Cycling is an excellent means to incorporating exercise into daily work and leisure routines. As our communities become more integrated, businesses will want to take advantage of this growing demographic of cyclists by ensuring infrastructure for optimal bike-parking—which can expand an existing customer base and improve employee satisfaction.
Still not convinced? Here's 7 reasons why your commercial space needs to be bike-friendly.
1. The numbers
See those bikers riding by your storefront? If you don't have adequate accommodations, they'll keep on riding. Bike commuting and bicycle tourism are growing trends among North America's largest urban centers. Not only are riders more likely to frequent local businesses, but with all the money they save on gas, maintenance and parking, they're also more willing to spend. Bike parking is a tried and tested way to attract customers and boost revenue.
2. Community engagement
North American cities are becoming more integrated, encouraging a range of alternative modes for transportation. But there's only so much that public support can offer. Businesses play a huge role in shaping the culture and lifestyles in their local neighborhoods. From supporting reduced carbon emissions and healthier lifestyles, businesses can demonstrate strong leadership in supporting proper infrastructure.
3. Cultivate your image
Image is everything for businesses. Companies need to demonstrate they're on top of the latest trends. Businesses can show they're a leader in supporting progressive shifts to more responsible lifestyles by demonstrating their commitment to alternative modes of transportation. Standard bike parking is a start, but consider allocating space indoors for more protected storage or setting up an on-street bike station with tire pumps, tools and watering station.
4. Healthy & happy employees
Cycling is a vigorous cardiovascular activity that helps keep us active and healthy, reducing risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also keeps us physically fit and improves mental health. In short, cycling can increase employee happiness, and happy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive. Encouraging healthy lifestyles through cycling is a win-win situation for managers and employees.
5. Increase parking capacity at little cost
Motor-vehicle parking can require some serious real estate, not to mention adequate road access. Bikes are more versatile and take up much less space, which means more opportunities to integrate accommodations into a commercial space. A single bike rack can offer parking for multiple bikes in a convenient location with prime access to a building entrance.
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6. Optimize space
Without proper infrastructure, business-owners might find cyclists parking in un-wanted spaces, chaining their bikes to trees, fences, railings or other site furnishings. This can lead to damage or obstructions to pedestrian or road traffic. Preemptive planning ensures more efficient use of space to accommodate a greater range of uses.
7. Community support
With growing popularity comes greater support. Many community programs offer assistance for businesses looking to increase bike parking at their locations. Community groups and government representatives can help plan—and in some situations, may even offer free hardware and installation.