Congratulations to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and Green Star Inc. for becoming the first Alaska businesses to earn the Bicycle Friendly Business award from the League of American Bicyclists. ANTHC won at the gold level and Green Star at bronze.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, the Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) program recognizes employers’ efforts to encourage a more bicycle friendly atmosphere for employees and customers. The program, which started in 2008, honors innovative bike-friendly efforts and provides technical assistance and information to help companies and organizations become even better for bicyclists.
So what helped get these businesses designated?
ANTHC supports bicycle commuting among employees with shower facilities, secure bike parking, on-site safety clinics and tune-ups. On Anchorage Bike to Work Day the campus hosted coffee and treats for cyclists in the morning with live radio coverage. In the evening a pizza party with bluegrass band was hosted for Anchorage bicycle commuters. More than 300 ANTHC employees participated in Anchorage Bike to Work Day 2009, the largest team in as many years. Employees designed, built and delivered their ‘bike barn’ for bike valet services to the Park Strip for July 4th activities.
As part of their Air Quality Business Education grant from the Municipal Health Department, Green Star, Inc., promoted Bike to Work Day to the Anchorage Business community. Green Star co-sponsored bike maintenance and skills classes with REI to encourage bicycle commuting. They collected and distributed businesses donations for drawings, and registered 2,334 participants. Green Star also distributed Bike to Work tee-shirts, sponsored by the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, among 198 registered teams via team drawings. To facilitate cycling by Green Star employees, the non-profit maintains an ‘office bike’ for short trips during the work day as well as bike tools for use by their bicycle commuters at the office. Green Star’s application as a Bike Friendly Business was done in part to better understand the process in order to help Green Star awardees make their businesses more bike friendly for customers and employees.
This new initiative complements the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program, which has been recognizing cities and towns for their bicycle friendliness since 2003. The only Alaska community to earn a Bicycle Friendly Community designation is Sitka, which was honored in May 2008 with a bronze level award. Click here for more information on Sitka’s project to become a Bicycle Friendly Community.