[Published: October 17, 2019]

Perhaps the only thing harder than reaching the top is staying there. Stanford’s bicycle program has done it, achieving a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly University designation for the third consecutive time.

On October 17, 2019, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recognized Stanford University with a third Platinum Bicycle Friendly University (BFUSM) award in recognition of Stanford’s achievements in promoting safe and accessible bicycling on campus. 

Only university to receive third renewal of Platinum designation

Stanford was the first university to be recognized at the highest level when the program launched in 2011, making Stanford the only university to receive three Platinum designations in a row. This year’s award extends Stanford’s first two Platinum designations (2011–2015 and 2015-2019) for another four years (2019-2023).

Enhancements to Stanford’s bicycle program and infrastructure over the past four years, which were among the elements recognized with the Platinum renewal designation, include the following: 

  • Six roundabouts now operating on the main campus to encourage safe circulation for all users.

  • Increased bike parking capacity to over 19,000 bike parking spaces, and expanded and new secure bike cages to serve campus commuters.

  • Over 12 miles of bike lanes and 17 miles of shared use paths on the main campus.

  • Outreach to over 85% of new students annually during New Student Orientation to share best practices on how to be a safe rider at Stanford.

  • Over 10,000 Commute Club Members receive $300 in Clean Air Cash as an incentive to use alternative transportation, including bicycling to commute to work.

  • Participation in the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Celebration in May, National Bike Month, for the past 25 years.

  • Published the first Bicycle Commuter Access Study, which explores the opportunities and challenges facing bicyclists at Stanford 

Stanford has more than 13,000 cyclists on campus everyday

Brian Shaw, executive director of Stanford Transportation, notes that Stanford has more than 13,000 cyclists daily at its main campus. The department and their campus partners are committed to meeting the needs of riders and offer bike education to increase safety and respect among all road users. By ensuring smooth and safe circulation, providing bike infrastructure and resources and conducting bike safety outreach, he says the efforts are paying off.

“We know that when colleges and universities invest in bicycling, great things happen: We decrease our carbon footprint, improve health, increase connection to community, and promote a healthy, fun and safe campus culture,” Shaw said. “The League of American Bicyclists deserves credit and our gratitude for helping to encourage this to happen through a friendly but rigorous competition, where the ultimate winners are the riders.”

Commute Club provides incentives to commuters who bike 

Stanford’s award winning Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program is committed to promoting and supporting bicycling as an active and sustainable transportation option. 

Over the past four years, Stanford Transportation has partnered with multiple departments on campus to invest in new bicycle facilities and increase outreach to encourage bicycling, create a safer, bike friendly environment and improve circulation.

Stanford’s Commute Club rewards eligible commuters for not driving alone to work by offering numerous incentives, including Clean Air Cash of up to $300 per year per member. The Commute Club has more than 11,000 members, and biking is one of the most popular modes Commute Club members choose. In 2019, over 33 percent of Commute Club members and 17 percent of all university commuters selected bicycling as their primary mode.  

Ariadne Delon Scott, assistant director of active mobility, attributes Stanford’s Platinum designation to the hard work and successful collaboration between the department and numerous campus groups, including Campus Planning, Stanford’s Department of Public Safety, partners at the medical center and departments and academic leadership throughout the university.

“We extend special thanks to our campus partners. While we are the face of the bicycle program, we couldn't achieve this award without the strong collaboration we enjoy with our campus partners,” Scott said.  “As we celebrate this award, we look forward to sharing our Platinum best practices with others and learning from others, as well. There is always more we can do, and we remain committed to improving biking and bike safety for our riders and community.” 

The League of American Bicyclists has been a leader in bicycling advocacy in the United States since the 1880s.To learn more about the Bicycle Friendly University Program, visit the League of American Bicyclists webpage.

For more information about Stanford’s bike program, visit Stanford’s Platinum Bicycle Friendly University webpage or contact us at bike-information@stanford.edu. To learn about Stanford’s Commute Club, contact commuteclub@stanford.edu.