Thursday, April 26, 2012

City of Durham Named a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business

The League of American Bicyclists has recognized the City of Durham as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business. With the announcement of 67 new businesses this week, the City of Durham joins a group of more than 400 local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

“The City of Durham is at the forefront of a movement to make American businesses more competitive, sustainable, and attractive to the best and brightest employees,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “An investment in bicycling enhances employee health, increases sustainability, and improves the bottom line.”

According to The League, by winning the silver level award, the City of Durham will now have access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle-friendly.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Business, and we look forward to more employees bicycling to work,” said City Transportation Department Director Mark Ahrendsen. “We encourage other businesses in Durham to make their sites bicycle friendly for their employees and customers.”

The City of Durham encourages bicycling by employees as an easy option for transportation by providing amenities such as bicycle racks, showers, and lockers, and incentives such as bike safety and maintenance classes. Currently there are about 20 employees who regularly bicycle to work. Several employees are “mixed-mode” commuters, who make part of their trip by bike and part by the Bull City ConnectorDurham Area Transit Authority or Triangle Transit buses.

According to Ahrendsen, when employees bike to work, the organization and the employee can experience the following benefits:

• Improved health of employees, potentially resulting in lower health insurance premiums.

• Reduced burden faced by the City to provide and maintain parking spaces for employees who drive to work.

• Increased employee productivity and decreased absenteeism due to a healthier workforce.

• Reduced air pollution and congestion on local and regional roadways due to a decrease in single-occupancy motor vehicle use.

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