Recently, the designated smoking area behind the cafeteria at Bellevue College was shut down and cleaned out.
Director of Sustainability Amber Nicholson has confirmed that the old smoke hut is being transformed into a covered bike shelter.
The Office of Sustainability plans to partner with the PALS Center to start a bike rental program. There will be eight bikes available that students can rent from the school either daily or quarterly.
“We are doing this because there are many students [who] would like to try out bicycling, whether it’s just to run errands or to get to and from school. If a student lives nearby, it’s a great opportunity to switch from bringing a car to campus (our biggest contributor to our campus greenhouse gas emissions) to riding a bicycle which is also great exercise!” Nicholson said. “In addition, we have bicycle parking in other areas on campus, and hope that more students discover bicycling with this program.”
Vice President of Administrative Services Ray White, the describes this initiative as “part of our long-range strategy to promote and support bicycling and alternative transportation.”
According to Nicholson, single occupancy vehicle trips, are one of BC’s largest contributors to its greenhouse gas emissions. The Office of Sustainability believes that by encouraging students to bike to campus rather than driving, they can decrease the campus’ ecological footprint.
The Office of Sustainability chose this specific location for the covered bike shelter because of its proximity to both the PALS Center and Snoqualmie River Road, which is where they expect most students will begin biking.
“We know there are students [who] wish to start biking because we run the Transportation Desk located across from PALS, where students come to get one-on-one transportation assistance and we often hear from them, or our Hopelink partners who are here during the first few days of each quarter, about students interested in greater bicycle offerings on campus,” added Nicholson. Hopelink is a non-profit organization for King County that provides services and programs like a food bank, transportation, or adult education to those in need.
Craig Hauser transportation coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, said that the bike shelter should be up and running by the beginning of summer quarter.
According to Hauser, students can either a bike for a day for five dollars or pay 35 dollars to rent one for an entire quarter. “Included in the rental, the student will receive a helmet, two waterproof panniers, front and rear lights, and a secure U-Lock,” he said.
“Another recent initiative we have taken to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is to launch Zimride […], which is a carpool service that BC students, staff, and faculty can use to find a ride, or post the seats in their car and hopefully make some new friends and gas money,” said Nicholson.