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U.Va. lauded as bicycle friendly university

League of American Cyclists awards bronze designation to University

Recent efforts to make the University a bicycle friendly community have started to gain some traction, as the University was recently named one of 75 bicycle friendly universities by the League of American Bicyclists.

The league awarded the University a bronze designation last week for its efforts toward improving bicycle accessibility and promoting cycling as a means of transportation around Grounds. There are four designations given by the program: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

The award is given to campuses that ensure there are safe places to ride and park, provide biking education to people of all ages and abilities, encourage biking culture, and plan for bicycles to be a viable transportation option.

Jonathan Monceaux, a transportation demand management professional with the University’s Department of Parking and Transportation, said the University has sought this designation in years prior, but was never successful.

“[The Department of Parking and Transportation] had applied for before and received honorable mention and heard feedback from them,” Monceaux said “We used that as a roadmap to know where to go from there.”

Monceaux said two grants helped to support changes that make Grounds more bicycle friendly: the Grounds Improvement Fund and the Green Initiatives Fund Tomorrow. The former can be awarded to any University department for capital projects on Grounds, while the latter is more student-oriented. For the Green Initiatives Funding Tomorrow, students apply through Student Council for grants to fund sustainability projects. The bike racks outside of the Medical Center were one such project, Monceaux said.

Monceaux is organizing a helmet and bike light giveaway, as well as a Biker Appreciation Day in the near future.

“[In receiving bronze] we are headed in the right direction but not totally there yet, but we’re working on it,” he said.