Rice recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University | Rice News | News and Media Relations

The League of American Bicyclists has named Rice a Bicycle Friendly University.

The program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bikeable campus for students, staff and visitors through evaluation of five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Rice moved up from Bronze to Silver status since the last round of awards four years ago, and the new designation is effective through 2025.

Bicycle Friendly University logo

“On many campuses, bikes are simply another way to get around, but at Bicycle Friendly Universities, we’ve seen that students, faculty and staff are encouraged to think beyond the utility of bikes as transportation, truly valuing their ability to foster a healthier, safer, more connected campus life,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists.

Rice’s application process was led by Lisa Lin, who led Rice’s transport demand management program before becoming Harris County’s director of sustainability in January, with assistance from Richard Johnson, Rice’s executive director for sustainability, and undergraduate intern Trisha Gupta.

“After going through our first application in 2017 and understanding the types of activities and programming the league was looking for to be considered a BFU, that process gave us a path forward to plan and track the activities for the next four years,” Lin said.

“Going from a bronze to a silver designation in four years is validation that all the work and effort we have made was worth it and that it takes dedicated staff and students to keep this going,” Lin added. “It has to be embedded in the culture: a desire for the campus and its surrounding to be bikeable in a way that’s safe and equitable. It also means that there is still room to grow and improve.”

Lin hopes Rice’s BFU designation serves as a catalyst for the city and county to achieve their bike-friendly goals. “I would love to see the city and Rice reach gold-level designation together in the future,” she said.

“In my view, for Rice to receive a silver certification in the Bicycle Friendly University program given Houston’s car culture is pretty remarkable,” Johnson said, noting the addition of B-Cycle stations across campus and implementation of safety improvements since receiving bronze certification.

“Many members of the Rice community have also been deeply engaged in advocating for improved safety and amenities for cyclists, not just on campus but also for areas adjacent to campus,” he added. “And finally, our transportation department has been actively involved in all facets of promoting and improving the cycling experience.”

The program now includes 222 colleges and universities in 47 states and the District of Columbia. It is part of the Bicycle Friendly America program, which awards communities and businesses with certifications as part of its mission to make bicycling safe, comfortable and more accessible for all.

A full list of Bicycle Friendly Universities can be found here.

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