Skip to main content

Bikes on Campus

My alma mater just launched a new bike co-op program on campus. Props to everyone at John Carroll who made this happen.

(from kbrookes on Flickr)

Time will tell how successful the co-op turns out to be. They currently own 18 bikes, which is about 1 bike per 250 students, faculty and staff (give or take a few dozen). The program has a noble mission, from the article:
The mission of the Bicycle Co-op is to encourage faculty and students to ride bikes to campus rather than drive. This will cut down on traffic in and around the University.
JCU is a small campus, such that walking between buildings isn't long or far. The way it's set up, the co-op seems most useful to people who live on-campus and want to go to places off-campus; not the other way around. So for example, instead of getting in a car and driving to Target or Whole Foods or Lee Road, students might instead borrow a bike and ride to wherever they're going.

I've been critical of the university's parking agenda in the past. I hope that the bike co-op fits into a larger master-plan for the university. Parking on campus is cheap and plentiful, because administrators have long believed that an over-abundance of parking is necessary for a functioning university.

Students that live on-campus don't all need their own personal vehicle. Unfortunately, the suburban nature of the campus, which is surrounded largely by a residentially-zoned neighborhood, makes walking to places off-campus a challenge. I'd guess that most off-campus students live within 2 miles; but since parking passes are cheap and purchased at the beginning of the semester, every time they drive that short distance and park, the marginal cost is zero. It's no surprise that so many do.

I biked to campus every single day my last two semesters at JCU. University Heights is, despite being suburban in so many ways; actually very easy to bike. There are more than enough secondary streets that go everywhere so that you'll almost never need to bike on one of the main arterials. The bike co-op has a good shot at success. But it needs to be taken seriously by administrators and seen as a legitimate alternative to endless parking expansion on campus.


Kevin said…
I think you'll be pleased that on-campus parking isn't quite as plentiful as it was.

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Mixing Sports and Business

In the last two days I've devoured every article in the Washington Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the NLDS. It was a tough way to see the season end, there's no doubt about that.

(from wallyg on Flickr)
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners and the games aren't usually available to those without cable.

This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It's the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners that call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they're willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much t…