Samantha Farless, senior public relations major, is riding on her way to make a change with her senior project, by pushing for the University to include designated bicycle lanes in the campus master plan.
“I’d help in the process of trying to make sure things are safer for students,” Farless said. “I feel if they feel safer to ride their bikes more, they would do it more.”
Earlier this month Farless stood outside of the Campus Center and asked students to take a short survey. “(The) survey was so that I could learn the commuting habits of students,” Farless said.
“I wanted to see if they would be willing to ride a bike to school or if they do that now,” she said.
Farless has always cared for the environment growing up.
When she returned to the University in 2012, she noticed that there were more bike racks around campus, but there were no bike lanes.
Riding a bicycle to school would result in a better and healthier environment and even encourage more students to ride their bikes Farless said.
“I think it’s a good idea to have bike lanes just to make it more safe around here,” said freshman child development major Emma Petrelli.
“I feel like there are a lot of reckless drivers around here so it would just make people feel a lot safer and comfortable when riding their bikes,” she said.
More than 100 students stopped by and took Farless’ survey.
“I had them answer questions like if they lived on campus, had a car, and if they didn’t, how they get to school and if they would ride their bike to school or not,” Farless said. “It was a split result because some students either live too far away to ride a bike or don’t own one at all.”
People for Bikes, an organization based in Colorado, donated buttons and stickers to Farless to give out when students stopped by her booth.
“I think a bike lane would be effective because I do see a few people riding their bikes around campus, and I know that it would help out a lot, not just to bikers but even pedestrians,” freshman psychology major Lynsea Myers said.
On Wednesday, Farless was in front of Campus Center once again with her survey and a petition form for students.
Students were able to sign the form if they believed that they should add designated bike lanes to the University Master Plan.
“I somewhat changed it up for students who live on campus and tailored it more based on the results I got from the previous survey,” Farless said.
After graduation, Farless hopes to work for a non-profit environmental organization and push for more environmental friendly decisions this way.
“If bike lanes were made and added to the campus master plan, I would definitely ride my bike around more,” Petrelli said.
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.