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UW Students Recognized for Bicycle Friendly Community Designation

January 17, 2017
group of people standing and holding a sign
Cindy Dywan, (front, from left), graduate assistant for the Outdoor Program; Rachael Budowle, instructor for ENR 4600/5600; Sarah Crone, undergraduate student in accounting; Tyler Carroll, undergraduate student in geography, and environment and natural resources; and Dan McCoy, Campus Recreation assistant director, receive recognition from Laramie City Council members for their contributions to achieving a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for the city. (City of Laramie Photo)

Four University of Wyoming students were recognized at the Laramie City Council meeting Dec. 6 for their contributions to achieving a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for the city.

The students worked with campus mentors in the UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources’ (ENR) spring 2016 campus sustainability class to gather data for the application to the League of American Bicyclists, which assesses bicycling infrastructure and helps to identify areas for improvement. Laramie joined more than 400 bike-friendly communities across the country when the league awarded the city bronze-level certification Nov. 16.

The ENR 4600/5600 Campus Sustainability course, in which students complete applied sustainability projects that improve the UW campus and surrounding community, provided a platform for students to conduct the necessary research to complete the Bicycle Friendly Community application. Tyler Carroll, undergraduate student in geography, and environment and natural resources; Sarah Crone, undergraduate student in accounting; Craig Fluer, recent graduate in art, and environment and natural resources; and Zoe Nelson, master’s degree student in natural science, collaborated to complete the more than 100-question survey for their course project. The questions covered five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. Students talked to city staff and community organization representatives, conducted fieldwork and reviewed existing data.

Students completed the project with the guidance of mentors Dan McCoy, Campus Recreation assistant director, and Cindy Dywan, graduate assistant for the Outdoor Program, both of whom serve on the UW Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee.

The Bicycle Friendly Community project followed from the success of the similar Bicycle Friendly University project that students completed for the spring 2015 ENR campus sustainability course. After the success of that student project and UW’s bronze-level designation from the League of American Bicyclists, McCoy identified community certification as a clear next step in improving biking conditions around campus. Carroll and Crone also found that to be the case, as students participating in the community application.

“It shows the collaborative effort of the university and community coming together to exemplify sustainable practices,” Carroll says.

“The project was a great form of experiential learning and was very effective in bridging the community-university divide,” Crone adds.

In addition to the learning experience, McCoy says he appreciates the service component of the students’ course project.

“It was fantastic working with these students,” he says. “They were motivated and enthusiastic about the project. It would not have been possible to complete the entire application without them.”

He describes the designation as a well-deserved recognition of the community’s efforts to make Laramie bike friendly, while also providing a clear guide for what the community can do to move beyond the bronze level and improve biking. Students identified snow removal and general street improvements as key areas for Laramie to consider in their report for the project.

The students and project mentors helped to further identify recommendations from the League of American Bicyclists to improve Laramie’s bike friendliness and received additional recognition at the city’s Parks, Tree and Recreation Advisory Board meeting in December.

Nelson says she feels confident that the city is committed to exploring those areas for improvement.

“After my positive experience working with city employees while completing the Bicycle Friendly Community application, I feel comforted in the fact that community members and key actors will do what they can to improve Laramie’s bike infrastructure and programs in the coming years,” she says.

For more information about the Bicycle Friendly Community program, visit To learn more about the campus sustainability course, go to

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