Don Andrae — Staff
Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Don Andrae is Manager of Parking Services at Auburn University, and he is the unsung (until now) hero of sustainable transportation on campus. His job description says nothing about sustainability, and yet he goes out of his way to promote walking, bicycling, car sharing, reduced emissions, and accessibility for all. War Eagle Bike Share, Enterprise Carshare, Ride Amigos Rideshare, GOTCHA Ride, and innovative student parking passes, were all initiated, developed, and implemented for Auburn’s campus directly by Don.
War Eagle Bikeshare by itself has had a remarkable impact, reducing vehicle traffic and fostering active travel. Both are essential for creating sustainable cities by reducing traffic congestion, improving quality of life, and building healthier communities. War Eagle Bikeshare offers short trips on bikes for students and employees at no cost. As a result of the accessibility and visibility of this program, there has been a huge surge in cycling awareness and use.
Tackling ever-challenging student parking needs, Don has reduced parking demand by collaborating with students and the campus Parking and Traffic Committee to develop and implement innovative student-specific parking lots. This program has significantly reduced traffic entering and driving through lots searching for parking spaces and the likelihood of vehicular accidents on nearby streets.
Don’s activities over the past five years have helped turn the campus into a pedestrian-friendly and cycling-friendly environment that is recognized as a model to emulate by peer institutions and transportation officials around the country. According to the most recent campus transportation study, students are walking and cycling to campus at record levels. The survey also shows that faculty, staff, and students are all more satisfied with their options for getting to, from, and around campus than ever before.
As with any true sustainability practitioner, Don is willing and eager to collaborate with others to improve sustainable transportation on campus and beyond. Don played a key role in helping Auburn achieve the first, and so far only, Bicycle Friendly University designation in the state of Alabama. Don regularly supports faculty research and cycling outreach events on campus hosted by various groups, including the donation of new bicycles for raffles.
Don is always looking to the future. Starting in fall 2017, Parking Services will begin implementing camera technology in some parking lots to assist in determining if parking spaces are available and where they are located. The app will also assist people in finding other modes of transportation to go from lots to the main campus. Planning for significant growth in electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles is underway.
All initiatives taken under Don’s leadership demonstrate truly sustainable practice: developing long-term initiatives that recognize and meet the specific needs of people while having a reduced or restorative impact on nature and the community.