Monday, November 14, 2011

America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day is November 15, 2011.  Communities across the country have been hosting America Recycles Day events since 1997 to raise awareness of the importance of recycling.

U.Va Sustainability is hosting a Green Resource Fair on the South end of the Lawn from 10am-3pm.  The Fair will feature a recycled art contest, the Cabell Campaign, giveaways and raffles for t-shirts, a "CAN" you guess contest and dumpster dive.

You can also sign the America Recycles Day pledge online:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator Job Opening

The City of Charlottesville's Neighborhood Development Services is hiring a Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator.  This is a long-term temporary position that will work to improve bicycle and pedestrian access, facilities and awareness throughout the City of Charlottesville.

Learn more about this opportunity on the City of Charlottesville Job Board:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Upcoming Bike Clinics

Blue Ridge Cyclery, located at 1043 Millmont Street near the Barracks Road Shopping Center, will be hosting two clinics this week:

Wednesday at 5:30pm: Chain Care and Flat Repairs
Aimed at beginning riders or anyone that wants a refresher, practice, and quicker flat changes in races. This will involve hands on practice, so come prepared to crawl on the floor and get a bit greasy.

Thursday at 5:30pm: Winter Apparel Discussion
Come by for a small presentation and discussion on base layering, over protection, thermal wear properties, and how to keep water bottles, feet, and hands from freezing in the winter months. Hear some tips on mistakes made in the past by us on rides, and tricks that we have found to work well.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wi-Fi Now Available on Northeast Regional Amtrak Trains

Traveling along the east coast with Amtrak just got even more convenient with free access to basic Wi-Fi service.  Students and staff traveling on the daily Northeast Regional line from Charlottesville to destinations in Northern VA, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York and beyond can now stay connected while on the go.

Check out Amtrak's Journey with Wi-Fi page for more information.  For more information about the Northeast Regional service please visit

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green Initiatives for Tomorrow

Green Initiatives for Tomorrow (GIFT) is a brand new student-created program that will award $20,000 for sustainable initiatives around Grounds.  Have an idea to make the University more sustainable?  Any student, student organization, faculty or staff member can apply.  Funds need to be dispersed this year so grants will be awarded to multiple projects.

An information session about the GIFT program will be held on Tuesday, November 8 at 6:00pm in Room 107 of Clark Hall.  Come on out to learn about how the program works, exchange ideas, and enjoy free pizza!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mia Birk at Lane Auditorium Tonight!

Today the NLI Alumni Alumni are bringing Mia Birk to the Lane Auditorium (401 McIntire Road, Albemarle County Office Building).

Mia Birk is an internationally renowned speaker and author of Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet - The Keys to Transforming Communities and Empowering People, One Pedal Stroke at a Time. She will be sharing her experiences in Portland, OR and its transformation into a cycling mecca.

The event will take place this evening from 7pm-9pm followed by a book signing session. The presentation is free and open to the public.

NLI Alumni Event Featuring Mia BirkThursday, October 27th from 7-9pm
Free & Open to the Public
Book signing to follow
Albemarle County Office Building, Lane Auditorium
401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville

The public is also invited to One Community's "Land Use and Transportation Workshop" that will feature representatives from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC).  This is an opportunity to learn about existing land use and transportation goals and offer suggestions for how these goals can more effectively serve the community's interests.  YOU can help shape the development of our community.  This event is free and open to the public, and will be held from 4pm-7pm in the Albemarle County Office Building.

Thursday, October 27th from 4-7pm
Overview presentation: 4:30, 5:30, 6:30pm
Free & Open to the Public
Albemarle County Office Building, 2nd Floor
401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville

Monday, October 17, 2011

Introducing ZIMRIDE!

Need a ride? Try Zimride, U.Va's new private ridesharing network that allows students and staff to post and find rides out-of-town or for regular commutes.

Zimride is free, fun and easy to use. Zimride also integrates with Facebook allowing users to import parts of their profile into the system. Users can either post a desired trip that will be compared to all existing trips in the system, or they can search based on origin, destination, or date. Once you find someone to ride with, use Zimride's messaging system to ask if you can join the ride.

