UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The League of American Bicyclists has honored Penn State with a gold-level Bicycle Friendly University award in recognition of the institution’s achievements in promoting and enabling safe and accessible bicycling on campus.
"It is so energizing to have Penn State among our cohort of 212 Bicycle Friendly Universities across the country," said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, a grassroots advocacy organization that encourages better bicycling and protecting the rights of people who bike. "The 2020 class of 38 Bicycle Friendly Universities, which includes Penn State, has had to address a crisis unlike any we've seen in our lifetimes. Amidst the pandemic, we are grateful each of these institutions has acknowledged the benefits to the well-being and health of its students, staff and faculty in being a Bicycle Friendly University. These colleges and universities are leading by building healthy environments where people can safely get around while improving the well-being of their community by enabling access to sustainable transportation options."
The Bicycle Friendly University program now includes 212 colleges and universities in 47 states and the District of Columbia, and is part of the league's Bicycle Friendly America program, which also awards certifications to communities and businesses. In December, the Centre Region was named a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the league.
"The applications from colleges and universities in 2020 demonstrate the myriad challenges educational institutions have and are overcoming in order to serve the needs of their students and employees," said Amelia Neptune, the league’s Bicycle Friendly America director. "What's clear is that bicycling is part of the solution many colleges and universities are using to better the campus life of their communities. The league is so proud of institutions like Penn State for continuing this important work of building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone at such a critical time for the health of our population and our planet."
Transportation Services' Sustainable Transportation Program Coordinator Cecily Zhu is proud of this accomplishment and looks forward to offering more biking programs and amenities for the Penn State community.
"The gold designation from the League of American Bicyclists is a great acknowledgment of how far we've come since our original bronze designation in 2012," said Zhu. "We look forward to building on this achievement in 2021 with the opening of several new bike facilities and hopefully the launch of a new bike-share program."
Being bike friendly supports the University's sustainability efforts and increases the health and wellness of the campus community. Penn State encourages bicycling as an easy option for transportation and provides amenities such as bike repair stations, the new Bike Den workshop space (opening this summer in the new West Parking Deck), covered bike parking, an interactive campus bike facility map, and incentives such as free bike safety workshops and bike light giveaways.
As Penn State continues to improve its campus accessibility by bike, it will have access to a variety of free tools, a library of resources, and technical assistance from the league to become even more welcoming to people who bike. When colleges and universities invest in the comfort and safety of people bicycling, great things happen: a reduced carbon footprint, improved health, and people coming together to share a fun activity.