The League of American Bicyclists announced yesterday that the University of Arizona is a silver-level bicycle-friendly university.
This year’s announcement is the first time the league has awarded a bicycle-friendly distinction to universities around the country.
More that 30 universities applied for recognition, but only 20 were awarded a distinction.
UA was one of nine silver-level friendly universities. UC-Santa Barbara and UC-Davis were awarded gold status and Stanford was the lone platinum bike-friendly university. Check the bottom of this post for a complete listing of awards.
Charles Franz, UA Parking and Transportation’s alternative transportation program manager, said he was happy the league recognized the UA.
“Obviously it is a great honor just to be tied in with an organization like the League of American Bicyclists and be recognized by them,” Franz said. “With us getting silver right out of the chute for our first application, that says a lot. Of course we would like to have received a gold rating. I think we do a tremendous amount of stuff here at the university.”
Parking and Transportation intern Chloe Forsman spearheaded the application process, which she says was a month solid worth of work and said it was an educational experience.
“I think it is a great start,” Forsman said. “We’ve learned a lot for the application process. If you see what other schools have a silver rankings, we are among a lot of schools that are really recognized for their bicycle friendliness.”
Scott Benjamin, a senior design specialist in the College of Optical Sciences, said the award didn’t mean much to him as a bike rider because he is going to ride his bike to campus regardless of what level the university is awarded.
According to Forsman, in the next four-to-six months the LAB will send the UA a detailed report about why the university was awarded a silver designation and what they can do to improve their standing four years from now when the UA can reapply to keep or raise their bike-friendly status.
“We are anxious to get the report back from the LAB to see where they think we can improve,” Forsman said.
She is excited to begin working with other departments to improve cycling on campus.
“I think there is a lot of potential on campus for multiple departments to get behind and contribute to bicycle programs on campus,” she said. “Parking and Transportation had really done the bulk of the work and they have some fantastic programs, but there’s a lot of potential to work with other departments in promoting bicycling on campus.”
Platinum: Stanford University
Gold: University of California Davis and University of California Santa Barbara
Silver: California State University Long Beach, Colorado State University, Portland State University, University of Arizona, University of California Irvine, University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, University of Washington and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Bronze: Boise State University, Cornell University, Emory University, Indiana University, Michigan State University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Maryland College Park and University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Honorable mention: Duke University, Macalester College, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Chicago, University of Cincinnati, University of Hawaii, University of Kentucky, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Texas -Austin, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee