At the start of the fall semester it became evident that driving on campus and more importantly parking on campus can be a chore. With the goal of saving time and getting healthy, I began riding my bike to class a few days a week. Prior to this endeavor I spent a few days researching what the rules of cycling on campus and in the state of Indiana were. What did I discover? Unfortunately for the university, not enough to make a good decision of what was right from wrong when cycling. Employees of a local bike shop answered the majority of the answers I needed.

Throughout the semester I continued to ride to campus on the trails that have been created and as they ended I would ride partially on sidewalks with pedestrians and on roads between moving vehicles. Upon reflection on the live education I was receiving while riding to campus and the online research, the major outcomes were the lack of working enforcement on campus. Of the designated bike lanes or paths, bicyclists still continue to ride on sidewalks due to lack of continuous trails and most importantly the lack of in person enforcement.

If there were signs such as the ones designed during this research implemented on campus where needed, they would allow for riders and pedestrians to know areas of high traffic and crossing areas. On the other hand, the enforcement of these trails and lanes are not noticeable on busy days on campus causing concern on the lack of enforcement altogether. Although the Purdue Police Department has bike patrol officers they are rarely seen in the areas of concern.

Another outcome of the research is the general lack of information online for bike safety and rules for Purdue campus. When beginning the semester and starting to ride to campus on my bike it became frustrating to know that you can search for a period of time and not find what you need. Even making calls to the Purdue PD at the start of the semester only pushed me to a site that contained information on bike registration… .but that was all. When reflecting on the research that has been completed and the knowledge of what is currently online, I plan to work through the next semester with Marketing and Media to complete a webpage with content acquired during research.

In 2009 and 2010 news articles acknowledging these concerns were released from various Purdue news outlets. Such articles created concern among cyclists due to the lack of fair research. Clearly stating the cyclists were at fault in many accidents, there was no thought put into the fact that there are not continuous trails or paths from one side of campus to another. Forward projections for the research and design elements created are to continue to work with the university officials to create a greater impact over time. Future meetings with Marketing and Media and Campus Planning partners will allow for future implementation of website content, mobile app maps, and trail signage.

It is my overall intention to complete this research with a impactful conversation between campus officials and the student body. Bike safety on Purdue Campus has been a concern for many years and as seen within the last five years it has been the subject of many news articles and undergraduate projects. As a graduate student and an employee of the university, it is important that the research conducted makes an impact on the university and finds a way to reach university staff, faculty, students and visitors.

To review the presentation shared with university officials click here.