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Bike facilities at work

by Richard Masoner

Where I work, we have secure, covered bike parking; lockers and showers (with shampoo and soap provided!). The employee shuttle buses all have bike racks on them. We’re also permitted to keep our bikes in the office (which I do). On job interviews, the first question I ask is “Can I ride my bike to work?”

Many cities try to encourage bicycling as transportation through policies that encourage bike racks and other bike commuter facilities at work sites. The city of Longmont, Colorado reduces the parking lot requirement for projects that install showers and bike racks. The city of Cupertino, California recently adopted a “parking cashout” policy. This is a program where employers pay their employees to not drive their cars to work. Cupertino encourages this program by reducing the required parking for new commercial construction.

Is there anything innovative your employer or city does to encourage bicycling to work? What do you have? What’s on your wish list?

 
The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

13 Responses to “Bike facilities at work”

  1. Don says:

    My employer is pretty reasonable about my bike commuting. Before I had an office he allowed me to keep my bike in my cubicle and now he lets me keep it in my office. (Though I have to let the snow and road sludge melt off in a different area at this time of year. :-) )

    He is also pretty accommodating with my work hours, allowing me to come in early and leave early to avoid typical traffic patterns.

    Other than that I have to wash up in the handicap stall in the bathroom and hang my clothes in a supply closet, which fortunately has a huge air exchanger in there that allows my clothes to dry in an 8hr day.

    So I really can’t complain, I’m sure other people out there have much less cooperative employers.

  2. Evan says:

    My employer doesn’t do anything, but our local CID runs what they call the Commuter Club. The Commuter Club offers car and van pool information as well as holding a monthly raffle for people who use commute alternatives. Since May of 2006 I’ve won $75 worth of Visa gift cards just for riding my bike to work.

  3. Bobby says:

    I can’t believe that there is actually a place in this world that provides those kind of facilities for bike commuters/riders. You’re a very lucky bunch of people and I envy you.

  4. Dan says:

    I work on a university campus, so there are many people, both students and staff, riding around. Unfortunately, the only facilities provided are the bike racks. I am fortunate to have a private office in which to change clothes for the ride home.

  5. Scott says:

    Its worth point out that Parking Cash Out (PCO) does’nt pay people not to drive. Employers can count employee parking as a benefit for tax breaks. PCO takes that idea a step further to allow employers to give commuters the post-tax value of that parking. Saying that you get paid for not driving implies that there is no cost for the employer to provide parking, which is certainly not true. Its better to think of it as cashing in the value of your parking spot.

    It may be different in Cupertino, but Federal and State tax laws usually encourage trading parking for cash.

  6. John says:

    My employer has a video secured bike locker room where employees can park their bikes for free inside. There are pumps and places to put bike shoes and bags as well. There are lockers in this room in addition to the lockers that all employees are assigned. We have showers with places to hang towels. The other nice thing is the bike path here in Denver dead ends into the entrance of our building. They encourage people to commute by offering free tune-ups after every 30 rides, and also give a bus pass stippend for those who don’t want to drive. Now if this snow would only melt….

  7. JW says:

    My employer has a nice locker room with showers. I use a crappy, oudated, outdoor bike rack for parking, although there is indoor bicycle parking on the opposite side of the building from where I sit. I have kept my bike in my cube, sometimes overnight. Nobody cares.

    I am currently trying to get our facilities guys to purchase some sort of covered and secure outdoor bicycle parking, since they are doing a parking lot restoration next spring. Indoor parking is not as convenient as it sounds in the freez/thaw cycles common in wintertime Minnesota.

    My employer’s activity committee helped me put together a nice bike to work day celebration last year, providing a nice coffee, bagel and fruit bar and hang out for the folks who cycled in that day. It was a nice day weather-wise and we ran out of room in the bike racks.

  8. Fritz says:

    I guess one of the neat things about cycling is that you don’t really *need* a lot of the extra stuff. Showers, lockers and parking facilities are nice to have, but that infrastructure required for biking to work is a lot less than the acres of pavement required to support driving to work.

    Good for you, JW, for putting together the BTWD activity. I’m jealous of John’s free bike tuneups!

  9. Mike in Florida says:

    I work for a small business, and I’m allowed to store my bike in a file storage room. I have no shower at work, but I shower before I start my commute, and towel off/reapply deodorant/body spray when I get there. It’s not difficult. Even in the heat of summer I don’t have a problem with stinking. I think the key is to be clean when you start. I shave my head so I don’t have to worry about my hair.

  10. GeekCyclist says:

    We had to fight for a little while, but we now have a ‘bike cage’ in the parking garage under our building. It has space for about 15 bikes. We also have showers and lockers, but you can’t leave your stuff in the lockers overnight.

    Every May, in conjunction with national and state bicycle month, we (the core group of bike commuters) so a couple of events. We have a lunchtime brownbag workshop on commuting by bike. On another day several of us that are mechanically inclined do tuneups on any bike brought in by an employee. We also try to match up experienced riders with novices who are interested in riding to work to ride with them a few times, help with route selections, etc.

  11. Steve says:

    Of about 500 employees, myself and two or maybe three others bike to work at all. We just moved into a new building with a terrific locker room. I can now leave a suit, toiletries, towel whatever and not have to pack it for the ride. A huge time saver compared to our last facility. It added about 3 1/2 miles to my ride but it was definitely worth it. We also have secure parking and I was pleasantly surprised when they finally put in a bike rack when I returned from Christmas. After biking pretty regularly since July, I no longer get weird looks when I walk out the door in my biking attire.

  12. IB Rich says:

    We don’t have official “facilities” here at work, but bikes are allowed in the office. Mine keeps me company in my cubicle. More importantly for a working biker, I think, is the shower facilities. Very nice enhancement when we moved here at the end of 2005. Used to have to do a washcloth bath in the bathroom. Tolerable, but not so nice. Much better to be able to freshen up after a lunch time ride or morning commute with a shower before going back to work.
    While facilities are not a “need”, I think they go a long way to removing perceived obstacles to riding more to and during work.

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