Letter of Intent
Project Size: 
Large, >$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
$24,000
Letter of Intent: 

For my senior project in Community Environment and Planning I have been researching how to increase cycling on and to the University of Washington campus. Through my preliminary research I looked into programs and services that the University and the City of Seattle currently offer the UW student. I discovered a gap in services provided to students who would consider commuting to campus by bike but lack access to one. There are (or were) two programs that offer student who do not own a bicycle access to one; Pronto Bicycle Share, and UWIld’s equipment rental.

Uwild offers students single day and weekend rentals at extremely low cost to students. Unfortunately UWild’s rental period makes the possibility of using their bicycles for commuting purposes impossible. Pronto is(was) aimed at providing hub to hub commuting services for short periods of time. This service targets users who live in close proximity to bicycle hubs and multimodal users who typically use bike share services to compliment another transportation mode. Unfortunately, due to the size and density of Pronto’s network of bicycle hubs, a majority of UW students are unable to use their services beyond cycling on campus.

Through my research I found that a bicycle library would be an appropriate solution to both provide users a bicycle for commuting purposes and to encourage users to invest in a bicycle at the end of the rental period. A bicycle library is an inexpensive or in some cases free, long term rental program. At other Universities, like the University of California, Santa Cruz Bike Lending Library, and University of Kentucky’s Wildcat Wheels, the bicycle rental period is typically over the duration of either a quarter or a semester. The purpose of this style of program is that it gives users an experience of bicycle ownership. The benefit of this experience is that users are given an ample time to explore how a bicycle can be used on a daily basis and how the bike can fit into their everyday life.

After discovering a program that could effectively target the user group I was concerned with, and impact future cycling use both at the University and through the rest of a user’s life, I redefined my project. My Senior Project is now to research, design, and implement and plan to bring a bicycle library to the University of Washington. At this point in my project, I am near the end of my research phase, in the midst of refining program features, and I have established a partnership with UWild in order to add the Bicycle Library to their current services. The final process I need to undergo is to achieve funding for the program through a CSF grant.

My point of contact with UWIld is the assistant director of the program, Matt Jensen. Through our conversations he has offered to house a fleet of bicycles (current capacity is 20 bicycles) and provide the administrative services of; maintaining the fleet, and facilitating the rental transactions. In addition to UWIld’s commitment to the program, I’m also attempting to work with EcoReps in order to, foster a consistent student presence in the program. Through an interview with Ted Sweeney, the active transportation specialist on campus I was advised that the biggest roadblock to a successful bicycle library program is student engagement. I hope that In partnering with EcoReps I can harbor a student body committed to the promotion of this sustainable project and can work to create a greater awareness of the program on campus. The final player I hope to incorporate into the program is the Office of Sustainability. I believe the office can provide additional administrative and financial support so that Uwild can focus primarily on logistical duties.

At this point in the project I am still working towards a refined cost analysis. In addition to the bicycle I still need to decide on the benefits of including certain accessories like bike racks, fenders, and locks. This week I am meeting with Ted and Matt to make final decisions concerning which accessories to include and what bike specifications are necessary. Next I plan to outreach to local bike manufactures/stores with the bicycle specifications we decide on and then partner with the bidder that gives us the best deal for our dollar. I’ve been advised by both Matt, and Ted, that for this program we should use bicycle from a single vendor. This ensures that the fleet will be recognizable, parts will be uniform (this allows us to buy in bulk, and ensures parts will be accessible when we need them), and it establishes a relationship with a seller which in turn reduces costs in the long run. In addition to purchasing the bikes and materials, I hope to also set up a fund for Uwild to use to purchase replacement parts and accessories for regular maintenance of the fleet and in the event of stolen bicycles.

I believe this project aligns with every element of the CSF’s goals. First, the environmental impact of cycling is a large component I addressed In my research. Cycling reduces the amount of cars on the road, doesn’t require environmentally intensive infrastructure, and contributes to higher density development, all of which reduces noise, air, and water pollution. Second, this project emphasizes a desire to foster student involvement through partnership with EcoReps and potentially other student run organizations like SAGE and the UW Bike Shop. Third, ultimately behavioral change is at the center of this program and an area I focused on heavily in my research. Giving users the experience of bicycle ownership is the best route to encouraging new users to cycle. EcoReps will also play a prominent role in advertising and educating students about the new service. Finally, through my research and outreach to organizations and departments I have created a sustainable partnership with Uwild and demonstrated my ability to obtain the technical knowledge to make educated decisions concerning this program.

