A-State's Bicycle Friendly Status is Elevated to Silver
JONESBORO – The first-ever Bicycle Friendly University in the state has now moved up to the next level as Arkansas State University received word today that it has been renewed as a Silver level BFU, according to the League of American Bicyclists.
First selected as a Bronze level BFU in 2014, A-State’s application for renewal earned upgrade to Silver. Arkansas State is one of 59 Silver level Bicycle Friendly Universities in America, and joins University of Arkansas in Fayetteville as the only Silver institutions among the four BFUs in the state. A-State was among eight universities like Texas A&M University that were promoted this year to Silver status.
“Congratulations to Arkansas State University for its inclusion in a select class of 45 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities nationwide,” says League Executive Director Bill Nesper. “The standards for attaining any of the four levels of awards—Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum—are very high and require deliberate, determined efforts to earn them. Universities and colleges are in a unique leadership position to help encourage and enable people of all ages—especially young adults—to adopt healthy, sustainable habits that can benefit them throughout their lives.”
“On behalf of Arkansas State, I am excited to see the hard work and the investments we have made as an institution to support active lifestyles of our students, family and staff rewarded with this national distinction,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said. “From use of our VeoRide bike share to increasing numbers of walkers, runners and riders on our campus PAC Path trail system, I know supporting cycling is important to our students, and increasingly a part of how recruits select their future homes.”
With the renewal of BFU status, Arkansas State will be certified for the next four years. The other BFU institutions in the state along with A-State and UA are Hendrix College and University of Central Arkansas, both Bronze level members and both located in Conway.
The program, which now includes 193 BFU colleges and universities, is part of the League’s larger program and mission to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.
“More than 3.8 million students now attend Bicycle Friendly Universities in 46 states and Washington, DC,” says BFU Director Amelia Neptune. “From large to small, urban to rural, these educational institutions are creating a powerful community of college campuses that model and support the use of bicycles for improving health, sustainability, and transportation options.”
Two of the significant additions to the university’s previous BFU status are the completion of a 3/4-mile long dedicated bike-ped multi-use trail along the western and southern sides of campus, including the first bike-ped bridge on campus, and the addition of dockless bicycle sharing systems for the university community.
A-State is also active in the wider community, assisting with or sponsoring cycling events ranging from the Tour duh Sunken Lands, helping sponsor Smart Cycling courses for community members, and educational outreach partnerships with My Healthy Jonesboro for Smart Rider Saturday for the North Jonesboro area and in-school safety educational program with Nettleton Schools.
The BFU application review process is a mixture of institutional reporting and on-the-ground bicycle advocate feedback. Each applicant must complete a comprehensive audit via more than 100 data points followed by a League call for input from local cyclists. This combination generates a fair, holistic picture of the institution’s performance of the “Five E’s”--engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. A national judging panel then reviews the information to determine if an award is warranted.
A ceremony to commemorate the achievement will be held at first-ever outdoor bicycle work stand and air pump for students to use on campus later this semester to dedicate its placement. It is located behind the Welcome Center. Earlier this summer, A-State also added an outdoor hydration location in the center of the campus PAC Path system near the Humanities and Social Sciences building.