© 2016 By Carl Larson

Many images courtesy of bikeportland.org. Thanks Jonathan!

Boston University Bike Plan

project management and implementation

On my first day of work at Boston University, I was shocked to find that there were no bike racks on the block where I worked. Two years later, there still aren't any bike racks but at least we have a solid plan and funding to add some. I spearheaded an RFP process, selected Toole Design Group, and worked closely with them to create the Charles River Campus' first Bike Plan.

 

Initially, this plan was intended to focus on managing bike storage on campus by improving parking options and promoting bike share use but I felt strongly that the plan should answer the question, "what can we do to make bicycling at BU more appealing and popular?"

 

Improved bike parking was part of the answer (we now know where we need more racks and we have specs and installation standards) and promoting bike share (student memberships are now subsidized nearly 50%) has resulted in a noticeable increase in use. After extensive surveys and multiple input sessions, though, the clearest answer was "make bicycling around here safer and less stressful." A level-of-stress analysis bolstered these concerns. It is a challenge for BU to improve riding conditions on streets they don't own but it's a challenge that shouldn't be brushed off. The university, afterall, is not without influence. Other opportunities identified in the plan include addition of end-of-trip facilities like lockers and showers, improved wayfinding, and fostering bicycling culture through rides and classes.

The initial phases of the plan are funded and implementation will continue through summer. This past fall, I taught a hands-on 1-credit "Urban Bicycling" class through our fitness and recreation department.