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    UC Davis, Bike Friendly Campus

    November 15, 2017

    student studying with a bike beside her west village davis

    UC Davis has earned a number of distinctions over the years. The university has long been a leader in interdisciplinary studies, with a wide array of fields and subjects for students to study. They rank first in the world for interests like veterinary medicine and agricultural economics, and remain at the cutting edge in terms of campuses that are environmentally aware, give back to the students, and provide an experience superior to many other offerings in higher educations. These honors are the reasons that many seek enrollment at the university, and residing in a Davis apartment while completing a field of study is a coveted position. Of the many ways in which UC Davis has continually raised the bar for student life is through their efforts in being bicycle friendly, and a new report shows they're continuing to make momentous strides in this area.

    How Bicycle Friendly Is UC Davis?

    According to UC Davis News:

    "UC Davis was the second university to be named a Platinum Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists four years ago, and now it's had that status renewed."

    The article goes on to detail what an honor receiving that distinction is, and exactly what it means in real terms:

    "The designation recognizes the efforts UC Davis has made to encourage bicycling: restricting vehicle traffic in the campus core, promoting bicycle commuting, educating new students on cycling rules and more."

    They also note that UC Davis has taken measures to remain in the upper echelon of bike friendly universities, including removing older bike racks and replacing them with new ones, distributing free lights, expanding traffic-restricted zones, and promoting the use of bikes on campus. It seems these efforts have had considerable effect, as "Nearly half of all students, faculty and staff ride bicycles to campus," according to the article, and the campus "boasts more than 18 miles of bike paths and seven miles of bike lanes."

    All of this seems to fall in line with what the New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Resource Center says are the most effective methods for increasing bicycle friendliness and use among students. In their article, The Top 10 Ways To Encourage Bicycling Among College Students, they lay out several strategies which mirror the efforts that UC Davis has taken.

    For example, constructing new bicycle infrastructure, of which they say:

    "An individual’s perception of safety can be an enormous obstacle preventing them from bicycling. Many novice or casual cyclists would prefer not to ride with traffic, especially on busy roads, because of such safety concerns. Building bicycle lanes to provide cyclists with their own designated space on the road effectively improves their perception of safety."

    Then there's the use of education and outreach to get students involved in cycling, some UC Davis has done a stellar job at accomplishing:

    "Another essential measure to encourage biking on college campuses is to nurture and promote a culture of cycling. This can be accomplished through the formation of bicycle organizations and clubs and the holding of bicycle-related events."
    Impressive stuff, but, what does it all mean for students? It turns out that cycling to classes and around campus brings with it many of the same benefits as cycling to work, something that has long been touted as a superior alternative to using public transportation or other means of undertaking a commute.

    How Bicycle Friendliness Improves Student Lives

    According to The Washington Post, one of the primary benefits of increased bicycle use for commuting is improved health:

    "Compared with driving or taking public transit, bicycling to work is associated with a substantially lower risk of heart disease and cancer — and even premature death from all causes. The health benefits of cycling are even more powerful than walking, according to the study."

    Just how substantial are those benefits? Forbes published a similar article about the relationship between health and cycling, with some interesting numbers:

    "Commuters who cycled to work had a 41% lower risk of dying from all causes than people who drove or took public transport. They also had a 46% lower risk of developing and a 52% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 45% lower risk of developing and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer."

    While that same article also notes that bicycling comes with some increased measure of risk from traffic, but as explained above, UC Davis has done an excellent job of managing vehicle traffic and creating a safer environment for students to get around. Helping students develop the habit of bicycling to their destinations instead of using alternate means early in life promotes cycling as a lifelong habit that will maximize their chances of receiving the greatest health benefits from it.

    Health and fitness aren't the only ways in which cycling helps, though. In their article The Top 10 Reasons Everyone Should Bike To Work, Momentum Mag listed a number of other ways in which biking can elevate one's quality of life. Among those reasons, having more fun, making you happier, increasing your "brain power," and helping save money are very clear benefits to college students.

    With increased responsibilities and the adjustment that comes with entering college life, a bit of fun would benefit almost any student. A boost in mental faculties can assist with the rigors of academic study, and saving money is something that near every strapped-for-cash college kid can get on board with.

    So, it seems UC Davis has taken a great many steps in the right direction. Bicycling is an enormous boon to students and faculty alike, and by increasing the viability of biking on campus, they've created an environment where everyone can thrive.

    A Davis Apartment Puts You Right In Range

    If you're looking for a home base to bicycle to classes from, West Village provides an optimal choice. This student housing community, located near everything UC Davis attendees could need, grants for ample opportunities to break out the bike and take quick jaunt to take care of business. With a range of living quarters aimed at providing maximal choice for student lifestyles, everyone can find exactly what they need among the ample offerings. Combined with the top-tier, resort-style amenities, this becomes an easy choice for those wanting to maximize their comfort during their time studying. Check out everything this residence brings to the table, and make West Village your choice for student living at UC Davis.