The bicycle census is a collaborative, community-wide effort between Facilities & Services (F&S) and Champaign County Bikes that began in 2013 as part of ongoing efforts to support the campus’ Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) status. Last year, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was recognized as a silver-level BFU by the League of American Bicyclists for taking significant steps to address health and environmental challenges by creating safer, more welcoming and accessible areas for people who bike.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign aims to organize at least one (1) bicycle census every year, where volunteers walk around the campus to count bicycles during peak hour. The data collected by volunteers will update the university bicycle database, which is used to identify high-ridership locations for mobility and safety improvements. The information will also guide future planning efforts for bicycle and active transportation projects such as complete streets and bike rack upgrades.

Previous censuses counted more than 5,000 parked bicycles on campus over one-hour. Volunteers will cover 29 areas and compile data using Collector for ArcGIS, a geographic information system (GIS) smartphone-enabled application. The number of off-and-on-rack bicycles will be documented along with specific bike rack information, including the type, capacity, and how the structures are installed. Using the previous census information, F&S developed an interactive Campus Bike Parking Map to help riders find parking locations. The map shows more than 500 different bicycle parking areas.

The upcoming bicycle census is planned to be held on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Learn more about how you can be involved with this event as a volunteer at Bike Census Spring 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students transitioned to online classes, and the majority of faculty and staff established alternative work during the spring semester. This census data will provide a unique look at ridership levels during this period and offer important details about the traveling behavior of those remaining on campus. In case of inclement weather conditions, the event will be postponed.

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