Tech and creative firms dominate the local list
The League of American Bicyclists awarded six new local organizations Bike Friendly Businesses (BFB) status, bringing the city’s total BFBs to 18. Deeplocal earned recognition at the silver level. The others, including, Carnegie Mellon’s Mechanical Engineering Department, Mullen, pair Networks, Pashek and Associates, and the Priory Hotel all earned a respectable bronze in the Leagues’ ranking of their Bicycle Friendly Business program. Local businesses were among 67 new BFBs recently announced. Now more than 400 businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States have been recognized for their efforts for helping transform the American workplace.
Less than two years ago Pittsburgh could only claim one BFB. In the most recent round Pittsburgh tied Arlington VA for the most new companies honored with the award. BikePGH’s Scott Bricker is ecstatic to see such initiative from local businesses. “Bike Pittsburgh started our Bike Friendly Employer program several years ago to help local businesses meet the needs of the growing number of people who want to bike to work, and lots have responded. It’s awesome to see them earn national recognition for their efforts.”
Bicycle-friendly businesses improve the workplace and contribute to the community. They help set a tone that the work place really cares about their employees’ health and well-being and this contributes to overall productivity. In partnership with BikePGH all of these companies have made an impact on promoting commuting alternatives. Mullen, for example, helped BikePGH develop our Car Free Fridays brand, Deeplocal designed the award-winning Pittsburgh Bike Map, the Priory has co-hosted community rides and built a bike shelter at their hotel, Pashek has loaner bikes on hand for employees to use, and pair Networks recently outfitted a bike room and has hosted our website pro-bono for nearly seven years. In the case of Carnegie Mellon Mechanical Engineering, graduate student Billy Epting felt his department could do more than just settle for the amenities the university provided so he set out to collaborate with people in his department to adjust bike parking policies and provide easy access to tools.
Several things all of these companies have in common are advocates at work who understand bike amenities are important to employees and they make it a point to see their needs are addressed, whether it’s from the top down or the bottom up, when someone is determined to see it through, change is made. The foundation of all BFB’s is bike parking that is convenient, safe and secure. What sets them apart is the incentives, events, and education they use to engage their employees.
BikePGH’s Bike Friendly Employer program helps businesses establish or improve bike efforts at work and prepares them to apply for the League’s BFB program. To start, employers are asked to fill out a simple questionnaire. Bike Pittsburgh follows up with a site visit and presents participating business with a Bicycle Action Plan. The deadline for the next round of Bike Friendly Employer questionnaires is May 18 (National Bike to Work Day). Site visits commence in June. To request a questionnaire contact BikePGH at BFE@bike-pgh.org.
Sign up for the Pittsburgh Bike Challenge! Represent Pittsburgh! Invite your friends, form your teams, and help pedal PGH to the top of the national leaderboards! Show people that the hills just make us stronger! To get involved, sign up at: nationalbikechallenge.org