UT more bike-friendly with installation of repair stations

October 27, 2016 | Features, UToday



Bike riding around campus just became easier and more convenient. Bike repair stations recently were installed at three locations: Rocket Hall, Palmer Hall and the Student Union.

Each station provides a stand to mount a bike, cabled tools for minor adjustments and repairs, air pumps with gauges, and QR codes to scan that will reveal how-to videos for small repairs.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

Bike riders who need to make minor repairs or air up tires can stop at three repair stations, including this one on the south side of the Student Union on Main Campus.

The bike repair stations are available for everyone to use.

This project is a collaboration between We Are Traffic, the UT Cycling Club, UT Grounds, and the UT Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design Initiative.

Keith Webb of We Are Traffic coordinated the project and is responsible for the bike repair stations throughout Metroparks Toledo.

“I’m really excited about the placement of these repair stations,” Webb said. “It’s wonderful that UT placed them where the community can easily access them.”

The bike repair stations were funded by the UT Student Green Fund.

Tom Garey, manager of facilities information and president of the UT Cycling Club, said it is important for universities to be bike-friendly for many reasons, including the promotion of health and wellness, lowering carbon emissions, and easing traffic and parking congestion.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

A student rode his bike in Centennial Mall.

The UT Cycling Club promotes all forms of riding and is for all people who have a common love of bicycling.

Rocket ReCycle also promotes pedal power. Peter Thomas, director of international partnership and immigration, founded the bike share program for international students who have a limited budget, but need access to safe transportation that can be used on and off campus.

“A bike-friendly campus permits the safe flow of cyclists of varied degrees of skill to move from one section of campus to another quickly. Students who are taking a class in Nitschke Hall cannot make it to Rocket Hall in less than 10 minutes by walking,” Thomas said.

“The Rocket ReCycle program began with a donation from the UT Police Department of seven bikes and has grown to more than 100 from donations from the community, friends, students and the Toledo Police Department,” Thomas said.

Initially for international students, Rocket ReCycle has been expanded to cater to research scholars and visiting professors. Thomas said they also are looking to offer weekend use by the community for a small donation that will help off-set the cost of maintenance.

“Students come from abroad and must resettle and prepare for their academic journey,” Thomas said. “Having a simple system that provides basic transportation helps students adjust to a new country.”

Srinival Muthukrishnan said that Rocket ReCycle has helped him to get to class and tennis practice as well as run errands.

Rocket Wheels close-up by Rachel“I would like to thank the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for the gesture, and I hope more people like me benefit from the program,” Muthukrishnan said.

Members of the campus community are invited to use Rocket Wheels, a bike program launched last year by Facilities and Construction.

There are more than 50 bikes available to students and employees who register with Rocket Wheels, and there are four locations on campus where bikes can be checked out and returned: the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement across from the Ritter Bike Corral, near the northeast entrance of Rocket Hall, by the south entrance of Palmer Hall, and on the northeast side of the west parking garage. Bikes can be borrowed for up to six hours.

There are more than 1,100 members registered for Rocket Wheels, according to Diana Watts, UT transit and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator.

“Bike riding is fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The Rocket Wheels bike share gives people the opportunity to get to class without having to use their cars and eliminates the worry of finding a parking space,” Watts said. “It also provides those who do not have cars on campus a mode of transportation to get to other places around the city.”

To register for Rocket Wheels, visit utoledo.edu/rocket-wheels.