By Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, Office of Sustainability
It takes a lot of energy to bike up the hill to the U, so for your effort, Commuter Services is serving up free breakfast next Thursday to anyone that wheels their way to campus.
The University of Utah celebrates active transportation with the 3rd Annual Bike to the U Day on Sept. 5 from 6 am to 2 pm at Tanner Plaza, located between the Union and Student Services Building. Students, staff, and faculty that show up on human-powered transportation – bicycle, skateboard, scooter, etc. – can pick up a bagel and coffee or juice until noon. From 10 am to 2 pm, cyclists can also stop by the U of U Farmers Market and register their bikes with Campus Police. Registration assists with the recovery of stolen bikes and contacting the owners in the incident that one bike is accidentally locked to another bike (hey, it happens). Local bicycle shops and vendors including organizations like BikeUtah, SLC Green, and GreenBikes will also be on hand at the market. The U Bike Valet will be available throughout the day for easy and hassle-free bicycle parking.
Students have enjoyed receiving support from the University at past Bike to the U Days, says Heidi Goedhart, bicycle coordinator for Commuter Services and the event’s organizer. Last year, more than 400 students received breakfast, and the Campus Police registered 125 bicycles and gave away 50 U Locks, 25 helmets, and 50 T-shirts.
The day is also a way to promote sustainable transportation. “When more people use active and alternative transportation, there is a reduced need for vehicle parking, which costs the University a lot of money to create, maintain and enforce,” Goedhart says. “Biking saves students money and promotes health and well-being.”
This year’s Bike to the U Day will also feature the new S.A.F.E. (Sidewalks Are For Everyone) Campaign, which encourages active transportation while promoting safe sidewalk behaviors. S.A.F.E. Ambassadors will be out reminding people to go 10 miles per hour or less and reminding them to yield to pedestrians. Ambassadors will also focus on promoting situational awareness with pedestrians, such as leaving one earbud out. Brochures about the S.A.F.E. Campaign, campus maps, and promotional items including bike bells and skateboard multi-tools will be given away.