A group of University City students hopes to present a united student voice advocating for cycling in University City. The new University Bike Collective held its first meeting at the University of Pennsylvania this Wednesday.
The goals of the collective are to get more people bicycling in University City, advocate for improved bike infrastructure, hold educational workshops and explore the city through fun, social bike rides.
"We think that University City is already a pretty great place to bike but we want to make it even better," said Daniel Wolf, one of three PennDesign* students who founded University Bike Collective.
At the moment, the collective is primarily based at Penn, but the founders envision growing the organization to include chapters at Drexel University, University of the Sciences and perhaps other institutions.
"We're a small group," Wolf said. "We just started, but we have a lot of ambitions."
While there are other groups, including various administrative bodies at Penn, who already promote cycling in University City, the University Bike Collective wants to add a student voice, connect those various groups and present a united force across institutions.
One of the first issues the collective hopes to take on is expanding the Chestnut Street bike lane west from 34th Street. Wolf said the collective would look at making Chestnut Street better for everyone, not just cyclists, and because the street is a boundary between Penn and Drexel, advocating for the bike lane extension could bring students from both universities together.
The collective will also develop a crowdsourced map of where current and future cyclists want bicycle parking.
This weekend the collective will hold its first social bike ride. Saturday, anyone who is interested is invited to meet on the Schuylkill River Trail beneath Chestnut Street at 11 a.m. The group will take a 40 to 50 minute ride upriver to the Halloween festivities in Manayunk.
*Full disclosure: PlanPhilly is a project of PennPraxis, the applied research arm of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design
Christine covers transportation and writes about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments send her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covers community news for Eyes on the Street, where her coverage ranges from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website. During the internship her reporting on the Housing Authority’s surplus property auctions earned an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.