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Santa Cruisin’

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by promoting biking as a mode of transportation.

Santa Cruisin’

Team Lead: Kathleen Deck
According to the IPCC fifth assessment report, transportation accounts for approximately 14% of the carbon dioxide emissions globally. In California, where research and education of the impacts of climate change is influential, the car remains a necessary entity. Huge efforts have been made in order to lower emissions by means of electric cars, but the truth is that many of our daily trips could easily be made with a bike instead of a car. Biking has many advantages over driving cars, including but not limited to: zero-emission source of transportation, increase in public health, increase in personal health, and a decrease in land use.

Biking can be one of the main sources of transportation in a city, and in locations, for example cities in Europe, this concept has already been proven to be effective. Learning from examples is key when knowing what will be the initial changes in making a location more bike friendly. It is possible to increase the amount of bikers in Santa Cruz, but it will take time and it needs to be done incrementally.

The use of the bike is largely dependent on the built environment and the perceived safety. Two of the biggest obstacles, in general, keeping people from biking, are access to a bike and personal safety. These are two main areas in which our project, “Santa Cruisin’” aims to positively influence.

Santa Cruisin' team

The first step is research. We will evaluate the performance of the already existing biking resources on the UCSC campus. We will work with different departments and the community at UCSC in understanding what change is needed and possible on campus. We will survey bikers and non-bikers to understand what they consider to be the largest obstacles when biking or not biking. We have contact with planning experts in bike friendly cities who can suggest ideas. We will also collect general research on biking in similar locations to the UCSC campus.

The second step is to educate the community about the research, advantages, and resources of biking at UCSC. We have contact with the PeopleForBikes Organization and other local organizations, and they are interested in helping spread awareness about biking. We are also interested in designing a biking website platform for the UCSC community that has all of the information, tips, and resources from the city and UCSC in one location in an easy accessible format.

The third step is to put change into action. Depending on what is feasible at the university and wanted from the community, we will do something for the community of UCSC that will promote biking. Because this is general, we have listed below specific possibilities of what will be included scope of this project and also examples of future projects.

To have the support of UCSC and to have our university be in the forefront of this movement, will be a powerful first step in right direction of lowering carbon emissions, promoting personal health, increased work performance, increasing public health, and decreasing overall land use, all by just biking.

Want to become involved or find out more? Contact Kathleen Deck at kdeck at

Team Members:

Kathleen Deck ( Digital Art and New Media UCSC student and a bike commuter

Johan Eriksson ( Civil Engineer and a bike commuter

New bike path grant awarded to UCSC!