OSU Cyclists Upset at Bike Lane Removal

OSU cyclists are upset that the university has removed all bike lanes on campus:

Cyclists on campus are hoping to find a solution to the now non-existent bike lanes.

Oklahoma State University recently removed all bike lanes on campus in hopes of creating a more shared campus, according to an article in the O’Colly on Sept. 26.

Trevor Steward, president of the Oklahoma State University Cycling Club and off-campus SGA senator, said he plans to meet with a group of university faculty and staff later today to discuss some concerns that the OSU cycling community has about the removal. The meeting will include Lee Bird, OSU vice president for student affairs, university architect Nigel Jones, Mike Buchert, director of Long Range Facilities Planning, and others.

The OSU Cycling Club was never notified or contacted for consultation concerning the removal of the bike lanes, Steward said.

“This is (the students’) university,” he said. “We should have a say in how this campus is run and looks.”

(via OSU Cycling Club looks to solve bicycle lane issues – ocolly.com : Osu)

More disturbing, apparently the University is encouraging the very dangerous practice of riding on sidewalks:

The O’Colly article encouraged cyclists to ride on sidewalks and outlined campus plans for shared sidewalks instead of bike lanes.

Riding on sidewalks is very dangerous because of obstacles like pedestrians, driveways and crossroads, Bruer said.

“It is just as dangerous, if not more, than riding on the road,” he said. “Most cycling communities have realized that it is dangerous to ride on sidewalks.”

Bruer also noted that the University of California-Berkley is advising OSU on adopting a campus without bike lanes.

“UC Berkley is not a recognized bike-friendly campus,” he said. “We are getting our advice from a campus that is not considered bike-friendly.”

(via OSU Cycling Club looks to solve bicycle lane issues – ocolly.com : Osu)

 


Stillwater Forms Bicycle Committee

Stillwater has formed a standing bicycle committee in an attempt to improve their bicycle friendliness:

Stillwater has taken another step toward becoming more cycle-friendly.

The Stillwater Bicycle Committee was officially established Wednesday night, following the tradition of other bike-friendly communities across the nation.

Jim Bruer, committee member and Oklahoma State University academic counselor, said this is a necessary step in promoting cycling in Stillwater.

“One of the main things you need to be approved (as a bike-friendly community) is to have a cycling committee like this,” Bruer said.

(via Stillwater Bicycle Committee established Wednesday night – ocolly.com : Osu)

This is a step Stillwater is taking in order to join Norman and Tulsa as Oklahoma Bicycle Friendly Communities as ranked by the League of American Bicyclists.

 


Oklahoma Climbs in Bicycle Friendliness Rankings

The League of American Bicyclists has increased Oklahoma’s bicycle friendliness ranking from 43rd in 2011 to 35th this year. Even more impressive to note is that in 2008, Oklahoma was ranked 48th. According to the League, this steady improvement is due to increases in “infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.”

“We are encouraged to see significant progress,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. We look forward to working with Oklahoma to improve conditions for people who bike for transportation and recreation.”

You can see Oklahoma’s full report here and compare us to other states here.

 


OU Faculty Senate Seeks LAB Bike Friendly Status

The faculty senate at OU wants to make the university truly bike friendly:

The senate eventually wants to see OU certified as a bicycle-friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists.

Both the Staff and Faculty Senate call for OU to be designated a bicycle-friendly university within the next five years, according to the resolutions.

via OUDaily.com | Faculty Senate calls for bicycling-friendly OU.

The university is planning to expand the limited path system on campus and installing additional bicycle racks.


Norman Earns LAB Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award

Norman becomes the second Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community in Oklahoma after Tulsa’s win in 2009.  The League of American Bicyclists website gives great praise to the efforts Norman has made to expand their cycling path and trail networks along with the recent passage of a three-foot passing rule:

Community Highlights:  Norman’s current Bicycle Advisory Committee has come a long way in the past decade to reinstitute old bike lanes while also extending the network with the addition of new lanes.  There is broad support for policies and programs suggested by the Bicycle Advisory Committee and from citizens and new ideas are always encouraged.The city hired an engineering firm to design the first phase of a 10 mile multi-modal path along State Highway 9 that will connect urban Norman to rural east Norman.  Norman puts a strong emphasis on keeping cyclists safe and educating its youth.  For example, Norman’s Public Schools participate annually in the International Walk and Bike to School Day. The city adopted a three foot passing law as a city ordinance so it can be enforced at a municipal court level.  The city sponsors Safety Town classes annually during the month of June for children under the age of six.  There are numerous bike clubs and groups, including youth and beginner, all the way up to road-racing teams that offer weekly group rides and annual road races and mountain bike trail competitions.

Compelling Accomplishment: This city has begun a pilot program in a few areas of town to demonstrate the need for and use of bike lanes in the city. This first phase of adding new bike lanes is being funded for its full amount ($55,216) by the city’s capital budget. After this stage, the city plans to pursue a Complete Streets policy and continue to expand the bicycle network beyond the existing 12 miles of paved shared us path and 18 miles of singletrack.

via League of American Bicyclists * Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma as a state still ranks as 43 out 50 states according to the LAB rankings.  We fail in all categories measured except for a D in Enforcement and a C in Education and Encouragement.


Tulsa Gets New Bicycling Award

The Tulsa World has published a nice article about Tulsa’s latest bike friendly award, this time from Bicycling Magazine:

Tulsa was recently named one of America’s Best Bike Cities by Bicycling magazine – but when it comes to being truly bike-friendly, the city has a little farther to ride, say cyclists and transportation officials.

via Tulsa’s bike-friendliness lauded | Tulsa World.

The story also goes into many of the dangers also faced by cyclists on Oklahoma’s roads including the aggressive drivers we all know and love.


Norman Plans to Make City More Bicycle Friendly

A nice story on the various things going on in Norman to improve “bicycle friendliness”:

The Norman Bicycle Advisory Council hopes to combine federal funds for more bike lane striping with a local bike lane expansion project, which would include connecting south campus to the National Weather Center.

OU has a project in the works to make campus more bike-friendly, too.

The Norman campus is preparing an eight-month project, according to Jonathan Vann, UOSA Student Congress vice-chairman and Bicycle Ad Hoc Committee member. He said the project would create a bicycling route from the research campus to Jenkins Avenue and State Highway 9.

via OUDaily.com | More bike-friendly measures on horizon.


Tulsa Gets Bicycle Friendly

Good news for Tulsa . . .

Tulsa has become the first city in Oklahoma to receive a bronze ranking from the League of American Bicyclists, designating it as a "bicycle friendly community."

Tulsa World: Tulsa being peddled as ‘bicycle friendly’

 

Given my bad experiences with drivers in OKC this year, I think we aren’t even close to getting something like this.  And of course, Oklahoma as a state ranks 48th in bicycle friendliness according to League of American Bicyclists.