Mopeds and Bikes @ MSU

I get asked about the issue of the exploding moped population on our campus quite often.  They have become regular illegal users on our sidewalks and pathways on their way to park at bike racks (see photo of example signage at the racks).  They’re required to walk their mopeds on sidewalks/ paths to get to bike parking according to MSU Police/ Parking which I’ve rarely ever seen done in practice.  They have rapidly become a large percentage of the vehicles parked at the already over-crowded bike racks all over campus, in some cases (like on the east-side of Broad Business College) making up over 1/3 of them.  See recent photos in the gallery below all taken in 2016 except where noted.  A series of three videos (College of Business, Wells Hall, Jenison Fieldhouse) taken earlier in the fall of 2016 add additional visual confirmation of the extent of the problem at its peak.

Well, hope is on the horizon via a long-standing board-created campus committee called the AUTTC (All University Traffic & Transportation Committee) which advises the Chief of the MSU Police.  For those of you who don’t know, the AUTTC has done a lot of great things to help improve the bike-friendliness of MSU; for example, the MSU Bikes Service Center is a result of an AUTTC recommendation.

We finally put together a comprehensive set of recommendations to help resolve the moped issues that we’ve been observing over the past bunch of years.  These recommendations were based on the established examples of several peer universities and their successful strategy to reign in the abuses (referenced in the recommendations appendices (pg. 34-35).

The Police Chief accepted our 2015-2016 recommendations (which can be viewed here in detail) and  the Committee has been assured that the Police and Parking departments have staff working on implementing our recommendations on campus.  We haven’t been told of a time line for those coming changes but suffice it to say things will hopefully be much improved for the safety of our campus community on our sidewalks and pathways.

Pedal for Platinum @ MSU

The League's Silver level award seal.
The League’s Silver level award seal which MSU received in Nov. 2015

After receiving the news in November 2015 from the League of American Bicyclists that MSU was upgraded to a silver-level Bike Friendly University award the MSU Bike Advisory Committee (BAC) decided that rather than just plod along towards gold we’d embark on a bold mission of jumping over gold and “Pedal for Platinum”.   “Spartans Will… Pedal for Platinum!” has a nice ring to it!

In true Spartan fashion, our mission launched with action.  We broke down the BFU applications of all the other platinum-level and new gold-level universities to see where the big differences were most apparent in MSU’s case (those comparisons can be viewed here for reference).   One of those that popped out at us were that other platinum universities had neighboring communities that were either platinum-level or gold, such that they were clearly working closely together to assure that the overall experience for their university community from home to campus would be a top-notch bike-friendly experience not just on campus.

downtown-el-grand-river-ave-pano-2010
We began thinking how we might be able to facilitate helping our neighboring communities in their journey to become more bike friendly.  Bringing in some experts to meet with the community leaders came up as an option.  The costs for doing that quickly made it apparent that we’d need help in covering those costs.  The concept of a conference where we’d invite not only our neighboring community leaders but area business leaders and university staff as well was born.

highlights-video-screenshot
Click for a highlights video of the event.

Little did we know at the time, but we ended up leading the way with the country’s first-ever Bike Friendly America conference highlighting the League of American Bicyclists‘ entire award program to other universities, communities and businesses last May.  A wrap-up of the conference is here.

A host of other Bike Month events were also planned and hosted around the conference which all dove-tailed together to form a series of bike culture building opportunities.

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Tour de MSU group shot

Over the summer the BAC focused their attention on developing a more detailed plan for how MSU will reach platinum.  The draft below has been incorporated into the 2016 update of the Campus Master Plan (which has yet to be approved by the Board of Trustees) which is our current Pedal for Platinum campaign plan.  Additional action items and projects are being discussed and debated within the BAC which will be finalized and posted soon.

If you’d like to suggest some changes or additions to the plan please email Tim Potter or attend one of our upcoming public monthly meetings.


