City council and WVU approve bicycle safety course

9 Feb

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, the Morgantown City Council authorized a resolution with West Virginia University that would provided a new bicycle education class.

Morgantown and West Virginia University have always been adamant about bicycle safety throughout the time, due to the large amount of college students interacting with the driving roads.

West Virginia University’s campus police provides bike safety and security tips for students and town residents. Students especially are often seen riding their bikes to campus, as it is easier than driving to class. It is a well-known fact that parking and traffic during peak class hours is an actual nightmare.

Often times, bikers do not follow common bicycle laws and rules. This sometimes causes problems for drivers in their cars on these popular roads.

The resolution passed by the City Council would permit a joint city and university bicycle class, offered through WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. The class would be PE 212: Confident City Cycling.

The class would teach its students riding skills, crash avoidance maneuvers, and what to do in different traffic situations, along with proper bike maintenance, riding clothing and equipment, and how just how to ride confidently on the roads.

The class offered through CPASS would be offered to both WVU students and Morgantown residents. Class would be taught in a classroom at the beginning of the course, then would move out onto the streets for practice.

A few years ago, the Morgantown City Council and the Morgantown Bicycle Board worked together on a grant that would allow these bicycle safety classes. A grant from Allstate Insurance also helped this class become a reality. The instructors will be paid through West Virginia University, and, in turn, WVU will be reimbursed through the Allstate Insurance grant.

The Bicycle Board teamed up with national organizations to develop criteria and train instructors for the course.

City Manager Jeff Mikorski says this new course will be very beneficial to students and residents alike.

“Basically the confident cycling program would get people confident in riding a bike in an urban area, especially one where streets are so narrow,” Mikorski said. “Not necessarily needing to use the trails and getting onto the streets themselves.”

The Confident Cycling course usually attracts 12-18 students, and starts out in a classroom in the new CPASS building, and then moves to practicing in a parking lot.

PE 212 is a one-credit course, and costs around $90.

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