When asked about the environment at UNCG, students comment enthusiastically. It’s a caring, supportive and inclusive campus, they say. What if bikes could talk?

Based on a recent designation by the League of American Bicyclists, UNCG is a “bike friendly” place to be.

Avid cyclist Dr. Mary Crowe, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, agrees. “I am happy I have facilities and support to commute by bicycle. Many of my friends who cycle for recreation do not. It shows that UNCG is helping lead the nation in promoting alternative ways to access campus.” Crowe has been cycling nearly seven days a week for the past 15 years.

The first-ever Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) designations were announced at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Among the 20 universities honored by the League of American Bicyclists, UNCG, a Bronze Winner, was the only campus in North Carolina and one of only four from the eastern United States. Other universities in the Bronze category were University of Maryland, Cornell, Emory, Boise State, Indiana, Michigan State and UCLA. UNCG was also the first university in the Triad designated a Best Workplace for Commuters last fall. “I hope the designation will encourage others to get out there and ride,” Crowe says.

Membership has its benefits
Bicycle registration is free. In addition, any UNCG community member can show his or her university ID and receive discounts at a number of local cycling shops.

The cycling culture is gaining momentum in Greensboro and UNCG is helping to inspire that change.

“UNCG is a sustainable transportation leader amongst east coast schools,” Suzanne Williams says. Williams is associate director of Campus Access & Travel Demand Management. “Awards like this routinely go to west coast schools where infrastructure has been firmly established to support alternative modes of transportation. The cycling culture is gaining momentum in Greensboro and UNCG is helping to inspire that change.”

Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for Business Affairs says the League reviewers were especially complimentary of UNCG’s LEED buildings with bike parking (School of Education and Jefferson Suites) as well as the annual transportation challenge campaign and the traffic safety task force. Taylor still has the Schwinn Suburban he bought in the ninth grade with paper route money. “It gets much better mileage than today’s Suburbans.”

Ride, shower, work
In the past three years UNCG has done a lot to improve conditions for cyclists including arranging for free showers in the Student Recreation Center for cycle commuters, providing commuter showers in the new School of Education building and offering the Spartan Bike Share program and Bicycle Club.

“As an alumna and staff member, I’m proud to be here,” Williams says. “Campus decision makers boldly choose to invest scarce resources in sustainable transportation instead of more parking decks. It was a risky strategy, but it’s already paying off. By improving campus infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, we’re making campus more accessible, we’re maintaining affordability and we’re helping the environment.”

Photography by David Wilson, University Relations