Students work to designate CCU a 'Bicycle-Friendly University'

Students work to designate CCU a 'Bicycle-Friendly University'
Source: Mandy Noell
Source: Mandy Noell

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Dozens of students are working to make Coastal Carolina University a "Bicycle-Friendly University." On Wednesday, Earth Day, they held a rally on campus to promote their cause.

Their initiative is to make campus more bicycle-friendly, and they want more students to join their cause to attract more students to campus.

To be considered a "Bicycle-Friendly University" is not an easy process.

"Basically, we answer a bunch of questions about what our university offers for bicyclers. And hope to get some feedback on how to become a bike-friendly university, or get an award if we're up there with some of the universities that have that," explained Layne Flynn, the Outdoor Coordinator for Campus Recreation at CCU.

Students and faculty have spent months on working on an extensive application to send to the League of American Bicyclists, who awards universities with the designation.

"When we started filling out the application we realized, there's definitely some areas we need to work on to be more bike-friendly," Flynn said. "And part of that is getting more bike lanes, having more infrastructure for people that want to ride bikes."

There has been progress, though, as bike racks have recently been put in across campus.

There's also a rent-a-bike program for students. "Students can come, they can rent a bike for free," according to Flynn. "They rent the bike for 30 days at a time. We have 300 bikes right now. So, the program has really grown over the last couple years."

It's about more than improvements the university can make.

"We also know that the other piece is education, so we need to educate our students that are biking on campus you know, what is the best way, the safest way to bike," said Flynn.

About 30 students have been working to collect data and educate their peers.

"CCU will be nationally-recognized, depending on the level we receive for bike-friendly university," Flynn explained. "So we have silver, bronze, gold, platinum, you can get all different levels. So depending on where we stand, or even if we get an honorable mention. They actually publish that, so you can look and see where universities fall under bike-friendly university.

Right now, about 100 schools are designated "Bicycle-Friendly Universities".

The only other two in South Carolina are Clemson and the university of South Carolina. The application for CCU will be sent out this summer.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.