(Left to right) Robert Jones, a student bicycle commuter who also works with sustainability organizations on campus; Cathy Crowe, who manages transportation programs like the Bike Library, as well as permit sales for TAPS; and Melissa Ott, a recent UCSC graduate who actively supported bicycling as a student and now works in the Sustainability Office.
“Campus leaders are recognizing the immediate and long-term impact that a vibrant bike culture can create for their institutions,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of colleges and universities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier lifestyle for their staff, students and surrounding communities.”
Robert Jones rides his bike to campus nearly every day for class. He also works for UCSC's PowerSave Campus and the UCSC Sustainability Office.
UC Santa Cruz encourages bicycling as an easy option for transportation and provides amenities such as free bike safety classes, bike maintenance clinics, bike fix-it stations, and bike licensing; a variety of bike parking options, including smart bike lockers; a bike lending library; a bike shuttle from two off-campus locations; and a zero-interest bike loan for academic and staff employees. The UCSC bike program also conducts a Bicycle Safety Campaign twice each year to educate cyclists about safe cycling techniques; helmets and bike lights are distributed free of charge to participants who don’t currently have them.
Jonny Zelaya was an intern with the Student Environmental Center's Transportation Campaign, which encourages sustainable transportation, including bicycling. He is now a Student Sustainability Advisor for College 8 and Oakes.
Ott, who now works in the UCSC Sustainability Office, acknowledges that the topography of the campus is a challenge. "It's not easy to convince people to bike up our hilly campus, but those of us who have made the trip up know that once you challenge yourself to do so, the rewarding views, endorphins, and sense of community that result are so worth the sweat!With this award, UC Santa Cruz will now have access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle-friendly.
More information about UCSC’s bike program can be found online at http://taps.ucsc.edu/commute-options/bikes/index.html.