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:

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.

Bike Friendly Improvements to Campus this Summer (2015)

Those of you just returning to campus will be pleasantly surprised to find some significant improvements to our campus making it more bike friendly.

There are several areas that have had new bike parking facilities added including some new and much improved bike parking racks as you’ll see in the slideshow below.  These racks, called Varsity Docks by Park a Bike, help keep bikes upright (by preventing the wheel from rolling), feature a more intuitive design for proper locking of bikes and has padding where the rack contacts a bike to prevent damage to bikes.  They are more expensive and don’t easily allow for locking up more bikes than they’re designed for (like the common U-loop style rack we’ve got all over campus) but it’s hoped fewer bikes will fall to the ground (which leads to abandonment oftentimes) and reduces theft due to improper locking.

Additional improvements to the bike parking situation on campus:  83 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall to replace old-school style racks, 23 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall, 48 new U-loop style racks to the West side of the front of W. Akers Hall, 16 new U-loop style racks in front of W. Akers Hall, an expanded cement pad on the East side of Holden Hall for more moped parking to reduce conflict at the bike racks and to allow for more bike parking loops in the future.

Other bike-friendly improvements:

  • Chestnut Rd. is now another “Complete Street” on campus from North to South (from Trowbridge near the IPF Hqrs. to Kalamazoo St.) with safe accommodations for all road users including bike lanes.
  • Resurfaced and redone bike lanes on Farm Ln. north of the bridge to the Auditorium Rd. intersection.
  • Reinstalled many bike lane symbols around campus that had become worn-off from snow plows, etc.

New DIY Bike Repair Stations and Resources at MSU

Needing to put a little air in your bike tires, fix a flat tire or do a minor adjustment?  Well, if you’re on campus you’re in luck!

MSU Bike facilities map
MSU Bike facilities map, updated May 2015

This map shows you where you can find eight do-it-yourself bike repair stations on campus and further below are some photos showing you what they look like so you can recognize them.  (Brody Complex station is on the east side of Emmons Hall; E. Neighborhood station is outside W. Akers entrance near bike parking area [the dot on the map is slightly off on this location; sorry!).

The five newest stations (made by Bike Fixtation) installed in the five residential neighborhoods were purchased and installed thanks to donors, Rick Brown and Kathy Donahue Brown through the Brown-Hoover Charitable Trust (established by Rick’s mother and stepfather, Carroll Brown Hoover and James Hoover).  This State News article gives more information about the newest stations.

You can also view a video showing how these stations can be used here.

There have been three Dero-brand stations on campus for a while and have proven very popular.  There is one outside the MSU Bikes Service (installed 2008) and one inside each MSU Bike Garage (secure bike parking facilities –  details here).

Secure Bike Parking Facilities on Campus

IMG_9362
MSU Bike Garage in the Trowbridge Parking Ramp. The Dero Fixit station can be seen holding a bike. Click pic for more detailed photos of the Garages

Michigan State University is certified as a silver level Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists (as of Nov. 2015; click here to view MSU’s basic profile), but the high population density and unpredictable weather can be quite unfriendly to bicycle hardware and riders.

Two secure bike parking facilities (north and south campus) opened in the fall of 2013 to help alleviate some of those concerns for students, faculty and staff.

MSU Bikes, a service unit of MSU Surplus & Recycling, worked with multiple units on campus to develop and install the MSU Bike Garages, enhanced-security parking facilities inside two vehicle parking ramps.

The two locations are inside the car parking ramps on Trowbridge Road and Grand River Avenue.

The MSU Bike Garages are fenced-in spaces on the ground level, providing protection from theft on all sides and some shelter from the elements. Access is controlled by the university’s card sensor technology seen in buildings across campus, and the caged instead of solid walls provide a safe level of visibility inside and outside the structure.

Inside the facilities, cyclists can lock up their ride in a row of Lightning Bolt™ racks, which are designed to keep bikes upright and work especially well with U-locks. Riders can also take advantage of a Dero Fixit™ station and air pump, similar to the self-serve amenities outside the Bikes Service Center in Bessey Hall.

IMG_9351The Bike Garage in the Grand River Avenue ramp can hold up to 50 bikes, while the one in the Trowbridge Road ramp has space for 23. Annual and shorter term memberships provide are available immediately and provide access to both facilities.  Since there is a physical capacity of 73 bikes that can be parked between the two facilities and membership will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

“Campus cyclists now have new options: if you live too far away from campus to ride your bike the whole way you can keep your bike in the garage over night and have it ready to ride once on campus.”  said Tim Potter, MSU Bikes’ Sustainable Transportation Manager, who oversees the operations.  “Or, if you find the garages too far away from your office consider keeping a 2nd inexpensive bike locked in the garage and then lock your nice bike in the garage and ride the cheaper one to your building.”

One of our customers’ top 10 favorite things about the bike parking garages:
1. Your campus bike (and all its removable parts) will all be there when you need them.
2. Your campus bike will stay dry and rust-free over nights and weekends.
3. It’s lit and safe in the dark winter mornings and evenings.
4. Your campus bike won’t get kicked in on the racks after the bar crawls.
5. You can park your car in the Grand River ramp then jump on your bike to get around campus fast – great during campus construction, game days or when the inner lots are full (that’s all the time.)
6. Leave a bike securely parked on campus and you’ve got easy access to the river trail for weekend rides.
7. Rent is cheap.
8. You get the most optimal parking spot on Grand River.
9. There’s a handy bike pump and repair stand. Super deluxe.
10. Your friends who bike in other cities will be jealous that you have such a luxurious work feature!
(courtesy Marian M. Reiter, Graphic Artist II, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications)

To sign up for the service either come by our Center and fill out our Bike Garage membership application or do it online via this form; we’ll give you a unique frame sticker and get your MSU ID authorized to access both facilities within 24 hrs.

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