Alternative Transportation on the Auraria Campus

The Auraria campus is serviced by several bus and light rail lines—as a result, 35% of our campus population uses public transit to commute to campus. This is an impressive statistic! However, still nearly 50% of commuters on the Auraria campus drive alone [1] . Single-occupancy vehicle trips produce the most greenhouse gases and have the highest impact on the environment. [2]  Next time you need to take a trip, consider using your RTD pass (you pay for it with your student fees, so you might as well), hop on a bike, carpool with friends or take a trip on an e-scooter! If everyone on the Auraria Campus eliminated a 2-mile car trip each week for a year, we would prevent 5 million pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere! [3]  See the graph below for the environmental impact associated with each mode of commute.
 
What is the ASCP doing to improve alternative transportation on campus?
 
  • Bike Parking: We offer covered and secured bike parking (60 spots) in the Tivoli Garage. Come to Tivoli 325 to get your card coded!
  • Bike Maintenance: 2 self-service Fix-it stations (Tivoli Garage and Arts Building). The CU Wellness Center Bike Shop and Outdoor Pursuits (PE Rec Center) offer professional help!
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: The ASCP is partnering with AHEC Parking to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations we have.
  • RTD Pass: we are continuing to advocate for fair membership rates with RTD.
[1] Statistics are the average of three Auraria campus transportation surveys conducted between 2010 and 2017.
[2] https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/PublicTransportationsRoleInRespondingToClimateChange2010.pdf
[3] Calculated using national fuel efficiency averages, provided by EPA, which suggest that single-occupancy car trips produce an average of 0.98 lbs CO2 per mile traveled.
In Case You Missed Us...
This month, the ASCP and Outdoor Pursuits hosted a Bike Workshop where we offered bike maintenance and bike resources. In case you missed us, check out a list of bike resources below and a highlight of one really awesome community bike organization called Bikes Together .

Need a Bike but don’t have the money? Earn one through Bikes Together’s Earn-a-Bike Program. Volunteer six hours and earn a b ike, helmet, lights and lock! In addition, Denver B-Cycle is offering free flex passes for Auraria students and staff! The Flex Pass gives you access to the system for 365 days and then pay just $3.00 per every 30 minutes. Use promo code Aura18 at checkout. Promo expires 12/31 and is valid for new and renewing members.

Need Bike Maintenance? Visit Outdoor Pursuits (PE Rec Center) or the new CU Denver Bike Shop (Wellness Center) to access expertise, guidance and tools to fix your bike. Otherwise, stop by open shop hours at Bikes Together !

Need Bike Maps, Bike Rules and Bike Safety Tips? Bike Denver and Bicycle Colorado are both non-profit advocacy groups that promote biking and bike safety in our community. Check out their maps and rules of the road here .
Bikes Together works to increase access to education, bike maintenance, and to a bicycle to promote active and healthy living. They offer two bike shop locations—in Park Hill and Mariposa—as well as a number of programs for adults and kids and free access to stands and tools during drop in shop hours. Since their inception, they’ve refurbished 6,649 bikes, given away 3,703 and collected 47,157 volunteer hours!

  • Earn-A-Bike: If you are financially unable to purchase a bicycle, you can volunteer 6 hours at Bikes Together shops or partner organizations and earn a free refurbished bike!
  • Fix Your Bike Program: free access to bike stands, tools and help from volunteers during walk-in hours (check online)
  • Bike Mechanics Classes: on a range of topics including fix-a-flat, brake and shifter adjustments, etc.
  • Gender Equality Mechanics Master Mechanic Course: 6-week mechanics class exclusively for women, trans, femme & genderqueer people of all races.
Free B-Cycle Flex Pass Promo for Auraria Students and Staff!
 
The Flex Pass gives you access to the system for 365 days and then pay just $3.00 per every 30 minutes.
 
Just go to DenverBcycle.com , click Sign Up and create your profile. Use promo code Aura18 and enter your credit card information. You will receive a key fob that will allow to check out directly from the bike dock. It’s the fastest way to go.
 
Flex Pass promo code is valid until 12/31/2018 and is good for new and renewing members.
Join the Auraria Eco-Rep Program!

Want to help make the Auraria campus more sustainable? The Auraria Sustainable Campus Program (ASCP) needs your help. We are excited to announce the launch of our volunteer Eco-Rep program and we’d love for you to be a part of it!

What is an Auraria Eco-Rep? Come to an inaugural meeting from  2-3 PM on either Wednesday Oct 31 st  (Tivoli 325A) or Thursday Nov 1 st  (Tivoli 329)  and find out what it’s all about! There will be  pizza .

We will give an overview of what you can expect to give/get from this volunteer program, as well as upcoming projects that we need your help with. As a sneak peak, immediate needs include flyer-ing and spreading the word about our events and helping us conduct a campus-wide audit of our waste and recycling bins (so we can price out how much it would cost to replace them or add compost). With your help, we have the potential to seriously expand our impact!

