President offers free parking on campus for motorcycles and scooters
Posted: 06/21/2010
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Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, president of The University of Texas-Pan American, hopped on his motorcycle and rode to the office in support of the 19th Annual Ride to Work Day campaign June 21.

Pictured left to right are J.C. Gonzalez, assistant vice president for business affairs and budget director; Nelsen; and Dr. James Wenzel, chair of the UTPA Department of Political Science, all of whom rode their motorcycles to UTPA during Ride to Work Day.

Nelsen, an avid motorcyclist and hybrid car owner, declared a free parking day, no parking permit required, for motorcycles and scooters on the UTPA campus for the day. Ride to Work Day is held the third Monday in June and supports the use of motorcycles and scooters as transportation.

The Ride to Work organization estimates that, based on participation, if every day were Ride to Work Day the nation would use 15 million fewer gallons of fuel per year.

"As we stand witness to the tragedy of the Gulf oil spill we should all redouble our efforts to save our natural resources, investigate alternative fuel methods and, in general, do what we can to be good stewards of the earth," Nelsen said in a memo to the UTPA community.

In addition, the organization estimates three to five motorcycles, depending on size, can be accommodated in the parking space of one automobile. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of 2003 there were more than 5 million motorcycles regularly in use in the United States.

"I encourage everyone in the UTPA community to consider carpooling, bicycling, using fuel-efficient vehicles - including scooters and motorcycles - and walking as a means to lessen the strain on our planet's precious and finite natural resources," Nelsen said.

To learn more about Ride to Work Day, visit