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Bicycle Friendly Businesses

The League of American Bicyclists announced their Bicycle Friendly Businesses for 2014:

Top business innovators, ranging from retail to tech, have invested in bicycling as a way to boost morale, increase energy efficiency and encourage healthy living — and they’re reaping the benefits of being a Bicycle Friendly Business.

Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 80 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) in 29 states and Washington, D.C. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of almost 700 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 100 companies in 46 states and D.C. that are transforming the American workplace.

Visit the LAB page to view the full list and to read the rest of the article. Congratulations to all the businesses on the list for encouraging cycling and for making a difference!

Commuter Profile: Bruce Wright

 

Note: We’re pleased to offer an intro to Bruce Wright, one of the leading advocates for better bicycling facilities, policies, and education in the greater Washington, D.C. area (and specifically Fairfax County, VA). Bruce’s advocacy work on the board of WABA and as chairman of FABB is very nearly a full-time job at this point, so we appreciate him taking the time to answer some questions for us!

brucewright

Bruce Wright. Photo by Shannon Ayres, www.shannonayres.com

How long have you been a bike commuter?
I started commuting by bike on a regular basis in 1979 and have been doing so almost daily since then (34 years).

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is/was your commute?
There were several reasons why I started to bike to work. I understood the health, economic, and environmental benefits of biking and since I had a short, 3 mile commute, I decided to bike instead of buying a second car and driving. I could commute by bus when necessary, which was very rare, maybe 3 or 4 times a year.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?
Since I retired from working full time my bike commuting to work has transformed to using a bike for almost all other local trips. I’m 64 years old and have been able to maintain the same weight as when I was in high school. I take no prescription drugs other than for minor medical procedures and usually only visit the doctor once a year for a physical. I think I’m a happier, more well-adjusted person because I get regular exercise by riding. My wife and I enjoy riding together as well. One caveat; I now use sunscreen whenever I go outside. Bike commuters are exposed to the sun more than others and we need to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV rays.

What do you do for a living and in what city/town do you bike commute?
When I worked full time I was a geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA. Since I left the Survey in 1999 I’ve worked part time in several different jobs: as a legislative aide to a local politician, as a bike shop employee (at bikes@vienna), as a bicycle skills teacher, and now as the head of a local bicycle advocacy non-profit (volunteer). I’ve made a conscious decision to work in places where I can easily bike.

Bruce (3rd from left) with other FABB members at Bike to Work Day 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

Lately I’ve been mostly using a Brompton folding bike. It has six gears, fenders and a rack and a front carrier block that holds a large bag. The bike is great for taking on Metrorail and bus and is a fun way to get around. For longer commutes or trips where I need to haul more stuff I use a Bruce Gordon touring bike outfitted with fenders, front (occasionally) and rear rack, and large panniers. I used that bike to travel cross country in 1999. I also own a recumbent tandem that I ride with my wife, a beater bike for parking at Metro, and a short wheelbase recumbent that doesn’t get much use these days.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?
I’ve helped many motorists who have car problems. When traveling on a bike it’s harder to pass by someone in need.

Bruce at the 2012 Fairfax Bike Summit

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Most people have never tried riding a bike to work so the concept is foreign to them. I tell them that it’s easier than they think and that they should try it one day. It takes a little planning but most people can easily ride farther than they think. Bike to Work Day is a great time to encourage co-workers to try biking. I know many people who rode for the first time on Bike to Work Day and have continued to bike commute at least some of the time since then.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?
I’m on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and chair of their advocacy committee. I’m also one of the founders and now chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), a local volunteer non-profit advocating for better bike conditions and policies in Fairfax County, VA. I’m also a member of the League of American Bicyclists and a League Cycling Instructor.

Anything else that you want to share with us?
The world would be a healthier, happier place if more people took short trips by bike.

 

New Bicycle-Friendly Businesses, courtesy of the LAB

This showed up in our mailbox yesterday…just in time for Earth Day:

Contact:
Elizabeth Murphy
Communications Manager
League of American Bicyclists
(202)-621-5458
Liz@BikeLeague.org

Businesses Ring in Earth Day with Bicycle Friendly Awards

Texas Instruments joins the more than 500 Bicycle Friendly Businesses

Washington, D.C. – April 22, 2013 — As businesses race to retrofit their buildings, streamline waste policies, and purchase more and more recycling bins, some companies have already targeted a free and easy way to be more environmentally conscious: bicycling.

On this Earth Day, the League of American Bicyclists announced 63 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) from across the country that are leading America toward a greener future.

The BFB program has now expanded to 44 states and Washington, D.C., and these new awardees join a visionary group of more than 500 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

Click here for the full list of BFB awardees.

“More and more business leaders are realizing that bicycling is a simple and cost-effective way to move toward a more productive company,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “Promoting healthy transportation is increasingly attractive to employers and prospective employees – and it’s moving America toward a more sustainable future.”

Bicycle-friendly businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. Through cost-effective investments, BFBs attract, reward and retain staff that are not only healthier and happier, but more productive, driven and passionate about the work they do and the communities they live in.

Award winners in this round include:

Texas Instruments Inc. (Bronze)
Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis. (Moved from Silver to Gold)
The World Bank Group (Moved from Bronze to Silver)
Peace Corps, Seattle and Chicago offices (Bronze)

Texas Instruments, a new Bronze-level BFB, worked with its local government to secure funding to build a 35-mile trail that will enable employees to bike to work safely, in addition to widening transportation options for those living in the community. TI also has employee representation on the City of Dallas Bicycle Advisory Committee as it updates the Dallas Bike Plan.

