Saturday, October 10, 2009

Learning to Be a Bike Commuter with the Yellow Bike

A few years ago, Northern Arizona University instituted a bike share program to reduce the university's transportation emissions and encourage biking and walking to class, as opposed to driving to class (NAU actually has student parking at academic buildings, something I never experienced at University of Georgia or University of Louisville and was probably in better physical shape for it). Originally, NAU provided the bikes to the Center for Sustainable Environments from its collection of abandoned bikes. The bikes were painted yellow and use is limited to campus with hopes of expanding the program to off campus as the students and Flagstaff gain more sophistication are the bike share concept.

A week ago I found a several large bike racks on campus with the yellow bikes locked to them. I saw neither students or faculty checking them out, although bike racks all around campus filled with bikes at the beginning of fall semester. I wondered how students and staff get access to the bikes. Maybe if information about the program were easily found on the NAU website? Still, it's nice to see a bike share program in Flagstaff, even if it is limited to campus.

4 comments:

Trisha said...

I like the idea. wish we'd had something at my university, though I might have ignored it as well. Despite living just over a mile from campus I rarely walked and never biked -- though I did frequently take the free shuttle. p.s. hello fellow SEC college attendee! UGA is our oldest rival (I'm an AU grad).

She Rides a Bike said...

Trisha:
I went to UGA when Bear Bryant was the AU coach. Eons ago really. Yes, AU was UGA's big rival then too but people hung on every thing he said or did.

I actually bought my first really nice bike, a Giant Iguana in Athens at Sunshine Bicycles, a really nice bike shop on Broadway. I got it my senior year and road it to art school all the time. No helmet, of course. No high heels, either, I'm afraid. Athens was very bike friendly, as I recall, as so many people road bikes to school and UGA made driving a car on campus pretty difficult, and expensive. Bike theft was a serious problem there so I usually kept my bike in my studio space when on campus.

Filigree said...

Those yellow bikes remind me of Vienna's citybike programme!

Campus bikeshare is a great idea. When I was an undergrad, I recall that bike theft and lack of places to park near the lecture halls were the biggest complaints of students who cycled. A bike share programme should take care of both concerns.

lifewithoutwheels said...

I wish they had a program like this for Los Angeles, at least the downtown areas. Would probably help with the congestion in those areas immensely. Especially if you could come off a subway stop and pick up a bike to ride a little ways. Maybe more people would get out of their cars in SoCal.

Nice blog!