Local universities and tech companies figure prominently
Since our Bike Friendly Employer program launched earlier in the year, the interest shown by local organizations and businesses has been brisk. In February BikePGH recognized eleven employers. Now we welcome eight more.
In this round of the program, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh stepped up to see how they would fare. Both know the benefits of promoting the use of bicycles for transportation. Oakland sees more bike commuters than any other Pittsburgh neighborhood, and they’d like to see a lot more to help further decrease congestion. Both universities regularly host events like Bike to Work Day and Car Free Fridays, they provide abundant bike parking, and have facilities for employees to change, shower, and store items. Pitt has a bike loaner program through their athletic department and recently overhauled and increased the amount of bike parking on campus.
Carnegie Mellon is including plans for a road diet and bike lane on Forbes Avenue in their master plan. Also the Mechanical Engineering Department (ME) at CMU applied to see if they had the right elements in place to promote biking to work. This extra effort is a good model for employers that cover a lot of ground and have a lot of employees. Inevitably some buildings and/or departments do a lot more to support bike commuting. ME grad student Billy Epting made it his pet project. His efforts helped the department become a stand out within the University.
Three bike friendly employers this round, pair Networks, Pashek Associates, and the Priory, did not originally qualify for the recognition, but they stayed on task and were dedicated to making sure it happened. The Priory is the first hotel on the list. With the help of a grant from the Allegheny Health Department to promote wellness at the workplace they built a bike shelter to welcome guests and encourage employees to ride their bikes. Owner John Graf said of the recognition, “We are really pleased and honored with this designation.” Pashek’s principle Jim Pashek frequently bikes to work and provides loaner bikes to employees to run errands and attend meetings. As a team of landscape architects and community planners Pashek understands that bikes play a key role in livable cities. pair Networks is committed to being the greenest web service provider in the industry and they see being bike friendly as an integral part of that goal. Their location next to the South Side Riverfront Trail is a huge plus. They created a new bike room to accommodate their bike commuters.
Bike Friendly Employer is a program that attracts the Tech Industry probably more than any other individual sector. In addition to pair Networks and Google in the last round, Deeplocal and InspectTech qualified on their first attempt. Both organizations have a high percentage of bike commuters, including owners and/or top level managers that bike to work. InspectTech offers the Commuter Tax Benefit to employees and they are located along the trail on the North Shore. Deeplocal was a sponsor of BikeFest this year and happen to be the designers of the Pittsburgh Bike Map. Both companies are leaders in their industry. InspectTech designs software that collects, analyzes, and manages inspection data for bridges. Deeplocal builds interactive experiences that bridge the physical and digital worlds, essentially pioneering new approaches to advertising and marketing.
Help make Pittsburgh a bike friendly city by becoming a Bike Friendly Employer
All of these bike friendly employers have several things in common. They all provide good bike parking solutions for their employees, they all foster a culture that promotes bike commuting, and they all have at least one champion who inspires their organization to be bike friendly. Bike Friendly Employer’s are encouraged to earn national recognition from the League of American Bicyclist through the Bike Friendly Business program. Six Pittsburgh businesses recently qualified for the honor – the second highest total among cities in the last round.
If your business is strongly committed to Pittsburgh and you recognize safe and well designed bike facilities as a vital attribute of livable and sustainable cities then this program is an excellent fit for your organization. Contact Bike Pittsburgh at firstname.lastname@example.org to fill out the questionnaire. When the questionnaire is completed Bike Pittsburgh conducts a site visit to determine if you meet the basic criteria. The site visit is followed up with a Bicycle Action Plan to help businesses keep their goals on target and efforts fresh. The program is a free service to Bike Pittsburgh business members.
Help us reach 2012 members by 2012 and unlock $2012 in matching!! Join today! We need 250 more members by the end of the year! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership