Last week, The League of American Bicyclists released its list of 37 officially recognized bike-friendly universities in the U.S. The list has been running since 2011, with some schools opting to get the award once, while others renew the designation every year by submitting the ways that the school has improved bike infrastructure since the last application. To date, 221 universities have received this award.
Did your college or university make the cut? Here’s a look at what it takes to make the list.
How does a school receive “Bike-Friendly” designation?
Schools must apply for the League'’ designation, which is divided into diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze level categories—plus an honorable mention for schools that are clearly making progress but have a ways to go. According to the League, The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU℠) program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bike-able campus for students, staff, and visitors.
They believe that campuses are uniquely suited for a thriving bike culture, since students often live close to where they learn and work, and often campuses are relatively blocked off from cars. Dorms and school buildings often offer decent bike parking—some schools are better than others!—and at many colleges, it’s faster to ride between classes than to take the bus. Many schools also have bike clubs or co-ops, or even bike shares and rentals to make navigating campus on two wheels easy.
How do schools move up the rankings?
To be designated as a bike-friendly university, a school must demonstrate that it offers engineering in the form of bike lanes and other structures to encourage easy riding, encouragement, education, enforcement, and evaluation/planning.
To improve the ranking—i.e move from gold to platinum—a university needs to do things like working with community organizations and town planning boards in order to make not just the campus safe to ride, but the surrounding area as well. Introducing policies like banning rights on red to avoid cyclists getting hit in crosswalks is another way University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill worked to improve safety for riders.
Who's on the Bike-Friendly list in 2022?
“The 2022 cohort of BFUs, featuring colleges and universities of every size, joins a movement of communities and businesses investing resources in making bicycling safer and easier not only on campus but in their surrounding communities as well,” says Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists.
New colleges on the list for this year included University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Connecticut/Storrs campus; City Colleges of Chicago; University of Massachusetts Amherst; and University of North Carolina, Asheville.
The colleges and universities being added or renewed for 2022 included:
Dickinson College (since 2014)
University of Maryland, College Park (since 2011)
University of Utah Gold (since 2012)
University of Vermont (since 2011)
Arkansas State University (since 2014)
Bowdoin College (since 2013)
Brigham Young University (since 2015)
California State University, Sacramento (since 2017)
Carnegie Mellon University (since 2014)
Champlain College (since 2015)
Loyola University Chicago (since 2016)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (since 2014)
Santa Monica College (since 2014)
University of California at San Diego (since 2019)
University of Cincinnati (since 2018)
University of Massachusetts Lowell (since 2015)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (since 2014)
University of Pennsylvania (since 2014)
University of Rochester (since 2015)
Aquinas College (since 2015)
Chatham University (since 2011)
City Colleges of Chicago (since 2022)
East Carolina University (since 2014)
Illinois Institute of Technology (since 2017)
Indiana University Purdue University (since 2022)
Kennesaw State University Marietta AND Kennesaw campuses (since 2018)
Towson University (since 2015)
University of Alabama at Birmingham (since 2018)
University of Connecticut/Storrs campus (since 2022)
University of Massachusetts Amherst (since 2022)
University of North Carolina, Asheville (since 2022)
University of North Carolina, Greensboro (since 2011)
University of North Texas (since 2017)
University of Northern Colorado (since 2014)
University of San Diego (since 2013)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (since 2022)
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