The League of American Bicyclists is an organization aiming to inspire and create a bicycle friendly America for everyone.
John Peralta, a junior waste management major, brings that passion and drive to campus. Peralta is in the application process for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to be recognized as “bike-friendly.”
“I bike a lot myself,” Peralta said “I thought with our reputation as a sustainable university, it was worth going after.”
The league defined a ranking system based on varying levels of infrastructure, creativity and community involvement between colleges. Ranging from platinum to bronze, the system provides an effective means of comparing biking approaches.
Four Wisconsin schools are on the list, and while Stevens Point is not one of them, Peralta and others hope to change that.
Alex Thomas, a Student Government Association representative who ran the Bike Rental program, alluded to its success. Every bike was rented in a few weeks and that level of student involvement indicated support.
Students listed bike maintenance, cost and getting bikes to campus as reasons they do not bike. Alleviating these problems will take work, but plans are already in motion.
“We are hoping for a strategic, specific plan this year,” Peralta said. “ We are laying out the plan for improving infrastructure and filling all the necessary roles.”
Student support and willingness to bike can take the project so far, and the next step is to secure funding and initiate projects. The Green Fund has been used in the past.
In addition to increasing standing as a sustainable campus, Peralta believes this will benefit the entire community. Increased bike lanes and improved crosswalk signage will encourage people to have a more active lifestyle, enhance community health and eliminate some parking problems.