“How to Keep Cyclists Happy at the Office”
Baltimore Spokes has an interesting piece about things that employers can do to help their employees successfully bike to work. It’s a very important thing. Even if you have nice bike paths and know all the tips about how to ride, you’ll probably be more tempted to give up if your work place is very bike-unfriendly. From an employer’s perspective, having bike-commuters in the office is a positive thing; they tend to be healthier, less stressed, and more productive (this sounds a bit too close to fitter, happier, more productive…). Read on to see tips for employers who want to encourage bike commuting.
Baltimore Spokes writes:
Be Accessible: Most folks aren’t going to want to hop on I-66 to wheel their way in. So, companies in neighborhoods near multi-use jogging and cycling trials — like Bethesda, which is close to the Capital Crescent — are more likely to lure two-wheelers. Second best are offices near roads with bike lanes (or little traffic).
Keep it Clean: [One company] chose its location specifically for its shower facilities. In buildings without them, it’s smart to negotiate a group discount at a nearby fitness center. Otherwise, the only real option for riders is a rubdown with wet wipes.
Provide Safe Parking: Outdoor bike racks are fine for cheaper wheels you won’t worry about getting damaged or stolen. But riders generally feel safer with more secure storage.
Build a Community: “If people feel like they’re alone out there doing this, it’s not worth doing,” says Angela Atwood-Moore, a research associate at the National Institutes of Health. As the president of the NIH Bicycle Commuter Club, she’s been instrumental in keeping the Bethesda campus’ 600 bike commuters informed through a Web site and an e-mail list (to which 300 riders subscribe).
Show Us the Money: It also can’t hurt to offer financial incentives for ditching driving. Employers can institute the recently adopted monthly $20 tax rebate for cyclists, or go further.