Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Light the Night Bike Light Campaign

On October 15th a group of intrepid volunteers braved cold drizzle and installed 450 bike light sets on bicycles on the U of I campus between 4:30 ad 8:30 PM to improve the visibility of cyclists at night. Many cyclists were caught in the dark with the early sunsets during winter.

Cyclists waited in long lines to get a free bike light set. The event was sponsored by the members of a group names the Campus Area Transportation Study (CATS), The Bike Project, and Champaign County Bikes.

Why are we advocating for people to make more trips by bicycle you may ask? There are many reasons, but the most important reasons are:

  • Bicycling for short trips on a regular basis is good exercise.
  • Bicycling is the most efficient form of transportation in terms of Green House Gas emissions.
  • Bicycling takes less space and is a less expensive form of transportation than driving cars.
  • Bicycling reduces the costs to cities and businesses by requiring fewer roads to be built and maintained and less parking.
  • Bicycling is safer. When a car that weighs several thousand pounds crashes into another car, a pedestrian, or a cyclist the chance of serious injury or death occurring is much higher than a crash with a bicycle.

We understand that switching from driving to bicycling is a bit daunting. But, if you take it in small steps it can be fun and easier than you think. Here are some resources if you are interested in exploring how to make bicycling a bigger part of your life.


>The CIF 2 Mile Challenge

When leaving the house every morning: do you reach for the car keys or the bike lock? We created the CLIF 2 Mile Challenge in 2007 because that little pedal-powered machine gets little love in comparison to its 4-wheeled roadway counterpart. Haven’t ridden on two wheels since you were small? Does your bike live with the lawn mower, gathering dust in the garage? Maybe your old ride could use a modern overhaul to handle kids or gear? Have no fear! Our Build Your Bike tool can outfit the right bike for your needs.

>Active Transportation Alliance:

We can help you every step of the way. You have been curious about it, now here is your chance to discover the ease and delight of commuting by bicycle. This is the place for you to learn everything you need to make your commute by bike comfortable and safe. Commuting by bike is for anyone who wants to bike to and from work or school. Not sure about biking on that power-meeting day? Use our guides to learn the tricks to arrive at work looking fresh and sharp.

Several community organizations were heavily involved in the success of these events.

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District:

City of Champaign:

City Urbana:

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign:

Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study:

The Bike Project (TBP) is a nonprofit bike coop dedicated to providing cyclists with access to a space, tools, and a community to repair bikes, share knowledge, hold classes, and advocate for bikes in Urbana-Champaign. Most of the volunteers who installed lights are members of The Bike Project.

Champaign County Bikes (CCB) is a bicycle advocacy group dedicated to making Champaign County the most bicycle friendly county in the Midwest. Many of the volunteers belong to both organizations.