Bike Friendly Best Practices

Being a Bike Friendly Business means thinking about customers and employees that arrive by bike and working to accommodate some of their unique needs. Providing great amenities and policies for people that ride bikes is relatively inexpensive, and doing so will ensure you don’t miss out on sales from a market segment you want to serve, or miss drawing from a pool of employee candidates that you want to attract.

These bike friendly best practices include a few ways that members of the Seattle Bike Friendly Business Network #SEAbikebiz are being bike friendly.

Customer Parking & Amenities

Being a Bike Friendly Business means providing great customer service and accommodating the unique needs of a quickly growing market segment.

 

Bike Parking

Bike friendly businesses offer convenient bike parking

Providing convenient bike parking for your customers allows for easy access and peace of mind while patrons shop, dine, or visit. Interested in requesting a bike rack or bike corral in front of your business? Contact Kyle Rowe at SDOT to be placed on a first come, first served waiting list.

invest in a bike rack to give employees easy access to bike parkting

Looking to install your own bike rack in front of your business? Discounts and special offers for Bike Friendly Business may be available from these great bike rack manufacturers:

Contact Hannah Faires at hannahf@commuteseattle.com to learn more about discount bike amenities for participating Bike Friendly Businesses.

If you are planning on installing bike parking in the public right of way, contact the SDOT Street-Use team to obtain a permit. If you are planning on installing bike parking on private property, work with your property manager, select a rack, and begin installation.

For helpful guidelines on installing bike parking, check out the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals’ Essentials of Bike Parking.

 

Customer Amenities

Provide a bike pump for quick repairs

There are many easy things you can do to accommodate customers who arrive by bike. Here are a few we’ve seen:

  • Provide a bike pump and basic bike tools, or a full bike repair stand.
  • Provide common bike parts and supplies such as patch kits, spare tubes, and chain grease.
  • Provide a bike lock for customers who may have forgotten to bring their own.
  • Post and distribute the City of Seattle bike map.
  • Offer discounts for customers who arrive by bike. Bicycle Benefits is a national program that supports cycling and local businesses by providing discounts and deals you can only get if you bike to your destination and show your Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker.

 

Employee Parking & Amenities

Employees who choose to cycle to work are happier, experience less anxiety, and require fewer sick days. By promoting and supporting employee cyclists, businesses can lower their healthcare costs, experience increased retention, and boost morale in the workplace.

 

Employee Bike Parking

Secure employee bike parking is a great benefit to offer.

 

As bike commuting continues to increase, a growing number of Seattle businesses and property owners have invested in bike amenities like secured bike parking, bike tools and repair stands, shower and locker facilities, and clothing drying racks. These amenities make biking to work more convenient and demonstrate business support for cycling.

Discounts and special offers for Bike Friendly Business may be available from these great manufacturers:

Contact Hannah Faires at hannahf@commuteseattle.com to learn more about discount bike amenities for participating bike friendly businesses.

For helpful guidelines on installing bike parking, check out the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals’ Essentials of Bike Parking.

 

Commuter Benefits

Bike friendly businesses can also offer commuter benefits.

Did you know that you can offer your employees tax-free commute benefits for biking and taking transit? Download Commute Seattle’s Tax-Free Transportation Guide to learn more about federal and state tax breaks for providing commute benefits.

One of the most useful bike tools that a bike commuter can bring on their ride is an ORCA card. Combining biking with transit is one of the most efficient ways for employees to commute during rush hour, and allows cyclists to have multiple options in case of rain, a flat tire, or a long-distance and hilly commute. The ORCA Business Passport program provides your employees with an unlimited transit pass covering all bus, rail, water-taxi, and Vanpool/Vanshare programs in King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish Counties. Contact info@commuteseattle.com to learn more about ORCA options for your employees.

You can also create your own private bike share system for your office or business through services like Zagster, or by simply providing access to a shared company bike for mid-day meetings and errands.

 

Mobile Bike Mechanic Services

Bike friendly businesses can provide repair services

One way business can encourage bike commuting is by providing repair services on-site or at nearby bike shops. A mobile bike mechanic can be made available to bike commuters for basic repairs, tune-ups, and information on any bike-related issues. Contact Hannah Faires at hannahf@commuteseattle.com for a list of mobile bike mechanic services near you.

 

Education

Educate employees on the benefits of bicycle commuting.

Educating your employees on bike commuting can help grow the number of employee cyclists in the workplace. Both Commute Seattle and Cascade Bicycle Club provide great classes and educational resources for employees, covering the rules of the road, tips for new riders, and urban cycling techniques.

Sharing helpful resources for smart commuting  with your employees can shape the way they travel to and from work. Check out the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Bike Program where you can get access to bicycling guides, maps, and rules of the road. Also, learn more about how your business can support Vision Zero, Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries  by 2030.

Business Operations

There are a number of ways to make your business operations more bicycle friendly.

Participate and Compete

Bike to work and compete in challenges.

 

Encourage your employees to represent your company and compete in the Bike Everywhere Challenge in May, and the Ride in the Rain Challenge in November. These fun free trip-tracking competitions allow you to challenge your neighboring businesses, clients, and competitors to encourage bicycling and compete for great prizes and bragging rights.

 

Use Bikes to Move Goods or Advertise Your Business

Use bikes for mobile delivery delivery.

Utilizing bike messenger and cargo bike services for deliveries and advertising reduces congestion and pollution while stimulating the local economy. If you are interested in more information regarding  sustainable local delivery and street-level marketing, check out Freewheel Cargo.

 

Advocate for Safe Bicycle Infrastructure

Educate employees on the safety of bike lanes.

The City of Seattle provides many opportunities for businesses and citizens to voice their opinions on future projects. As a member of the Bicycle Friendly Business Network #SEAbikebiz we will keep you posted on opportunities to provide input on future street design for bike lanes and other issues impacting your customers and employees.

Research & Resources