Don't worry if you don't find a ride match right away. Zimride will notify you via e-mail if someone posts a ride that matches yours. You can also allow students from VCU, JMU, GMU, and the University of Richmond see your ride post to find a match.

After only being live for a couple of weeks, Zimride at U.Va already has 843 members. Visit and log in using your Netbadge ID to give it a try.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

U.Va Bike Share Program is in the Works

NBC29 recently aired a story about U.Va developing the UBikes bike sharing program, which if implemented will be the largest University bike share program in the country.

Several cities have already implemented "third generation" bike sharing programs that allow members to reserve bikes by the half-hour or by the day.  In these systems users are typically required to join as a member by paying an annual fee.  Members are issued an access card or key fob that they use to check out bikes at strategically located stations.  In most systems the first half-hour of use is free.  Rates tend to increase the longer a user has a bike as these programs are meant to get users from point A to point B quickly so that the bike is then available for other members.  Many of these programs also feature a visitor option, so that tourists or other visitors to the area can access the system.  In this scenario a credit card is usually required to reserve the bike.

Some installations include Chicago, the Washington DC Metro Area and Montreal.  The largest existing program, VĂ©lib’ in Paris, features over 20,000 bikes and 1,200 stations.  There are also University bike share programs, including those at UC Irvine and Washington State University.

U.Va is currently conducting a feasbility study to determine the appropriate size and placement of a bike share system.  We are currently projecting a fleet of 100 bikes distributed across 13 stations, primarily centered around the McCormick Road corridor.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bike Sale!

Welcome back students!  Hope you all got moved in and are having a great start to the Fall 2011 semester.  On Monday Parking and Transportation hosted the first annual On Grounds Bike Sale outside the Student Activities Building.  The sale featured three of Charlottesville's local bike shops:  Blue Ridge Cyclery, Blue Wheel Bicycles and C'ville Bike & Tri.  Students were also able to register their new or current bikes with the University Police Department (UPD).  This program helps Officers return bikes to their owners if the bike is every lost or stolen.  Community Bikes, the Boys and Girls Cycling Challenge, and the University Bookstore were also at the event with freebies, delicious smoothies, and great info for cyclists.

C'ville Bike and Tri's John Lawler helping a student try out a bike

Some RAs making Bike Blender Smoothies with Charlottesville Community Bikes

The Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge was on-site promoting their upcoming ride

The best locks were available at great prices

So many bikes!

Helmets - essential for all riders

Blue Ridge Cyclery's set-up

C'ville Bike and Tri's set-up

Blue Wheel Bicycle's Scott Paisley helping students at the Blue Wheel Bicycles set-up

Officer Angela Tabler registering a student's bike (online registration is also available at

In addition the Bike Sale, a series of education classes were offered to help students learn the skills they need to properly maintain their bikes and ride safely.  On Monday, during the Bike Sale, Mary and Rob Cook led "Bike Commuting 101" that prepares students and staff to commute to U.Va by bike.  Scott Paisley of Blue Wheel Bicycles showed attendees "The Basics of Bike Maintenance" on Tuesday evening in Newcomb Hall.  On Wednesday John Lawler of C'ville Bike and Tri hosted a presentation on "Safe Cycling" in Room 104 of the Kellogg Residence Hall.  Charlottesville Community Bikes, a volunteer run bike shop, hosted an Open House at their shop on Preston Avenue Friday evening.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miss Us On 106.1 The Corner?

Did you listen to the Community Corner with Brad Savage on 106.1 The Corner this morning?  Our Director (Becca) and I were on the show to talk about the upcoming On Grounds Bike Sale and education workshops taking place next week.  Check out the audio below!

