Bicycle Friendly Business Program Recognizes Firsts
Today, the League of American Bicyclists welcomes 59 new and renewing businesses to its Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) program. There are now over 1,300 BFBs in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
“This round of awards demonstrates the commitment that a broad range of businesses have to making their workplaces more welcoming to bicycling,” said Amelia Neptune, Director of the Bicycle Friendly America program. “We are excited to see the continued growth of the Bicycle Friendly Business program and the dedication that these businesses have to providing education and encouragement that make biking better for their employees and their communities.”
Two elementary schools are among this round’s BFB awardees, the first of their kind in the program. Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, VA, a new Silver BFB, has a goal of increasing the number of staff and students commuting to school. “We have very little automobile parking near our school. Parents, teachers and students recognize that bike commuting is a more predictable commute to school. Even after our new addition of bike parking stations, we often have to double-up our bikes at these locations.”
New Gold BFB Oceano Elementary School in Oceano, CA, understands that biking can change their community as well as their school. “The staff of Oceano have invested considerable time and effort into making the school extremely accessible to bikes. Over the years, the community perceptions of Oceano are starting to change. Biking has given some students, who may not want to be at school, a reason to come to school. City governments in the area are taking notice too. Because we advocate for better cycling infrastructure through writing letters to the editor or writing to city councils, some bike infrastructure has been installed.”
Another set of firsts are the BFB program’s first two bicycle-friendly police departments: Silver BFB Boise Police Department in Idaho, and Bronze BFB Fergus Falls Police Department in Minnesota. According to the Boise Police Department, “Police officers on bicycles have two to three more contacts per day than police officers in a car and each interaction is more satisfactory to the public. It has led to higher productivity, increased efficiency and higher customer service satisfaction as well as higher employee job satisfaction, all at a lower cost.” The Police Department in Fergus Falls says their “main goal is on informing and educating the public on the safe practices of bicycling and the rules of the road. We use warnings as a second option and provide free bike lights as a tool to educate rather than ticket.”
Among renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses being announced, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), in Boulder, CO, rose from Silver to Gold BFB status this round. UCAR realized that education is key to encouraging its employees to bike more and to bike more safely. “One of the ways that we ensure that all levels of bikers are welcome and engaged is to provide a variety of workshops that each target different levels of experience and knowledge. Some examples of the different workshops we provide on our campus, free of charge, to our staff are bike fit, bike maintenance, bike safety and Commuting 101.”
Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville, MA, a new Silver BFB, has a similar commitment to educating and encouraging its staff. “Aeronaut hosts classes and workshops covering a huge variety of topics, including through our monthly “Bike Talk” series of speakers ranging from police officers to artists and monthly Shift bike repair workshops.” Another brewery, Maine Beer Company in Freeport, ME, also a new Silver BFB, stood out for its support of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.
New Bronze BFB Jefferson City, MO, goes the extra mile in encouraging city employees to bike. “After hosting our first employee bike ride a number of employees bought their own bike for personal use including our street operations manager [who] now owns and rides a bike frequently. By hosting weekly rides we have attracted many employees some of whom have not ridden in years.”
Congratulations to all 59 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses being recognized this round!
To apply for bicycle-friendly recognition for your business, or to learn more about the BFB program, visit bikeleague.org/business.
The Bicycle Friendly Community℠, Bicycle Friendly State℠, Bicycle Friendly Business℠ and Bicycle Friendly University℠ programs are generously supported by program partners Planet Bike and Dero Bike Racks. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA.
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.