the good

5 03 2010

Right now, there is a lot of confusion regarding Pratt’s bike policies–Example:  In a printed student handbook, it says that you can not ride a bike on campus however as EL explained, that statement is incorrect.  This policy doesn’t actually exist.

On the Pratt website, if you’re looking for policies on bikes, good luck finding them easily.  It took a couple of searches and deep down on Security’s page, there is a blurb about biking and a couple of good/useful links   (check it out here).  If you go through other campus websites such as Columbia, or US Davis, you can easily find clear and concise policy information.  There is no grey area when it comes to their policies.

That is why I have been working with some key people (AG-K from NYPIRG, CW from SGA, my advisor CJ and EL with Student Affairs) to clarifying the current campus bike policies.  Once we have a clear understanding of the current policy, we can modify, add policies that are more effective and beneficial to everyone.  We’ve put together a draft and we’re planning to send it off to the Security Office so they can fill in the blanks (literally) to the policy.


Abandoned Bike Policy

If a bike is continuously parked in the same place for two weeks without being moved, Security considers it abandoned. If a bike is deemed abandoned, a tag with a timestamped warning will be attached to the bike. If the bike is not relocated to an appropriate bike rack within__________minutes/hours/days of being tagged, if will be removed and confiscated. In the process of removing and confiscating a bike, Security will, if necessary, cut and discard the lock, chain or security device. Pratt Institute is not responsible or liable in any manner for lost, stolen, or damaged bicycles, or for the replacement cost of locks, chains, or other security devices.

The black is what currently exists on the website, the red is the information that needs clarification.  These are simple modifications but they would greatly improve the current policy.

The goal is to have this information printed and available on Green Week’s “Transportation Tuesday” (see the events page for details). And I will also have the policy information posted on this site.  Eventually, we hope the Security Office will replace their existing text with what we’ve put together.  If that happens, it would be huge.  It would mean that we (those who attended the design jam and those who have provided significant input into this process) worked with the administration to provide students with accurate, useful, and transparent policy information.  That is what I would call “collaborative planning” and at Pratt–that would be a Campus Area Biking success!

next week is gonna be a busy one

19 02 2010

Since I’ve been recovering from a slight (read: annoying) cold, I haven’t had much time to spend on my data analysis–something I was hoping to do this week.  Next week, I’ve got lots of things going on and to be honest, I’m much more productive that way.  I’ve got three exciting meetings planned next week, one with LT and CJ to discuss the Campus Area Bike Ride we have planned for Green Week.  The major concern I have is liability.  ER has to give the go ahead and I’m concerned he’s not going to be fully supportive.  We’ll also be talking about the best ways to get students to sign up and how we’re going to promote the event.

On Wednesday, I have a meeting with AG-K to also talk about the event’s promotion, printing, design etc.  I’m also going to be talking with her about how I can get one of her interns a bit more involved in the project–if she/he’s interested.  I’d like to do some reaching out to the local bike shops and that’s one thing I could use an extra set of hands for.  Also, if they’re interested in designing posters etc.  I hope they’ll have the time to put towards helping me out.

The other meeting scheduled is on Thursday with CW, CJ, and AG-K (and possibly EL of Student Affairs).  We’ll be discussing policy recommendations and hopefully hashing out a clear plan to propose to Dr. A to implement in the summer.  We’ll also discuss developing literature that may be useful to hand out during the Transportation Tuesday of Green Week (the day of our ride–3/30).  I’d also like to talk with them about how they see this blog/website functioning within Pratt’s web system.  I’m not sure how possible it is to integrate them but, I’ve established something real here and I think it would be a waste to not figure out how we can begin combining efforts with the Pratt IT team.

Besides the planning the agendas for the meetings, I will also be working on survey analysis, answering interview questions for the awesome blog of former Pratt student, Vanessa Marie Robinson , and writing an article for the GCPE newsletter.  In addition to that, I’d also like to begin planning out and organizing how I’d like to formally present my capstone which will be given in a few short months (ahhh!).  I’ve also been asked by the landscape architecture firm working on Pratt’s master plan to provide some information to them regarding Pratt’s bike culture.

Like I said, next week is gonna be a busy one…

next up on the to-do list…

29 01 2010
I’ve got a few things on my plate and my mind right now—all very exciting.  My to-do list is growing but I’m excited to work on everything listed.  It has certainly been a while since I’ve felt this excited about the things happing with CAB.  Let’s keep this project moving in the right direction! So–things to get done:
  1. Advertising campaign to get more blog traffic (utilize SGA and NYPIRG for this–bike spoke cards, posters etc)
  2. Figure out the whole “wiki” thing – what are the possibilities for adding one to the site (or a link to one)
  3. add a “maps” page to include image links to NYC bike map, campus map (with rack locations), etc.
  4. upload draft infrastructure recommendations
  5. upload Design Jam files
  6. Continue survey data analysis – consider if other surveys are necessary and begin drafting
  7. Reaching out to President Schutte regarding joining us on the Campus Area Bike Ride for Green Week.

I hope to have # 2-5 accomplished by Monday evening.  I’ll let be working to set up meetings with my project’s advisors so I can provide everyone with updates and get feedback on how to maintain this momentum I’m feeling right now.  I’m hoping to solidify some of the plans for the Green Week ride and begin working on #1 on the list above.  # 4 and 5 have been on the list for a while now and it’s time I kick those things asap.  Developing more surveys will only be necessary if I feel there is information that is missing from the current data and is needed for developing an aspect of the project farther.  An example of this could be trying to answer why those who own bikes but aren’t currently commuters (as we know from the data– that is 20% of the non-commuting population) are commuting by bike.  Do they not feel safe?  No parking?  Worried about bike security? etc.