3. Goals & Recommended Strategies

The university will continue striving to improve its standing from a silver-level to a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University based on the League of American Bicyclists’ ratings. Future goals and recommended strategies are organized around the League of American Bicyclists’ five essential elements: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation/Planning.  In addition, Michigan State University incorporates two additional elements, Environment and Economic, to form the basis for future actions.

3.1   ENGINEERING

Goal:
Strengthen and expand campus infrastructure to support safe, effective, and efficient bicycling.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Design and construct all campus roadways as complete streets, complying with Michigan Public Acts 134 & 135 of 2010 and update university design and construction standards accordingly.
2.    Fund and construct the final segments of the MSU River Trail.
3.    Enhance and expand parking facilities within priority locations of the academic districts.  Incorporate a minimum bicycle parking ratio for new buildings and major renovations into the Standards for Construction – Design Guidelines.
4.    Increase parking supplies within the residential neighborhoods with a goal to accommodate 30% of the resident population.  Work with REHS to establish a prioritized strategy for implementation.
5.    Work with the lighting committee to assess and implement new night lighting in priority locations.
6.    Investigate traffic signal progressions per Campus Master Plan modality priorities (pedestrians first, bicycles second, transit third, private automobile last).
7.    Eliminate obstructions from potential ‘Clear Vision Areas’ to enhance safety for all users.

3.2   EDUCATION

Goal:
Develop and implement educational programs that promote bicycle usage and bicycle safety.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Continue working with, and providing information for, student and parent orientation.
2.    Continued cooperation on safety campaigns with MSU Police and other campus groups.
3.    Enhance and promote the MSU Bikes website.
4.    Continue sponsoring bicycle maintenance educational sessions.
5.    Continue to conduct campus rides to increase bicycle awareness.
6.    Analyze results of the parking permit test concerning campus policies.

3.3   ENCOURAGEMENT

Goal:
Establish ongoing strategies promoting bicycling for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Create and communicate incentives promoting bicycle commuting for faculty and staff through Human Resources and MSU Police.
2.    Identify, map, and promote secure storage and showering/locker facilities.
3.    Develop an annual fall bicycle event to promote bicycle registration, appropriate use, and safety.
4.    Create engaging community outreach events centered on bicycling.
5.    Execute a campus version of the International Car-free City Day.

3.4   ENFORCEMENT

Goal:
Clarify and reinforce observance of university ordinances, policies, rules, and regulations related to bicycle use on campus.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Clarify nomenclature of bicycle facilities and revised ordinances as needed.
2.    Work with MSU Police to increase enforcement of traffic rules and to identify areas of repeat safety violations.
3.    Monitor and adapt the bicycle impoundment practices as required.
4.    Strengthen university bicycle registration efforts.
5.    Encourage bicyclists to report all collisions to MSU Police.

3.5   EVALUATION & PLANNING

Goal:
Monitor progress on recommendations, working through existing protocols and standing committees.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Annually evaluate the progress on recommendations.
2.    Update the bicycle plan every five years as part of the Campus Master Plan update cycle.
3.    Work through AUTTC (All University Traffic and Transportation Committee) to draft position memoranda identifying bicycle system enhancements relative to new construction projects that not only benefit the project but the larger campus community as well.
4.    Continually assess existing and new recommendations through activity of the MSU Bikes Committee and AUTTC.
5.    Work with the Bike Collaborative initiative and other ad-hoc groups supporting bicycling.

3.6   ENVIRONMENT

Goal:
Encourage bicycle use to reduce scope 3 emissions related to vehicular circulation, especially single occupant motor vehicle operations.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Incentivize bicycle use and other alternative modalities.
2.    Incorporate scope 3 emission savings into bicycle promotional advocacy.
3.    Continue the partnership between IPF, REHS and ASMSU to expand the existing bicycle share program.
4.    Continue to promote and strengthen CATA’s Clean Commute program and its Emergency Ride Home (ERH) voucher incentive.

