John sent me a link to this article in the Diamondback about the University of Maryland's efforts to increase the number of students who bike.
A bike count conducted in October found the total number of bicycle users on the campus had increased marginally from last year’s 5.1 percent, causing worries that officials won’t be able to meet a goal to increase that number to 9 percent by 2012. A campus bike plan approved last year laid out a number of ways to increase cycling, including adding bike lanes, creating a bicycle advisory group and increasing bike parking.
“Overall, we want to increase the number of female cyclists on the campus,” Department of Transportation Services Director David Allen said. “Part of [Assistant to the Director of DOTS Beverly Malone’s] plan is to increase the number of female bikers. I have no reason to believe she won’t achieve that.”
“When we surveyed people about why they don’t bike, a lot of people cared about hygiene,” she said. “For women especially — when you put on a helmet, you mess up your hair.”
Women account for only 1 in 5 cyclists on campus. You're probably better off riding without a helmet, than not riding at all.
It sounds like some bike lockers or bike rooms are needed.
“I don’t want to have the responsibility of taking care of a bike, since it would always have to be outside,” Melandri said. “I would have to make sure it’s always there and that no one took it.”
Next semester, DOTS officials hope adding more bike parking, continuing to hand out stronger U-Locks for bikes and holding a biker education week in April will encourage students to bike instead of driving.
But members of the bicycle advisory group don’t believe enough is being done to ensure the department is going to meet its goals.