106.1 Community Corner Interview

Monday, August 15, 2011

Upcoming Bike Sale and Training Workshops

Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer.  With U.Va Move-In quickly approaching it's time to start thinking about how to get around.  I'm pleased on announce the first On Grounds Bike Sale to be held on Monday, August 22 from 11am-4pm outside the Student Activities Building.  The sale will feature three of Charlottesville's local bike shops:  C'ville Bike & Tri, Blue Wheel Bicycles and Blue Ridge Cyclery.  These vendors will have everything you need including new bikes, helmets, tubes, pumps, apparel and more.  University and community organizations will also be on-site including Charlottesville Community Bikes, U.Va Bookstore, U.Va Dining, U.Va Police and more.

In addition to the Bike Sale several bike safety and maintenance workshops will be held throughout the week.  "Bike Commuting 101" will be held during the Bike Sale inside the Student Activities Building (SAB) from 2:30pm-3:30pm.  The class, led by Mary Cook, will cover the things you need to know to safely and comfortably commute by bike.  A University Transit Service (UTS) van shuttle will be available from the Health System and Facilities Management for those interested in attending the class and/or Bike Sale.

On Tuesday, August 23, Scott Paisley of Blue Wheely Bicycles will lead "The Basics of Bike Maintenance" workshop in the South Meeting Room of Newcomb Hall from 7pm-8:30pm.  This workshop will prepare students and staff to perform basic maintenance on their bikes to keep them in proper and safe working order.

John Lawler of C'ville Bike & Tri will host a "Safe Cycling" information session in Room 104 of the Kellogg Residence Hall from 7pm-8:30pm on Wednesday, August 24.  This class will teach students about the rules of the road and how to navigate safely around town.

Certified League of American Bicyclist Instructors will be offering the "Traffic Skills 101" training course beginning on Thursday, August 25.  This two-part training workshop will teach participants the skills needed to safely and confidently ride in traffic.  The course includes classroom instruction as well as closed course skills training and a on-road group ride.  Participants must complete both sessions to receive their certificate of completion.  Session 1 will be held on Thursday, Augsut 25, from 6pm-9pm in Room 389 of Newcomb Hall.  Session 2 will meet outside the Student Activities Building on Saturday, August 27 from 9am-3pm.  Registration is required and available online:

On Friday, August 26, Community Bikes will host an Open House at its shop located at 612-C Preston Avenue in Charlottesville.  Students and staff are invited to stop by to get one-stop help getting ready to bike around U.Va and Charlottesville.  Volunteers will be on hand to provide maintenance self-help tips and skills, and give advice on routes, safety, and rules of the road.  UTS will provide a van shuttle from the Student Activities Building to Community Bikes (and back).  The Open House will run from 6pm-7pm.

Visit the Parking and Transportation website for more information:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waynesboro to Charlottesville Vanpool Meeting

Our friends over at RideShare are seeking commuters to form a vanpool from the Waynesboro Park & Ride Lot (near Target) to locations at U.Va and downtown Charlottesville.  This is great opportunity to find other Waynesboro-Charlottesville commuters to share the ride with and reduce commuting costs.

A vanpool formation meeting will be held at the Water Street Center in downtown Charlottesville from 12pm-1pm on Tuesday, June 28.  Lunch will be provided.  The meeting is for information purposes and does not obligate you to join a vanpool.

The Water Street Center is located off the downtown mall, at 407 East Water Street.  It is easily accessible from the Downtown Transit Center which is served by most Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) routes.  Bike parking is available outside the TJPDC office next door.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Water Street Garage a short distance from the Water Street Center (hourly rates apply).

Visit for more information and to RSVP (please RSVP by June 23).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Public Participation Forum on Transportation Issues

Parking and Transportation is pleased to host the CHART Citizen Advisory Committee's Public Participation Forum on Transportation Issues from 12:00pm-1:00pm on Tuesday, June 14.

The CHART Committee, with assistance from Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff, will facilitate a Public Participation Forum in which attendees will be informed of major transportation issues in our region. This will include discussion of transportation policy planning, transportation funding and transportation projects.

Attendees will then be able to share their views on transportation issues through a quick survey that will be entered into a public participation database, which will be reviewed by the MPO Policy Board.

