UUPD joins U efforts to become more sustainable – The Daily Utah Chronicle


(Photo courtesy of University of Utah Police)

As the University of Utah takes steps to have a more eco-friendly campus, work for carbon neutrality, the U Police Department received three electric bikes in collaboration with U Sustainability.

“University police patrolled the campus with very old bikes,” said Ginger Cannon, head of active transportation at U Sustainability. “They identified the need for better bikes for daily patrols. We support programs to buy electric bicycles for our own services and for the community. We knew that doing their patrol using electric bikes would be a good use of sustainability funds. “

The new e-bikes are a tool for UUPD and an environmentally friendly alternative to using police cars.

“Bikes, in general, are a better way to get around campus as well as in tight spaces that cars can’t access,” UUPD associate director Shawn Bryce said in an email interview. . “E-bikes are better for the environment and they meet the needs of our bike patrol. UUPD wants to be part of the solution to improve our environment and electric bikes have given us the opportunity. “

Electric bikes come in many forms, from battery to solar power.

“Basically e-bikes are bikes that have a type of motor that helps the person ride a bike at different levels,” Cannon said. “According to research, this really makes the e-bike a tool that people use more frequently for long trips. It is also used as a means of transport which replaces short trips by car. The most daily [car] Americans travel less than three miles, so e-bikes are replacing car trips in many parts of the country. “

The U has been ranked as a Gold Bicycle Friendly University by The League of American Cyclists, an honor shared by only a dozen universities nationwide, according to Cannon.

“The League of American Bicyclists certifies that universities, communities and businesses are bicycle friendly,” Cannon said. “They have a ranking system that goes from bronze to platinum.”

According to Cannon, the U is making a number of commitments to maintain Gold Bicycle Friendly status.

“The league tracks everything from how many kilometers of cycle paths you have to how many parking spaces you have. [and] your community’s opinion on how the university is cycling friendly, ”Cannon said. “They’ll actually interview community members and ask them a series of questions. This is a fairly large national benchmarking program. We would love to be platinum in 2022.

The increase in the use of e-bikes on campus contributes to U’s commitment to be more environmentally friendly because, unlike cars, bicycles do not emit emissions.

“We know that driving less is really important to improving air quality, our personal health and that of our community,” said Cannon. “It’s really important that we see more, what I call, buttocks on the bikes.”

Emissions from cars are a major contributor to air quality problems in Salt Lake City.

“At least for now, the main source of our air quality problems in the Salt Lake Valley are mobile vehicles, including cars and personal trucks,” said Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, head of the ‘commitment to sustainable development and communications. “It is therefore very important to have the buttocks on the bikes. This is a solution, not the end all or all, [but] it is part of a much, much larger effort across campus.

To learn more about the U’s commitment to carbon neutrality and to be more environmentally friendly, visit U Sustainability website.

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Wiley C. Thompson

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