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Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 11:18 a.m.

University of Michigan named one of country's most bike-friendly universities

By Kellie Woodhouse


A woman bikes down the sidewalk next to State Street by the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor.

Angela J. Cesere |

The University of Michigan has been named one of the 35 most bicycle-friendly universities in the country, according to a recent list compiled by the League of American Bicyclists.

In compiling its list, LAB evaluates how a school educates students on bicycling, encourages them to bicycle, plans its transportation strategy and campus design around bicycling and enforces use of bike lanes and other rules.

U-M Director of Parking and Transportation Services Steve Dolen said U-M is grateful for the designation and hinted that plans are in the works to further increase bike-friendliness on campus.

"Our biking program is going to expand given the demand we have seen from the campus community and the impact it can have in helping U-M achieve its goal of reducing its carbon footprint," he said.

U-M announced earlier this year that it plans to start a bike rental program that will offer students hourly and daily rates for bicycle sharing. The school already has a bike repair program in place that takes place every Wednesday. During that program, bike repair experts, tools and bike stands are available to students.

"We have everything one needs to repair their bike,” John Swerdlow, assistant director of recreational sports, said recently.

The bike rental program is part of a recently launched $14 million initiative centered toward making U-M's campus more sustainable.

This year marked U-M's first appearance on the list. The Ann Arbor school, along with rivals Ohio State University and Michigan State University, received a bronze designation from LAB.

Stanford University in California was the only school to receive a platinum designation. Two University of California campuses were placed in the gold category; 14 campuses got silver designations and 18 received bronze designations.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

North Campus streets are too narrow for bikes + cars, and the curb cuts on the sidewalks are in the wrong places for bikes. There should be plenty of space up there for cars, bikes & pedestrians -- but it was not well-planned. The worst part of a bike commute from Old West Side to North Campus is once I get ON campus!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

The " U " is ideally set up for bikes as the bulk of the " old school " is contained...The majority of the newbee's who claim to be " townies " were never here back in the day when students were not allowed cars on campus..I ran a bike shop then and we sold hundreds every fall to meet the to the city currently thats another study in stupidity....


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

I agree with a2grateful. The University's system works well. The city of Ann Arbor's system is horrible. The mix of bikers (who never obey traffic rules), pedestrians (who just walk out in traffic wherever and whenever they want) and motorists (most of whom are talking on their cell phones or texting) on streets that are too narrow for both bike traffic and auto traffic is a recipe for disaster.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

On campus cycling is good. . . The sidewalk system is great . . . There are non-motor pathways. . . There is plentiful bike parking . . . Bike maintenance facility is a plus. . . Addition of bike rentals is a welcome idea. . . Overall, UM's system is good. . . It offers deep contrast to the City of Ann Arbor system.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Takes me back to the days of the "green Bike" . I remember using a few of those to get home after after a night of playing punk downtown and on campus whenj I didn't have my Tony Hawk board.