In her role at Stanford Transportation, Ariadne Scott serves as the Assistant Director of Active Mobility and is responsible for the Bicycle Program on the 8,000-acre campus. Stanford, which has over 13,000 bicyclists on campus daily, was designated the first Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) by the League of American Bicyclists in 2011 and last year received its third Platinum BFU award (2019-23). In 2019, 19 percent of university commuters rode a bike to work or school.
What brought you to TDM? How did you get involved in the field?
After college, I travelled to Europe and landed in Zermatt, Switzerland, one of the first car-free cities in the world, and was committed to living car-free—20+ years to date! Zermatt was followed by visiting Cuba during the Soviet oil embargo and witnessing a cycling revolution. Both experiences created a blueprint of how I wanted to contribute to energy independence and mobility. After a decade working in the bicycle industry as an Advocacy Director for Specialized Bicycles, I transitioned to the university environment to gain more experience in education, engineering, enforcement, and encouragement—pillars of any successful bike safety program.
Why did you get involved in ACT? What has been the most memorable moment of your experience in ACT?
I am inspired by the work of ACT for its innovation and policy commitments to leverage legislation that benefits commuters and cities supporting alternative modes of transportation. While at Stanford, my former colleague hosted the first Northern California regional ACT conference and I was impressed with the camaraderie and collaboration of the group. I currently serve on the board of the PeopleForBikes Foundation and the LAB Bicycle Friendly America Advisory Group, and can see results of strong organizations that have impacted the transportation arena. My past board experience with ITDP provided a more global perspective.
Within your work, what do you see as the future opportunities/challenges for TDM?
COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges in the transportation arena, but tremendous opportunities to change the transportation world have also surfaced. The potential for commuters returning to the office to opt for bikes would be a win-win for the environment and reduce car trips at Stanford. On the horizon, new active mobility devices present unlimited possibilities to help people get around. It's great to be in Silicon Valley and on the doorstep of new tech that has the ability to change the transportation landscape.