UC Santa Barbara has received a Gold Award in the League of American Bicyclists' inaugural Bicycle Friendly University program. UCSB was among 20 Bicycle Friendly Universities announced today at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.
UCSB is one of only two Gold Award-winning universities. A total of 32 Bicycle Friendly University nominees yielded 20 awards, including one Platinum, two Gold, nine Silver, and eight Bronze award winners.
"We are very proud of our successful bicycle system and the extraordinary use of that system by our campus community," said Marc Fisher, UCSB senior associate vice chancellor, administrative services.
"Our commitment to the development, refinement, and maintenance of the bicycle infrastructure continues in this time of reduced budgets through the financial contributions of our students, our Chancellor, and Campus Design & Facilities. I would like to personally thank all involved with the operation of this exemplary system."
The League of American Bicyclists praised the campus's commitment to bicycling as a transportation alternative. "UCSB is doing wonderful things for students, staff, and faculty –– and the greater bicycling community," the league said in a statement.
"I am overjoyed to learn the League of American Bicyclists has given UC Santa Barbara the distinction of the Gold Level Bicycle Friendly University Award," said James Wagner, program manager for the campus's Transportation Alternatives program. "UCSB's ongoing investment over more than four decades in bicycle-commuter support programs and bicycle infrastructure improvements make a world of difference. UCSB also leads the way nationally in terms of human-powered commuter trips because such a large percentage of our campus community bicycle, skateboard, and walk between their home and our campus."
According to Wagner, 49 percent (10,215) of UCSB's students commute by bicycle, as well as 9 percent (420) of the faculty and staff. UCSB also features 10 miles of Class I bicycle paths, more than 10,000 secure bicycle parking spaces in bicycle racks, 40 secure bicycle lockers, seven bicycle roundabouts, and free showers for bicycle commuters.
This is the second year in a row that UCSB has been honored by the League of American Bicyclists. In 2010, the campus was named a Bicycle Friendly Business Gold Medal winner. This is the first time that the League has chosen Bicycle Friendly Universities.
"Universities have long served as incubators for developing bike-friendly cultures and practices, and that has a big impact on the expectations that students bring to the workplace and beyond," said Bill Nesper, director of the League's Bicycle Friendly America Program. "With the launch of the Bicycle Friendly Universities program, we're able to highlight the crucial role that academic institutions play in shaping a more bike-friendly future."
UC Davis also received a Gold Award in the Bicycle Friendly University category, while UC Irvine received a Silver Award. The Platinum Award went to Stanford University.
† Top photo: Students travel on one of many bicycle paths on the UCSB campus
†† Bottom photo: James Wagner, who rides a bicycle to work, is program manager for Transportation Alternatives.
Photos by George Foulsham, Office of Public Affairs