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Duke Named A 'Bicycle Friendly University'

Duke Named A 'Bicycle Friendly University'

League of American Bicyclists presents Duke with sustainable designation

Many Duke roads feature sharrows - symbols that alert drivers to share the road with bicyclists. Photo by Eric Gililland via Flickr.

Durham, NC - Duke has been added to a list of 35 colleges listed as a "Bicycle Friendly University" by the League of American Bicyclists. The program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, employees and visitors.

After receiving an honorable mention for bicycling efforts last year, Duke now has a "Bronze" designation after submitting an application highlighting aspects of Duke's biking programs and how it makes biking easy on campus for students, faculty and staff.

"Over the past six months, we've addressed safety on all our roads, adding bike lanes, wide shoulders or sharrows to every street on campus," said Brian Williams, Duke's transportation demand management coordinator. "The Bicycle Friendly University award highlights the work of the Duke community to make riding a bike easy."

For the bronze designation, the League of American Bicyclists will give Duke two Bicycle Friendly University road signs, a Bicycle Friendly University pennant, an award certificate and a profile on the organization's website. 

North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro and University of North Carolina-Wilmington also received bronze designation. Duke will maintain its bronze status for four years, after which the university can reapply to maintain or improve its rating.

This isn't the first alternative transportation award recognition for Duke. In December, Duke was named among 31 other universities and colleges across the country as one of the "Best Workplaces for Commuters" by the National Center for Transit Research.

"As universities compete for students and status, becoming more bicycle-friendly is a winning strategy that energizes and invigorates staff and the student body," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. "By making cycling safe and enjoyable, Bicycle Friendly Universities are both educating and empowering the next generation to adopt smarter, healthier transportation habits that will last a lifetime."

Randy Best, administrative manager for Duke's Physics Department, said he started riding his bike to work six years ago to benefit his health and cut down on burning gas since he only lives about five miles from West Campus, where he works. He's impressed with the growth of Duke's bicycle commuter program, which offers incentives like up to 24 free parking passes and the use of showers at Brodie and Wilson recreation centers before 9 a.m.

"It's quite commendable what Duke is doing to make the biking program more attractive," said Best, who represents Duke at Durham's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. "The design of campus is well-suited for riding a bike, plus campus is so beautiful that it really makes biking through it a pleasure."

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Just because you put symbols on a road does not make that road wide enough to accomodate both a biker and a car.  The picture included with the story makes that clear.  Just because Duke encourages biking does not make biking in Durham safe.  I wish these 'Bicycle Friendly University' awards would take into account what it actually is like to bike on these campuses.

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