For the second time, the University of California at Davis has been named a platinum college for its bicycling program by the League of American Bicyclists. Campus staff has worked very hard to receive this award saying that they believe that it is a step forward in making America more bike friendly. The college first received the award 2013 after receiving a gold award two years earlier. Faculty and staff have worked very hard to keep the university as one of only two platinum award winners in the United States.
More than 18 miles of bike paths and seven miles of bike lanes make it easy to move across the campus for the approximately 50 percent of staff and students who regularly bike on campus, according to a travel survey. Since previously winning the reward, campus staff has installed more than 5,000 new bike racks, and they have removed 2,500 older ones. While bikes have been the only allowed mode of transportation in the central zone of the campus for many years, recently the zone has been made even bigger. Special lanes have also been installed in front of the parking garage on the west side of the campus so that bicyclists are safer in this area.
Students or faculty members can get a permit to park in one of the 30,000 bicycle parking spots on campus. The permit allows the student or faculty member to bring a car onto campus up to 24 times a year. Those with a permit also receive a free bicycle headlight making it easier to see them at night. Students who are caught breaking laws on their bikes can take a university-sponsored transportation course at a reduced fee. Additionally, a portion of new student orientation is dedicated to introducing the bike program to new students.
While the League of American Bicyclists recognizes 147 bike-friendly campuses across the United States and in Washington D.C., the University of California at Davis is the only one to receive the coveted platinum award for 2017. The university will next be renewed in 2021. There is no doubt that with the commitment from the university president on down to the biking program good things will be in store for the campus at that time as well.