Energy & Climate

Undergraduate Fellow Addresses Campus Transportation

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 17:08:00 CDT  — by: David Evans, C'15, Sustainability Undergraduate Fellow

path_300Can't park on University Avenue? Can't find a spot in the bike racks outside the library? Had your bike "borrowed"? David Evans (C'15) is trying to find enduring answers to all of these concerns. Read about it here!

Several years back, people were able to drive down Alabama Avenue up to the front of the library. With the Spencer Hall construction, this ability diasappeared in order to discourage students from driving to class as well as to increase the aesthetic beauty of the university’s most-traveled paths. Since then, further reductions in parking on central campus have encouraged more students to bring bikes to campus as an alternative mode of transportation. While university policies have disincentivized cars, there is a growing need for new bike-friendly infrastructure on campus.

Undergraduate Sustainability Fellow, David Evans (C’15) will identify those growing needs and work towards bringing the necessary infrastructure to campus. In some cases, the needs are obvious. Bike racks are often not available near building entrances, or the existing racks do not provide enough space for all the bikes. Many of the bike racks on campus are uncovered and leave bikes open to the weather, and some of the current awnings over racks are too small. Beyond the physical space to keeps bikes, many students don’t have locks; bike theft, what some students call “borrowing”, is also an issue, which often frustrates students and can discourage them from keeping a bike on campus.

bikes_375Bikes are the perfect mode of transportation in Sewanee, and encouraging students to bring bikes will require that problems surrounding bike storage and security be resolved. In order to know how many and where bike racks are needed, David will inventory the current number and location of racks on campus and compare the capacity of those racks with the number and location of bikes on campus during different times. Physical coverage for more racks will also be examined to provide weather protection. David will also conduct a bike lock campaign to encourage students to get cheap locks and use them.

With any luck, these measures will make Sewanee an even more bike-friendly campus. In doing so, transportation in Sewanee will become more sustainable, and our total carbon emissions will drop, which will contribute towards Sewanee’s Sustainability Master Plan goal of becoming carbon neutral.

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