Bicycle-Friendly University Award System

The League of American Bicyclists has had a Bicycle Friendly Community program going for years, as well as newer Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly State programs. Now, the League is adding one more, a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program.

The program was actually officially launched in September at the annual Pro-walk/Pro-bike conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But now, the BFU application has just been released (and the race begins).

College campuses tend to be much more bike-friendly than most places in the U.S., but the League can surely help many to be even better and this new application is a good opportunity for such improvement.

“The college campus is an ideal setting for bicycling and a natural fit for reaching institutional sustainability, health and livability goals,” Carly Sieff of the League writes. “This program will guide schools to becoming more bicycle-friendly and award those with strong bike programs and infrastructure.”

The first BFU application deadline is January 21, 2011 and the second one is July 22, 2011.

I think the process of applying for a bicycle friendly designation is actually a great student project — I was executive director of an organization promoting sustainable transportation and sustainable development in the greater Charlottesville (Virginia) area a few years ago and worked with a couple of student interns from the University of Virginia to (successfully) apply for a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for Charlottesville. The students actually did most of the work, but we all learned a ton in the process. Hopefully, a lot of universities will get on board applying for the BFU designation and will perhaps contribute to their students’ practical education in the process as well.

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Photo Credits: richardmasoner via flickr (CC license); richardmasoner via flickr (CC license); richardmasoner via flickr (CC license); bagaball via flickr (CC license); ajft via flickr (CC license)

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