Nonprofit Tallying Votes For 510's Most Bicycle-Friendly Businesses

By Susan Xu - Published on March 06, 2017.
A bike-only lane next to MacArthur BART. (Photo: Bike East Bay/Facebook)

In recent years, more Oaklanders have started traveling by bicycle; the number of Census-counted bike commuters in the city increased by 53 percent between 2010 and 2014, and new bike lanes on Telegraph Ave. have reduced collisions and boosted retail activity.

To highlight companies that embrace a two-wheeled lifestyle, nonprofit Bike East Bay has opened voting for its annual Bike-Friendly Business Awards. Nominations are open until March 9th. 

CIndy Ma in KTGY’s Oakland office. | Photo: KTGY

"A sustainability and commuter program should be part of every workplace," said Cindy Ma, Senior Planner at architecture and design firm KTGY, which won one of East Bay Bike's awards in 2014.

The various bike facilities at KTGY consist of an in-office bike storage room with custom bike racks, an employee shower, and an incentive program that offers $5 per day to anyone who commutes to and from work without driving. 

Having a bike storage room "helps with the peace of mind so I don’t have to worry too much about my bicycle getting stolen or vandalized if it’s locked outside," said Ma.

KTGY's bike storage room. | Photo: KTGY

Even as KTGY prepares to move to new offices in the Leamington building, the company is seeking ways to accommodate bicycles. It hopes to utilize 19th Street BART's bicycle parking, as well as a bicycle spa in the garage level of the building. 

Beyond showers and wall-mounted bike racks, Oakland-based engineering firm kW Engineering — winner of Bike East Bay's 2016 award — hosts regular tune-up sessions and offers monthly vouchers to pay for equipment, repairs or storage. Employees who achieve mileage goals receive prizes, including bike lights and messenger bags.

According to founder and president Jim Kelsey, promoting cycling “helps us build community at work and embodies our core mission to promote a sustainable world."

Biking every day is also an effective way to discover Oakland, said Kelsey. "Probably once a week, I meet a new person on my way to work on a bike. That never happens in a car. ”

What are your favorite bike-friendly businesses? Nominate them for this year's Bike East Bay's Bike-Friendly Business Awards, which will honor one small, one medium and one large business. 

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