What began as a project for an Environmental Science and Technology class has developed into a more expansive initiative to promote bike usage and supply covered bike storage across the Ithaca College campus.
Junior Lauren Goldberg has been facilitating a team of six students involved in the new push for shelters, called the Bomber Bike Initiative.
The students on the team include senior Margaret Keating, juniors Juilet Barriola and Peter Slothower and sophomores Andreas Jonathan and Moriah Petty.
Since it was drafted last spring, the initiative has now been expanded to include a Bike Share program in which students can choose to rent a bike if they do not already own one on campus.
“If we see that bike lockers are more popular than shelters, we’ll have to look into the cost of bike lockers and the best locations for those,” she said.
Currently, the team is in the preliminary stages of planning and gaining support. The team estimates the funds for the initiative will reach more than $10,000, but they are looking into scholarships.
They are also hoping to collaborate with the students of the architectural studies program at the college under the direction of Itohan Osayimwese, assistant professor of art history.
Jonathan, an architectural studies major, said there are no official designs yet, and the design would have to be overseen by a professional architect and discussed with the Tompkins County Planning Board.
Goldberg said she discussed the project with officials from the Office of Public Safety, who she said support safer bike storage, as many bikes are currently illegally kept in areas with fire and safety hazards.
Last week, a kiosk designed by architecture students was located outside Campus Center. Those who stopped by could place a colored sticker on a large campus map, indicating the best location for the shelters.
Jonathan said the kiosk was meant to advertise the initiative’s progress and to engage the student body’s interest.
“We want to make sure that what we’re working to is actually something that the student body finds interesting, useful and necessary,” he said.
Popular places on the map included the library, the Roy H. Park School of Communications and the parking lot near Textor and Williams Hall.
The team also refined its research in a survey that was posted on Intercom.
Last week, Goldberg presented the initiative to the Student Government Association to promote the idea and to discover more ways to collaborate. Goldberg said she plans to return to SGA with a proposal to receive a formal endorsement once the plans for the initiative are finalized.
The group also plans to pitch the idea to next year’s senior class as a part of its gift to the college.
Brown said the initiative will appeal to those who are avid cyclists year round.
“There are a lot of really glorious days in the winter time,” Brown said. “If you are cycling long distance, maybe not, but if you are cycling a short distance, the college does an exceptional job of maintaining clear sidewalks and roadways that would be suitable for biking.”
Freshman Scott Watson said he bikes around campus every day, regardless of the weather.
Watson said bike storage would be appropriate during those times because it is harder to protect the bikes from weather abrasion with the current bike racks.
“I’ve had my bike for four months now, and there are parts of my bike that are already getting rusted,” Watson said. “It’s because of the fact that there is a lack of shelter to lock up my bike and it’s exposed to rain, snow and other elements of weather.”
Goldberg said she and her team are working to get a demo bike share program set up by the spring. She also said she would not mind staying over the summer to oversee the shelter’s construction.
Goldberg said the initiative is the first step to making a difference on the college campus.
“Half of the reason I’m here at Ithaca College is to get a good education, but the other half is to make a positive impact on campus,” Goldberg said.
Chief Proofreader Sara Webb contributed reporting to this article.