Stony Brook is for Cyclists
Stony Brook University’s long history of promoting bicycle riding on campus has provided a quick, convenient way to navigate around the campus while reducing the University’s carbon footprint. Its bike friendly programs have played a major role in adding to its reputation as one of the nation’s greenest universities. It’s one reason why, for the fourth consecutive year, Stony Brook was selected by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly colleges. The university’s first bicycling initiative was inaugurated back in 1998.
The Paul Simons Bike Path
With help from a generous gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons in memory of their son Paul, a former Stony Brook University student and avid cyclist, the Paul Simons Memorial Bike Path was Stony Brook University’s first comprehensive effort to make the campus bicycle-friendly. The six-mile long bike lane provides students, faculty, staff and visitors with a safe, sustainable alternative way to travel through the University. Since its inception, it has been continually improved and expanded, with more routes planned to be added to the path in the coming months. See map »
Since the completion of the Paul Simons Bike Path, the Stony Brook campus has become a magnet for cyclists, whether students, faculty, staff or visitors from the neighboring community. Over the years, many bicycles have been abandoned on campus. Stony Brook students, with help from faculty and staff, have developed a unique program that gives these forsaken bikes new homes. Maintained by the Freewheel Collective, a student organization that’s part of the GSO, the volunteer organization collects bicycles that are left unclaimed on campus and bring them back to their shop in the basement of the Student Union. The adoption process requires potential bike owners to participate in the rehabilitation and repair of their bicycles. This 'bike-bonding' exercise helps to ensure that the new owner will take proper care of his or her new bicycle. Bicycles that are beyond repair or are not selected after a period of time get recycled as scrap metal. Any revenue that is collected through this process is then re-invested in the program.
Freewheel Collective promo video
Racks, Lockers and Other Bike Friendly Initiatives
With an ever increasing number of bicyclists on campus, it’s important for them to have a safe place to park their bikes. That’s why the university has situated more than 80 bicycle racks in convenient places along the Paul Simons Bike Path and close to many high traffic locations throughout campus. More rack locations are being planned as cycling becomes increasingly prevalent on campus. All bike racks are maintained by the Department of Sustainability. See map »
The University has also recently acquired bike lockers at the Stony Brook Long Island Rail Road station. These weatherproof lockers, perfect for long term bicycle storage, are available for a small rental fee which will be reinvested in further campus bicycle initiatives. Other programs being considered are shower facilities for riders, more covered bicycle storage options and retrofitting campus buses to handle bicycles.
Wolf Ride Bike Share: Stony Brook’s Newest and Most Innovative Bicycling Program
Many Stony Brook students, faculty, staff and visitors have expressed a desire to bike on campus but don’t have access to a bicycle. Wolf Ride provides them with a sustainable, healthy transportation alternative. Operated by the University’s Office of Sustainability, Wolf Ride is a “per ride”bicycle sharing system that provides users with the ability to travel quickly and efficiently anywhere on campus. Wolf Ride bikes are extraordinarily durable with a robust bell system and front and rear flashing LED lights for added safety.
Students can access a Wolf Ride bicycle for 60 minutes at no cost with a swipe of their SBU ID card. Solar powered Wolf Ride kiosks are located at the Student Activities Center, South P Lot and West Apartments. Faculty, staff and visitors may purchase a subscription to Wolf Ride in annual, monthly, weekly or daily terms for the first 60 minutes of each use between station locations. Available throughout the year, Wolf Ride status is updated online.
Whether using their own bike or a Wolf Ride bicycle, all cyclists are required to wear a helmet while bicycling on campus. Helmets are available for purchase at the Seawolves Marketplace.
By Howard Gimple