(BLOOMINGTON) – Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized three city employers with Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) awards. The City of Bloomington renewed its Silver-level designation, and Lennie’s and Envisage Technologies received Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) awards for the first time.
The awards double the number of BFBs in Bloomington from last year. Bloomington Cooperative Services, which operates Bloomingfoods stores, is Bloomington’s fourth official BFB, with Bronze-level designation.
With the announcement of 83 new and renewing BFBs during National Bike Month, these Bloomington awardees join local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. in transforming the American workplace to be more welcoming to customers and employees who bike. Bloomington’s BFBs take their place alongside 1,266 bike-forward businesses across the country in a commitment to building a more bicycle-friendly culture in the US.
“With each new round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards, we see the movement to create a more Bicycle Friendly America for everyone growing. Forward-thinking organizations like the City of Bloomington, Lennie’s and Envisage Technologies are seeing the benefits of encouraging biking, whether it’s happier employees, lower health care costs, or reaching new customers,” says Executive Director Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists.
The City of Bloomington led the initiative for businesses in the city to apply for inclusion in the national Bicycle Friendly Business registry and offered assistance with the application process through the City’s Economic and Sustainable Development department. On top of its promotion of biking among employees, the City of Bloomington has twice been recognized by the League as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC).
“Biking has quite a legacy in Bloomington and an even more important future, ” said Mayor John Hamilton. “With the pressing need to limit carbon emissions and support our residents’ health, we are committed to encouraging biking through our policies and our infrastructure, and partnering with local companies to support their own efforts to encourage their employees’ and clients’ use of sustainable transportation. Congratulations, Envisage and Lennie’s!”
Envisage Technologies’ encouragement of bike commuting is part of a multi-faceted strategy to have a positive impact on society and help its more than 115 employees be healthy. Envisage’s support for biking has included holding an employee Bike Week Challenge during the May National Bike Month for the past eight years. This challenge offers incentives, encouragement, and education to employees to support biking, other sustainable modes of transportation, and activity. Employees earn opportunities to win a cash drawing each time they bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation to work at the company’s Fountain Square Mall location, as well as for other trips. Employees also earn points when a family member or friend joins the employee in using alternative modes of transportation.
“Envisage loves to see people not just cycling, but walking or using public transportation, which are good for our community and the planet,” said Envisage Chief Operating Officer Michelle Cole. “As a company, we offer opportunities for employees to try something new that might eventually lead to more sustainable behavior. Being awarded status as a bike-friendly workplace comes from the ideas and efforts of several employees that we hope will inspire other businesses.”
Lennie’s, also certified as a 3-star green restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, has been celebrating National Bike Month since 2010 with their annual “Bike to Lennie’s” month, where guests and staff earn prizes for cycling to the restaurant on East Tenth Street. They also offer a year-round bike-to-work incentive for staff who choose to bicycle to work and have partnered with the City of Bloomington to host the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Bike Ride, an annual winter event that promotes bicycle commuting–even in inclement weather.
“Cycling is an important part of the culture at our restaurant and brewpub,” said Michael Fox, Director of Operations at Lennie’s. “We appreciate the benefits cycling has on our environment and our health. Beyond that, we recognize the energetic impact it has on us. Riding your bike to work is fun, and you can feel that positive energy when you come to Lennie’s,”
Bloomington was recognized as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2018 for a number of assets, including the share of transportation budget spent on bicycling, an active bicycle advisory committee, and bicycle-friendly laws and ordinances. Bloomington currently has 29 miles of trails and shared paths, including the B-Line and Clear Creek trails and the multi-use side paths parallel to the street that are designed for walking and bicycling. Recently approved measures will significantly enhance bicycle transportation infrastructure in Bloomington, adding seven miles of trails including a protected east-west bike lane along 7th Street downtown. Bloomington’s scorecard for the 2018 Gold Level designation is available on the League’s site here.