Striking Bicycle Gold
With 10,000 bicycle parking spaces and some 10 miles of bike paths on and around campus, it’s no wonder that biking is the transportation of choice for students at UC Santa Barbara. And now the institution itself is again being honored for it.
The League of American Bicyclists has recognized UCSB as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly University (BFU). The campus has held the designation since 2011, when the awards program first launched.
“This Bike Friendly University Gold designation affirms what we’ve known for a long time at UC Santa Barbara — our campus community is committed to sustainability,” said Marc Fisher, UCSB’s vice chancellor for administrative services. “Biking is the top mode of transportation for our students, and it’s becoming more popular all of the time. Students simply are not bringing as many cars to the community and we believe one of the reasons for that is the wide accessibility of alternatives.
“Our campus and immediate surroundings currently boast nearly 10 miles of separated bike paths, and there are more to come in the university’s long-range plans,” Fisher added. “We are very proud of our biking culture and infrastructure here at UCSB and very happy to again earn this recognition from the League of American Bicyclists.”
With the announcement of 49 new and renewing BFUs today from 31 states, UCSB cements its place in a cutting-edge group of U.S. higher-education institutions transforming their campuses and the communities around them. There are now 127 BFUs in 42 states and Washington, D.C.
“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 league’s Bicycle Friendly University program manager. “From bike storage inside dorm rooms to bicycle-powered music festivals, we applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard of what a bicycle-friendly campus looks like.”
At UCSB, students choose bicycles more than any other means of transportation, with 55 percent of undergrads riding to campus on any given day (walking is a distant second, at 21 percent). Among the overall campus population, an approximate 46 percent ride their bikes.
UCSB also features nearly 10 miles of Class I bicycle paths, more than 10,000 secure bicycle parking spaces in bicycle racks, 40 secure bicycle lockers, eight bicycle roundabouts and free showers for bicycle commuters.
The new recognition comes as UCSB competes in the University of California’s Cool Campus Challenge, a contest between the 10 UC campuses designed to motivate and reward staff, faculty and students who take steps to reduce their carbon footprints and help the UC system reach carbon neutrality by 2025. The challenge arose from UC President Janet Napolitano’s 2013 Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which outlines direct actions the university will take to address the growing crisis of climate change driven by fossil fuel emissions.
In addition to its renewed status as a Gold-Level Bike Friendly University, UCSB has previously been named a Bicycle Friendly Business Gold Medal Winner.
More information about the free BFU program is available via the League of American Bicyclists.