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Santa Monica Partnership Boosts Biking
This post comes to us from Abbey Beal, the Outreach Coordinator at Bike and Park, LLC, which is the operator of the Santa Monica Bike Center. The Bike Center became a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business this round, and it also worked alongside the City of Santa Monica to encourage and assist four business in the area to apply and receive designations. Read more about the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Business awardees here.
The Santa Monica Bike Center has pioneered a commuter cycling movement in Santa Monica, Calilf., and has become a hub of various bicycling activities and advocacy efforts. The facility is owned by the City of Santa Monica and operated by Bike and Park Santa Monica LLC, demonstrating an effective public/private partnership. Together, we have created a first class commuter cycling facility geared towards increasing bike trips into downtown Santa Monica. Since our inception, the City of Santa Monica has seen a 67% increase in bike count data and the citywide bicycling mode share has increased to 5%.
Our partnership with the City of Santa Monica demonstrates how public and private sectors can successfully work together to create a thriving bike culture. An essential part of our Bicycle Friendly Business strategy has been developing collaborative relationships with local municipalities. A primary benefit of this collaboration has been the ability to combine resources and strengthen the overall cycling fabric of Santa Monica.
Our initial efforts to reach Platinum were inspired by the City of Santa Monica’s Bronze level Bike Friendly Community designation. In response to this inspiration, we applied and received a Silver level Bike Friendly Business designation in January 2012. The application process and feedback received helped us understand our strengths and weaknesses and where we needed to focus attention to improve.
In the two years since we first applied, we have continually seen the value in the Bike Friendly America program. We now actively promote the program and use it as a tool to get more businesses to realize the value of bike friendliness in an effort to advance Santa Monica’s cycling culture. To leverage the full potential of the program locally, we initiated the application for Santa Monica College to become Bike Friendly University certified!
The Bike Friendly America program has widespread application in any community, and we are continually searching for unique ways to engage our local businesses with the program. Each business has distinct opportunities to incorporate bicycling into their overall business model, and we see our role as being facilitators for understanding and utilizing those opportunities. Being in the bicycle industry, bike friendliness is in our DNA, and sharing that knowledge and expertise with local businesses helps ensure bicyclists are better accommodated communitywide.
Our newly achieved Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business designation is truly an honor, and we will continue to strive for bike friendly stardom. It is through consciously considering the needs of both our employees and customers that we are able to fully accommodate all types of cyclists.
We would also like to congratulate the City of Santa Monica, Crossroads School of the Arts and Sciences, Areal Restaurant, and Co-opportunity Natural Foods for their Bike Friendly Business designations! We’re up to six BFBs in Santa Monica! We applaud all of the recipients across the country, and thank the League for creating such a valuable program for the cycling community. We feel tremendous momentum for this program locally and nationally in the coming years! Consider us a resource if you have any questions regarding getting started on your bike friendly journey!