This is your chance to share your thoughts on transportation issues facing our region while enjoying a free lunch!

Visit to register.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

International Parking Institute Conference 2011

Last week I had the great opportunity to meet parking professionals from all over the country and beyond at the International Parking Institute's (IPI) Conference and Expo at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

The conference brought together more than 2,000 industry leaders and featured over 40 education sessions, various workshops, countless networking opportunities, and an expo hall with approximately 200 vendors of parking technology, mobile parking apps, car sharing services, and more.

This year's conference focused on the "vital role parking and parking professionals play in transportation, economic development and revitalization, traffic flow, college and university life, hospitality, commercial and residential real estate, sport and entertainment venues, retail, security, law enforcement - and more."  IPI introduced the new Parking Matters campaign at the opening session of the conference with this great video:

The conference also featured a Sustainability/Transportation education track that featured workshops regarding developing a sustainable parking and transportation plan, using technology to achieve sustainability in parking, building a bike farm, a case study regarding the design and building of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and more.

I got some great ideas from "Building a Bike Barn In Your Organization" hosted by JC Porter, Assistant Director of Transportation at Boise State.  JC shared Boise's experience in designing and developing sheltered and secured bike parking in one of their parking facilities, the Brady Garage.  The Brady Bike Barn can store up to 65 bikes in a fenced in area of the garage that is accessible via a keycard entry gate.

While at the conference I also got to catch up with our friends at Zipcar.  Our account manager, Rich, was on hand with one of Zipcars new Prius plug-in hybrids that they've introduced in Boston, Cambridge, San Francisco and Portland (OR).  These new Zipcars are part of a larger pilot project being tested around the U.S.  The new Prius plug-in can charge in about 1.5-3 hours depending on the voltage of the connection(110-220) and can run for about 13 miles before reverting back to its standard hybrid operation.  According to Zipcar's chairman and chief executive, Scott Griffith, about a third of all Zipcar reservations are made for trips equaling less than 13 miles.

The expo featured some other great advancements in technology, including an array of mobile apps.  One such app, developed by Streetline, allows users to find available parking on their mobile device, thus eliminating congestion and emissions associated with cars circling the streets or garages looking for open parking.  Another great app, developed by ParkMobile, which allows users to pay parking fees on their phone instead of using single space meters or multi-space meters.  Parkmobile even has the ability for electric car parkers to pay charging fees.

In other P&T news, while I was away our Operations crew was able to post the signs at the newly installed crosswalk at Rotunda Alley.  The crosswalk came from the efforts of Range residents Thomas Berenato and Ilon Weeldreyer who brought this safety concern to Helen Wilson (Architect's Office) and myself.  Rotunda Alley is located just off of Hospital Drive and acts as the entrance to the East Range area.  The Range itself creates a large blind spot to motorists approaching in both directions, putting pedestrians at risk while crossing.  We presented this issue to the University's Security and General Safety Committee, which Helen and I both serve on.  The committee is compromised of faculty, staff and students appointed by the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  The committee unanimously voted to support the placement of a crosswalk and signage to alert motorists and hopefully cause them to slow down through this area.  The crosswalk was painted by Facilities Management and our sign shop installed the signs in late May.

And finally, I leave you with this photo from a restaurant in Pittsburgh.  Nice try Pittsburgh, but nothing beats The White Spot in Charlottesville.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bike Week Wrap-Up

A week ago today was Bike to Work Day!  To celebrate, and to help some of our new cyclists get through the commute, various organizations hosted Energizing Stations that offered refreshments, educational materials, and even an air pump to make sure cyclists were pumped up and ready to go!

Energizing Stations were set up outside of the Main Street Market and the Albemarle County Office Building from 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm.  I worked with Misty Boos of CHUVA (Co-Operative Housing at the University of Virginia) to host an Energizing Station near the intersection of Rugby Road and University Avenue.  We were joined by UTS driver Ola, bike supporter Matt, and my wonderful wife Sarah.  We had a great time talking to cyclists and even administered some quizzes to see how aware our area cyclists are of the rules of the road.  Cyclists who completed the quiz were able to enter a raffle to win awesome prizes from Blue Wheel Bicycles, Zinc restaurant, ACCT (Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation), and more.

