Students hope to connect campus, downtown with bike-share program

If ASASUD approves the proposal next fall, the Downtown campus could see bikes within the 2011-2012 academic year. (Stephanie Snyder/DD)

Three students hope to bring a bicycle co-op to the Downtown campus.

Urban and metropolitan studies senior Edward Jensen, and journalism sophomores Vaughn Hillyard and Samuel Tongue are heading the initiative to start a bicycle-sharing program.

“I feel that this could be a program that would be very successful at the ASU Downtown campus, so I mentioned it to a few students and they were all very intrigued by the idea,” said Jill Johnson, program manager of Barrett, the Honors College at the Downtown campus, in an email.

Johnson is offering staff support for the student lead bicycle co-op initiative.

Hillyard and Tongue also started the student organization ASU Downtown Alive!, which aims to connect Downtown campus students with the local community.

Hillyard said he feels bringing a bicycle co-op to the Downtown campus is another way to help students get involved in the downtown atmosphere.

“We’ve looked at ways that we can try and interact the community more with ASU students, and one of the best ways to go about that is to bring students to the places around downtown,” Hillyard said. “Bikes give people more leeway and possibilities to go around the downtown area.”

The university currently has bike co-ops on two of its campuses. The largest co-op is located on the Tempe campus, and the other on the Polytechnic campus.

The co-op in Tempe is located next to the Student Recreation Center and holds 20 bicycles. The bicycles are free for the students when they provide their ASU identification. The co-op allows students to keep the bicycles for up to a week at a time and also offers bicycle repair and maintenance.

The first goal is to gain support at the Downtown campus.

The students have created a petition and will be tabling, handing our flyers and gathering signatures in front of Taylor Place on Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I really hope this program comes to downtown Phoenix,” health freshman Jackie Moya said. “I live downtown but ride my bike everywhere in Tempe and it would be nice to see the downtown students get the same opportunity.”

Once the funding proposal is created it would then be sent to ASASUD for the fall.

“We are just trying to get some energy behind this project,” Hillyard said. “Most importantly we want to show ASU that students want this downtown.”

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Clarification: May 3, 2011

An earlier version of this article included a paragraph that said Joseph Perez, the City of Phoenix bicycle coordinator, had agreed to put together a funding request that would include support for 20 used bicycles, bicycle maintenance kits and tools and a bicycle repair and maintenance staff salaries if the bicycle-sharing initiative gained support from students at the Downtown campus. The information was provided by Jill Johnson, program manager of Barrett, the Honors College at the Downtown campus, in an email. However, following the publication of the article, Johnson told the Downtown Devil the information she’d relayed regarding Perez had been inaccurate, and the paragraph was removed from the story.