Portland State’s football team isn’t the only thing getting national attention these days: the school is now ranked among the top five in the country in terms of its bike-friendliness.
Yesterday the League of American Bicyclists announced that PSU had attained “Platinum” — its highest possible Bicycle Friendly University designation. Out of the 127 total Bicycle Friendly Universities, PSU shares this designation with just four other schools: Stanford; University of California, Davis; Colorado State University; and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
This achievement comes four and-a-half years after PSU’s head of parking and transportation Ian Stude, all but promised it would happen. In March 2011, after PSU had earned a “Silver” designation, Stude told us, “I have no doubt that you will be hearing from us again soon with news of our rise to Gold (which they earned in 2013) and eventually Platinum.”
To justify their Platinum award, The League says PSU’s support for cycling has, “helped reduce congestion, improve air quality and lower the demand for parking on campus.” The League also noted PSU’s indoor bike parking, low-cost rentals and their on-campus Bike Hub retail and repair shop. PSU has 2,200 bike parking space on campus — a six-fold increase in the past decade.
Interestingly, the League’s announcement comes as biking rates at PSU are actually in decline. As we reported last month, PSU’s own survey’s show that rates of biking to campus are down by a third since hitting a peak in 2011 — from 12 to 8 percent.
A newly formed bike activism group on campus, Bike PSU, says the reason for the decline might be that people feel like cycling in downtown Portland is simply too dangerous.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org