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
  • 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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Parking discount offered to low income employees

The Division of Operations and Parking and Transportation Services are rolling out a one-year pilot program to assist the university’s lowest paid employees in meeting increased parking permit costs. The pilot program will be evaluated after one year. The program, designed by a committee that included representatives from the Administrative Professional Council, the Classified Personnel Council, and the Emergency Hardship Loan Fund committee, will automatically provide a 50 percent reduction in annual permit fees to employees who meet criteria. The discount was created after extensive conversations across campus about potential changes to the campus parking model and a necessary increase to parking permit fees. The discussion process included analysis from the Center for Public Deliberation and feedback from various groups on campus, including Administrative Professional Council, Faculty Council and Classified Personnel Council. An option to assist lower-income employees emerged as an important consideration, particularly for employees who are unable to use alternative transportation due to their work schedules. “This new discount program is a great step in answering faculty and staff feedback that low-income employees may need assistance with parking permit fee costs,” said Jeff Sturgeon, immediate past chair of the Classified Personnel Council. The discount will not apply to monthly, daily or hourly parking permits. To qualify for the discount, employees must be half-time or greater and eligible for university benefits, and make less than $30,000 as their base salary. Employees who do not work full time must make less than the equivalent of $30,000 in base salary if paid full-time to receive the discount. Employees who meet all criteria will receive a letter confirming their eligibility within the first two weeks of August. Employees who meet all criteria will automatically receive the discounted price when purchasing their annual parking permits; no application process is necessary. Employees may purchase their permit online or in person at Parking Services. Human Resources will provide Parking and Transportation Services with information about employees who meet the criteria. Employees who qualify for the discount, but who have already purchased a full-price annual permit for 2015-2016, should contact Parking Services for a 50 percent refund of the cost. The university identified the need to increase parking permit fees to increase and maintain university parking inventory. Fees will help pay for the construction of an additional parking garage between Pitkin and Lake Streets on the east side of campus, and an additional parking lot on the south side of campus, to be completed in a few weeks. Employees who believe they may qualify but who did not receive the discount should contact Parking Services at 970-491-7041.

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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

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