Saturday, May 24, 2014

Jason Henderson: Professor of Bikeology

A reader writes:

Jason Henderson has a column in SF Bay Guardian. His May 07, 2014 article has a photo[above] of students of the Bicycle Geography class at SF State. I wonder what they learn? Checked the SF State University course and it is listed as...

Course Number: Geog 435 (2014)
Credits: 3

Course Type: Lecture + Activity

College: Science and Engineering
Department: Geography (GEOG) Course Description: 

Bicycle Geographies is a brand new course offered this spring (2014). Topics include planning for bicycling in cities, bicycle culture, bicycle politics, and local, national, and global bicycling trends. There are numerous bicycle field trips in and around San Francisco. The class will also partner with SF State's Transportation Committee to survey bicycling trends at SF State and assist in the annual "bike to campus" event on May 2014.

The course is part of CSU’s “Campus as Living Lab Program.” It is designed to help campus planners and policy makers understand and remove obstacles to bicycling, including physical, psychological, and cultural. The course is designed to address two overarching questions:

1. Why do so few students, faculty, and staff bicycle to SF State’s Campus?

2. How can SF State increase the mode share of bicycling from 4 percent to 10-20 percent (this is a mode split comparable to the City of San Francisco goals)?

Rob's comment:
Pretty amazing that students get college credit for riding a bike and Henderson gets paid for it. Henderson even fudges in his course description, since the official "mode split" for cycling in San Francisco is 3.4%, not 4%.

For more on this guy, click on "Jason Henderson" below.

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At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In real universities these kind of courses were usually filled with the football players and were known as "Mickies" as in "Mickey Mouse."

At 6:45 PM, Anonymous James said...

When are you going to teach a class in making factish boner for cars blogs?

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, some colleges have dumbed-down courses for athletes, like in geology they might have a Rocks for Jocks course so they can meet their science requirement.

"Factish"? I bet Henderson's students don't get a realistic sense of how truly insignificant cycling is as a transportation "mode," even here in PC central San Francisco.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

To be fair they do acknowledge the 4% mode share (yes it's rounding up, but I'll not die on that hill). Unfortunately what seems to come out of all of these "think tanks" as far as how to increase mode share is "steamroll the motorist" and "don't pitch in monetarily".

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's a small thing but still revealing. Why couldn't Henderson at least get that right in the course description? Based on the ACS, the city itself now claims 3.8% of all trips in the city are by bike, though a study it commissioned in 2011 says that number is 3.4%.


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