Ten Ways to Make Your Business Bike-Friendly

Spring is a great time to make your business more bicycle-friendly. In addition to fabulous bicycling events and fundraisers that take place during the warm months, policies that support biking to work can be an excellent long-term management decision.

Bicycle-friendly businesses garner good PR -- you demonstrate to your clients and community that you are a company that is concerned about the wellness of its employees and the environment. As a good corporate citizen, you'll be helping to reduce smog, traffic congestion, per capita road expenditures, climate change, and acid rain.

To recognize your company, many cities offer bicycle-friendly business awards. A bike commuting program also provides something wonderful to brag about in your company sustainability reports.

In addition, bicyclists make good employees -- healthier, happier employees are more productive, and you'll attract employees who value health and well-being, possibly lowering your insurance premiums.

With fewer employees driving, you may have more parking spaces for customers, and you might save money if you subsidize employee parking.

Bicycle-friendly practices and policies can be cheap, while still leading to big results. Without further ado, here is a list of steps, ranging from easy to "varsity level," that your company can take to become a more bicycle-friendly organization. Who knows, your company may already be doing some of these things.

1. Install bicycle racks in front of your business. Having sufficient bike racks out front is an easy way to encourage employees to bike, while also laying out a veritable welcome mat to customers who are cyclists. Many cities even install bike racks free. These include Portland, New York, Chicago, and Boston.

2. Participate in Bike-to-Work Week. Get your office to compete with other area businesses to get the highest percentage of its employees biking to work during one week in June. Bike to Work Week is a fantastic, free way to engage employees and garner a little positive publicity.

3. Offer cyclist discounts. Retailers and restaurants should consider offering a small discount for customers who arrive by bike, even if just for May, which is National Bicycle Month.