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Virginia Tech senior attends international cycling conference


Lyndsay McKeever on a bike Lyndsay McKeever in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 1, 2011 – Lyndsay McKeever of Burke, Va., a senior majoring in humanities, science, and environment in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and student intern with Virginia Tech’s Transportation and Campus Services has contributed to the university’s alternative transportation programs and initiatives over the past year.  At the end of March, her attendance at Velo-City, an international cycling conference in Seville, Spain, helps to continue her efforts by providing valuable resources to the department.

The Velo-City conference took place from March 23-25 and focused on examples of bicycle-friendly cities and policies. McKeever, a campus advocate for bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation, says she has absorbed new ideas and is hoping to bring them back and integrate them into the Virginia Tech community.

McKeever has also been working with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) president Andy Clarke. The LAB sent McKeever to blog live from the conference. McKeever has been learning about what other cities and universities are doing about alternative transportation, especially biking. The LAB has a program with a checklist to make campuses more bicycle-friendly, called Bicycle-Friendly University which she says she plans to incorporate into her work at Virginia Tech.

Transportation and Campus Services has already taken steps to meet the criteria to be named a Bicycle-Friendly University and will utilize McKeever’s experience in their efforts.

“The information that Lyndsay learns while abroad and while networking with the League of American Bicyclists will be valuable to our office as we work to become a Bicycle-Friendly University,” says Debby Freed, Virginia Tech alternative transportation manager.

Through her internship with Transportation and Campus Services, McKeever has already completed an assessment of Virginia Tech’s bicycle racks which resulted in the receipt of grant funding from the Student Organization Sustainability Initiative to have more racks placed on campus, providing an increase of infrastructure support the campus cycling community.

Currently, she is participating in a program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Her classes all focus on sustainability, centering on European cities as examples.

“We’re studying sustainability here and a lot of what we’re studying we want to bring back to the states with us. There are a lot of success stories here that we want to build on.” McKeever says.

The Velo-City conference is in its 31st year and strives to “encourage cycling as part of daily transport and recreation,” according to its website. Attendees viewed cities showcasing their bicycle-friendly policies, and advocates sharing policy and procedure ideas.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Leah Weisman, of Fairfax, Va., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.