3.7   ECONOMIC

Goal:
Reduce university costs associated with building and maintaining a robust vehicular circulation system by increasing bicycle use as a core modality for students, faculty, and staff.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Encourage and incentivize faculty and staff bicycle use as a means of commuting to, and moving around, campus.
2.    Invest in secure and weather-protected parking facilities at strategic campus locations.

Departmental Bike Service Examples

A number of MSU departments provide bike-related services to their staff to encourage them to ride bikes more often for a host of reasons that are well known.  This blog article illustrates some of those bikes at work around campus.  The following are additional services & amenities that have been installed and/or purchased by departments.  Consider asking your department administration about providing something similar to improve the bike-friendliness of your department.  Our departmental fleet services are described on this page of our website.

Cyclotron Secure Bike Parking facility:

One of the newest department facilities on campus, this secured bike storage facility offers space for approx. 40 bikes under cover and behind fencing that is card-access controlled.  It also features a security camera to monitor access.  The Cyclotron has also had a traditional key-access bike locker on their premises for a number of years that’s been available to 2 bicyclists at any given time.  A video tour of the facility can be seen here.  Questions about this facility can be sent to Tim Potter.  Here are some photos of the facilities:

 

Bio-Engineering Secure Bike Parking Facility:

One of the newest research buildings on campus, the four-story, 130,000-square-foot Bioengineering Facility, features a nice secure MSU ID card-accessible bike parking facility on the exterior for area staff to use.  While it doesn’t feature a roof over the parking this is certainly a much improved amenity for staff in the buildings in this area who are concerned about the security of their bikes while at work.   This facility will be opening soon.  It is located between the Life Science and the Clinical Center buildings in the South Academic District.  Questions about this facility can be sent to Tim Potter.  Here are some photos of it as of taken this past summer:

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities’ Bike Services:

Gus on one of his work bikes
Gus on one of his work bikes in the IPF parking lot.

Employees of this large department have had the use of a growing fleet of bikes for decades.  Oftentimes trips to buildings on campus to check into maintenance issues can be easily done by bicycle to minimize costs to the department and provide options for staff to get some exercise and fresh air during their work day.  On the nicer days of the year it’s not uncommon for the 30 bike fleet (as of 10/18/16) to be in use.  Jeff Groll, the bike fleet manager for IPF, reports that of the 30 bikes in the fleet 6 are available for checkout by any IPF staff and the rest are assigned to individual employees.  Some of those assigned bikes even feature electric-assist systems to make the bike trips even less of a physical challenge as well as extending the possibilities of trips that can be done by bike.  Questions about the IPF bike fleet can be sent to Jeff here.   This IPF article (Aug. 2014) features the story of Gus Gosselin, who championed bike use within IPF for many years for additional background information.

Additionally, IPF has provided access to a bike locker for employees at the Simon Powerplant for a number of years.  Staff at this facility found the work environment inside to not be conducive for storing bikes inside, so the locker has helped provide an great alternative for some of their regular bike commuters with nicer bikes.  Some pics of that locker below:

Bikes at Work on Campus

Many people may not realize how much MSU departments and their staff use bikes to help make their work on & around campus more enjoyable, efficient and green.

In recent years MSU Bikes, Surplus and Recycling have all been utilizing bikes with large trailers to do even more work on campus that previously thought possible.  Their medium length Bikes at Work trailers allow them to haul up to 300- 600 lbs of cargo and with the help of electric-assist bikes staff don’t need super-human bicycling strength to haul those kinds of loads.

Here’s a photo gallery of Cayden Bunnell (formerly of Surplus & Recycling) at work w/ the rig on a nice fall day on campus (2015):

cayden-bike-trailer-video-screenshot
This video
highlights the work by one of the Surplus/ Recycling staff who was the inaugural bike-trailer worker bee to start regular rounds collecting compost material and delivering recycling related supplies.

