Work demands have limited my blogging activity. However, in catching up on the bicycle commuting news, a couple items in September seem important to share. One item is this video, which highlights bicycle encouragement programs at the National Institutes of Health, Discovery Channel, and Google.
As more Chicago-area commuters opt to bike to work, many workplaces have made an effort to accommodate workers on two wheels, greeting them with secure parking spaces and hot showers. "Businesses are recognizing the benefit of having healthy, happy employees," said Margo O'Hara of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation...
Whether it's due to rising popularity of the green movement or recent sky-high gas prices, many workplaces are gearing up for an increase in bicycle traffic...The Sears Tower offers bike-friendly services to its more than 100 tenants and is ready to add more. "We roughly quadrupled our (bicycle parking) capacity (last) September," said Tom Dempsey, vice-president and general manager. There are now 49 indoor bicycle parking stalls in the garage on the first level, 44 of which are being leased to tenants for $25 per month or $200 per year. "If we lease up the next five stalls, we would definitely add more."
Mr. Dempsey is also exploring other ways to accommodate bicycle commuters, including offering tenants discounted memberships at a health club in the building, where they can use the showers. And they can sign out bicycles from the garage, free of charge, as part of a bike-sharing program. "I have a bike in (the building) garage that I use for meetings, and that kind of inspired it," Mr. Dempsey said. "It's a green alternative to a taxi or having to drive your car downtown because you have an outside meeting." ( Read more.)
Bicycle commuting is more appealing when your workplace is supportive. There are many advantages to those employers that encourage bicycle commuting, including improved health of employees, better morale, reduced absenteeism, and reduced demand for vehicle parking. And employers who offer a diverse mix of transportation access have a competitive advantage recruiting the most talented staff.
How does your employer support bicycle commuting? What incentives or support might your employer offer to encourage more of your colleagues to bicycle commute? Health club membership? Cash for bicycling mileage? Secure bicycle parking?