April 9, 2010
Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357
Members of the Bicycling for Transportation initiative, also known as GSU Bikes, stand with a unique bike rack constructed to help bring attention to cycling on campus.
There are many who everyday brave Atlanta's notorious traffic to commute to Georgia State by bicycle. Yet there are many more who want to bike to campus, but just don't know where to start, according research by members of an initiative that's aimed towards getting more people on bikes at GSU.
The members of the student-led Bicycling for Transportation initiative, also known as GSU Bikes, received funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct research about bicycling perceptions among the GSU community and downtown businesses, as well as the physical locations of bike racks on and near the campus.
"Many people don't know about bicycling, and there are a lot of safety issues surrounding the roadway, traffic and bike theft," said Nancy Pope, the student leader of the initiative and master's student in the Institute of Public Health.
Additionally, Pope and others found that men were almost six times more likely than women to ride bikes to campus.
"In the future, we need to find out how to get women more comfortable with bicycling, and to create social support for those who aren't, because while students who do bicycle know where to get information about routes and safety, there are those who just don't know," she said.
As part of the initiative, students and faculty held a contest to design a functional, aesthetically pleasing bike rack that could that was extremely sturdy but could help raise awareness of bicycling on campus. The rack, spelling "bike" and adorned with GSU blue, was unveiled April 8.
Spencer Murrill, who graduated in December with a bachelor of fine art degree in sculpture, designed and completed the winning bike rack, located on Gilmer Street near Unity Plaza at the Student Center. He's an avid cyclist as well, and biked from his home in Little 5 Points to GSU along Edgewood Avenue.
"I wanted it to be something that would be attractive as a sculpture but also promote bicycling, with subtle, abstract letters," he said. "But I also wanted it to be a rack where people wouldn't be afraid to chain a bike to it."
GSU Bikes is a partnership between the Institute of Public Health, the Sculpture Department of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Recreational Services, and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
The GSU Bikes team will head to Washington, D.C., to participate the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo, highlighting the team's work as a result of their People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grant. Students and faculty hope to garner funding through the P3 Award that will be announced after the expo, which would allow for expanded services, including a possible bike sharing program.
For more information about the initiative, including a campus bicycle rack map created by the team, visit www.gsubikes.com.