Bike-Friendly Employers

3 Jul

In addition to improved infrastructure (lanes, markings, racks, etc.), one of the biggest things that promotes more biking for transportation is for employers to offer facilities and incentives to their employees to bike to work.  Amy over at RideRichmond has an informative post on what employers can do to make it easier and more attractive for their employees to do so.  Check it out here.  The League of American Bicyclists also has a program that recognizes bicycle-friendly businesses.  Click here for the brochure, and here for the complete list of BFB’s.

A standard type of bike rack often designed and purchased by people who probably never have to lock a bicycle. It really accommodates only two bicycles easily, one on each end. Photo: Missouri Vocational Enterprises.

One of the easiest things an employer can do is provide a safe, secure place to store or lock bicycles.  If you can convince your employer to invest in one, try to get her or him to avoid the kind pictured here, which safely accommodates only one bicycle on each end, along with others that only allow you to lock the wheel of your bike — a method that makes the work of bike thieves all too easy.  Putting in only two of the type now being installed on Richmond streets, for example (see previous post), would accommodate twice as many bicycles very easily.

Providing a convenient place to change and shower is another big one, especially where more formal appearance and dress are expected.

Other retail businesses could also follow Ellwood Thompson’s lead and offer a discount to customers who use a form of transportation other than a car too.  It frees up car parking and saves money in terms of the number of spaces needed: you can fit about 10 bicycles in the space needed for one car.

Do you know of other bicycle-friendly businesses and employers in Richmond?  And if your employer is not yet bicycle-friendly, consider asking about facilities — maybe one smaller thing first to get the ball rolling.

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