UC Santa Cruz named a 'silver bicycle-friendly' university

bicycle fans

Student Robert Jones, left, a regular bike rider on campus, with Cathy Crowe of Transportion and Parking Services, and Melissa Ott, a recent graduate who now works with the UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

UC Santa Cruz has been named a "silver bicycle-friendly university" by the League of American Bicyclists.

The bicycle-advocacy group selected 33 new and renewing bicycle-friendly universities in 20 states, bringing to 100 the number of bicycle-friendly universities it has identified on a bronze, silver, gold, and platinum scale in 37 states and Washington, D.C.  Other UC campus making the list are UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and UCLA.
“Campus leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said league president Andy Clarke. “We applaud this new round of colleges and universities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their staff, students and surrounding communities.”

UC Santa Cruz encourages bicycling and provides amenities such as free bike safety classes, bike maintenance clinics, bike fix-it stations, and bike licensing; a variety of bike parking options, including smart bike lockers; a bike lending library; a bike shuttle from two off-campus locations; and a zero-interest bike loan for academic and staff employees.

The UCSC bike program also conducts a Bicycle Safety Campaign twice each year to educate cyclists about safe cycling techniques; helmets and bike lights are distributed free of charge to participants who don’t currently have them.
Students have been a driving force in the promotion of bicycles at UC Santa Cruz, launching several successful programs such as the Bike Library, the Bike Co-op, the Bicycle Transit Planning Team, and a student Transportation Campaign.

"I am so proud that the efforts of hardworking individuals and organizations at UCSC have been recognized with this award," said Melissa Ott, a recent graduate who was highly involved with bicycle advocacy efforts as a student.  "I hope this helps inspire more students, staff, and faculty to hop on a bike and explore our campus on two wheels."

Ott, who now works in the UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office, acknowledges that the campus's hilly terrain can be a challenge. "It's not easy to persuade people to bike up our hills, but those of us who make the trip know that once they do, the rewarding views, endorphins, and sense of community are so worth the sweat."

More information about UCSC’s bike program can be found online at http://taps.ucsc.edu/commute-options/bikes/index.html.