A recent article in the Seattle Times discusses the chicken and egg dilemma that we’ve seen in the world of bicycle commuting as of late. On one side of the coin, we have a very small ridership that are using their bikes to commute to work, just 3 percent. With such a low ridership those who object to adding protected bike lanes claim there isn’t a demand for it. However, on the other side of the coin, you have a lot of people who would ride, if there were protected lanes, but with the lack of infrastructure comes a lack of use.
We see this issue even among our workers, those who have easy access to safe routes to work ride their bikes as often as they can. Those who don’t have access to a safe route, choose to drive. At Sportworks, we have a culture of cyclists and even here it's a challenge to encourage a high number of workers to commute by bicycle.
Most are in agreement, once there are more lanes installed, there will be more riders and fewer drivers. One of the things the Seattle Times mentioned on a few occasions in their article was about the importance of companies cultivating a culture for bicycle commuting. What does that mean? That means providing the necessary amenities to make biking to work as easy as possible, for the employee. To get more employees pedaling their way to work, there are a few things that are required, some are a bit more challenging and come at the public works level, others are a lot easier to implement and they start right at your company.
Here’s a quick guide to begin creating a bicycle-friendly workplace.
1. Advocate for protected Bike Lanes on the routes that lead to your workplace.
2. Install a Bike Parking Storage facility – Protected facilities tend to have a higher use.
3. Provide onsite showers and/or locker rooms.
4. Install a Public Bike Repair Stand.
5. Encourage or even incentivize workers to commute by bicycle, after all, healthier employees mean lower insurance rates.
6. Create or join local cycling events and encourage workers to participate as a team.
While we wait for the public sector to catch on to the momentum, there are a few things we can do at our workplaces to begin cultivating a culture for bike friendly commutes. We can't help you with everything, but we can help guide you along the way, and if you’re interested in bike parking solutions or bike repair stands, contact us today for a free bike parking layout. Provide us with the dimensions of your space or with a CAD Drawing of the room and we will show you how you to maximize the space for bike parking.