Monday, July 30, 2012

Clemson University Bike Plan

About a year in the making, Clemson University has completed their bike plan. After public meetings, student, staff and faculty input and an examination of peer universities, CU has a plan of action. You can check out the plan here.*

The plan will help guide bikeway (bike lanes, shared roadways, bike paths and trails) development at Clemson - on campus and in the forest. There are provisions for bike racks, signage, intersection improvements and other related things. About 41 miles of bikeways are proposed.

The one thing this plan has is infrastructure. Infrastructure is the stuff you ride on and lock your bike to. The one thing the plan does not have is programming. Programming is the group bike rides, psa's and riding incentives. The infrastructure piece is critical to having a place to ride. The programming piece is key to learning the best places and ways to ride (that includes you, too, drivers!). My guess is that the programming piece will come in time - whether it be in an additional programming bike plan or as different departments (CORE, CEF, Parking and Transportation Services, etc.) feel that they have the resources and the right timing to take things on.  

The plan also has this cool "ideas in need of champion" section that addresses possible future things Clemson could do to promote other bike-related events or things:  developing new policies, improving connections between the campus and forest, enforcement ideas, teaching ideas, etc. This shows that the University is aware of the issues that the plan does not address, yet still alludes to some issues that should be addressed.

CU did their homework. There's a section that talks about the history of bike planning in the area and there's another section where other university and outdoor rec/mountain biking areas where reviewed. There's a look at bfu's and some nationally-known, regionally-located rec programs. 

I could go into greater depth about the plan, but I encourage you to check it out for yourself. I think this is a great step for Clemson, the Upstate and this region of the country. Universities can be great leaders, and with USC improving their biking status, South Carolina has its two major universities committing to some progressive policies and philosophies. Which, of course, can only lead to great things for the people of this state. And maybe, in this category, there can be some friendly in-state rivalries where we push each other to better things.

Check out the plan. Tell someone about it. Support biking in your local community.

*Full Disclosure:  I've been a part of the bike plan project at Clemson over the last year so, I may be a bit biased. I'm interested in your feedback, though. Please feel free to post your appropriate comments. Happy Trails!

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