Contact Information
Primary Contact First & Last Name: 
Cole Laush
E-mail: 
colelaush22@hotmail.com
Full Proposal

This will display after the CSF committee has reviewed and approved your LOI, and after you have received the link to edit your application.

Executive Summary: 

Problem
University of Washington students have access to several cycling services on campus; UWild provides low cost bicycles for day and weekend use as well as bicycle programs and classes; Pronto bike-share is intended to offer users bikes for 30-45min trips between two bicycle hubs; and the Bike Shop provides a low cost bicycle repair, parts and free maintenance classes. These programs provide valuable services but fail to provide feasible cycling options for students who do not have access to a bike but could easily commute to campus by bike. This gap in service is detrimental to the University’s commitment to encouraging sustainability on campus and to students who would consider biking to campus if the option was made more accessible to them.
Solution
In order to provide students access to a bicycle they could use for commuting purposes I have created a plan to implement a new program called Cycle Pack. Cycle Pack is a bicycle library program that encourages bicycle ridership by providing long term bicycle rentals to UW students. Unlike bike share, which provide short term bicycle rentals between two hubs, and regular bike rentals, which facilitate daily or weekend use, a long term rental gives users an experience of bicycle ownership and the ability to commute by bicycle. The experience of ownership teaches users about the various ways a bicycle can fit into one’s everyday life as well as the responsibility that stems from maintaining and preventing bicycle theft. It is our view that providing an experience of bicycle ownership is the best way to demonstrate the value of a bicycle to a user and foster a desire to purchase a bicycle after completing the program. It is our goal to do more than just increase bicycle ridership on and to campus. We hope that providing this service will encourage sustainable cycling habits that persist into the rest of a user’s life.
Initially this program will start with a fleet of 20 bicycles. These bikes will be rented out to UW students for the duration of a quarter for a $50 sustainability fee. UWild will house the bicycle fleet, handle the maintenance and facilitate the rental transaction; EcoReps will be responsible for generation of advertisement materials; and UW Sustainability will assist in the promotion of the program, as well as facilitating a quarterly meeting between all the associated organizations partnered with the program. The quarterly meetings will be used to discuss marketing strategies, reflect on survey/application results, set goals, and plan for expansion of the program. The members of this meeting will be; UWild's assistant director Matt Jensen; UW Sustainability’s sustainability specialist, Sean Schmidt; The CSF Coordinator; The EcoReps Coordinator, the EcoRep’s Cycle Pack Outreach and Marketing Coordinator; and finally, UW Transportation Services’ active transportation specialist, Ted Sweeney.
Funding Requirements
For the first three years the program is running, data will be collected from applications, end of use surveys, marketing expenses, and component repair frequency. After three years there should be ample data on program costs and a plan will be drafted to expand the bicycle fleet. During the 5th year of service, the expansion plan will be implemented. After 5 years the initial grant money will be used up, and the program will rely on the revenue generated from the sustainability fee to continue its expansion efforts and keep up regular maintenance on their current bicycle fleet.
Organization
The implementation of this program, and the administrative functions will primarily be carried out by Matt Jensen of UWild. UWilds motto is “Live curiously. Experience nature. Be Wild.” It is UWild’s mission to engage students in outdoor activities through; educational classes, access to rental equipment, facilitated trips, and the fostering of adventurous clubs. Cycle Pack would expand the options of UWild’s current rental options. The organizations currently possesses a bicycle fleet which Matt oversees and maintains. Cycle Pack would expand the existing fleet managed by Matt and provide a new quarter long rental option. This option would supplement the existing daily and weekend rentals currently offered through the program.
Another promising feature of working with Matt is that he has a pre established relationship with the UW Bike Shop. He currently enlists bike mechanics from the Bike Shop to help maintain the current UWild bicycle fleet. While the initial plan for this program could not find a way to incorporate the Bike Shop, Matt’s relationship with the shop may lead to deeper collaboration between the two organizations in the future.

