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SMC Retains Certification as Only "Bicycle Friendly" Community College in California
By Lookout Staff
November 19, 2018 -- The League of American Bicyclists has upgraded Santa Monica College (SMC) from a bronze to silver rating as a Bicycle Friendly University, school officials announced last week.
The certification from the 138-year-old organization recognizes the college’s achievements "in promoting and enabling safe, accessible bicycling on campus," school officials said.
SMC is the only California community college to earn the certification, joining UCLA; California State University, Long Beach;
In 2014, SMC became the first California community college to earn a bike-friendly certification, which lasts for four years.
A total of 193 colleges and universities nationwide have earned the certification.
“The standards for attaining any of the four levels of awards -- Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- are very high and require deliberate, determined efforts to earn them," said League Executive Director Bill Nesper.
"Universities and colleges are in a unique leadership position to help encourage and enable people of all ages—especially young adults—to adopt healthy, sustainable habits that can benefit them throughout their lives,” Nesper said.
SMC provides 800 bike racks as well as incentives for employees who commute by bicycle or use alternative modes of transportation to get to campus.
The school's Center for Urban and Environmental Studies and the student-run SMC Bike Club also offer organized rides, organize “SMC Bike Month” and offer a mentoring program for new riders.
They also provide bike valet parking at events, bike repair workshops, maintenance and safety workshops, SMC’s Associated Students supports free bike maintenance and support from the non-profit bike shop Bikerowave.
The City of Santa Monica also has collaborated with SMC "to develop safe bike paths to campus," said Ferris Kawar, SMC’s Sustainability Project Manager.
"All of this has significantly helped make students and employees feel better about using a bike to get to campus,” Kawar said.
“Cyclists have helped reduce congestion around campus by replacing cars on the streets as well as the need to build additional costly parking structures,” he said.
SMC will soon offer two free noncredit bike maintenance classes, which "will not only cover how to repair a bike, but also how to run a bicycle-related business," school officials said.
The bicycle friendly certification gives SMC access to "a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle friendly," officials said.
Photo by Amy Williams courtesy of Santa Monica College
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