Bike to Work Day came towards the end of all the Bike Week events held throughout the week (see my previous posts) that encouraged more people to try cycling for recreation and commuting.  Perhaps more importantly, Bike Week raised awareness about bicycle safety and the need for motorists and cyclists to share the road.

In other bike related news, the City of Charlottesville added some new bike lanes this week on West Main Street near the Main Street Market.  The photo above is courtesy of Bike Charlottesville (check out their Facebook page for more).  The lanes come after City Council voted to remove some of the on-street parking to increase safety on this major corridor.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bike Week 2011 Is Underway

What a week for bikes!  Despite the periods of crazy storms, Bike Week 2011 activities have been going tremendously well all week thanks to the efforts of so many groups.

Bike Week began Monday with the Cross Town Ride and Bike Charlottesville News Conference.  The ride began at the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage and led a group of about 30 cyclists through The Corner and Midtown, ultimately ending outside City Hall on the Downtown Mall.

The ride attracted an array of cyclists, including City Traffic Engineer Jeanie Alexander (pictured above), U.Va GIS Planner Bill Palmer and Mayor Dave Norris.  While not only serving as a very visible start to Bike Week, the ride itself gave participants a first hand view of some of the major cycling corridors and where improvements are needed.

On Tuesday evening Community Bikes hosted an open house at their shop on Preston Avenue.  Blue Wheel Bicycles' own Scott Paisley and U.Va's own Chris Gist were on hand with other Community Bikes volunteers to provide bike maintenance self-help tips, bike commuting route advice, and general bike tune-ups.  Visit Community Bikes online to learn more about their services:

The weather held out Wednesday evening for the annual Ride of Silence.  The 7-mile long, police-escorted procession through Charlottesville raised awareness of cyclists and honored those who have been injured or killed while cycling.  Ian Ayers created a great video of the ride (above).

On Thursday we hosted a free "Bike Commuting 101" workshop at Carruthers Hall for anyone interested in knowing the basics of bike commuting.  Led by volunteers Mary and Rob Cook, the course gave participants an introduction to the rules of road, safety tips, having the right gear and attire, and the various types of bikes that can be used for recreation and commuting.  Participants were also treated to lunch, delivered by U.Va Catering.  On participant, Monica from the Health System, even won a free bike helmet and shoe covers courtesy of Blue Ridge Cyclery!

So, what's left?  Bike to Work Day!  On Friday commuters who live within a reasonable distance of their classroom or workspace are encouraged to try getting there by bike.  P&T, and various community organizations, will have Energizing Stations set up to provide refreshments to keep bike commuters going.  Stop by and see us Friday in the morning (7am-9am) or afternoon (4pm-6pm) near the intersection of Rugby Road and University Avenue.

Don't forget, if you have a bike at U.Va make sure you register it with U.Va Police!  If it is ever lost or stolen, you have a much greater chance of it being recovered if it's registered.  You can register quickly and painlessly on UPD's website:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bike Week Begins on May 16

Each year the League of American Bicyclists sponsors and encourages the celebration of the month of May as National Bike Month, with emphasis put on Bike Week which runs from May 16 to May 20.  During Bike Week, cities across the country host events with the goal of educating the public about bicycle safety and raising awareness of cycling as not only a recreational activity, but also as a means of transportation.

U.Va is joining Bike Charlottesville and several other community organizations in celebrating Bike Week here in Charlottesville.  The various activities planned throughout the week will culminate with Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20. 

Bike Commuting 101 - Thursday, May 19
Parking and Transportation will be hosting a free "Bike Commuting 101" lunch and learn session on Thursday, May 19, that will prepare new and potential cyclists for Bike to Work Day.  The session, which will be led by Mary and Rob Cook, will teach participants the basics of commuting by bike including safety tips, traffic laws, and what gear and apparel they need.  Attendees will be treated to a free U.Va Catering lunch and be entered to win a free bike helmet from Blue Ridge Cyclery!

