Illinois Wesleyan Named a Bicycle Friendly University

logoOct. 22, 2014

Illinois Wesleyan University has been nationally recognized as a Bicycle-Friendly University. The League of American Bicyclists honored Illinois Wesleyan with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) award, joining 100 colleges and universities across the country.

The League of American Bicyclists, which aims to improve the quality of bicycling in America, recognized Illinois Wesleyan for its initiatives transforming the campus and surrounding community, including the implementation of a bike share program, new bike racks, an indoor bike storage space in Harriett Fuller Rust House and an on-street bike route from the IWU campus to Downtown Bloomington, which was coordinated with the City of Bloomington.

“Illinois Wesleyan has put a lot of work into making bicycling a safe, convenient method of transportation over the last few years,” said Michael Gorman ’10, chair of Illinois Wesleyan’s Bike Committee. With this award, Illinois Wesleyan will have access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle-friendly.

Bloomington city crews were out after midnight to paint new "sharrows" on campus, indicating a lane shared by bikes and motor vehicles.
Formed by the GREENetwork, the Bike Committee is a subcommittee of bicycle advocates. Launched in Sept. 2013 with six donated bikes, the bike share program is one of the Bike Committee’s most noteworthy initiatives. With assistance from the Office of the President, Dean of Students’ Office, Wellness Office, Action Research Center, Student Senate, and an anonymous donor, the program has expanded to include ten new bikes for the 2014-2015 academic year.

According to Gorman, the bikes have been checked out an average of 27 times per week during the first seven weeks of the fall 2014 term. “The bike share program has enabled students who aren't able to bring their own bikes to campus to get around town safely and easily,” said Gorman, who is also Illinois Wesleyan’s Senior Web Developer. “It just makes sense to do what we can to make cycling as safe and convenient as possible.”

The campus community can look forward to more projects in the future, such as group rides and education about safe ways to ride around town. “The Bronze designation shows that we have put in a lot of effort, but there is even more we would like to do in the future,” Gorman said. 

By Tia Patsavas ’16