ERICA WONG FOR THE HOYA
ERICA WONG FOR THE HOYA

In order to better accommodate the over 60 percent of students, faculty and staff who commute to campus, the university and its Law Center ramped up their bicycling initiatives this past semester.

The university is working to reduce the number of community members who drive to and from campus each day by making cycling safer and more convenient, according to John Lichtefeld (LAW ’10), the former sustainability fellow at the Law Center. The fellowship was a temporary position that ended in 2011.

“President DeGioia has set a target of a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from Georgetown by 2020, and we’re doing our part to make sure we reach that,”Lichtefeld wrote in an email.

Installing more Capital Bikeshare stations on or near campus has been a major focus of the main campus bicycling initiative. The public bike rental program currently has 1,100 bikes available throughout D.C. and Arlington, including locations outside the main campus gates and one block away from the Law Center.

In his time as a sustainability fellow, Lichtefeld worked closely with the Georgetown Law Green Committee on recycling and composting projects and a carbon dioxide reduction plan. The committee developed the idea for a bicycle tool kit, which was packaged and sold to students and faculty at the Law Center.

Lichtefeld also contributed to a project headed by Christopher Jewell, a member of the Green Committee, who developed a listserv database for community members who cycle to and from campus. The matching system is organized by zip code, allowing bicycle commuters to share route information or ride together in a ‘bike pool.’

The Law Center also increased the number of covered bicycle parking spaces it offers to protect the bikes from the elements and from theft, but bicycle commuters did not use the covered parking as much as the university expected.

“We’ve found that our daily commuters are not interested in [taking] additional time to park their bikes in the garage and seem to prefer the campus racks,” Therese Stratton, an administrator at the Law Center, wrote in an email.

Dimitrios Roumeliotis (MSB ’15), who uses his bike to get to crew practice every morning, believes that the main campus needs to provide better bike storage options.

“Georgetown could provide inside storage for bikes on campus over breaks, so students don’t have to worry about their bikes getting ruined or stolen,” he said.

The main campus has 1,616 parking spaces available for bikes, including covered parking in theLeavey and Southwest Quad parking garages. Outdoor parking is also available throughout campus. However, the Transportation Report included in the 2010 Campus Plan made the point that not only is more long-term bike parking space needed but also that bicycle rack designs on campus use space inefficiently, forcing bicyclists to use railings or poles to secure their bikes when racks are full or unavailable.

The Department of Public Safety also supports bicycling initiatives by running a bicycle registration program and assisting in the donation of abandoned bicycles to local organizations. The registration program allows bike owners to record their bike serial number with DPS so stolen or lost bikes can be more easily located.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*