Wednesday, May 14, 2014

[Press Release] More Than A Shop: Campus Bike Center Fights for Sustainability

BikeFace, a program of the University YMCA, announces that if the Campus Bike Center does not raise $50,000 by June 30, 2014, the Center will have to cease programming and shut down operations. BikeFace, who serves the Center as an advocacy liaison, is seeking both private and public donors to build a solidarity fund to support the Center’s operations as they fight for a sustainable transportation culture on campus. On C-U Bike to Work Day, May 15th, BikeFace will be out at the U of I Engineering Plaza from 7am to 10am asking campus and community members to pledge their support of the Campus Bike Center.

C-U Bike to Work Day is not only a great way to promote biking as a viable commuting option; it’s also an opportunity for residents to show their support for improved bicycle facilities, says Florence Lin of BikeFace. Pledging to support the Campus Bike Center in any way possible, through service, advocacy or donations, means taking that critical step towards impacting overall public safety, reducing injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes.

Since opening in 2010 through a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee, the Campus Bike Center continues to build upon its mission of advocating for well-being of Champaign-Urbana through bike safety and affordable access.  However, the three-year seed funding ran out this year. Although capital expenditures are paid in full, the Center is not left with enough in the budget to pay a full time staff person as required by the University of Illinois to keep the doors open.

“The Campus Bike Center as a hands-on, educational space is the most visible component of this campus and community partnership,” says Matthew Malec, spokesperson of the Campus Bike Center Solidarity Fund. “However, the Center is also coordinating the implementation of necessary biking infrastructure to assure the safety and health of our communities.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was one of the first campuses in the nation to adopt a bikeway network when the first bike paths were constructed here in the 1950s. Since that time, while enrollment and staffing has doubled, funding cutbacks have led to degraded and disconnected pathways, outdated and insufficient bicycle parking, and limited support for bicycle services and programs. Despite these setbacks, bicycle ridership has grown at the University of Illinois in the last decade, and is expected to continue to grow in the future.

Press Release: For Immediate Release, May 13, 2014

For media inquiries, contact: Matthew Malec, Spokesperson


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