With huge benefits to productivity and health, a boost to local retail and the great potential for job creation, bicycling clearly means business. And as much as we jump up and down about this, there’s nothing like the business community itself making the strong business case.
We were pleased to bring together our Bike Business Forum in mid-June for another biannual meeting of business leaders. Representatives joined us from Adobe, CBRE, Fred Hutch, the Gates Foundation, Marcus and Milichap, Mithun, PATH, REI, Seattle Children’s, Starbucks, Stoel Rives, SvR Design, the University of Washington and others.
After a networking lunch, a warm welcome from REI’s Government Affairs Director and a policy briefing from Cascade, leadership from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) was on hand for the main event, kicked off by Cascade’s Manager of Commute Programs, Stephanie Frans.
Flanked by SDOT’s Deputy Director and key SDOT managers and staff, Stephanie rolled out large-sized color maps from around the city to the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. Business leaders marked their workplaces on the map and then started identifying barriers to and opportunities for bicycling. The room was abuzz with discussion, ideas and sketching that would have made Da Vinci proud.
The result? A series of colorful, detailed maps with comments that SDOT will incorporate into this year’s Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update process. The timing was perfect, since the city is incorporating thousands of comments and ideas about the city-wide network until early July and will be developing a draft plan throughout the fall for unveiling toward the end of the year.
We’re proud that Seattle boasts more than a few of the world’s best companies, some of the best and brightest change-makers and many of the cutting-edge ideas that get implemented. A bold and visionary bike plan is one such idea that we’re eager for.
We’re grateful that we have the influence and energy from members of the business community to help get us there. And we’re grateful to these business leaders who make a strong connection between their bottom lines and improving bicycling—at their workplaces and beyond—so that our community is a better place to live, to work and to be for everyone.