Creating dialogue on cycling

On Thursday, the newly formed Laurier Bike Network held their second official meeting.

Throughout the hour and a half, topics of discussion ranged from possible partnership opportunities with other campus clubs to cross-campus initiatives to promote cycling.

The main consensus among the 15 attendees was to gain a better understanding of how to address the needs of the Laurier biking community.

The Laurier Bike Network, a combination of students, staff and faculty, formed an initial concern for the lack of bicycle parking on campus.

“What started out as concern about a specific issue has become a network of people who are interested in that much broader role of moving forward with creating a much stronger cycling culture on campus and a stronger set of infrastructures to support that culture,” said Alex Latta, an assistant professor of global studies and chair of the Laurier Bike Network.

Upcoming initiatives include repairing existing bike rack deficiencies on campus, reaching out to the Laurier cycling community to assess their needs and possibly making bike shelters, lockers and signage available on campus.

Latta states that the Laurier Bike Network wants to send a strong message that cycling is valued.

“[We] need to build within the Laurier community the sense that cycling is a viable form of transport. A lot of people think that if you’re a cyclist, you’re some sort of eco hero and I think that needs to change. People need to see cycling as viable as driving a car or taking a bus.”

Latta further commented on how the university as an institution needs to adopt a stronger role in society in regards to forging social and cultural changes.

“Universities are a place where we need to be demonstrating that it’s possible to do things differently,” said Latta.

“Climate issues is one of the places where universities need to be taking the lead more than they currently are and supporting cycling is one the ways they can do that. [Laurier] in particular is behind the curve,” said Latta.

“[We must] recognize the need to do that catching up so that Laurier is in the forefront.”

The Laurier Bike Network’s next meeting will be in early December.