How We Roll Program Update
Our How We Roll campaign, which was featured in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America Guide 2012 (pdf) and received the WTS Columbus Chapter’s Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, increased the cycling confidence of 215 OSU students last fall. Given the success of How We Roll at OSU, we are expanding the program in lots of exciting ways. Read more below !
All the details you could ever want about the 2011 OSU pilot — no really, all the details — are available in this final report (pdf). Curl up by the pool with a refreshing glass of sun tea and enjoy!
Returning to OSU
We’re returning for Round 2 of the campaign at OSU this fall! This year we hope to double the number of students who take the tour by working with RAs and other student leaders to create special tours for their groups. If you’re a member of the OSU community, contact Nathan to schedule a tour for your group of 6–12!
Expanding to the University of Akron
ODOT has officially funded the replication of How We Roll at the University of Akron! This is the first of what we hope will be many additional sites for How We Roll throughout Ohio. UofA will spend the next two years establishing the organization infrastructure for bicycle mode shift and safety initiatives, then launch HWR officially for fall semester 2013. Yay Bikes! will be hired as the consultant to help implement the campaign.
Taking on new forms
The great thing about educational bicycle tours is that you can do them in all sorts of contexts for all sorts of people! We’ve conducted and supported rides for the University District Freedom School’s teen scholars, for WTS Central Ohio and for the AIA Columbus/Center for Architecture and Design’s design:ROLLS tour. Contact Meredith to have Yay Bikes! lead or support your specialty bicycle tour!
We are currently seeking the support of businesses in the Campus, Short North and Downtown areas for OSU tours this fall. By providing free samples and other discounts to our cyclists, sponsors get OSU students delivered directly to their door and receive:
—2–3 minutes per tour to speak to participants about your business
—The opportunity to include promotional material within participants’ swag bags
—Featured spots on our tour map, website and final campaign report
—At least 2 social media mentions during the semester
I have been naive about the proposal to privatize parking at OSU. Until today I was thinking, “OK, well that probably sucks for all sorts of reasons, but at least it will raise parking rates and that could make people less inclined to drive to campus.” Indeed, parking fees under the plan would be raised at least 7.5% each year for the next 10 years—which is good for people like me who would prefer that the cost of driving is high enough to discourage it. But then I talked to an OSU employee who told me a choice tidbit from the contract currently being developed. And yes, it is worse than you possibly could have imagined for efforts to promote active transportation on campus.
Many conversations in the world of cycling are, frankly, just about played out: “We need bike lanes!” vs “Bike lanes are for pussies!” … “Cyclists never follow the rules!” vs “Yeah, but motorists are trying to kill us!” … “Bike sharing is a UN conspiracy!” vs “Um, no, we’re really just riding bikes here!” … “Spandex is a the fabric of my dreams!” vs “Spandex makes my butt look big!” And so on. It can get pretty boring, arguing the same damn thing all the time to the same people. Let alone trying to lecture people about why biking is great for you: “Saves money!” … “Improves health!” … “Great for the environment!” These entrenched conversations make it far too easy for people who don’t care about bicycling to tune it out altogether. Something must be done to interrupt the scripts and get at this topic from new angles; it’s time for new, surprising conversations about bicycling and the role of transportation in our everyday lives.
Last week, alongside 11,000+ transportation professionals from around the world, I attended the 91st Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. I went to learn what’s happening in the world of transportation research, what the gaps are and how Yay Bikes! might contribute to the conversation. The good news: there is *lots* of exciting bicycle research being done out there, much more than ever before! But for all the inquiry into bike infrastructure, bike sharing programs, cyclists’ behavior and preferences, however, I did notice that one topic continues to be overlooked—cyclist education. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is a single research paper devoted to the subject!
On top of completing some top-notch community work in 2011, Yay Bikes! has also devoted considerable time to developing our organizational capacity during these past few months. And now, the spoils are ours (and yours!). Behold!