Bike to Work Day - Friday, May 20
Employees living within a reasonable distance of their workplace are encouraged to try cycling to work on Bike to Work Day.  Since we're not all experienced cyclists, we might need a quick pick-me-up to get us all the way to the office.  Various organizations will be hosting "Energizing Stations" that will offer cyclists fruit, drinks, and other goodies to keep them going. 

I'll be working with some UTS drivers and U.Va student Misty Boos to host an Energizing Station near the intersection of Rugby Road and University Avenue from 7:00am-9:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm.  Stop on by and say hi!

More Events
There will be several more events during Bike Week that you should definitely check out or even participate in.  These include a Cross Town Bike ride on Monday, an open house at Community Bikes on Tuesday, and the annual Ride of Silence.  Head on over to Bike Charlottesville for more information about these events.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bike Fix-It Station Installed During Earth Week

In the Fall of last year, Greta Ruediseuli of the Green Grounds Group approached me about giving cyclists access to air pumps and tools that they would need while on Grounds to keep their bikes in good working order.  Fortunately, Andrew Greene (Sustainability Planner) and I had already had some discussion about the Bike Fix-It Stations offered by Dero, a company that specializes in bike amenities.

Greta and Alex of the Green Grounds Group and I started evaluating locations and ultimated decided on a location outside of Clark Hall.  Clark Hall is centrally located on Grounds off of McCormick Road, and features a large concentration of bike parking.  The Fix-It Station was installed during Earth Week and officially unveiled during the Eco-Fair on April 21.

The Bike Fix-It Station features several tools and a bike pump.  Cyclists can hang their bikes on the station and use the tools to make repairs.

Head over to U.Va Today to read more about the Fix-It Station:
Also check out NBC29's coverage of the station:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

U.Va Hosts Eco-Fair as Part of Earth Week 2011 Events

During Earth Week 2011 Parking and Transportation participated in coordinating several events including the "Vanpooling 101" workshop and "Traffic Skills 101" training course, the Recycled Art Exhibit hosted at the Student Activities Center, and the Eco-Fair.

The Eco-Fair brought together University departments, community organizations, advocacy groups and local/regional businesses who represented various facets of sustainability ranging from transportation to conservation.

Community Bikes was on hand with the always popular pedal powered bike blender smoothie maker.  Even Andrew Greene, University Sustainability Planner, got to enjoy a smoothie at the fair (photo by Cole Geddy)!  Chris Gist from Community Bikes was also at the fair to promote bike safety.  Later that evening Chris taught the first session of the "Traffic Skills 101" training course.

Heather Higgins of Bike Charlottesville, a local coalition of bike groups and community members, joined Community Bikes at the event to offer event attendees information on advocacy opportunities and safe cycling.  The new kid on the block, Blue Ridge Cyclery, was also at the fair giving away water bottles and encouraging students to sign up for their mailing list.  BRC opened on Millmont Street in December of last year and in addition to selling quality bikes and gear, they regularly sponsor group rides and maintenance classes.

U.Va Housing and U.Va Dining were both at the Eco-Fair with some great freebies!  As part of Housing's "Changing the Flow" initiative, reps were on site distributing reusable water bottles that can now be used in the newly upgraded water fountains in the residence halls.  Kendall Singleton and her Green Dining team had some delicious granola samples and plenty of information on Sustainable Dining at U.Va (head on over to Kendall's blog for some great photos).

Students from the research and design group, RideForward, had their electric powered Honda Accord on site.  The car, a result of a class taught by James Durand, was converted from using conventional gas power to electric drive (EV) as part of an ongoing class project.

The Eco-Fair was a huge success and a great opportunity for sustainability-minded groups to come together to not only educate the U.Va community on local initiatives, but also to learn from each other.  I very sincere thank you goes out to all the groups that participated in the Eco-Fair, including:
Sorry if I left your group off - there were so many great groups I may not have remembered to list them all!  Looking forward to Earth 2012!