 

MSU Bikes has used the same type of trailer to haul its recycling materials, signage in parades and other special events, mobile bike repair clinic equipment and many other purposes. Some photos below show you the variety of cargo we’ve hauled over the years.

This past summer the Bailey Greenhouse and Urban Farm students (part of the MSU RISE Program) began making pedal-powered deliveries of their vegetables around campus with a little help from MSU Surplus/ MSU Bikes.  This video shows their delivery bike-trailer in action.

For over three decades the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities department has had the largest fleets of work bikes on campus (23 in Aug. 2014) which are heavily utilized throughout the year for work trips that don’t require a full-sized motor vehicle.  Gus Gosselin, former Director of Building Services and current Senior Engineer with IPF and co-founder of the MSU Bike Project (which was the forerunner to the current MSU Bikes Service Center), was instrumental in building up that fleet and helping the modest bike get the respect it deserves alongside other wheeled transportation options for IPF workers.  He’s been riding his bike to meetings, lunches and other work trips around campus for many years carrying his helmet into meetings to strategically let others know that he rode a bike.  (This article gives more background on this history of bicycling within IPF).

bikeunitThere are other departments that also heavily utilize bicycles to help them with their daily work on campus. A couple dozen lease their bikes from MSU Bikes’ utilizing our fleet services for their staff use throughout the work day. The MSU Police Dept.’s Bicycle Unit has the next sizable fleet of bikes which help their team of bike patrol officers with a host of work from Community policing, routine traffic enforcement and other types of enforcement where a bicycle provides unique benefits (they’re quiet, fast and can go places motor vehicles can’t go).

Bike Month Events @ MSU

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May was National Bike Month and there were a bunch of events that happened on or near campus to celebrate & encourage bicycling, improve bike safety, spread bike friendliness around the Midwest and have some fun along the way.

 


  • Our lead vehicle, courtesy of Go Green Trikes!
    Our lead vehicle, courtesy of Go Green Trikes! http://www.gogreentrikes.com

    Greater Lansing/ MSU/ E. Lansing Ride of Silence
    May 18, 5:30 pm ~9 pm
    MSU Bikes once again hosted the Ride of Silence on the campus for the Greater Lansing area.  Approx. 200 people joined in this very significant event that honored/ remembered bicyclists who’ve been seriously injured or killed in crashes with motor vehicles.  The evening wrapped up with an after-party at the Midtown Brewing Co. with great entertainment provided by The Fabulous Heftones.  We celebrated all the hard work area advocates are doing to improve things in the area to make it safer for cycling.  The TCBA Advocacy group is one such group that has monthly meetings open to the public and needs more people concerned about improving our roads.  The Facebook event page for the ride has many photos available for your viewing pleasure.  There is also a Facebook page for the Greater Lansing Ride of Silence that you might want to plug into to stay abreast.

 


  • Highlight photo from the Tour de MSU
    Highlight photo from the Tour de MSU ride around campus that wrapped up the Bike Friendly America Conference @ MSU, 2016

    MSU’s Bike Friendly America Conference
    May 19, 8 – 4 pm

    This first-year event saw 56 people in attendance for a full day of learning about how to encourage their university, business or community to become more bike friendly.  It featured many inspirational speeches and presentations and wrapped up with the Tour de MSU, a ride around the MSU campus and neighboring communities, to experience what’s happening on the streets in our area.

    Some of those speeches and presentations are captured on this video.
    Here’s a shorter highlights video of the event.  Additional articles regarding the event were published here and here.

    A few photos from the event are below.


    We’re looking forward to possibly doing a similar conference next year.  Stay tuned!

