Wake Forest University

alternative transportation Archives - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Posts Tagged ‘alternative transportation’

WFU Area Bike, Ped, Transit Study Complete

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


As was reported last week in the Winston-Salem Journal, Alta Planning + Design delivered a final set of recommendations for improving safety and access for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders in the two-mile radius surrounding the Reynolda campus. The 88-page report is available to the public.

The report recommends five priority areas for improvement and a set of policies that the university should adopt to support more active modes of transportation.

Results of a campus-wide transportation preferences survey factored into the study results, as did feedback from multiple Winston-Salem community stakeholder meetings, interviews with Wake Forest faculty, staff, and students, and contributions to an interactive study area map and public input session.

The final report was presented to the local urban area transportation advisory committee, to the public at an open meeting for feedback, and to the Wake Forest administration. Proposed improvements involve NC DOT-owned and maintained roadways, locally-owned roadways, and university property. Any improvements will require ongoing cooperation and public-private partnership funding.

At the public meeting, city council members Denise D. Adams and Jeff MacIntosh both expressed support for implementing the recommendations, which would improve safety and enhance opportunities for active modes of transportation in both of their respective wards. The council members urged residents to send letters and emails of support for the projects.

The study was administered by the City-County Planning Board with input and support from the WFU Office of Sustainability. The partnership process has served as a model that could be replicated in other high-traffic areas around Winston-Salem, including other universities, colleges, and hospitals.

By Dedee DeLongpre Johnston, Director of Sustainability

Update: WFU Area Transportation Study Meeting

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A public meeting will be held to present the recommendations of the Wake Forest University Area Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit Study.  The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm with a presentation. To learn more about the study visit http://www.walkbikeridewfu.com/

WFU-Area Transportation Study: Public Open House

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
The Project Team will hold a public open house from 4:00 – 5:30pm. The team will share information about the study and talk one-on-one to hear ideas. At 5:30pm they’ll give a short presentation explaining the process and goals for the study, and at 6:00pm, break up into small groups to brainstorm solutions.
For more information about the bicycle, pedestrian and transit study visit walkbikeridewfu.com.

The Z’s of Alternative Transportation

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

ZipCar“Alternative” may have connotations of “underground” or “independent,” but the Office of Sustainability hopes alternative transportation brings to mind a sense of open sharing and community at Wake Forest University. With options including the car sharing program Zipcar and the campus carpool network Zimride, Wake Forest faculty, staff, and students have access to transportation without bringing a car to campus.


WFU now offers four Zipcars on campus, including an additional car by the new residence halls on the North side of campus. To access the vehicles, and the international Zipcar network, anyone with a wfu.edu email address can join for a reduced first-year fee of $25 with the promo code B2S2013. New members also receive $45 of free driving credit to try out the program in the first month. Depending on the vehicle, rates start at $7.50/hr or $69/day and include gas and insurance. Unlike traditional rentals, Zipcar for Universities only requires drivers to be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license (international drivers are welcome). In addition to personal accounts, faculty and staff can create departmental Zipcar accounts and reserve Zipcars for WFU-related travel.

Members can reserve Zipcars for an hour or a whole weekend, depending upon need. The free iOS Zipcar app makes on-the-fly reservations even easier. As Zipcar likes to emphasize, it’s like owning a car without the hassle.


For anyone with a vehicle on campus who is looking to share a ride, Zimride is available to facilitate carpooling.  With a wfu.edu email address or a Facebook login, prospective carpool partners can register trips through the secure network. The free iOS Zimride app also puts the power to post or request a ride in the hands of the user. A Zimride member can offer a ride for free or ask passengers to help cover the costs of the trip.  Either way, extra cars are off the road during rush hour, busy weekends, and holiday travel times. For a daily commute, a shared ride to a meeting, or a trip out of town, Zimride helps make the match.

 By Hannah Slodounik, Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability

University Corporate Center Plugs In

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

photo (30)The University Corporate Center now has three parking spaces dedicated to electric vehicles.  Parking and Transportation installed outlets at these spaces, allowing Wake Forest staff to charge up during the work day.  Alex Crist, the director of Parking and Transportation, explains “the decision to dedicate three spaces was instrumental in a couple employees making the decision to purchase an electric vehicle, as they wanted to ensure the vehicle could be charged during the day.”

Electric vehicles convert about 59–62% of electrical energy to power at the wheels, while conventional automobiles only convert about 17–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.  In addition to being more energy efficient, electric vehicles are quieter and produce no exhaust emissions (although there are emissions associated with the production of electric power).

By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the Office of Sustainability

Where are they now: Nathan Bedsole

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Nathan_BedsoleNathan Bedsole (BA ’11) is an unusual addition to our series of alumni spotlights – for several reasons.  First, as an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, he had no official affiliation to the Office of Sustainability.  Instead, he devoted his undergraduate career to Wake Radio and, starting in the fall of his senior year, a job at

Second, Nathan is our first featured alumnus to answer the question where are you now with here; emphatically, intentionally here. He explains:  “I like the movement that is going on downtown.  Things seem to be moving in a very creative and energetic way, [as a senior I decided] I would like to remain a part of that after four years…once I had time to be fully involved in it, I didn’t want to go ahead and skip town.  I wanted to commit myself to being here.”

