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Bicycle Friendly University
About the BFU Program
The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff and visitors. The BFU program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling.
College and university campuses are unique environments for their high density, stimulating atmosphere and defined boundaries. These factors make them ideal environments to incorporate bikes. Many colleges and universities have built upon these good conditions and embraced the enthusiasm for more bicycle-friendly campuses by incorporating bike share programs, bike co-ops, clubs, bicycling education classes and policies to promote bicycling as a preferred means of transportation. With the goal to build on this momentum and inspire more action to build healthy, sustainable and livable institutions of higher education, the League created the Bicycle Friendly University program.
The Bicycle Friendly University program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Applications must be submitted online.
Benefits of Building a BFU
The benefits of bicycling are far-reaching, including helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions, saving money, reducing congestion, optimizing space, improving health and enhancing campus quality of life. These benefits are especially relevant on a college campus due to the increased accessibility and efficiency in getting to classes, the ability to explore the surrounding community beyond campus, and reduced stress levels through exercise and time outdoors that bikes provide. Being a Bicycle Friendly University translates to providing the necessary tools and infrastructure for safe and comfortable bicycling, and facilitating programs to encourage and support cyclists.
How to Apply or Renew your Application
To be included in the next review cycle and possibly join those colleges and universities earning the award, submit the Bicycle Friendly University application by July 24, 2013. There is one application deadline per year. Renewals are due every four years after a university is designated so that the League of American Bicyclists can continue to recognize your progress. Please note that award levels may change after each application.
1) Click here to access the BFU application. If you have not applied online before, you will need to create a username and password. Please note that every applicant can only have one username, which will need to be shared among several editors. There is no special form for re-applications and renewals.
2) After a brief review of your general campus profile, you will be allowed to continue to the audit portion of the application, which asks questions about the engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation efforts on campus. Please make sure to answer every question completely and correctly. Use the write-in fields to provide more details, but please avoid repetitions. This comprehensive inquiry is designed to yield a holistic picture of your university's work to promote bicycling. We refer to these sections as the Five Es. For a more detailed description of the Five Es, click here. Assistance in completing this part is available on our resources page.
3) You will be able to save the application to continue working on it or submit it at a later date. You will receive a notification once the application has been submitted successfully.
4) If you would like to submit additional material such as photos, maps, ordinances or master plans, please attach them to the application.
A judging panel of national bicycle experts reviews and scores the application and consults with local cyclists. You will be informed about the results of your application approximately 6 weeks after the submission deadline. The League of American Bicyclists awards Bicycle Friendly University designations at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum level and acknowledges institutions of higher education that are close to becoming bicycle friendly, but still have some room to grow, with an Honorable Mention. The names of the colleges and universities that do not achieve an award or an Honorable Mention will not be publicized. An award is designated for four years. The League of American Bicyclists recognizes newly designated Bicycle Friendly Universities with two Bicycle Friendly University road signs, a Bicycle Friendly University pennant, an award certificate, and a profile and a formal press announcement on the BFA website.
You will receive detailed feedback on how to improve the campus for cycling approximately 12 weeks after the submission deadline. BFU staff will continue to work with you to encourage continual improvements.
The National Advisory Group provides guidance on BFA program development and priorities. Members include:
Jennifer Toole, Toole Design Group
Special thanks to the committee of experts who assisted the League in producing the BFU application:
Campus Bike Programmers Network
And to New Belgium Brewing Co for their sponsorship of the program.
Bicycle Friendly University