League Recognizes 82 New and Renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses
Today, the League of American Bicyclists is honoring 82 businesses in 30 states with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) designation. This award recognizes companies for their efforts to promote and support active, healthy transportation options for their employees, customers, and guests.
In its 10 years of designating Bicycle Friendly Businesses, the League has evaluated over 2,000 companies and currently recognizes a total of 1,314 active Bicycle Friendly Businesses at the Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum award levels in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Today’s award announcement also includes five companies that are receiving Honorable Mention recognition.
“Business owners across the country are looking for simple, straightforward ways to build their companies, do right by their workers and customers, and contribute positively to their local communities,” says Executive Director Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists. “Boosting participation in bicycling achieves all of that and more, and these 82 exemplary employers are wonderful models of that success. We congratulate this latest class of business leaders for recognizing that one of the oldest and easiest forms of transportation still generates significant economic and societal rewards today.”
Applicants to the BFB program are evaluated on over 100 data points under the program’s ‘4 E’ Framework: Engineering, Encouragement, Education, and Evaluation & Planning. The latest cohort of Bicycle Friendly Businesses represents a wide variety of employers, destinations, and models for bicycle-friendliness. Participating “businesses” range from schools to hospitals, from volunteer-run organizations to government agencies, and from independent Main Street shops to Fortune 500 company headquarters. While their methods for supporting bicycling may vary as widely as the awardees themselves, each BFB has demonstrated a comprehensive focus across all 4 Es, including physical amenities, culture-building services and programming, inclusive outreach and educational opportunities, and institutionalized efforts to improve.
For renewing Platinum-level BFB Facebook Headquarters, in Menlo Park, CA, becoming bicycle-friendly has meant major campus-scale amenities and programming for its 19,000 employees: “We’ve built out four bike shops around campus to better serve employees closer to their workplaces,” Program Manager Jessica Burton reported on Facebook HQ’s renewal application. “We have built a mobile concierge staffed by a team of six Bike Ambassadors [four of whom are League Cycling Instructors (LCIs)] …This mobile concierge is a rolling storage unit/desk that is hauled by an electric cargo bike. We bring this mobile concierge to key intersections and busy parts of campus to increase awareness of Facebook’s bike programs, encourage bicyclists who make safe riding choices, and help teach others how to bicycle to campus more safely.”
Renewing Platinum-level BFB Facebook Headquarters’ Mobile Concierge, stationed at a new hire orientation.
For smaller companies, the 4 Es manifest in smaller-scale but equally impactful activities. For 25-employee Ringdahl Ambulance in Fergus Falls, MN, which has moved up from Silver to Gold this year, increased bicycle-friendly efforts include installing ceiling-mounted bicycle storage to raise bikes above ambulances, workspaces, and public areas, as well as maintaining a Bicycle Response Team and subsidizing LCI certification for employees.
Gold-level BFB Ringdahl Ambulance’s ceiling-mounted bicycle storage.
Cost savings, employee productivity, and morale are often listed as top benefits and reasons for pursuing bicycle-friendliness. According to attorney Travis Patterson of Patterson Law Group, a new Bronze BFB in Fort Worth, TX, “Our employees who ride have become much more alert at work and cite biking to work as the primary reason.”
For many of the public agencies in the program, becoming designated as a Bicycle Friendly Business is a way to lead by example. “Park employees can better relate to park users and understand cycling infrastructure if they share the same activities,” says new Silver BFB Cleveland Metroparks’ Special Projects Administrator Nancy Desmond. “We view engaging employees and achieving BFB status as an important step in ‘walking the talk’ by enhancing employee health and wellness, cutting CO2 emissions and retaining great talent.”
New Silver-level BFB Cleveland Metroparks hosts a Bike to Work Day with the CEO.
In several communities across the nation, the League has seen an upward trend in new Bicycle Friendly Business applications thanks to the outreach efforts of local bike advocates and community partners. St. Petersburg, FL, has continued its ascent into the top five cities in the nation with the most BFBs, rising from zero BFBs just two years ago to 36 today, including the community’s first Platinum-level BFB, the St. Petersburg Bicycle Co-op. At the encouragement of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, the small town of Walker, MN, population 941, went from zero to ten BFBs in this single application round. One of those businesses, new Silver-level BFB Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, assisted 12 Chamber business members along the town’s bike trails to apply to the program all at once, yielding 10 awards and two Honorable Mentions.
Once achieving an award level of Bronze or higher, all BFBs must renew their designation every four years to remain in good standing, with each renewal application offering businesses an opportunity to advance to higher award levels. Two renewing Platinum-level businesses in this announcement, BTI in Santa Fe, NM, and The Burke Group, in Rosemont, IL, have been a part of the BFB program since 2010. “Having achieved Platinum status for the company [in 2014], our focus has turned outward,” says BTI’s Marketing Director, Bill Lane. “Our efforts are directed toward developing new riders in the community, providing encouragement for local planners, and turning BTI staff and community members into new organizers and advocates. It’s a both a fun and rewarding effort.”
The public is invited to follow the League’s blog at www.bikeleague.org/blog for more compelling stories, statistics and progress by BFB recipients, as well as advances made by honorees among the League’s Bicycle Friendly States, Bicycle Friendly Universities and Bicycle Friendly Communities.
All 1,314 current Bicycle Friendly Businesses can be found via the League’s interactive awards map.
Submissions for the Spring 2019 Bicycle Friendly Businesses awards are now open. Deadline is Feb. 20, 2019. To learn more about the BFB program or to apply, visit bikeleague.org/business.
Funded through a partnership of the League of American Bicyclists and Dero Bike Racks, the Bicycle Friendly Business program is one of four core elements of a larger campaign to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. The League and its 17,000 members also support and encourage bicyclists’ rights and safety via their Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State and Bicycle Friendly University programs. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org/BFA.
The League of American Bicyclists leads a national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As such, the organization is committed to listening and learning, defining standards and sharing best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.