Oct. 15, 2009
Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357
ATLANTA - Georgia State University launched the new GSU Bikes initiative Oct. 15 with a goal of increasing bicycle use and reducing motorized vehicles on its urban campus.
"We're excited to start this innovative project at Georgia State," said Nancy Pope, the lead student investigator on the initiative. "It will help give us a better understanding about the environment for bicycling on campus, and will help encourage more in the GSU community to consider riding bicycles to campus."
Officials kicked off the initiative at GSU's Day in the Park with a contest to design an aesthetically pleasing, functional and secure bicycle rack to help encourage interest in bicycling. The project is supported by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"This project is exciting because functional art in public areas exposes people who might not usually be exposed to it," said Emma Adair, a sculpture major at Georgia State and vice president of the Edgewood Sculpture Forum, which is participating in the initiative.
Those using bicycles to get to Georgia State's downtown campus face myriad challenges in their commutes. In addition to safety, bike rack availability is also a concern. Aesthetics of the bicycling experience might also play a role in the perception of bicycling on campus.
There are benefits to bicycling as a commuting option. Georgia State bike users help to ease motor vehicle congestion, reduce air pollution, and gain an added benefit of becoming more physically active.
Participants in GSU Bikes, also known as Bicycling for Transportation, will investigate perceptions regarding bicycling use, as well as perceptions of the downtown business community about bicycling and bike racks. The project also intends to talk to downtown businesses about how to make bicycling more of a part of campus life at Georgia State.
Project members will be working to survey attitudes among bicyclists downtown. The team has counted bicycle users at particular locations near Georgia State's campus. Researchers will use geographic information systems to analyze use patterns and identify locations where more and better bicycle racks should be placed.
All members of the GSU community are eligible to participate in the bike rack contest. Group submissions are welcome, and proposals for a bike rack must address safety, security and bike rack functionality for an urban environment. The use of recycled materials is encouraged.
For the contest, entrants must submit proposals that include a resume and artist's statement, digital images of previous works (if applicable), drawings and a written description of the bike rack, as well as contact information.
Proposals must be submitted to the sculpture office at the Citizens Trust Building, 75 Piedmont Ave., Suite 504, by Dec. 1. Up to $500 will be provided for materials and a $500 honorarium/fabrication budget will be awarded to the selected work. The finished bike rack will be unveiled on March 8, 2010.
The project is a partnership with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the Institute of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences, the Sociology Department of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design, the Edgewood Sculpture Forum, and the Department of Recreational Services.