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ASU department finds sustainable solution for commute


August 01, 2006

When their offices were in University Services Building, staff members at the Environmental Health and Safety Department merely had to hop a shuttle to get to the core of the Tempe campus.

But several weeks ago, the 26-member department moved to an office building at 1100 E. University Drive – too far to easily walk to campus, and with just two golf carts available for transportation to campus and back.

The solution?

Bikes and trikes.

“It was Jim Gibb's idea,” says Leon Igras, director of the department.

Gibbs, manager of Fire Safety and Prevention, bought seven comfortable, easy-to-ride Trek bicycles of varying sizes to accommodate the taller and shorter staff members, plus two Miami Sun adult trikes – along with safety helmets for everyone and bike locks – at a cost of $3,200. The department already had one old bicycle, and it retrieved five bicycles from salvage, which will be refurbished.

The bikes and trikes will be outfitted with saddlebags and lockable containers so staff can take work materials or laptops with them safely.

“We will all go through bike training with the ASU Police Department, and have the bikes and trikes licensed with the Tempe Police Department,” Gibbs says.

“We want to be a role model for ASU, both in safety and sustainability,” Igras adds.

Without the bikes and trikes, staff would be forced to either make the long – and sometimes dangerous – trip to campus in golf carts or their personal cars, clogging up the campus with vehicles. EHS has two trucks and a car, but those generally are reserved for trips to the other ASU campuses.

“President Crow doesn't want unsafe and congested malls, such as vehicular traffic on the campus,” Gibbs says. “The malls are too cumbersome to accommodate vehicular traffic and emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks.”

Environmental Health and Safety, which is part of the Office of University Administration, has a wide variety of responsibilities, including biosafety, hazardous waste management, pollution prevention, storage tank compliance, fire prevention and safety, chemical safety, hearing conservation, laboratory safety services, accident investigation, hazard assessment, radiation safety and much more.

Sustainability is a new effort for EHS – using less energy and fewer materials.

The bikes and trikes fit right in with this new departmental emphasis. They use a lot less energy than cars and trucks, and the riders burn more energy.

“It's good exercise for all of us,” Gibbs says.

merely had to hop a shuttle to get to the core of the Tempe campus.

But several weeks ago, the 26-member department moved to an office building at 1100 E. University Drive – too far to easily walk to campus, and with just two golf carts available for transportation to campus and back.

The solution?

Bikes and trikes.

“It was Jim Gibb's idea,” says Leon Igras, director of the department.

Gibbs, manager of Fire Safety and Prevention, bought seven comfortable, easy-to-ride Trek bicycles of varying sizes to accommodate the taller and shorter staff members, plus two Miami Sun adult trikes – along with safety helmets for everyone and bike locks – at a cost of $3,200. The department already had one old bicycle, and it retrieved five bicycles from salvage, which will be refurbished.

The bikes and trikes will be outfitted with saddlebags and lockable containers so staff can take work materials or laptops with them safely.

“We will all go through bike training with the ASU Police Department, and have the bikes and trikes licensed with the Tempe Police Department,” Gibbs says.

“We want to be a role model for ASU, both in safety and sustainability,” Igras adds.

Without the bikes and trikes, staff would be forced to either make the long – and sometimes dangerous – trip to campus in golf carts or their personal cars, clogging up the campus with vehicles. EHS has two trucks and a car, but those generally are reserved for trips to the other ASU campuses.

“President Crow doesn't want unsafe and congested malls, such as vehicular traffic on the campus,” Gibbs says. “The malls are too cumbersome to accommodate vehicular traffic and emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks.”

Environmental Health and Safety, which is part of the Office of University Administration, has a wide variety of responsibilities, including biosafety, hazardous waste management, pollution prevention, storage tank compliance, fire prevention and safety, chemical safety, hearing conservation, laboratory safety services, accident investigation, hazard assessment, radiation safety and much more.

Sustainability is a new effort for EHS – using less energy and fewer materials.

The bikes and trikes fit right in with this new departmental emphasis. They use a lot less energy than cars and trucks, and the riders burn more energy.

“It's good exercise for all of us,” Gibbs says.