 


  • Annual Bike to Work/ Campus Day Breakfast
    May 20 – 7:30 – 9:30 am
    Twenty-six dedicated campus bicyclists got together at the Brody Cafeteria to celebrate National Bike to Work/ Campus Day with a breakfast and were inspired by our guest speakers, Steve Clark, Bike Friendly Community Coach for the League of American Bicyclists, and Steve Sanders, Bicycle Coordinator for the Univ. of MN – Minneapolis, a Platinum Bike Friendly University.Some photos from the event below:

 


  • Poster for 2nd Annual Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night event2nd Annual Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night
    May 20 – 7 – 11 pm
    Well over 100 people came out for an evening of 25 great short bike movies courtesy of the Tri-County Bike Association & their Advocacy Committee and other area sponsors.  Once again, thanks to the Kalamazoo Bike Film Festival organizers this series of shorts proved to be a blast and delivered many moments of the joys of bicycling of the entire spectrum of pedaling and human-powered machines!

 

 

 

 


Near Campus & Other Events – Activities

 

 


  •  Lansing Bike Party - April 2016 ride to Old TownLansing Bike Party weekly social, slow rides
    Every Friday evening, starting near campus (Peanut Barrel & The Avenue, Lansing), these are a great way to meet new friends and discover the hidden gems of the Greater Lansing area.

 

 


 

 

 


  • National Bike Challenge graphicNational Bike Challenge
    May 1 – Sept. 30, 2016
    Join in this national challenge to win prizes and bragging rights! MSU has a team (of sorts) who have done very well within the Big 10 over the past few years.  Join in the fun and jump on the MSU peloton!

MSU Annual Bike to Work/ Campus Day Breakfast

Twenty-six dedicated campus bicyclists got together on May 20, 2016, at the Brody Cafeteria to celebrate National Bike to Work/ Campus Day with a breakfast and were inspired by our guest speakers, Steve Clark, Bike Friendly Community Coach for the League of American Bicyclists, and Steve Sanders, Bicycle Coordinator for the Univ. of MN – Minneapolis, a Platinum Bike Friendly University.

Some photos from the event below:

 

 


Archived content:

BTWD-Home-Banner-2016

Join your fellow campus bicyclists on Friday, May 20 – 7:30 – 9:30 am at the Brody Cafeteria (large group room) to celebrate National Bike to Work/ Campus Day with a breakfast and get inspired by our guest speakers, Steve Clark, Bike Friendly Community Coach for the League of American Bicyclists, and Steve Sanders, Bicycle Coordinator for the Univ. of MN – Minneapolis, a Platinum Bike Friendly University.

Final conference flyer graphic
Click here to visit the conference website and register.

Our guest speakers will be on campus for our Bike Friendly America Conference happening the day before; please consider registering for that too!

Click here to RSVP for the breakfast; limited to the first 50 to sign-up.

Valet Bike Parking will be provided outside the main SE entrance to Brody Hall.  Looking for a couple volunteers to help watch the bikes during the breakfast (volunteers will get breakfast!).

Contact Tim Potter if you have any questions about the event or would like to volunteer to help with the VBP service.

MSU’s Bike Friendly America Conference

Highlight photo from the Tour de MSU
Highlight photo from the Tour de MSU ride around campus that wrapped up the Bike Friendly America Conference @ MSU, 2016

This first-year event on May 19, 2016, saw 56 people attend for a full day of learning about how to encourage their university, business or community to become more bike friendly. It featured many inspirational speeches and presentations and wrapped up with the Tour de MSU, a ride around the MSU campus and neighboring communities, to experience what’s happening on the streets in our area.

Some of those speeches and presentations are captured on this video.  Additional articles regarding the event were published here and here.

Presentations on the video & their start location:

Mark Meadows, Mayor of E. Lansing:  1:27
Dan Bollman, Assoc. VP of IPF:  3:45
Lou Anna Simon, MSU President: 6:27
Steve Clark, Bike Friendly Community Specialist, League of American Bicyclists: 7:45
Gus Gosselin, Mechanical Engr, IPF:  49:11
Tim Potter, Sustainable Transportation Mgr.: 57:27
Steve Clark 1:13:54highlights-video-screenshot
Steve Sanders, Alternative Transportation Manager, U of MN:  1:29:40

 Here’s a shorter highlights video of the event.