Total amount requested from the CSF: 
$25 055
This funding request is a: 
Grant
Budget: 
Maintenance line items were calculated by finding component decay rates then weighting the cost of repair after x quarters.
ItemDescriptionBudgetCostApproximate Repair Frequency (Miles or Years)Estimated Lifespan (Quarters)QtyTotal or 5 Year CostTotal W/Tax
Crankset (Chainrings + Crankarms + Chain guard)26/36/48tMaintenence$51.7530000 miles605.00$258.75$283.33
PedalsWellgo PlatformMaintenence$14.00?605.00$70.00$76.65
ChainKMC X9Maintenence$18.003000 miles933.33$600.00$657.00
Freewheel, CassetteShimano Acera 11-34t 9spdMaintenence$26.738000 miles2412.50$334.13$365.87
F/DShimano AltusMaintenence$21.518000 miles2412.50$268.88$294.42
R/DShimano AceraMaintenence$37.808000 miles2412.50$472.50$517.39
Shifters (Set)Shimano AceraMaintenence$42.93?3010.00$429.30$470.08
Front Brake Rotor + Caliper + LeverTektro HDM285 160mmMaintenence$29.0020000 miles456.67$193.33$211.70
Rear Brake Rotor + Caliper + LeverTektro HDM285 160mmMaintenence$29.0020000 miles456.67$193.33$211.70
HeadsetFSA No.10PMaintenence$18.0010000 miles3010.00$180.00$197.10
Front + Rear (Spokes, Hub, Rim)Joytech 100x9mmMaintenence$197.0030000 miles605.00$985.00$1,078.58
Front TireSchwalbe Delta Cruiser 700x35cMaintenence$18.493000 miles933.33$616.33$674.89
Rear TireSchwalbe Delta Cruiser 700x35cMaintenence$18.493000 miles933.33$616.33$674.89
Disc Brake Pads (Set)Tektro Disc Break PadsMaintenence$15.002000 miles650.00$750.00$821.25
FendersPlanet Bike HardcoreMaintenence$38.00?3010.00$380.00$416.10
LockKryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 STD U-Lock with Bracket: 4x9inMaintenence$40.9515 years456.67$273.00$298.94
LightsBlaze SetMaintenence$70.008 years2412.50$875.00$958.13
Bike Computer/ OdometerPlanet Bike Protege Computer BlackMaintenence$23.75?3010.00$237.50$260.06
Bike Computer/ Odometer BatteryPack of 20 CR2032 ($8.35)Maintenence$0.421.5 years475.00$31.31$34.29
BikeDew PlusStartup$463.00nana20.00$9,260.00$10,139.70
FendersPlanet Bike HardcoreStartup$38.00nana20.00$760.00$832.20
LockKryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 STD U-Lock with Bracket: 4x9inStartup$40.95nana20.00$819.00$896.81
LightsBlaze SetStartup$70.00nana20.00$1,400.00$1,533.00
HelmetsTedStartup$25.00nana20.00$500.00$547.50
Key BoxBarska 64 Position Key Lock Box with Key Lock, BlackStartup$66.00nana1.00$66.00$72.27
Bike RegistrationBike 529 (UW Police Use This)Startup$10.00nana20.00$200.00$219.00
StickersCycle Pack Logo + Sponsor LogosStartup$52.00nana1.00$52.00$56.94
Bike Computer/ OdometerPlanet Bike Protege Computer BlackStartup$23.75nana20.00$475.00$520.13
LubeBoeshield T-9 Lube, 1 Gallon ORM-DStartup$114.99nana1.00$114.99$125.91
DegreaserFinish Line Citrus Biosolvent, 128oz (1 Gallon) ORM-DStartup$99.99nana1.00$99.99$109.49
Marketing (No Tax)Promotional materials and printing $100/quarter (No Tax)Marketing$100.00nana15.00$1,500.00$1,500.00
Non-CSF Sources: 
Project Completion Total: 
$25 055
Sustainability Impact: 
Transportation
Sustainability Challenge: 

Problem
Bicycle ridership in the United states is abysmal by european standards. In 2009 the percent of bicycle commute trips in America was 0.5%. This pales in comparison to the Netherlands where  26% of commute trips are made by bicycle. There are many reasons for this large difference in cycling rates but one of the largest has to do with the decentralization of American cities in the 20th Century as a result of the mass production of the automobile. American cities of the early 20th century were overcrowded and heavily polluted as a result of the industrial revolution. Cars made it possible for citizens to live farther away from the urban core and escape the smog of polluting industry. Europeans underwent a similar growth pattern, but due to the limited space they had to expand into, and the cost of oil after WWII, the dream found in America wasn't as feasible in Europe. This meant that the growth found in European cities corresponded to the need for public and active transportation networks. In America, our cities are finally beginning to densify, but they are still being designed to handle massive amounts of single occupancy vehicles. Because the focus has remained on cars; the American transportation network is not designed for active transportation modes, housing choices do not take into consideration using active transportation modes to get to work or the store, and there is an active resistance to funding transportation projects that don’t improve the ability of citizens to commute by car.
 
