Last week Cascade held a special session of our Bike Business Forum at Swedish/Edmonds hospital to provide workplaces with a chance to learn more about our work in the area, and engage the business community in a discussion about improving the environment for bicycling.
Thanks to a grant from the Verdant Health Commission, Cascade has been working with city staff and community members to improve the health of residents in the Verdant Health District by making it easier and safer to get around by bicycle. The business community plays a key role in increasing the number of people bicycling through South Snohomish by supporting bicycle commuting employees with secure bike parking, showers and lockers while also championing bicycle improvements externally to ensure safe connections for their employees to the workplace.
We were thrilled by the attendance at this kickoff meeting. Twenty-seven business representatives from Premera, the Boys and Girls Club of Edmonds, Landau Assciates, Alderwood Water and Wastewater District, Edmonds Family Medicine, the YMCA, Seattle Genetics, PCC, Edmonds School District, Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group, Harbour Square Athletic Club, Edmonds City Council and the cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrance made it out to the lunch to participate in a discussion about barriers and opportunities for bicycling in the county.
Wayfinding, connectivity and secure bike parking and other end-of-trip facilities dominated the conversation of what South Snohomish County needs in order to be a great place to bicycle. The most important need to improve the bicycling environment, however, is regional coordination between jurisdictions as well as Snohomish County and King County as bicycle commuters are commuting across city boundaries to get to the places they need to go.
While we’ll be working on improving this regional coordination, an easy first step for a business to support bicycling is simply by encouraging employees to bike to work. We encourage South Snohomish area workplaces (or any workplace) interested in increasing bicycle commuting to check out the BizCycle Best Practices Guide for guidance on how to support bicycle commuters. We also invite workplaces to apply for BizCycle Certification and see how your place of business measures up to bike-friendly workplaces across the region.
Thanks to all of the business representatives who participated in this first South Snohomish County Bike Business Forum. We look forward to continuing our work toward making South Snohomish a great place to live, work, play, do business and bicycle.