01 December 2018

What Guidance Counselors Really Need To Know

So, what do you consider when choosing a college?

One of the top considerations, I'm sure, is whether it has a good program in whatever you plan to study.  (Never mind that there's about an 80 percent chance you'll switch your major to something else!)  Cost, of course, is another factor.  Then, of course, there are such things as geographic location and the appeal of the campus itself.

As for that last category, one thing that might figure into it (at least, it would for me) is bike-friendliness.  One part of that is safe, secure places to keep your wheels:  College campuses are hotbeds for bike theft.  Another might be whether the college has bike lanes or has other ways of making it easy to navigate the campus from your saddle.

There are also other ways in which a college can encourage its students to ride.  It can offer new students free bike-share memberships or vouchers to spend at a local bike shop--as well as free bike rentals or bike-share memberships to students (or faculty members) who don't bring cars to campus.

By now, you might be wondering whether I'm indulging in substances of questionable provenance. When I heard that there is indeed a college that offers such incentives, I thought I was dreaming.

Oh, but it gets better:  That school has hired a full-time coordinator to oversee its support for cycling.  Sandra Broadus, whose official title is Alternative Transportation Manager, says that this college will soon open its first indoor bike room, complete with shower stalls, lockers, a fix-it station and water bottle fillers.  There will also be a vending machine from which students can purchase parts like inner tubes and chains while on campus.

The school where such progress is taking place is not located in Portland or San Francisco or Seattle or Boston.  Instead, it's in a place known more for its scenic rides than for a hipster bike culture.

Of course she's smiling:  She's riding on the most bicycle-friendly campus in the US, according to a survey!

I'm talking about the University of Kentucky at Lexington.  The League of American Bicyclists has just named it the most bicycle-friendly college in the US.  

It was followed by the University of Maryland-College Park, Harvard University, Dickinson College, University of Utah, University of Vermont and University of Washington.

OK, so the Kennedy School of Government isn't the only reason to attend Harvard after all.   But tell me:  Do they have a full-time cycling coordinator?


  1. UC Davis is not even in the top 5 ?

  2. Anon--I was surprised to see that, too. It seems that UC Davis has long defined what it means to be a bike-friendly campus.