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Old 09-12-05, 08:15 AM   #1
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Advocacy at Colleges and Universities

I was curious if any BikeForums members are active in college advocacy groups.

I am somewhat involved in Durham's bike and ped advocacy group, and as a Duke employee, I am considering volunteering for the advocacy group on campus as well.

My main questions are: 1)What successful events or initiatives have taken place in an academic setting in your communities, and 2)What advice could you give me, as a possible liason between the city and the university? (This town-gown relationship is rather strained, to put it mildly)

- Also, could you post some links to your college advocacy group homepage?
Here is mine: http://www.duke.edu/web/bikeadvocacy/
Duke's advocacy group is open to all members of the community; students, staff, and faculty.
This month's events are a two-day bike repair clinic, followed by a group ride through campus on Int'l Car Free Day.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:51 PM   #2
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For a school project, I am going to be enhancing the bicycle advocacy on my college campus. We don't even have a bike advocacy website (that'll probably be part of the project...). I do know that we have "bicycle loan program". For a 20$ deposit, students get a street legal bicycle to ride for as long as the student is on campus. I want to expand this and also just get a network and some activities going. We need an actual bicycle advocacy group. ANY suggestions for doing this, ANY exchange of ideas would be awesome. Any advice for doing this on a campus in a somewhat rural area would be appreciated, too. Duke's ideas are pretty great...something to aspire too. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-12-05, 11:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by * jack *
My main questions are: 1)What successful events or initiatives have taken place in an academic setting in your communities, and 2)What advice could you give me, as a possible liason between the city and the university?
--- Check out this thread from April 16th entitled "Encourage bike commuting?"
/www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=1522608
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Old 09-13-05, 08:45 AM   #4
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Early on, you'll want identify your objectives. This will determine who will be interested in helping you, and what your message will be.

If your goal is bicyclist advocacy, i.e. helping to improve conditions for people who travel by bike, that will imply one set of stakeholders and issues.

If your goal is bike advocacy, i.e. improving conditions for the bike industry or discouraging other travel modes/exercise modes in favor of bicycling, that will imply a different set of stakeholders and issues.

A college campus administration will be interested in bike advocacy because they believe this will reduce traffic and parking demand to make things easier for the remaining people who drive cars.

Anti-car environmentalists and urbanists will be interested in bike advocacy because they like anything that isn't a car.

By contrast, students and employees who travel by bike will prefer bicyclist advocacy, because this addresses their actual needs and wants.

At NCSU, bicyclist advocates obtained more and better bicyclist parking at a time when campus police had started impounding bikes that were locked to railings at building entrances. The railings were the only sturdy objects that would accept a U-lock.

Other subjects of interest for bicyclist advocates on other campuses include smoother roadway pavement, repeal of mandatory registration programs (or making them vountary), promotion of the rules of the road for both cyclists and motorists, etc.

-Steve Goodridge
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Old 09-13-05, 05:53 PM   #5
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Set up a bike shop co-op. Take this one for example.
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Old 09-13-05, 07:03 PM   #6
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I've looked for one here at Washington University but haven't found one yet. Anyone on the board go to WashU?
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Old 09-13-05, 08:02 PM   #7
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Early on, you'll want identify your objectives.
That might help......have a purpose. Don't advocate for the sake of advocating.....
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Old 09-13-05, 08:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri
identify your objectives.
Here is a list of key points that the Duke Bike Advocates are recommending:

Duke University and Durham must work together to increase the number and quality of bicycle lanes around town and on campus

Bicycle access should be a major consideration in all future City and University development plans

Where bicycle lanes do not exist Duke and Durham should work together to ensure that potholes and grates do not present an undue hazard to cyclists

Duke University should improve bicycle access around existing buildings and ensure that barrier-free paths connect all major locations on campus (in particular, Science Dr. to Chapel Dr.)

Duke should provide covered bicycle parking near University buildings

Duke University should hire a full-time Transportation Services employee dedicated to developing and promoting commuter alternative programs in partnership with the City of Durham


Thanks for all the advice and suggestions, so far... keep 'em coming!
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Old 09-13-05, 09:12 PM   #9
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I'm an advocate at my high school and in my college town...
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Old 09-16-05, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemcycle
That might help......have a purpose. Don't advocate for the sake of advocating.....
Oh, without a doubt. There is certainly a need for it on our campus. Actually, the focus of my project might be just to bring all the disparate elements that already exist in various places on our campus and make it a cohesive entity that will encourage bicycle transport and look out for cyclist/commuters interests...for example, this bicycle loan program in contact with the Buildings/Facilities people (who maintain paths and bike racks, etc.) in contact with the student government Sustainability Chairperson position in turn, in contact with the students who cycle, etc., etc. and have them all kind of "in one place" so that it can eventually incorporate the other important element, which is the outside community and the cyclists who belong to it. (The campus/city relationship is also strained in my area, so it would be good to repair it if we could.) What do you think of this idea? Any additional input would be nice. Thanks, guys!
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Old 09-16-05, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by * jack *
Here is a list of key points that the Duke Bike Advocates are recommending:
[SIZE=1]
Duke University and Durham must work together to increase the number and quality of bicycle lanes around town and on campus
Are they set on striped segregation facilties, or would wide outside through lanes be acceptable?

Given that Duke is in an urban area that is mostly built out and features high demand for on-street parking, I would be worried that the school's response to demand for bike lanes would result in lots of door-zone bike lanes.

FYI, I've been talking a lot with NCSU's bike transportation planner. NCSU's chosen approach has been to stencil shared-lane markings ("sharrows") on the roadways. On streets with on-street parking, the sharrow is marked well outside the door zone to remind road users where cyclists are expected and permitted to operate. On streets with wide outside lanes, sharrows are being stenciled in the area where cyclists normally ride on the right side of the lane.

-Steve Goodridge
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