Loops and teacups for all those bicycles!

March 25, 2020

Bike racks on campus are overflowing. To accommodate the increased number of bicycle commuters on campus and address concerns that bikes are being locked inside stairwells or chained to fences, signs, or other objects outside their buildings, Yale Facilities expanded its bike rack program. This project adds racks in designated areas and replaces the older stone-pillar-style racks with newer metal loops, which can accommodate double the capacity. Leading this effort is Sydney Colon, Associate Project Manager. “Sydney is a stand out on our team for leading this implementation,” said Keith Fordsman, Director of Capital Programs.

Each year, Facilities tries to address one area of campus. “Once we identify where racks are needed, we then pinpoint the best locations for them. Sometimes landscaping is removed or relocated to make room for the racks. Over the past few years, there has been a large demand on Hillhouse Avenue as an increased number of students ride to classes there,” said Sydney Colon, Associate Project Manager.

There are two distinct rack styles used on campus. Central and West campus use the loop. For the medical campus, it is the teacup style. Both are identified in Yale’s Design Standards and selected to blend in with the specific architectural style of these areas.

In 2019, 280 bike loops were installed – mainly along Hillhouse Avenue and Prospect Street, the largest amount added in a single year thus far. The newly installed loops can now accommodate up to 560 bikes. On average, about 100 loops are installed annually. The busiest area of campus is in front of Sterling Memorial Library, which now has two sets of 12 loops on either side of the main entrance.

This summer Sydney and her team will be looking at possible installations on Old Campus and in the courtyards of Silliman and Timothy Dwight Colleges. “Recently, we’ve noticed a lot of students using skateboards and scooters that they fold up and bring inside. Now, we are interested to see if bike use will level out over the next few years,” said Sydney.

 In the meantime, Sydney and her team will be out walking the campus with a sketchbook and tape measure.