A few photos from the event are below.


We’re looking forward to possibly doing a similar conference next year. Stay tuned!

 


Archived content:

Final conference flyer graphic
Click here to visit the conference website and register.

Sorry, but registration is now closed.  Call (517) 334-9100 to manually register.  If you’re interested in sponsoring the conference please refer to this page of information.


 

Last November, Michigan State University was recognized as a Silver level Bicycle Friendly University. MSU joins an elite group of 28 other Silver level and 126 other BFUs who have received recognition from the League of American Bicyclists ranging from Bronze to Platinum.

The League's Silver level award seal.
The League’s Silver level award seal.

Who Should Attend?

  • Working for a business that is interested in becoming more Bike Friendly?  A spokesman for Steelcase will be sharing their rationale for pursuing the BFB award.

  • Inside city government and wondering how to move towards becoming more bike friendly?  Learn how Lansing, MI, a typical Midwest city is able to install a surprising amount of bike-friendly facilities every year.  A representative from Grand Rapids will also be presenting their story of how improving their city for bicycling has helped spur regional development.

  • Come learn more about the secrets of reaching Platinum Bike Friendly Univ. status from U-Minnesota-Minneapolis’ bike coordinator.

  • Want to know how being bike friendly means potentially hundreds millions of $$ for your state at many levels?  Listen to Michigan’s Bike Coordinator present the findings of a state-wide report showing how bicycling brings well over $600 mil. annually to the state.

In order to assist other universities, their surrounding communities and businesses to be recognized as bicycle friendly or to achieve the next step in the Bicycle Friendly Program, Michigan State University will host a “Bicycle Friendly America” conference on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at the Kellogg Center on our beautiful campus. The conference will include general sessions as well as break-out sessions to present information specific to Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly University, as well as Bicycle Friendly Business.

We will have presenters from the League of American Bicyclists, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the State of Michigan, other universities (including a Platinum level one), as well as Michigan State University, local communities and businesses.

Join us for a day of interaction to help make our campuses, communities, and businesses more bicycle friendly thus safer for all of us alike!

Registration is Open!  Click here to register.

Early bird registration is $100 and has been extended thru April 15; after midnight April 15 the fee will be $120.
Registration closed midnight on May 15. Sorry, no on-site registration

**Sponsors & Vendors click here for our sponsorship opportunities

 



Brought to you by:  

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities: http://ipf.msu.edu/
MSU Bike Advisory Committee – https://msubikes.wordpress.com/msu-bac/
MSU Bikes Service Center – www.bikes.msu.edu

With technical & logistical support from the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

Questions?  Gggossel@ipf.msu.edu or 517-432-0501

CATA Emergency Ride Home Extended to Bicyclists

This new bike-commuter benefit just in from Joe Fedewa, CATA’s Clean Commute manager:

If you have a long-distance bicycle commute at least 3 days a week, you may be eligible! The CATA Clean Commute Options’ Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program now gives you the confidence to commute by bike and still get home in an emergency.
CATA-Clean-Commute-graphic

It’s FREE and EASY to get started. Click here to apply for ERH service now! If qualified for the ERH program, you will receive a pair of vouchers every 6 months. If your bicycle breaks down, you get caught in a storm, or any other unplanned circumstance in which you cannot commute home by bike, simply redeem a voucher for a rental car pickup at your workplace or at the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car location and get home safely. (The step-by-step directions for use are written on the vouchers themselves)

To participate in the Emergency Ride Home program, you must be actively commuting via bicycle at least 3 days a week. Vouchers may only be redeemed on these days. The program is intended for commuters traveling into the region from an area well beyond any CATA fixed-route bus service. ERH applications will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.