The shelters that have popped up across campus will serve as covered storage areas for bicycles. By summer 2011, there will be 10 shelters throughout campus that were designed to encourage George Mason University students and faculty to use bikes, said Josh Cantor, director of Parking and Transportation.
“We have a bicycle advisory committee and among the feedback we had gotten [was that some felt] a deterrent to [bicycling] to campus was a lack of covered bicycle parking … outside the residential areas,” Cantor said.
Cantor said the Eastern Shore and Hampton Roads student housing projects added bike shelters as a way to gain more points toward certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s website, LEED certification is a “nationally recognized certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry.”
The shelters will be paid for by MSSmedia, Cantor said. MSSmedia is a company that provides bus shelters, bike shelters and other transit-related items to universities for the purpose of advertising. Each shelter has advertisements on the sides.
Cantor said Mason will receive a percentage of the advertising revenues from the shelters. A commuter benefit program for full-time faculty and staff encourages the use of the bike shelters.
Locations include the Recreation and Athletic Center, the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, Field House, Sandy Creek Parking Deck, the Johnson Center loading dock and the Hampton Roads dormitory.
After an increase over the past few years in the number of bicycles being chained to not only bike racks but poles, signs, railings and lampposts, the Department of Transportation launched several initiatives to make the campus more bike-friendly, Cantor said. These changes include bike lanes in Patriot Circle and the commuter benefit program.
The Department of Transportation is considering the implementation of other bicycle-related programs, including a bicycle registration program that would allow students to register their bicycles with the university. Other measures being considered include a bike-sharing program on the Fairfax campus with the GMU Bike Village and on the Arlington Campus with Capitol Bikeshare, to encourage more students to ride bicycles on campus.
On Bike to Mason Day, which runs from 7 to 10 a.m. on April 21, free bike tune-ups will be held at the JC North Plaza. Refreshments will be provided for students who bring their bikes.
Cantor said there is no plan to remove existing bike racks from their current locations.