In the Summer of 2005, I was hired by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Concordia to develop Allego Concordia, a program to support sustainable transportation at the university. The program was supported by a grant of the same name (Allego) from the provincial government. I began by evaluating existing data on commuter habits and identifying needs and priorities according to community members, and then established a multi-stakeholder advisory committee made up of representatives of the university community. We established a plan of action which included outreach and promotion, public events, capacity building initiatives, training and support, partnership development and long term planning.
Website – http://allego.concordia.ca
Working with the university’s communications department, I designed the Allego website to be informative and encouraging. The site provided details on all methods of getting to and from the university by bicycle, transit, walking, and helped users organize carpools. I sought out individuals choosing these methods to get to and from campus and promoted them via profiles with pictures and fun facts. (The website has since been redesigned and integrated into Sustainable Concordia’s website.)
Car Free Day
We officially launched the Allego program to the campus community on Car Free Day, September 22nd 2005. Kiosks were set up around the campus to provide information, give away goodies like free coffee, snacks, and sustainable transportation accessories such as transit maps, pant protectors, and key chains.
Safe Cycling & Bike Security Seminars
Responding to requests for more information on how to bicycle safely in the city, I set up several lunch time cycling seminars, provided by Vélo Québec, and organized serial number engravings with Tandem Montreal and the Montreal Police.
It was apparent from the beginning that more bike racks were needed on Concordia’s downtown campus. I initiated a survey of the campus community to identify priority bike parking areas and identify which designs were preferred by cyclists, for security, ease of use and space economy. In the summer of 2006, 220 new bike parking spaces were added, using a combination of rack designs from local rack maker Vélo-Rack.
Spring into Gear Festival
To celebrate the return of spring and encourage the campus community to choose healthy and sustainable modes of travel, we organized a spring bicycle festival, Spring Into Gear, in partnership with Right To Move, the campus bike co-op, and the Montreal Planner’s Network. Workshops, demonstration activities, music, kiosks, and refreshments throughout the day ended with a panel discussion on the state of city cycling in the evening, featuring then-rising star Richard Bergeron, founder of political party Project Montreal, Marc Jolicoeur of Vélo Québec, and ‘Bicycle Bob’ Silverman, founder of 1970’s bicycle advocacy group Tout le Monde en Vélo.
Concordia Physical Operations