SIUE Named Bicycle Friendly University by League of American Bicyclists
EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been named a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) in the bronze category by the League of American Bicyclists.
The designation, through 2025, comes after a thorough review focused on five criteria: equity, engineering, education, encouragement, and evaluation and planning. The honor recognizes SIUE’s cyclist-welcoming environment and notes the University’s commitment to the safety and comfortability of cyclists.
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On behalf of SIUE and with the help of several collaborative partners, Campus Recreation Assistant Director Dave Hagedorn led the extensive application process.
“Thanks to partnerships with campus and community stakeholders, we were able to assemble a great list of SIUE-specific advocates for future efforts of this nature,” said Hagedorn. “Bicycling is a wonderful means of travel, commuting, recreation and fitness. The current high cost of transportation fuel, growing concerns about climate change complemented by the fact that the Midwest is entering a beautiful time of year to enjoy bicycling all contributes to its value.”
SIUE’s excellent roadways feature wide shoulders and bike lane designations. The University also offers paved and dedicated recreational paths for increased accessibility.
“Madison County Transit’s (MCT) support for the trails surrounding the SIUE campus is truly remarkable,” said Hagedorn. “SIUE and MCT have joined forces over the years to apply for and receive grants that have supported trails built to connect with numerous pathways throughout our community.”
“Also, our partnership with Gateway Off-Road Cycling (GORC) has produced other unique features like an extensive network of off-road, single-track trails that mountain bike enthusiasts and hikers both enjoy and use year-round,” Hagedorn said. “These, together with the diversity of bicycle offerings, make SIUE stand out.”
“I am thrilled to celebrate 33 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities helping power the movement to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, in a news release. “On many campuses, bikes are simply another way to get around but at Bicycle Friendly Universities, we’ve seen that students, faculty and staff are encouraged to think beyond the utility of bikes as transportation, truly valuing their ability to foster a healthier, safer, more connected campus life. This round of BFUs are not only making it possible for people to bike around campus but are implementing policies, programs and infrastructure improvements that encourage people to drive less and bike more for their health and the planet.”
Hagedorn describes his interest and passion for helping the SIUE community to enjoy cycling as rooted in his recreational expertise. “My work at SIUE is always focused on helping our students find and engage in positive and healthy activities in which cycling constitutes a major part,” he said.
According to Hagedorn, SIUE also excels in areas such as:
Recordkeeping, including police reports and evaluation on safety, accidents and incidents
Programming, training, awareness, and reporting on university population statistics measured against quantities of bicycle support features like bike racks, bike services, bike paths, and bike rentals
“It is hoped that this evaluation process and recognition by the League of American Bicyclists further increases awareness of the many offerings and support systems at SIUE for all to enjoy, while also providing us with valuable feedback and suggestions on how to continue on the path of support for bicycling,” Hagedorn said.
About the Bicycle Friendly University? Program
The Bicycle Friendly University awards reflect local leaders’ ongoing work to build better places to bike and evaluate those efforts as part of a national movement. Each of the five levels of the Bicycle Friendly Business award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear path for universities and colleges to continuously improve. Visit bikeleague.org/ university to learn more about the BFU program.
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting the rights of people who bike.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.
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