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Tag Archive: league of american bicyclists

Bicycle-friendly businesses announced

The League of American Bicyclists forwarded the following press release, announcing 67 new “Bicycle Friendly Businesses” (BFBs), including a couple of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and others. Here, have a read for yourself:

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Carolyn Szczepanski

Communications Director

League of American Bicyclists
(202) 822-1333
Carolyn@BikeLeague.org

Bicycle Friendly Businesses Are Booming

New awards boost number of bike-friendly workplaces to more than 400 nationwide

Washington, D.C. – April 18, 2012 – More than 500,000 American employees now work at a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB), thanks to visionary leadership in the private and public sector. Today the League of American Bicyclists announced 67 new BFBs, who joined the ranks of the 412 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies that are transforming the American workplace.

“These leaders are at the forefront of a movement to make American businesses more competitive, sustainable and attractive to the best and brightest employees,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “An investment in bicycling enhances employee health, increases sustainability and improves the bottom line.”

Bicycle-friendly businesses encourage a more bicycle friendly atmosphere for employees and customers. From Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., to Pepe’s Bistro in Lincoln, Neb., bicycle-friendly businesses are improving the workplace, contributing to the community and improving their overall earnings.

Award winners in this round include:

Fortune 500 companies like AstraZeneca and Rockwell Collins
Major cities, like Indianapolis, Ind. and Durham, N.C.
Government agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission
Nonprofits, like the Nature Conservancy and Outdoor Chattanooga
And major retailers like REI locations in Montana, California and Connecticut

American Family Insurance- Madison, Wis. (Bronze): “Our company improved safe bicycle access to our facility by adding signage to divert bicyclists onto paved bike lanes, installed covered bike parking, increased locker facilities and created a ‘bicycle resources’ intranet site that provides bike route maps, a guaranteed ride home program and other tips,” said Rita Garczynski, facilities site manager. “The company’s support for bicycle commuting has encouraged employees to make lifestyle changes that have resulted in improved health and engagement while having a positive impact on the environment by reducing our carbon footprint.”

Massachusetts Department of Transportation- Boston, Mass. (Bronze): “We’re proud to be the first DOT in the nation recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Business,” said MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey. “MassDOT’s core business is transportation and consistent with our ‘Green DOT policy’ we’re committed to promoting bicycling as a healthy and efficient mode of travel.” Among other innovations and improvements, in 2010, MassDOT launched a pilot bike pool, so employees have the option to ride a bike to a meeting or a site.

Carilion Clinic- Roanoke, Va. (Bronze): “As the region’s primary health care provider, Carilion is dedicated to working with our communities to improve the overall health of the people we serve,” said Nancy Howell Agee, Carilion Clinic’s president and CEO. “Bicycling is one way our employees can improve their own health and be role models for the importance of physical activity in a healthy lifestyle.”

Visit bikeleague.org/businesses for a full list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses and to learn more. For photos, contacts and additional information on awardees, contact Carolyn Szczepanski, League Communications Director, at (202) 822-1333, Carolyn@bikeleague.org.

About the Bicycle Friendly America Program

The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign. 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.

Friday Musings: What Got You Pedaling?

Utterly Shameless Bike Love Month: May 2012

New Recruits: May is just around the corner, and so the creeper approaches: National Bike to Work Month!  And, like every fun-loving, zero-emissions, two-wheeled, “coffee + eggs = bike fuel”, transportation cyclist, I always wonder if this year’s Bike to Work Month will bring new commuter faces beyond the month of May.  Yes Velodactyls, this is what keeps me up at night (either that or the heaping tablespoons of Nutella I shoved in my face post-dinner).

How can we get more people to commute by bike? May 2012 will be a barrage of Bike to Work Week challenges, workshops, rallies, and bikey SWAG, as local bike organizations shotgun their way through possible Spring recruits.  Our own star staff writer Elizabeth posed the question in 2010: We all know bike commuting is the best thing since the Jammy Shuffle, so why aren’t more people doing it?  I gotta admit, I’m on bike commuting like a woman on smack, so I surely don’t know the answer!

Calf-Envy, this is RL when he commutes sans SPDs.

Minority Report: As the minority, commuter cyclists face the same puzzled looks from co-workers, semi-sweet concerned lectures from loved ones, and blatant stares of calf envy (hello Mr. Officer, I’m up HERE) as we think to ourselves – if only you’d know the glories of the dark side, you’d be out of excuses and on a bike too!  Nevertheless, we’ve had some progress.  Last year, this Atlantic Cities article reported increased bike ridership across the U.S.  (If you like colorful graphs, you should definitely click the link to this article).

Overall, a universal increase U.S. Bike Commuters over the past decade! I'll take it!

Converting to bicycle commuting is all the rage in U.S. cities, if the proliferation of blogs devoted to the topic is any indication. But we wanted to know: Just how big have increases in the percentage of bike commuters been in specific cities? Are there regional differences? Cities where bike commuting isn’t catching on at all? We surveyed 55 major U.S. cities to see if we could find the answer.  While there are stark differences across individual cities, taken as a group these metros saw an average increase in their percentage of regular bicycle commuters of 70 percent between 2000 and 2009.

