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By The Numbers: Making Helmets Cool
By The Numbers: Making Helmets Cool

How a donor is convincing a bunch of freshman cyclists to protect their noggins

By Elisa Wiseman

Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

California's Stanford University has a serious bicycle culture—since 2011, the League of American Bicyclists has recognized the campus as a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly University, the league's highest ranking for a bike-friendly campus. Yet, according to Russell Siegelman, a Stanford parent and lecturer for the Graduate School of Business, not enough students wear helmets—probably because they aren't, you know, cool. Siegelman's solution: In fall 2016, he and his wife, Beth, gave every freshman a Stanford-branded helmet, modeled after those worn by the institution's football team. If enough students wear them, he plans to repeat the giveaway next year. Key figures:

1,800+: The number of helmets donated to accommodate all freshmen of the Class of 2020 and transfer students.

$125,000+: The estimated retail value of the helmets.

13,000: The estimated number of bikes on campus every day.

19,000: The number of bike parking spaces on campus.

12: Miles of campus bike lanes.

626: Number of bike crashes on campus over the past 10 years.

90: Percentage of undergraduates who said they regularly biked on campus in 2015. A 2016 survey of all students found that 78 percent bicycled on campus on a regular basis.

About the Author Elisa Wiseman

Elisa Wiseman was a summer 2016 editorial intern for Currents.




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