Study to measure bike usage on campus

By Taylor Howard

Bicycles are a common sight on and around campus, yet it has been 10 years since any type of study has been done on the usage of bicycles at UK. This Tuesday that will change.

UK Parking and Transportation Services is conducting a study to yield up-to-date calculations on bicycle usage in the area. The information will be used for future planning procedures and accommodations, whether it is to install more bicycle parking facilities or to carve way for more bicycle lanes, said Stuart Kearns, associate director of Parking and Transportation.

“We are doing the survey to justify the increased need to make more bike parking facilities and amenities,” Kearns said.

Volunteers will be stationed at 13 of the main entrance points on campus to record the number of passing bicyclists. The survey is scheduled to last from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In 1998, UK’s Department of Civil Engineering and the Kentucky Transportation Center performed a counting survey that recorded the number of bicyclists as they entered and exited campus. This new survey is expected to show a positive increase in bicycle use at UK since the last time it was done, said Taylor Shelton, a geography and political science senior and intern to UK Parking and Transportation.

“This study is an excellent opportunity to show the university administration why we need more bicycling facilities,” Shelton said.

“UK, being a college campus, will obviously have more bicycle use than normal,” he said.

High gas prices have forced some students to rethink their transportation choices, leading more people to ride bicycles. David Kirk, a broadcast journalism junior, said he never rode his bike to campus until he realized all the benefits it could bring.

“I used to never ride a bike, until I figured out that riding a bike is a great way to give back to the environment and also save money,” Kirk said. “Not to mention it makes those early morning voyages to Dickey Hall a little less arduous.”