Hey all, what follows is something I just pecked out, hope to have it up and running sometime this spring. Any suggestions?


The Duke Cycling Initiative
October 2006
Introduction
Duke Bike Advocates is committed to improving bicycling facilities and opportunities in our community. We have promoted the spread of bike lanes on campus and have hosted several “Bike Fix-Up Days.” The Duke Cycling Initiative is the next step to increasing bike activity and advocacy on campus. Under this program, students will be able to borrow any of 20 refurbished bicycles through the University library system.


How it Works
Duke students and faculty will be able to borrow bicycles from two locations on campus. Lilly Library, on East Campus, and Bostock Library, on West, will serve as the two hubs. The bikes can be incorporated into the library’s catalog system, and essentially be treated the same as books. Students will be able to borrow a bike for up to 24 hours, after which they must return it to either library.


Benefits
The Duke Cycling Initiative will present our community with a cost effective, clean addition to the university’s current public transportation system.

1. Improved Student Health
a. As of 2001, 22.4% of adults in North Carolina are obese. We believe that bicycling is a key tool in promoting healthy behavior and improving public health. For example, a 15 minute ride to and from class, five days a week will burn 11 pounds of fat in a year .
2. Reduced Environmental Impact of Duke
a. In recent years Duke has made strides in reducing its environmental footprint. From the student-led purchase of 2,500MW of Renewable Energy Certificates, to the use of Biodiesel in University buses, Duke students and faculty have shown their commitment to environmental responsibility. Although this pilot program will have little effect on Duke’s environmental impact, it will test the feasibility of a large-scale, University-sponsored biking program.
3. Relieve Stressed Bus System
a. Duke’s campus presents cyclists with a near-ideal setup. The two main campuses, roughly 1.6 miles apart, offer easy access to dorms, classrooms, and restaurants. Bike lanes are present on most major through-campus roads, and bike racks are a common sight. Unfortunately, students are often seen packing onto crowded East-West buses, even in beautiful spring weather. Tight schedules certainly necessitate this, but many students, finished with classes for the day, would enjoy a leisurely ride back to their dorm or through the gardens. This pilot program, with only 20 bikes, will do little to reduce the crowds on buses, but on a larger scale it could have a notable impact.


Cost
• Bicycles provide cheap, reliable, efficient transportation. We hope that a call for donations would land us most, if not all, of our initial 20 bikes. If donations fall short, we could offer to buy used bikes from students or community members at a reasonable price.
• In addition to the cost of the bikes and any necessary repairs, we would need to buy helmets, locks, and lights. These are all relatively low cost items, and are included in the table below.
• All bikes will be painted a standard color and design, and would clearly indicate that they were part of the program. Minor items, like brake pads, seats, and tubes are included in the “Misc.” row.
• Even given a yearly attrition rate of two or three bicycles, the program’s maintenance costs are very low. Assuming the replacement of three bikes a year, there’s no reason to believe that a program of this size would cost more than several hundred dollars a year.


First Year Budget
Cost Quantity Total
Bicycles 50 10 500
Bicycles (Donated) 0 10 0
Helmets 20 20 400
Locks 25 20 500
Lights 10 20 200
Misc. 200 N/A 200
TOTAL: 1800




Conclusion
For 140 years the modern bicycle has provided cheap, reliable transportation. The Duke Cycling Initiative is the stepping stone to an efficient, healthy, and environmentally responsible transportation system at Duke University. With the introduction of these 20 bicycles, we will test the feasibility of a larger community-based program, similar to the Blue Urban Bikes program in Chapel Hill. Judging from student usage and program costs, we can decide what future form the program will take. Through the Duke Cycling Initiative, Duke University can demonstrate its commitment to a healthy, environmentally responsible community.