Another good survey could be to get more data on current bike routes.  Another one might be more pedestrian related could be about pedestrian safety in regards to cyclists riding through campus – is this really a problem?  This information may prove to be unnecessary but you never know…

campus area bike ride

28 01 2010

For Pratt’s “Green Week”, I’d like to organize a bike ride with the help of NYPIRG, and Student Affairs.  It’ll be great to get new and skilled riders out there together, checking out some local spots around Pratt.  Word on the street is, Pratt’s president has always wanted to have a Pratt bike ride.  Seems like this is the perfect opportunity.  I will certainly need the assistance of SGA and the Student Affairs office to get this to happen smoothly.

Right now, it looks like the ride will be held April 1st, after my advisor, CJ, completes his bike workshop and TA gives helmets away to students. A great way to welcome the Spring weather…

We’ll need a couple of people to support the riders, and we should be sure there is at least one bike pump and a few spare tubes and I’m sure Pratt will need students to fill out some waiver.

So here’s what I need help with: Where should we ride? The ride can’t be too long, should be on a safe route, and must start and finish at Pratt Brooklyn. This is so students that are new to riding in New York can feel confident completing the ride and getting themselves home. I don’t want to leave anyone stranded. Anyone have any suggestions? I was going to try to add a wordpress “poll” on this topic but I can’t figure it out  so for now, let me know your thoughts but submitting a comment. I need suggestions asap…

and the survey says…

20 10 2009

Excerpt from preliminary survey results

Excerpt from preliminary survey results

…A lot! There has been a total of 674 people respond (as of midnight last night) to the survey. I’m not totally sure yet but I

Excerpt from preliminary survey results

believe that is about a 14% to 15% response rate. To the left is some of the raw data to date. I’m now working on ways to get the survey results in in a presentable format. I am also at the point where I HAVE to get a website together to begin pulling this all of this together. The survey ends on Friday though I believe I have received most of my responses. It is my hope that next week I can begin telling students about the results…somehow. I have sent out a MEMO to EC, ER, DJ, DrA, and WS and have not had any response as of yet. The MEMO included an invitation to the Nov. 5th Design Jam which is in still in the basic planning stage. It has been a real challenge bringing all stakeholders to one table. I have yet to succeed though people are thinking/talking about it. It seems that the best way to communicate is via email however I am finding this form of communication to be limiting.

I am struggling with coordinating everything correctly, making sure all stakeholders are included while also trying to continue moving the project forward. CJ has given me the names of a few people/students to reach out to and have yet to have the time. I hope to do that today. It is clear that there is a strong interest from students on the issues presented in the survey however, what is critical now is getting the information in a form to begin making formal recommendations to the administration. I hope to be able to do this after the Design Jam though without their participation in the Jam, I’m not sure how comprehensive my recommendations will be. Their feedback is crucial. I’m considering moving forward with the Jam preparations invitations this week regardless and seeing what sort of feedback receive from all parties.

I need to get CW back in the game from SGA as he is an important ally. I’m preparing for a meeting with CJ to go over the survey results and hopefully he can provide me with advice on moving forward and keeping the momentum going. After that–I will reach back out to CW to give him an update and see how we can begin working together on the Jam. Maybe another meeting with DrA is necessary? I’m not sure… I will also be sending out a follow-up to my MEMO today (exactly one week after the first email was sent). Should I not receive a response, I may need to change gears a bit…

to-do #1: blog about meeting

17 09 2009

On Tuesday I met with CJ, EH, DJ, RS (glad he came!), and two new folks, C and P (last initials unknown) from SGA. Great meeting!! Reviewed my presentation that was done for ER and friends and discussed the progress made. I have now successfully gotten all parties involved. Not all are at the table together, but in attempting to create a collaborative process, I think I’ve been successful thus far. At the meeting we discussed the projects next steps and DJ was quick to suggest a great way of getting students involved in the planning process in a way I hadn’t thought about…ask them straight up. I’m not sure if the administration would be entirely open to this however, I think they could be persuaded. Students have a lot of great insight, that’s why I want their input. I thought the best way would be to survey them but, that doesn’t necessarily give us the information we need to make decisions. Instead, CJ and DJ said–and RS for that matter–said, treat these things separately. The “design jam”–to use DJ’s term, would be a way to actively generate practical ideas: – present the problem. – present the complexities. – say–these are some things that are on the table. what would you do? This engages students in a way of thinking and working with the administration that is far more productive. The survey, on the other hand, offers insight into usage. Less of an opinion survey and more of a “how do you use bikes?” questionnaire. This will offer useful information for the projects “platform”–the online component. As CJ pointed out, there are two stages almost: the “project” (read: bike racks and policies) and the “platform” (read: the collaborative, creative, information/research based component). The trick is to have them both inform the other. I need to provide EC, ER and WS with the following: – recommendations, – requests for further study – and a time line. This must be detailed, realistic, and somehow demonstrate to them the practical reasoning for the ways I’m going to achieve the “practical” I came away from that meeting feeling high on what I had accomplished. It’s all coming together now, and I can see the challenges and I can see the beauty. This is real. CJ is excited. I could tell by his follow up email. This is certainly an exciting can of worms… Honestly, I’m nervous…

why is it easier to make a “to-do” list than to actually DO?

17 09 2009

1) Blog about meeting

2) Send follow-up thank you email

3) Email C,P and A at SGA (gonna be a great asset)

4) Revise project calendar

5) Set up meeting with DJ to discuss “Design Jam”/ Planning Charrette

6) Follow- up with CJ

7) Follow up with LT (another great asset)

8 ) Check out biciplanning…I’m very curious

9) Figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do next–this is truly taking form!