FEBRUARY 1, 2021 — The UTSA Office of Sustainability has several alternative transportation projects planned for the next few years with the help of a $407,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program grant through the Texas Department of Transportation.
UTSA’s grant will promote modes of non-motorized transportation that reduce the use of single-occupant vehicles through increased use of buses, walking, biking, scooters, skateboards, and electric vehicles.
The project will collect baseline data on transportation preferences, provide infrastructure analysis, and develop a policy to propose for adoption.
“This grant will help UTSA campuses become more walkable and bikeable and enhance the student experience by connecting active transportation to congestion mitigation and air quality improvement on our campuses.” said Lani May, director of the UTSA Office of Sustainability. “There has been a huge rise in the use of active transportation due to COVID, which makes this grant even more valuable to our students to support that movement.”
The grant is in response to Bexar County being designated nonattainment for ground-level ozone under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, May said.
Through the grant, the Office of Sustainability will expand the existing Tito Bradshaw Bike Repair Shop with a mobile bike repair shop, which will be taken to the Downtown Campus and events around our community such as at the Westside Community Center. The mobile shop will provide tools, tubes, and repair workshops to keep students riding and will be housed in an electric vehicle that will be used to inform students about electrification innovation, May said.
The Office of Sustainability first opened the Tito Bradshaw Bike Repair Shop in 2019 to provide tubes, tools, and bicycle-centric events, to encourage bike riding on campus. It was a part of UTSA’s #MakeUTSAWalkable alternative transportation initiative.
“Students bring their bikes to campus, but then they have no way to repair a flat tire or do simple repairs, so they often end up abandoning the bike because it’s not rideable,” May said. “Additionally, a bike shop area is a meeting space. It’s a space for events and student gatherings that also promotes socialization and exercise, and gets students out of their single-occupancy vehicles and out around campus to meet people.”
Over the grant’s three-year term, monthly events focused on biking, walking, and electrification will be held.
“The monthly events will focus on pedestrian and bike safety on campus, bike repair seminars, bike registration, and air quality,” May said. “The grant provides for an electric vehicle, so we will develop a program to talk about electrification with the students. We hope students will consider electric vehicles for themselves and advocate for electrification in our community. That in turn will result in the reduction of ground level ozone and improved air quality.”
The Office of Sustainability’s largest goal within the next three years is to propose a campus travel improvement plan and model the conversion of Brenan Avenue as a green street. Brenan Avenue, a legacy road from original campus construction, is located today in the center of campus.
“Brenan is a physical dividing line between on-campus residents, and students coming from commuter lots, trying to access the campus core and it presents a certain amount of stress to campus connectivity,” May explained. “Interactions between motor vehicle and pedestrians crossing over Brenan back up traffic and cause congestion, increasing ground level ozone. The master plan calls Brenan a ‘significant pedestrian conflict area’ and has designed Brenan to be realigned by future development and to partially become part of the Paseo Verde. For right now, we want to analyze it and see if we can propose it as a walk and bike friendly street, mostly closed to motor vehicle traffic.”
May says converting Brenan should result in improved campus walkability, and thereby improve the student experience.
The Office of Sustainability takes pride in receiving this grant and will put it towards improving the campus, May added. “We're really proud of this grant because we were able to leverage Office of Sustainability funding into a grant that returned three times our investment,” May said. “It’s really important for us to be able to show that not only are we making sustainable changes on the campus but that we are able to leverage our funding to make it go further.”
The Dreamer and Undocumented student conversation consists of a panel discussion that will center in the immigrant experience while attending college and as a new professional. Our panelist will discuss their experiences as immigrants from different Latin American countries, and as current or former members of the undocumented community.Virtual Event
Come learn more about the Whataburger Resource Room and what you can do to fight food insecurity on our campus!Student Union, Paseo Principal Staircase, Main Campus
Join us for the grand opening of our new office space! There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at Noon with an open house at HSU 2.206, and student organization tabling on the Paseo. We will have DJ Loko along with snacks, give aways, and activities.H-E-B Student Union, 2.206, Main Campus
This year we will have a NNO kickoff party at the Downtown Campus - Frio Building breezeway. The event will be on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. We will have snow cones, music, and door prizes! The is a free event for all our DTC community. The NNO main event will be held at Main campus on October 5.Frio Breezeway, Downtown Campus
A virtual conversation about how we can take action to improve our wellbeing to prevent future mental health burn out.Virtual Event
No matter your first language, Coffee & Conversation can help you expand your horizons. We invite all UTSA students to come spend your lunch hour with Coffee & Conversation, where international and domestic students gather and build inter-cultural connections.Anaqua Room, 2.03.08, Student Union, Main Campus
For Hispanic Heritage Month this year we will be reading two books, starting in September with "I, Rigoberta Menchú", an autobiography. The October book will be "Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas. Students who join the RJBC are eligible to receive the book free.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.