Rice is a Bicycle-Friendly University

 

Rice was named a “Bicycle-Friendly University” (BFU) by the League of American Bicyclists Nov. 8.

Biker“With the announcement of 46 new and renewing BFUs, Rice joins a cutting-edge group of colleges and universities across the United States that are transforming their campuses and communities around them,” the league said. There are now 182 Bicycle-Friendly Universities in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Rice is one of six BFUs in Texas and received bronze-level status.

“The latest class of Bicycle-Friendly University awardees shows a wonderful commitment to safety, health and sustainability through their efforts to support bicycling on campus,” said Amelia Neptune, director of the league’s Bicycle-Friendly America Program. “We applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike.”

“We’re very excited to earn this designation and are the first university in Houston to get it,” said Lisa Lin, program manager for Rice’s Transportation Demand Management Department. She and McMurtry College sophomore Zach Verne worked over the summer to collect data from across campus for Rice’s application to be a BFU.

The league’s BFU program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning.

Among the activities and efforts that qualified Rice for its bronze-level designation:

  • From 2014 to 2017, Rice nearly doubled its parking capacity for bikes, with more than 3,000 spaces available for bikes on campus.
  • Rice recently installed three Houston BCycle stations, racks with ready-to-rent bikes, on campus and will be adding more.
  • Rice has established a mobility safety committee studying bike safety on campus.
  • Rice University Police Department encourages bike use on campus by offering bike registration, bike locks for sale and safety information.
  • Rice encourages employees to participate in National Bike to Work Day, held each May.
  • This year the Rice Environmental Society teamed up with Rice Bikes to host Sustainability Week, hosting bike-related events and offering students, faculty and staff information on biking on campus and in Houston.
  • Rice Bikes is a student-run business located in the Housing and Dining garage that offers bicycle rentals, repairs, safety information and hosts rides, all aimed at fostering a safe and healthy bike culture on campus.
  • Each year Rice students participate in a celebration of cycling with the annual Beer Bike race.

“Our vision is that Rice is able to offer its students access to enough high-quality mobility services that they will not need nor want to own a car when they come to Rice,” said Richard Johnson, director of Rice’s Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management.

The League of American Bicyclists is working to create a Bicycle-Friendly America and is committed to listen, learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a voice for change.

 

About Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans is a senior editor in the Rice's Office of Public Affairs.