In America, 26% of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of or transportation. Transportation is “the second leading source of GHG emissions in the United States.” CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are not the only problems associated with automobiles; Cars pollute the air with noxious fumes that are carried by the wind and settle in areas surrounding the roadways; rain water sweeps away oil and chemical byproducts left on the roadways and this can pollute the land and waterways surrounding a road; the noise pollution generated by cars can also negatively impact humans and animals surrounding roads; the construction and maintenance of our roads generates large amounts of pollution both from the materials used and the machines that install them; the manufacturing and transportation of automobiles are huge sources of environmental degradation and generation of greenhouse gases. Clearly as a society, we need to rethink of the car as a convenient option, and really look at how it is hurting both our health and the health of the environment as a whole.
 
How your project addresses the environmental problem?
 
Recently there has been a lot of pressure to increase the efficiency of vehicles and reduce the pollution they cause, but to truly target the problem, more effort needs to be done to make alternative transportation options more feasible. While there will always be certain trips that make vehicles necessary, there is no reason that the majority of trips can’t be made by using public or active transportation modes.
 
Seattle and Portland have been leaders in the effort to integrate the bicycle into their city. Through the construction of bicycle infrastructure, cycling is made safer and more convenient for riders of all ages. While infrastructure improvements are the ideal solution to the problem, there needs to be public support for these changes. Therefore education and grass root efforts targeting social change are needed to build public support for infrastructure projects. The project that I am proposing fosters public support for bicycles by supplying users an experience of bicycle ownership. Even if a user doesn’t end up ultimately purchasing a bike at the end of the program, they will learn about the value a bicycle can offer a user in the city.
 
In addition to educating students on the value a bicycle can play in their everyday life, this program will also get more cyclists out on the road. When researching the psychology behind the choice to cycle, I found that one of the easiest ways to encourage people to cycle is simply by having more cyclists on the road. There are two reasons for this; first, the more cyclists on a road contribute to a feeling that the road is meant to be used by the user; second, users, and especially college age users, are attracted by the social aspect of cycling. While this program is intended to have the biggest impact on the users of the program, this aspect has the potential to motivate commuters to the university as a whole.
 

Explain how the impacts will be measured: 

Many of the effects of this program will not be measureable. However, in an attempt to improve the program, and access if the program’s message reached the user, a survey will taken after each user completes the program. The survey will ask students to reflect on their experience, ask them what elements contributed to their experience and what could be changed, and finally, if they are more likely, after completing the program, to own a bicycle in the future.

Education & Outreach: 

How will the UW community find out about your project?
EcoReps will be responsible for the generation of advertising materials which will be distributed at; tabling events, posted in campus buildings, displayed on sandwich boards, and published digitally by EcoReps, UWild, UW Sustainability, and Cycle Pack, on their respective websites and facebook pages. EcoReps will assign the duties of advertising Cycle Pack to the Cycle Pack Outreach and Marketing Coordinator. This position will either be filled by one of Ecoreps quarterly service learners or a volunteer with the organization. Each quarter Cycle Pack will provide $100 for marketing of the program in order to purchase materials, and supplement the EcoReps printing budget. In addition to the network of supporting organizations I have brought together, this program is a result of my senior project in Community, Environment & Planning. I anticipate that my major would also be interested in advertising this program to their students and using it as both an example of the work CEP students produce and as a marketing tool for attracting new students to their program in the future.
How will the UW community become involved in and/or support your project?
While this program is only available to UW students, there are many ways the UW community can get involved in the program. Organizations interested in partnering with program can help fund the expansion of the fleet or assist in advertising efforts, and in exchange the logo of the organization will be added to the Cycle Pack fleet as well as our promotional materials. In one bicycle program I looked into, the head trauma research center of the associated university funded the purchase of bicycle helmets with their logo on for use by the bicycle library. Another way for the UW community to get involved in Cycle Pack is for faculty and staff who are interested in Cycle Pack to hand out informational materials to their students, or offer up Cycle Pack as a case study for their students to research, analyze, and suggest design improvements. Currently, the only way this program plans to involve the UW community, is through the currently partnered organizations, and the student involvement efforts conducted by EcoReps.

