The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Indiana University's Bloomington campus with a silver-level Bicycle Friendly University award, a move up from the university's bronze designation in 2011.
The designation makes IU part of a cutting-edge group of colleges and universities across the United States that are transforming their campuses and the communities around them. There are now 182 Bicycle Friendly Universities in 45 states and Washington, D.C.
"IU has been working hard to improve cycling on our Bloomington campus, from programming to infrastructure," said Kevin Whited, IU Bloomington's transportation demand management coordinator and bicycle manager. "And, while we know we can do more, it feels good to be recognized for what we've done so far. We've moved up from bronze to silver, but we're not going to rest on our laurels. Now, we're shooting for gold."
IU will be eligible to apply for the gold designation in 2019, he said.
The award comes on the heels of other bicycle-related news for the campus, including the October announcement of a partnership between IU and the city of Bloomington for a bike-share initiative. The bike share project is designed to use existing infrastructure both downtown and on IU's campus, while simultaneously reducing the community's carbon footprint. It is expected to be operational in spring 2018.
IU Bloomington faculty and staff who regularly bicycle to work can become members of the campus's Hoosier Commuter Club and receive benefits such as being entered into monthly and quarterly drawings for gift cards.
In addition, Whited said, IU Bloomington is in the process of completing a bicycle rack inventory on campus, increasing the number of bike rack locations and parking spaces available at those locations, and installing bicycle repair stations.
This is the sixth year the League of American Bicyclists has given its bicycle friendly awards.
"We've seen the Bicycle Friendly University program's momentum continue to grow and reach even more campuses across the country," said Amelia Neptune, director of the league's Bicycle Friendly America program. "We applaud this round of BFUs for raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike."
IU South Bend received an honorable mention from the League of American Bicyclists.