| ||The U of I is one of 62 institutions recognized as a Silver Bicycle Friendly University.|
CHAMPAIGN, IL – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s commitment to promoting and providing a more bike friendly environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors has earned the campus the new designation as a Silver Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM (BFU) from the League of American Bicyclists.
The university has maintained bronze-level BFU certification since 2011 and is one of 208 colleges and universities recognized nationally, and one of 94 with Silver level or better (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) BFU status, for taking significant steps to address health and environmental challenges by creating safer, more welcoming and accessible areas for people who bike.
Dr. Mohamed Attalla, executive director of Facilities & Services, said, “Achieving this well-earned award is due to the dedication and persistence of many individuals within the campus community collaborating to increase bike programs, improve infrastructure, and encourage others to get involved and help reach strategic active transportation goals.”
The BFU program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Some of the university’s recent initiatives that contributed to receiving Silver certification were the publication of the 2014 Campus Bike Plan, bike path and bike lane improvement projects, bicycle rack parking upgrades and additions (11,635 bike parking spaces in 2019), the launch of the Bike at Illinois website, the start of VeoRide bike sharing availability in 2018, and the improvement of bicycle route networks through the MCORE project.
“Congratulations are in order for the U of I on its inclusion in an elite class of Bicycle Friendly Universities nationwide,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “Just as applying to a college or university requires self-reflection, self-evaluation, and meeting rigorous standards, so too does applying for and attaining Bicycle Friendly University status.”
Encouraging bicycling on campus and reducing carbon emissions from commuting and fleet transportation is a major theme of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), which includes future objectives for new and improved bike infrastructure. Through coordinated long-term planning with partner agencies and the cities, several construction projects across Champaign-Urbana have added protected bike lanes and transformed highly-utilized roads into complete streets with improved level of service for bicyclists and contribute to healthier, sustainable outcomes in the community.
To learn more about the free BFU program, visit the League online at www.bikeleague.org.