2008-04-01- On the Road Again- NYU Magazine

On the Road Again
NYU Alumni Magazine
April 1st, 2008
by Suzanne Krause / GSAS '08

Link to Article

Early in fall 2006, Emily Allen (GAL '10) noticed the slick bicycle chained outside her freshman dorm but grew sad as she watched the seemingly abandoned vehicle deteriorate week after week in the cold and rain. The building manager told
her such neglected bikes are eventually tossed away with oth-er garbage, inspiring the ardent peddler, whose own four bikes occupy part of her living room, to apply for a grant to collect and refurbish the wasted cycles haunting her on almost every campus bike rack. Last summer, aided by a $5,000 award from NYU's Sustainability Task Force,Allen, former classmate Mark Simpson (CAS '07), and oth-ers, harvested 50 abandoned bikes stored in campus facilities and do-nated them to Time's Up!, a non-profit cycling collective on East Houston Street at which bothAllen and Simpson have volunteered. Time's Up! staff and NYU stu-dents refurbished 25 of them—stripping the rest for usable parts—and gave them to interest-ed freshmen during Welcome Week last fall. Receipients were required to learn maintenance skills and safe urban riding techniques—a must for navigating the obstacle course of New York streets, says Allen, a California native. For phase two, Allen is survey-ing students' cycling habits and preferences, researching other city and university bike programs, and will make recommendations on parking, storage, and road safe-ty to the Sustainability Task Force's transportation commit-tee. Jeremy Friedman (GAL '07), the task force's project adminis-trator, predicts her effort will in-spire a new campus bike recycling policy. "It hits so many targets: transportation, greening, educa-tion, cost savings, and it works within the community," he says. While government surveys es-timate that just 5 percent of the nation's bicycle riders bike for transport, Allen hopes early ex-posure will convince students of cycling's economic, time, and health benefits. "Part of why we targeted freshmen was to create an NYU rider for four years," she says. "If you get someone riding in their freshman year, then when they move away from campus they'll still think it's a good mode of transportation." Plus, she adds, a brisk morning ride always wakes one up for classes. i