Date of Defense

12-17-2011

Date of Graduation

12-2011

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Matthew F. Hollander, Office of Sustainability

Second Advisor

Benjamin Ofori-Amoah, Geography

Abstract

Commuter and recreational bicycling brings many benefits to our society, community, and personal wellbeing. Bicycling can reduce traffic, improve personal health, reduce automobile crash rates, is healthier for our environment, and can even stimulate economic growth. Despite the multiple benefits of bicycling, Western Michigan University (WMU) does not have a lively bicycling community or atmosphere.

Bike Friendly America, the leading bike advocacy organization, promotes using enforcement, engineering, education, encouragement, and evaluation to create a truly cohesive bicycling atmosphere. Campuses that excel in these categories can get a coveted Bike Friendly University (BFU) designation in bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. In order to have a bike friendly university we need an interconnected web of bicycling infrastructure in tandem with pathways on our walking campus.

Further discussion focuses on the various changes that can make our campus bike friendly. Examples of infrastructural concern on campus are noted and can be found on figures 1 and 2. These areas contain factors that may cause bike crashes or collisions with pedestrians and should be looked into for future safety improvements. Universities that have received BFU designations are recognized and analyzed to discover their best bicycling practices so that WMU may implement these ideas on our campus as well, (table attached at end of document). Together, these are the first steps in creating a master plan that would fully develop non-motorized transportation on our campus.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only

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