and discussion group sessions with lunch provided
  • Online participation tracking system
  • The opportunity to recruit other eligible employees
“CSU is in one of the nation’s friendliest biking cities, but it can be intimidating to commute to work when the ride includes traveling in traffic, navigating trails and planning your day around the commute,” said Aaron Fodge, alternative transportation manager for CSU, housed in Parking and Transportation Services. “Many faculty and staff members may be tempted to try commuting to work during the summer, but don’t want to get stuck on campus during an afternoon rainstorm, or just simply haven’t hopped on a bike for a while. This grant is designed to provide them with everything they need to be able to get on their bikes this summer and enjoy all that campus and Fort Collins have to offer for those on two wheels,” Fodge said. Because of this program, many employees are overcoming these obstacles and biking to work. CSU employees offer testimonials for the program Sign up by August 4 to participate Participation in the program requires that employees attempt to commute by bicycle to work three times per week from September-November and March-May, and one time a week during December-February. To participate, employees should sign up by August 4. To participate in the Get Back on the Bike program, contact Amanda Fitzpatrick at (970) 491-7600 or Amanda.Fitzpatrick@colostate.edu.

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