The Sustainability Office is currently working on a plan to get 1500 additional bike parks onto campus. This needs to be done as a staged project given that many sites we want to put bike stands in are currently under construction or have hoardings around them. However, we are making progress. For example, we have recently placed an order for an additional 300 bike parks, which should be in place in the next few months. Additionally, parking for 110 bikes is currently becoming available on the north side of Engineering and the Health Centre. Last term we also welcomed back the enclosed bike parking facility on Creyke Rd (for 80 bikes), which had been unavailable for two years.
Also, you will start seeing these posters around in the secure cycle stands as an integral part of UC’s programme towards more secure cycle parking.
Earlier this year, in collaboration with UC Security and the UC Sustainability Office, UC Bike repaired, recycled and sold bikes that had been abandoned on campus. “The goal was recycling bikes and putting more people in the university community on bikes rather than making money off already cash strapped students”, Zac Porter from UC Bike explained.
In total UC Security donated 18 bikes that had been left unattended for between 1 and 3 years. Using the UC Sustainability Office’s Dr Bike tools, Olly, Zac, Ben and Brad repaired as many of these as they could. “Of these 18, we managed to get 14 running and gave them all a service, recycling what we could of the bikes that were too broken. We had quite a few franken-bikes by the end!” One of the bikes had been stolen and was re-united with its original owner.
The bikes were then sold to current and past students at a fraction of what they were worth. In total, UC Bike made over $1300, which will be spent on holding events such as Mechanics Nights to further benefit the cycling community at UC. “On Mechanics Nights we teach the basics of bike maintenance, such as how to tune a derailleur, fix flat tires, adjust brakes or anything else the attendees may want to learn on the night.” The next one will be in term 2 with the date yet to be confirmed. Keep an eye out for the event notification on UC Bike’s Facebook page!
For this year all the recycled bikes have been sold but UC Bike plans to do this every year as an ongoing initiative.
On Saturday 22 April a new New Zealand record was set for the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in one place, in the Arts car park at UC.
The record attempt was organized by the Christchurch EV Group, in connection with the Christchurch leg of the Bluff to Cape Reinga EV trip organised by Leading the Charge, a national EV advocacy group.
The previous NZ record of 62 EVs, set in Auckland, was well broken with exactly 100 EVs gathering. That’s about 5% of the national total of EVs, with about 2,200 registered for road use throughout New Zealand as of early April. The number of EVs in the country is rising rapidly with the 2017 total being about double that of a year ago.
As well as the 100 road-legal cars there were three other electric vehicles, including an electric racing car built and exhibited by the UC Engineering School. UC has been researching into electric vehicles for several decades, with the electronics which control the motor being a key part of any effective road electric vehicle. The use of the Arts car park was supported by UC’s VC Rod Carr, because of this link to UC Engineering and also UC’s commitment to sustainability.
The 100 EVs present included 62 Nissan Leafs, the most common pure electric vehicle in NZ.
Good news for Engineering students (and others)! It looks like the existing secure cycle stand on Creyke Road will be retained now, which means another 100 secure bike parks will be able to come back on line soon.
We received some very interesting feedback in this year’s UC Travel Survey, indicating that around 40% of cyclists prefer secure cycle stands above other kinds of bike parks. The challenge we have now is to think through the various ways that we can ensure our bike parks really are secure. For instance: Is card access the best method?
We saw a campus bike park system at the University of the Sunshine Coast recently where your student card gave you access to the secure bike parking, but ONLY if you were on a register of users. What do you think about this? We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. You can comment on this post, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are making progress with bringing bike parking numbers back up on campus. A plan for hundreds of new bike parks around the Engineering precinct is being developed (we will keep you posted), and we are starting to look at what the bike parking provisions for the new Science precinct will look like as well.
We are on the verge of installing a new bike parking area outside the front entrance of Forestry. This has long been a problematic area for students especially, and the lack of bike parking has resulted in people chaining their bikes to the handrail along the ramp up to the main doors. We really encourage people to get as close to their destination with their bikes as they can… but this particular example has created a very significant health and safety issue – please don’t do this! Think first: the handrail is there for people with disabilities. We will be installing some new hardstands right next to this area, which will hopefully become a popular cycle parking area. In addition to this, we have provision for a further 150 bike parks on campus, which are now starting to get dotted around.
Keep an eye out for news about cycle route planning and other bike facilities over the next while … we’ll let you know when we have more details.
Over the last two years we have been upping cycle parking and improving the quality of cycle stands. As a result of this programme, we have now almost recovered our cycle parking capacity to pre-earthquake levels. We have also just had another order approved for more cycle stands, and these will be used mainly to support cyclists around Engineering – and particularly at a soon to be created temporary cycle park on Creyke Rd (at the main North/South entrance to Engineering).
We are starting to see some initial plans for expanded cycle parking spaces on campus as the remediation programme continues. As many of you will have seen, bike parking on campus remains a challenge, but please rest assured that we are doing everything we can to improve the current facilities – and increasing cycle parking is the first priority.
Remember, if you want to find a free bike stand in the centre of the Ilam Campus, there is lots of available parking at the Matariki building – as close to Puaka/James Hight Library as you can get.
Dr Bike is back for 2016 and starts on the 2nd March! Dr Bike mechanics this year are Karl Jackson and Zac Porter. Every Wednesday from 12-1 during term time on C-block lawn they will provide free bike mechanic services including checking brakes, repairing punctures and greasing chains. The Sustainability Office sponsors this service.
We are excited that Dr Bike will be using ecofriendly bicycle lubricants, thanks to a 2 year sponsorship from Christchurch based company Biomaxa!