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A different kind of VCU building

David Larter August 24, 2012 13

Virginia Commonwealth University is pumping up its bike program by converting a vacant lot at the northeast corner of Grace and Belvidere streets to a bike maintenance shop for its burgeoning student body.

The school is spending about $100,000 on a bike-maintenance and education building, along with an airing station, repair stations and covered bike racks. The facility will be called the RamBikes Stand.

“At the RamBikes Stand, the VCU community will be able to have minor repairs and maintenance done to their bikes and get advice on biking,” said Casey Jones, a school spokesperson, adding that such advice could include safety tips and how to pick out the right bike and accessories.

The school estimates that there are 14,000 bikers on campus — almost half the school’s student body.

RamBikes is the name for all things biking at VCU, including an education program and a bike checkout program, where students can check out a bike for the day just like a library book.

The RamBikes Stand will have 29 bikes, according to VCU spokesperson Leila Ugincius, “for safety clinics, group rides, maintenance, campus tours and things like that.”

University of Richmond has a bike share program as well. The school has about 50 bikes that students can pick up across campus for free bike rides. You can read more about that here.

 

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13 Comments »

  1. Scott August 24, 2012 at 6:31 am - Reply

    While I am glad to see VCU encouraging more bicycling, I hope this does not hurt plans by local bike businesses.

    • Mike Ogilvie August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      I don’t own or work for any local bike shops – but I am a fan of encouraging bicycling. It’s hard to imagine that this would be anything but a boon for local bike shops. It would encourage people with bicycles to bike more and those without to get them. The minor repairs you could do don’t compare to what a bike shop can offer.

  2. Michael Gilbert August 24, 2012 at 7:19 am - Reply

    For the first time, VCU is also offering a bicycle safety course for credit hours. The 1-credit course, Urban Cycling, meets during the semester and is under HPEX-291. VCU continues to be a model for other cities regarding policies on bikes, and has earned a “Silver” rating from the League of American Bicyclists.

  3. W August 24, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Way to go VCU! Great JOB!

    (Scott – GROW UP.)

  4. Stuart Squier August 24, 2012 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Great news, and after spending only about a billion dollars on parking garages! Maybe VCU will eventually prohibit campus residents from bringing cars to school.

    • Beastman August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am - Reply

      I’m with stu.

    • Mike August 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Stuart,

      Last I checked VCU was an urban campus. Are you suggesting that VCU would enforce students bringing cars to the City of Richmond?

      Cant people like you just say “Great News” and not be forced to make some (in this case, completely ignorant) snarky comment?

      • Stuart Squier August 25, 2012 at 11:33 am - Reply

        Mike,
        Last I checked VCU was an urban campus. Since it is in a city and students can ride bikes, take transit, and walk, as a condition of a campus housing contract it would be a good and “green” thing that they cannot get a parking pass in a VCU lot. The point is to cut down on congestion and pollution and encourage students to use transportation alternatives. Thousands of students live on campus and this move would have a huge impact on the city, in a good way. I don’t know what I said that was snarky or why my comment hurt your feelings, you know VCU’s built thousands of car parking spaces in a dozen new garages over the last decade while this is their first real bike facility. In my opinion VCU blows a lot of “green” smoke up everyone’s ass and it’s one thing to put solar powered trash compactors out and do environmental themed advertising campaigns, and its another thing to do something big that has a real impact, like getting a few thousand cars out of the city.

  5. Mike August 24, 2012 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Why would VCU do that? Most VCU students commute in from out of the city. Not everyone can bike 20 miles five times a week.

    • larry osborne December 6, 2012 at 11:25 am - Reply

      but mike i can… i bike 25 miles a day 5 to 6 times a week every day for a long time

  6. Roger Talbott August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Many Universities in VA, Tech comes to mind, prohibit/limit freshmen from bringing their cars to school. Obviously this restriction is limited to those who reside in the residence halls and does not apply to commuters.

  7. Joe August 25, 2012 at 8:26 am - Reply

    “VCU students commute in from out of the city. ”

    What are you bading that on? Most students live in the neighborhoods around campus and walk, bike and bus to campus. Jus another great thing VCU is doing for downtown.

  8. Lanny Levenson August 30, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Glad to see the new building and education ideas. Living in the Fan and being a cyclist myself, I’d love to see people using lights while riding at night. The last thing I’d want to do is hit a fellow cyclist.

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