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NMSU named Bronze Bicycle Friendly University

  • By Emily C. Kelley
  • 575-646-1957
  • ekelley@nmsu.edu
  • Apr 16, 2013
This photo depicts a woman using a red bicycle repair station to complete a repair on her bike.

The League of American Bicyclists has named New Mexico State University a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University, a designation that recognizes the university's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

"College campuses are natural places to integrate bicycling - and NMSU recognizes the small steps needed to make bicycling a safe and easy option for students and staff," said League President Andy Clarke. "Young people are driving less and riding more, and NMSU has embraced that trend."

"It's important to focus more on cycling as an element of sustainability: for our environment, our budget and our health," said Jean Conway, cyclist and associate director of the NMSU Teaching Academy. "Bicyclists produce vastly less greenhouse gases than cars to. And, cycling just to get around gets your transportation and exercise rolled all into one activity - it improves your health and saves time. Having healthier and more productive employees saves NMSU money."

On Feb. 5, the NMSU Bicycle Friendly University Taskforce, composed of representatives from the Teaching Academy, NMSU Police Department, Recreational Sports, Environmental Health & Safety and NMSU faculty, in support of the goals of the Sustainability Council and Bicycle Safety Committee, submitted the first application for NMSU to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University.

The League of American Bicyclists evaluates Bicycle Friendly applicants on "the Five Es" - engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning. The 74-section questionnaire covers information on employee and student numbers, geographic distribution and NMSU's current status in the Five Es.

New Mexico State University has taken several steps in recent months to increase safe-bicycling practices on campus, including increasing bicycle traffic law enforcement, educating motorists and cyclists alike about the rules of the road and working to prevent bicycle thefts on campus.

Some of the physical improvements made over the last year include painting bike lanes on Stewart Street, installing directional signs on the Horseshoe, adding and replacing bicycle racks and installing a bicycle Fix-It station outside Corbett Center Student Union.

Several bike-related events are planned on campus in the coming weeks - from an organized ride on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, to Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101 course scheduled Saturday, May 4.

For more information about NMSU's Bicycle Friendly University initiatives and the events listed above, please check the bikes.nmsu.edu website, and for bicycle safety concerns or suggestions email David Shearer at dshearer@nmsu.edu.