Sustainability students collect survey about bicycle infrastructure in Berea

The city of Berea teams up with BW sustainability students to send out a survey geared towards developing better infrastructure for biking and walking for students.


Chase J. Gilroy

The survey that was sent out was to get feedback from residents about what infrastructure should improve.

On March 15, a survey was sent out by a group of Baldwin Wallace University sustainability students to ask the student body how the city of Berea could improve transportation infrastructure for bicyclists.   

This survey was part of a combined effort between participating sustainability students and the city of Berea to prepare for a study to be conducted by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency to see what aspects of transportation infrastructure can be revamped in Downtown Berea.  

Ward 3 Berea City Councilwoman Erika Coble, a BW sustainability alumna who currently represents most of BW, said that this study could lead to many improvements for transportation across campus and beyond.  

“It started when I invited some speakers to talk on the local waterways,” Coble said. “Some of the sustainability students came to this talk, and we started discussing ways to work together on future sustainability projects. I knew about the upcoming NOACA study, so that’s how this survey took place.”   

Coble said that feedback from the students was an important aspect of the research gathering.  

“We wanted to be sure that the people of NOACA had the opinions of the people who actually live here because [the residents] have the experiences that people who are just going to come and look around the city for a couple of weeks aren’t going to have,” Coble said.  

The students who took part in the talks to create this survey were sustainability students Olivia Powel and Emma Stamper, while the student who created the survey and sent it out via email to the students of BW was sustainability council member and sustainability major Katie Winkler.   

Winkler said that the walkability of the BW campus makes her favor bicycle transportation.  

“I’ve always thought BW was one of the most walkable college campuses, as is Berea as a whole,” Winkler said. “You can do a lot just by walking around, you can go get groceries, visit friends, travel around campus. And I think that anything that we can do to promote that walkability and that bike-ability, whether it be improving infrastructure or equipping students to do that on their own, is something that needs to be done.”  

In total, 421 students filled out the survey, giving their opinions on what could be done to improve the campus and city for bicyclists. Students provided an array of responses ranging from protection to the rain to bicycle storage.   

Winkler said some of the suggestions from the survey included “adding cover to the bike racks so students don’t have to put plastic bags on their seats to protect from rain, installing cameras over some bike racks so students don’t have to worry as much about getting their bikes stolen, building some sort of long term storage for bikes and even building some bike lanes for students to use.”