UC Davis was the second university to be named a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists four years ago, and now it's had that status renewed.
“This is UC Davis’ second Platinum Bicycle Friendly University designation and in many ways it feels even more special than the first,” said Clifford Contreras, director of UC Davis Transportation Services, or TAPS.
The designation recognizes the efforts UC Davis has made to encourage bicycling: restricting vehicle traffic in the campus core, promoting bicycle commuting, educating new students on cycling rules and more.
In the time since the original award in 2013, UC Davis has removed 2,500 outdated bike racks and put in 5,000 new models, given out thousands of free bike lights, expanded the zone where vehicle traffic is restricted and made other improvements to encourage two-wheeled transportation to and around campus. Also in 2013, UC Davis earned platinum status with the league as a Bicycle Friendly Business.
“The standards of what it takes to be best are being raised every year, so we refuse to take the platinum status for granted. Instead we challenge ourselves to continuously improve our programs and services to meet the demands of a growing, diverse community of bicyclists,” Contreras said. “Today’s campus planners, police, our community in the city of Davis, and the entire Aggie population work together every day to ensure that this visionary decision to make a bicycle-first campus lives on.”
UC Davis promotes bicycling as the preferred mode of transportation by providing more than 30,000 bicycle parking spots on campus, 24 daily parking permits per year for people who commit to commuting by bike (but who may need to drive to campus on occasion), and a massive network of both bike paths and bicycle-preferred roads.
Nearly half of all students, faculty and staff ride bicycles to campus, according to the 2014-15 Campus Travel Survey, the most recent year for which complete data is available. The campus boasts more than 18 miles of bike paths and seven miles of bike lanes.
Ramon Zavala, who recently came to campus as the new transportation demand manager, said he was well prepared for the massive size of the bicycling community on campus.
“But I’m still stunned by the unwavering commitment I’ve seen at all levels to ensure these bike-first ideals stay reality,” he said. “From the undergrad all the way to the top of the administration, it’s not just, ‘It’s great to bike here,’ but ‘It’s great to bike here and tomorrow will be even better.’”
Among last week’s 46 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, UC Davis was the only one with platinum status. UC Davis “continues to be one of the most bicycle friendly campuses in the country,” the league said. The 2017 designation is good through 2021.