“Texas Instruments sees great value in supporting alternative commuting solutions for employees. We’ve invested resources to build bike paths that connect to local trails, added bike racks, repair stations and onsite showers, and created social networks that support TI bike commuters,” said David Thomas, Vice President of Worldwide Facilities at TI. “We want to make it easy for our existing bike commuters to get to work safely and to encourage more employees to try biking to work. We continually seek new ways to educate, encourage and engage employees in safe bike commuting.”

To apply or learn more about the free BFB program, visit the League online at bikeleague.org/businesses

***
About the Bicycle Friendly America Program: The Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance, and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling, and ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. Learn more.

About the League: The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. Learn more.

And here is a complete list of the 2013 winners:

2013 Winners:

Platinum:
University of
California, Davis

Gold:
Catalyst Partners
Mad Dog Cycles
SERA Architects, Inc.

Silver:
AllEarth Renewables, Inc.
City of Shawnee
Dealer.com
Go Bike Buffalo
Greenline Wheels, L3C
Intercity Transit
L.L. Bean Boat Bike Ski
Store
Nelson Nygaard
Consulting Associates –
Portland
Nice Ride Minnesota
Nicollet Bike
Patagonia – St. Paul

Bronze:
Animal Bikes
Beaumont Hospital – Royal
Oak Campus
Bike America
Capital Brewery
Central District Health
Department
Champaign Cycle Co.
City of Fort Worth
City of Riverside City
Hall
Connecticut Mental Health
Center
CTA Architects Engineers
Dokken Engineering
Equinox Brewing Co.
FFKR Architects
Gear Up Cyclery
Griessmeyer Law
Indiana University Health,
Methodist Hospital
International Relief and
Development
Kaiser Permanente San
Rafael
KCF Technologies, Inc.
Kimberly-Clark Corp.,
Conway, Ark., site
Memorial Hospital and
Health System
Nelson Nygaard
Consulting Associates:
Boston, New York, San
Francisco and Seattle
sites
Neumann Monson
Architects
New Horizon Bikes
PDC Inc. Engineers
Peace Corps, Chicago and
Seattle offices
REI Santa Monica
Reston Association
Riley Hospital, IU Health
Ringdahl Ambulance
Sixteen Street Community
Health Centers
Skagit Valley Food Co-op
Squire Sanders LLP –
Cleveland
St. Luke’s Health System
Steelcase, Inc.
Texas Instruments, Inc.
The Broken Spoke
Treasure Valley Family
YMCA – Boise
Unico Properties
University Hospital, IU
Health
Urban Engineers
YMCA of Greenville

Diamonds are a cyclist’s best friend…

Have you guys heard the latest from the League of American Bicyclists? They’re revamping their “Bicycle Friendly Communities” awards, and adding platinum as the highest rung on the ladder:

For the first decade, the BFC program ranked communities at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. But we’ve seen such tremendous progress, innovation and enthusiasm from communities nationwide that it’s time to set the bar higher. It’s time to move beyond Platinum. Welcome to the dawn of the Diamond BFC.

Cities like Portland, Ore.; Boulder, Colo; Davis, Calif., and other leading BFCs are almost ready to join the ranks of world-class bike communities — and the League has been working with BFC representatives to envision a higher standard that challenges and charts new heights for bicycle-friendliness in the United States.

You can read more about this by visiting the LAB’s blog page here.

What I’d really like to see from the LAB is this: an equivalent to Hollywood’s Razzies, whereby bicycle advocates would call out cities who drop the ball in regards to bike/ped improvements. Nothing like a little public shame to spur cities to step up their game, right? Of course, the Razzies didn’t convince Sylvester Stallone to improve his acting chops (he’s a 4 time Razzie recipient and 12-time nominee)…so maybe the public shame thing is a pipedream on my part.

Bike Merger on hold…

The potential merger of the U.S.’s three main national “bike” advocacy groups – Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists – that we announced here back in February is now on hold… for now. The leaders of the three groups “have decided not to pursue full unification at this time.”

As announced in the press release on all three sites:

The three groups continue to operate independently, in close collaboration, to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for all Americans…

…The three groups continue to work together and have committed to achieving the following benchmark goals by 2020:
1. The nationwide percentage of trips made by bike will increase to five percent (from one percent in 2012), and the diversity of people on bikes will mirror the diversity of America;
2. Traffic injuries and fatalities (in all modes) will decrease by 50 percent;
3. Half of all Americans will have front-door access to a bicycling network that will take them to destinations within two miles exclusively on low-stress streets, lanes, and trails—protected from high-speed traffic.

The leaders of all three groups began the unification discussion fully aware of the challenges of blending unique legal structures, membership bases, project priorities, and headquarters locations. While these talks didn’t produce a merger, the groups will continue to work together to engage, represent and connect the many different elements of the bicycling movement. They will focus on federal, state, and local projects that best improve bike infrastructure and safety in the United States.

Seems that the “super advocacy group” will not likely emerge any time soon.

It won’t deter me from pursuing my own volunteerism within the bike community or stop me from supporting each of these groups separately. What about you?