The chart-laden article concluded that Portland had the highest percentage of trips taken by bike at 5.8% with a 222% increase from 2000 to 2009 (Don’t make me graph battle you, Portland.)  I can say for my office, the percentage of riders has increased since I started three years ago from 1 out of 16 to 6 out of 16!  HUZZAH!

Majority Report! Best Monday of my life: 7 bikes for 10 employees at the office... fist pump.

So, we all agree we need more bike commuters on the road to alleviate traffic congestion, stress, obesity, arthritis, pollution, drugs, guns, high fructose corn syrup, and other bad stuff (we can solve world peace with transportation cycling, right!!?)

My question today is what got you pedaling?  We weren’t all born on fetus-sized bikes so it had to start somewhere!  A lot of bike commuters have shared our first bicycle memories, but what converted you to utility cycling?  Was it a Bike to Work Month challenge, an enthusiastic bike-loving friend, a hand-me-down bike, a car in the shop, or an inspirational blog on bike commuting (hint, hint!)?  Safety in numbers means that bike commuters need more bike commuters!  So, muse along with us and share your thoughts!

~Happy Friday Bike Commuters.

Best parking spot at the beach - that's what's got me pedaling!

An advocacy merger in the works…

Here’s an interesting bit of news to share on this beautiful, spring-like Monday:

Leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists Leaders met in San Diego, on February 13-14th and have issued a joint statement announcing they are to merge.

It was agreed that uniting the three organizations would dramatically improve their effectiveness in increasing bicycle use in the US.

Bike Biz via Cyclelicious.

Richard over at Cyclelicious brings up a variety of interesting points and things to consider with such a merger — concerns about the overall message of the new “super advocacy group” and how the various players might get along (or not). It’s worth a read, so swing on over to Cyclelicious to check it out for yourself.

Your thoughts on this merger? Drop ’em in the comments box below.

Bike Funding Update – 2 votes short

The following email from the League of American Bicyclists arrived in my inbox yesterday afternoon (seemingly addressed to those who sent an email to Congress) about the latest on the bike/walk amendment:

You have probably heard that the Petri/Johnson/Lipinski amendment to restore dedicated funding for bicycling and walking lost narrowly by just two votes in this morning’s Transportation Committee meeting in the House of Representatives. The bi-partisan amendment and vote took place against the backdrop of a very partisan and rancorous mark-up of the legislation – the two Republican sponsors of the bike/walk amendment, Reps. Petri and Johnson, deserve a huge “thank you” for taking on this challenge on behalf of the cycling and walking community.

You also deserve a huge “thank you”. The League’s on-line advocacy center reported yours was one of more than 18,000 e-mails sent to Members of Congress on this issue – a stunning number, and surely part of the reason we were able to put up such a good fight today. We are meeting this evening with our colleagues in the America Bikes coalition to determine our next steps, greatly heartened by your incredible support. If nothing else, today’s vote has shown the leadership of the House and committee chairman Mica that we are a force with which to be reckoned.

Notwithstanding other developments, we expect the transportation bill will be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives very soon: February 13th. As soon as we have decided our strategy for this next critical phase, we’ll be in touch again. Meanwhile, you can check the League’s website, or America Bikes for more information; and please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates.

As you can see, more debating ensues on the House floor early next week, so there may very well be more calls to action from the League and/or your local bike advocacy group in the coming days.

From BikeCommuters.com, thank you for taking action with us.

Bike/Ped Funding in trouble…again

It seems like every couple of weeks over the past year, some of our elected officials decide to tinker with things and put bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure funding in jeopardy. The League of American Bicyclists is sounding the alarm again about today’s announcement of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, introduced by John Mica (R-FL). As the LAB states in their email to us:

The proposed bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycling and walking as we feared, and it goes much further and systematically removes bicycling from the Federal transportation program. It basically eliminates our status and standing in the planning and design of our transportation system — a massive step backwards for individuals, communities and our nation. It’s a step back to a 1950s highway- and auto-only program that makes no sense in the 21st century.

The bill reverses 20 years of progress by:

  • destroying Transportation Enhancements by making it optional;
  • repealing the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school;
  • allowing states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles;
  • eliminating bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs; and
  • eliminating language that insures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”

On Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee will mark-up the bill and Representatives Petri (R-WI) and Johnson (R-IL) will sponsor an amendment that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Representatives Petri and Johnson can only be successful if everyone with a stake in safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways contacts their representative today.

The LAB has created a handy letter and contact tool so you can voice your concerns with your representative(s). Simply click on the Capwiz link, enter your zipcode and the system generates an editable letter for you.

Make your voice be heard…while we understand that the Federal Government cannot be expected to pay for everything, and that the states should be responsible for the bulk of bike/ped infrastructure, this proposed Act sets a dangerous precedent that jeopardizes decades of progress.