Please e-mail  jackie.slocombe@ahec.edu  to  RSVP  with which date you plan to attend.
Behavior Change:
Taking Alternative Transportation
with Joel Cruz

I am a student at the UCD and am earning my degree in Urban Studies and Planning with a minor in Sustainability. I am also a senator for Student Government Association and am the president of the Students for Sustainability Club on campus but more importantly, I am all about alternative transportation.

I own a vehicle however I prefer to take public transit because helps me better manage my time, find time to read, send emails, and sleep, and I get a chance to notice things that I normally don’t when behind the wheel. I also bring my bike on the bus that way I can cruise various destinations in Denver without having to pay for parking. Using alternative transportation with the student pass helps put money in your pocket and years onto our life by increasing your walking and reducing the amount of CO2 emissions discharged into the atmosphere.

I have taken public transit independently since I was in about 7th grade and one of the biggest challenges was understanding the bus schedule and making sure I am actually getting to where I need to go. With the improvements in Map apps that navigate your route it is almost impossible to be lost or confused but when in doubt do not be afraid to ask someone for directions! 
A Bit About Air Quality
with
the Regional Air Quality Council

Have you ever wondered about those emission tests you have to get for your car every year? Or why we rarely see the roads get graveled during the Winter months anymore? The answer to those questions and many others comes down to air quality.

To learn more about air quality a member of the ASCP was lucky enough to sit down with Mike Silverstein, the Executive Director of the Regional Air Quality Council, or RAQC for short.

RAQC has a board of directors appointed by the Governor of Colorado via Executive Order. Appointees come from all over the Northern Front Range region(about 9 counties). When asked about their function Silverstein explained, “Our primary focus is to develop air quality plans that bring the region, and keep the region, into compliance with air quality standards. These standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency, they’re national standards.”

While we have the same standards nation-wide, Silverstein explained that “in our case most of our [RAQC’s] work centers around the ozone standards because we’re not in compliance with Federal ozone standards. We are in compliance with all the other standards and that’s fortunate. RACQ has led the efforts over the last 30 years to come into compliance with the carbon monoxide standards, particulate matter standards, and the ozone standard. The ozone standard though, has gotten more stringent. The research shows that the standard should be lower than past values because ozone at lower concentrations has a public health impact.”

So how does RAQC lead those efforts? It’s surprisingly similar to how the ASCP gets things done here on campus. They meet with stakeholders, get community input, come to a consensus and develop a strategic air quality plan for the region. That plan then gets presented to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, a State Commission under the Department of Public Health and Environment, which then approves, denies, or modifies the plan and then puts those regulations into place.

These plans change and evolve as our air quality issues evolve, even seasonally! I was surprised to learn from Silverstein that ozone is, “a Summer time issue, it’s not a year round issue. We have different air quality issues in the wintertime, but they’re not in violation of any air quality standards but they are a problem. Our main focus is ozone, it’s ozone in the Summer months, and our job here[at RAQC] is to develop these plans and get a lot of input from a lot of different people, a lot of interest groups, environmental groups, industry groups to put these plans together and present them to the State.”

Interestingly enough, Summer time ozone problems haven’t always been the primary air quality issue in our region. Silverstein explained, “In the early days we had mostly a wintertime air quality problem. It was the famous brown cloud, and carbon monoxide was the primary pollutant, an invisible pollutant so it wasn’t that brown haze, but it was mostly vehicle exhaust emissions….the vehicles weren’t computerized, they didn’t have fuel injection, there were so many things about older vehicles. They just polluted a lot. The emission standards were lax. The Federal standards for new cars were not the standards that we have today.”

It was surprising to learn that the brown coloration that gave the brown cloud its name, came from the use of gravel on roads during the winter. The gravel would dry, cars would turn it into dust, creating the massive cloud of particulate that used to hang over our city.

So what about things that individuals can do to help improve regional air quality? It’s fairly simple, you can drive less, carpool, use public transit, or ride a bicycle! It’s also important to pay attention to our regulatory bodies. Paying attention to, and understanding how environmental regulations and standards are developed and implemented is crucial. We are all stakeholders in our environment and can be a part of that development process.

Want to know more about RAQC ? We'll be adding an extended and more detailed version of this article to our website in January!
Upcoming Events

Auraria Campus Blood Drive
Tues. 11/06
& Weds. 11/07
10:00am - 3:00pm
St. Cajetans

Hot Topic: Supplementing Sports Performance
Weds. 11/07
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Tivoli Turnhalle

Auraria Homelessness & Hunger Awareness Workshops
Thurs. 11/15
10:00am - 3:00pm
Tivoli Turnhalle

Hot Topic: Native American Veterans
Thurs. 11/15
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Tivoli Multicultural Lounge

Hot Topic: Armed Teachers
Tues. 11/27
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Tivoli Multicultural Lounge
Get Involved!

Every year, the ASCP reviews or drafts dozens of proposals brought to us by students, staff, and faculty. Do you have an idea that could make the Auraria Campus more sustainable? Let us know!