Nathan found his niche as a cycling advocate in Winston-Salem.  His affinity for cycling began during his sophomore year at Wake Forest, when he found himself without a car and with a desire to explore. He says “[cycling] was how I saw most of the city for the first time; how I figured out how to get around.  I realized it was a bikeable city and cycling was how I wanted to get around.”  He also recalls using cycling to clear his head, easing the stress of academic pressures.

This cycling affinity led Nathan to his current position as a founder and principle figure in the Winston-Salem Bicycle Co-Operative (WSBC), a volunteer organization dedicated to providing space and resources for bicycle maintenance, cycling education, and outreach events.  Though Winston-Salem’s efforts are more recent, the bicycle co-op model is well-established in communities around the country and elsewhere in North Carolina.  As Nathan explains, “the central idea [behind a bicycle co-op] is taking unused or unwanted bicycle parts, tools, and completed bicycles, and providing the space and opportunity to get them back into the community.”

According to Nathan, the concept of a Winston-Salem cooperative re-emerged in 2011 (there was a previous effort around 2005).  The concept evolved out of a community loosely centered around the Werehouse, where both Nathan and Davis Bourland, another central figure in WSBC and a fellow Wake alum (MA ’12), worked as baristas.  Nathan credits local artist, Andrew Fansler with drumming up early enthusiasm for the project.  Nathan and Andrew met at the Werehouse when Nathan learned that Andrew, then a stranger, needed a pair of handlebars.  Just having replaced the handlebars on his own bicycle, Nathan still had his old pair in the backseat of his car.  He ran outside and fetched the handlebars, giving them to Andrew. Remembering this incident, Nathan jokingly terms their meeting “an ominous start to a relationship,” adding “somehow we knew.”

Andrew and Nathan’s initial introduction not only foreshadowed their future collaboration on WSBC, but also typified the manner of exchange the cooperative would come to embody.  After exploring the initial idea through community meetings and surveys conducted  by a team of volunteers (including Elizabeth Perkins (BA ‘09), a donation of thirty bicycles from Wake Forest University’s Reynolda Campus kick-started the project.  Needing an immediate space to store the newly acquired inventory, Nathan offered his garage, which immediately became WSBC’s first official location.

From there, the bicycle cooperative grew quickly.  Nathan explains, “everything was a donation; we had everything donated from stands to tools, to bike shoes, to helmets, to helmet padding.  It’s wild the things that people had sitting around that were very easily appropriated for good use.”  He goes on: “People finally had a way to get rid of things that didn’t involve just abandoning things that meant a lot to them…we were keeping things within the community.”

While located in Nathan’s garage, the co-op held weekly meetings called Workshop Wednesdays — informal gatherings where affiliates shared knowledge, maintained their own bicycles and rehabilitated donated stock.  Recently, WSBC donated four rehabilitated bicycles to refugees from Myanmar who needed a means of  transportation to and from work.  The Winston-Salem chapter of World Relief, a faith-based non-profit that provides services to refugees and victims of human trafficking, facilitated the donation of the four bicycles, a few of which went to employees of ARAMARK at Wake Forest University   Dr. Catherine Ross,  the director of the Wake Forest Teaching and Learning Center, connected WSBC to World Relief.  Dr. Ross, who has contact with World Relief through English classes she teaches to refugees, heard about WSBC from her son, a former professional BMX cyclist.

WSBC is currently in transition, both geographically (WSBC will soon is move to a new space on Canal Street), and fundamentally.  Nathan explains, “At this point there are so many avenues this could take. I don’t know what it is going to look like, but, like with everything, you have those people who are there all the time…volunteers who will move and shape what is going on.”

During this transitional period, the co-operative has become temporarily events-based, most recently collaborating with the Winston-Salem Sustainable Resource Center, Whole Foods, Krankies, and the City of Winston-Salem to host a community bike-ride.  Nathan describes the event as “an amazing convergence of really good things.” Seventy cyclists  followed a route from Krankies Werehouse to the Piedmont Triad Research Park,  around Winston Lake, and back to the Werehouse.  After taking advantage of the first pleasant weather in weeks, cyclists enjoyed vegetarian chili and cornbread donated by Whole Foods.

This fall Nathan will return to Wake Forest to pursue a master’s degree in communications.  He is “ready to come back to Wake,” and, while he is nervous about writing papers again, he is looking forward to student teaching and remaining in the city he has made his home.  Whether he is heading to campus for class, downtown to Werehouse, or over to the Co-Op’s new space to work on renovations, he most certainly be getting there by bike.  As he says “In this city, biking is a viable transportation option. It’s not just leisure it’s not just exercise; it’s not just sport. It’s a way you can actually get around.”