Student Involvement: 

How will your project directly involve/affect UW students?
This project will specifically target UW students in order to foster sustainable transportation habits before students graduate and start making long term housing decisions that lock them into less sustainable transportation modes. Cycle pack will also be enlisting the services of EcoReps, a student run organization dedicated to advancing the sustainability efforts on the UW campus, in order to provide marketing support for program. By engaging EcoReps in the planning and marketing process, we are ensuring a student presence in the governing structure and messaging of the program.
If you plan to use student volunteers in your project, how will you identify and recruit student volunteers?
While Cycle Pack will be enlisting students to help with the program, this relationship is conducted through EcoReps. EcoReps is an organization that already conducts massive outreach to the UW community and engages students to participate in sustainability projects. One aspect of ecoreps that will make them indispensable is their ability to take on quarterly service learners. This structural element ensures consistent engagement in the organization, and as a result, guaranteed engagement in this proposed program. In the operation manual I drafted, I created a role of an EcoReps: Cycle Pack Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. This information will allow EcoReps to either advertise the role to the UW community, or enlist a service learner each quarter by posting the position to the Carlson Center website.

Timeline: 
TaskStart DateEnd DateDuration (Days)
Finalize Program Details12/6/20166/18/2017195
CSF Letter of Intent12/6/20163/27/2017112
CSF Full Proposal3/27/20175/1/201736
Order Bicycles6/1/20178/1/201762
Order Bicycle Components / Accessories6/1/20178/1/201762
Initial Advertising6/1/20179/18/2017110
Phase 1: Data Collection9/27/20176/12/2020990
Fall Rental (Y1)9/27/201712/15/201780
Winter Rental (Y1)1/3/20183/16/201873
Spring Rental (Y1)3/26/20186/8/201875
Fall Rental (Y2)9/26/201812/14/201880
Winter Rental (Y2)1/7/20193/22/201975
Spring Rental (Y2)4/1/20196/14/201975
Fall Rental (Y3)9/25/201912/13/201980
Winter Rental (Y3)1/6/20203/20/202075
Spring Rental (Y3)3/30/20206/12/202075
Phase 2: Plan For Expansion6/12/20209/29/2021475
Fall Rental (Y4)9/30/202012/18/202080
Winter Rental (Y4)1/4/20213/19/202175
Spring Rental (Y4)3/29/20216/11/202175
Phase 3: Expansion Implementation6/11/20216/10/2022365
Fall Rental (Y5)9/29/202112/17/202180
Winter Rental (Y5)1/4/20223/18/202274
Spring Rental (Y5)3/28/20226/10/202275
Year Tag: 
Amount Awarded: 
$25,000
Potential Funding Reductions: 
If you review the operational manual, there is a section titled "Expansion & Budget Reductions" in which I unpack how reductions in CSF funding would affect the overall goal of program expansion. In short; a 30% reduction in CSF funding would result in a 40-90% increase in fleet size over 10 years. A 20% reduction would result in a 60-115% increase in fleet size over 10 years. A 10% reduction would result in a 80-155% increase in fleet size over 10 years. Finally, no reduction would result in a 100-180% increase in fleet size over 10 years. While the funding from the CSF grant could be reduced, this reduction will directly impact the expansion rate of the program.
Project Longevity: 

The revenue generated by the sustainability fee will be used to both fund the expansion of the Cycle fleet as well as the maintenance and marketing of the program once the initial grant money has dried up. If the program is fully utilized each quarter, the maximum revenue generated by cycle pack over five years is $15,000. This funding will be crucial to maximizing our ability to expand operations while ensuring regular maintenance and marketing costs will remain consistent. The argument could be made that this funding should revolve back into the CSF, but this would be drastically detrimental to our long term goals of expansion. Our current three phase plan consist of, phase one; test out marketing strategies, determine the rate of component decay, and other operational costs over the first three years of operation. After three years, the program enters phase 2; the development of a long term expansion plan in the quarterly cycle pack meetings. Finally, phase 3; the expansion plan will begin to take effect in summer before the fifth year of operation, and continue throughout the fifth year. Cycle Pack meetings from this point forward be used to amend the expansion plan as new variables emerge.

Project status: 
In progress, accepting volunteers