Shifting gears to become a bike friendly campus

Samantha Warren Clemson University Media Relations

September 21, 2013

Tanya DeOliveira is transforming the way people move around campus as she coordinates the University’s Bikeways Master Plan. With improved bike parking and signage and new bike lanes on the way, Clemson will see an implementation of bike friendly initiatives over the next 10 years.

The plan is still in the early stages of implementation after being adopted last year, but improvements have already begun. August 2012 saw the addition of a bike lane on McMillan Road, the first that the University has built since the 1990s. DeOliveira, a planner with Clemson University Planning and Design, is coordinating the plan rollout, and says there is much to look forward to in the near future.

“We are excited to say that by the time students come back for the fall semester, the infrastructure for bikes on campus will have doubled,” said DeOliveira. “We want to provide a safe area for people to ride their bikes and transform the way people move on and around campus.

Becoming bike friendly

Faculty, staff and students can expect better bike parking on campus. Planning and Design is collaborating with Campus Recreation, Parking Services and Campus Housing to not only identify key locations, but also to improve existing bike racks and install new ones. This effort will provide more security for bikes as well as offer a variety of locations for parking.

“Riding your bike to campus is kind of like driving your car in a lot of ways. You need to park it somewhere where you feel safe,” DeOliveira said. “Our intention with these new bike racks is to make people feel comfortable parking their bikes on campus in a convenient location.”

New “share the road” pavement markings will also be placed throughout campus to indicate that the roads are meant for both modes of transportation.

In addition to those changes, Clemson has installed a bike lane that begins on Cherry Road near the Old Greenville Highway intersection.

“We know that this is not going to happen overnight,” DeOliveira added. “We want to build awareness in the fall of 2013 so that by 2014 there is a set precedent and the Clemson culture can adapt to include a bike friendly campus.”

Contributing to sustainability

The Bikeways Master Plan goes hand in hand with Clemson’s Solid Green campaign. It’s sustainable, focusing on biking as an environmentally friendly alternative for transportation while also creating a safer and more inviting atmosphere for biking, walking and using public transportation.

“Biking to campus is a great alternative to driving, and we are making it easier for those interested in biking to do so on our campus,” said DeOliveira. “If you can bike to work just one day a week, that is one less parking space used.”

With these new additions, Clemson strives to become a gold medalist for The League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly University award. Clemson has already achieved the bronze level of recognition.