Study: Colleges lead demand for reduced driving

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File- University of Connecticut Campus (WTNH)

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Universities are being recognized in a new study for setting a “green” example by urging students to walk and bike to class. The University of Connecticut wants to be on the cutting edge of that concept.

News 8’s Stephanie Simoni tells us what the school does now and how they’re hoping to improve.

Trying to make an early class can be tough. But, a new study looks at the journey, not at tardiness.

“Two of us drive and two of them don’t so we do carpool to some extent,” said Rose Rinaldi, sophomore.

Some walk, others bike, and Mary Mackie hops on the shuttle.

“It was really cold this morning and I had a bit of a far walk,” said Mackie, senior.

Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG), a local advocacy group, says that young people have actually been driving less since 2004.

The study released today looks at college commutes in hopes that cities could learn something from campus life.

“When we were wondering what would this look like if places were trying to promote alternatives, we thought well universities are a great place,” said Sean Doyle, ConnPIRG.

UConn already has car sharing, is looking to expand shuttle routes, has about 20 bikes for more than twenty thousand students and the school is still looking to push for more.

“So we want to see what’s out there and costs associated with it and what they can do for UCONN to make biking a bigger thing,” said Janet Freniere, manager at UConn Transportation Services.

Even in bone chilling temperatures, the bike rack is still full and school leaders say that they are interested in creating more real estate for the wheels.

“That would be a good idea. I think especially if there was a way to have specific areas for those bikes to be held other than trying to find a fence to attach it to,” said Jacob Gardner, student.

“There is a big push to put more bike racks on campus,” said Janet.

She says that this is just an idea for now, but if the wheels start turning they would hope to have more bikes and places to put them by spring.

Read the Report: A NEW COURSE

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