By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the Office of Sustainability


WFU Campus/Community Bike Ride

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Earlier this month, nearly sixty people turned out for the WFU Campus / Community Bike Ride.  The event was designed to increase bicycle awareness on and off-campus, and to draw attention to the need for improved bicycle and pedestrian corridors between WFU and downtown Winston-Salem.

The event was the result of a collaborative effort among several campus and community organizations.  The WFU Institute for Public Engagement was the primary financial supporter, and the WFU Office of Academic Advising and Sociology Department spearheaded organizational efforts at Wake Forest.  Three community groups, Winston-Salem Community Bike Ride, WS Greenways, the Winston-Salem Bicycle Cooperative, donated their time and organizational resources to make the event a success.

And what a success it was!  Undergrads, graduate students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members were all represented.

The event kicked off with words of welcome from Matthew Burczyk, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for Winston-Salem, and one of the organizers of the Winston-Salem Community Bike Ride.  After a quick refresher on bicycle safety, the group headed down the trail to Reynolda Village, past the Reynolda House, through Graylyn, and then through beautiful Buena Vista.  A quick free-ride down Runnymede, and then a slow climb up Glade and Fourth Streets led us to Caffe Prada, where everyone enjoyed free gelato from Caffe Prada (thank you, Institute for Public Engagement!).

The organizers hope that the WFU Campus / Community Bike Ride will be an annual event, but for those who cannot wait for more community biking, the best bet is to join up with the weekly Winston-Salem Community Bike Ride.  The group meets every Sunday at 3:00 P.M. at Caffe Prada, and each week explores a different bike routes throughout Winston-Salem. The rides, typically 8 – 10 miles, are open to everyone regardless of age or skill level.

Contributed by Catherine E. Harnois, Associate Professor of Sociology

Photo courtesy of Bill Petrie Jr.

Catch a Ride for Fall Break

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Zimride is a ride-sharing program that has harnessed the networking capacities of social media infrastructure to facilitate carpooling. While ride-sharing is a familiar concept, the Zimride program is quite different than the more classic variety of ride-sharing programs that inevitably involves a bulletin board and spidery strings of yarn.

Zimride began to reinvigorate ideas about ride-sharing in 2007 when they first launched the program at Cornell University and University of California Santa Barbara, the alma maters of the two co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer (not the source of the Zim in Zimride). The two figured that a ride-sharing network specific to a single college campus could ensure that users were heading to the same places and would relieve the anxiety of traveling with complete strangers. The program proved a huge success in Ithaca and Santa Barbara and has since spread to 125 college campuses and 350,000 users. It is now the largest ride-sharing community in the country, helping to fill the 70-80% of seats on American highways that typically go empty.

In August, Wake Forest became one of the 125 campuses to adopt Zimride. Andrew Smith of the Office of International Affairs is among many to have joined the network here. Upon creating a Zimride profile, Andrew connected with Kyle Denlinger, a fellow staff member living three houses down from his own. Now the pair carpools several times a week, taking turns behind the wheel. Andrew also added that through Zimride he had the unexpected benefit of finding a cat sitter.

Zimride not only facilitates commutes but also long-distance trips. If you’re heading home this fall or for Thanksgiving break check Zimride before you depart. The only account required is a Wake Forest email and if you have a Facebook account, you can find users within that network as well. Finding a travel companion, saving money on gas and reducing your carbon footprint has never been so easy.

By Joey DeRosa, Communications and Outreach Intern

Ready to sign up? Click here.

For more information click here.

21st century ride sharing comes to WFU

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Photo courtesy of zimride.com

Wake Forest University’s alternative transportation options have expanded over the summer with the addition of Zimride, an online ride-sharing network.  Zimride works by connecting drivers who have extra seats with riders going to the same destination or somewhere else along the way.  Drivers and riders connect via Zimride’s website or Facebook page, where drivers can list their destination and the number of seats available and riders can book a seat in a car headed in the right direction.  Cost-sharing arrangements are made by ride-sharers up front before the departure date.  Zimride is an excellent way to offset costs for all kinds of trips, but is especially useful for students traveling to and from campus for breaks, like Thanksgiving break, fall break, and winter break.

Wake Forest students can also use Zimride to connect with students at nearby universities who have similar travel paths.  Zimride is an economically prudent choice for drivers, who can save 75% on travel costs by sharing a ride with three passengers, and for riders, who can save the cost of a plane, train, or bus ticket.  Many Zimride users report extremely positive experiences, like meeting people who become close friends or even significant others (remember When Harry Met Sally?) by using Zimride.

Both Zimride and Zipcar, the car-sharing option on campus, are part of the collaborative consumption movement. Collaborative consumption uses online network technologies to strengthen our communities and to use goods and services more efficiently through shared access and direct exchange.  By using Zimride, students can reduce the total impact of our campus community on the environment, help one another by sharing travel costs, and get to know each other better on the road back and forth to Wake Forest.

To join our ride-sharing network, visit  http://www.zimride.com/wfu.  To join our car-sharing network, visit http://www.zipcar.com/wfu.