Posts Tagged ‘biking and business’
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Transit for Livable Communities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal.
Walkable neighborhoods are all the rage these days. The preference is growing for places where it’s possible to get to at least some of the places you need or want to go without having to get in the car (or find parking). The housing market is booming in this direction—in downtown Minneapolis, but also along the Midtown Greenway, along light rail lines, and in other places, too.
The boom may have to do with there being places to walk–grocery stores, places to socialize (restaurants, bars, galleries), and cool shops. Walkability has been true in Uptown for a long while, where it’s possible to get to the gym, the grocery store or your choice of restaurant or shopping. The same is true in Northeast. Downtown Minneapolis residents, long starved for grocery stores, now have a new Lunds on Hennepin to go with the Lunds in Northeast. The Whole Foods is under construction on Washington. And small shops like DeLish continue to build an audience, with cooking classes to go with their local food selections. New shops and restaurants—not only new breweries—are opening as well.
Turns out that this proximity of where you live and where you like to go has economic upsides. In Oregon, researchers asked people coming out of convenience stores, restaurants and bars, and supermarkets how they got there and correlated it with how much they spent. It turns out that people walking or arriving on bicycle spent more over the course of a month than people driving—except at supermarkets.
People on foot or on a bike, or arriving via transit spent less per visit but made more frequent trips. They became “regular customers,” the researchers found, with implications for how you build customer loyalty in neighborhood-based businesses. There also is an idea out there called “the green dividend” which says that if you’re using your bike or walking more often, your costs are less, so you have more money to spend out and about.
So, with the news that it’s good for business to walk, it’s also useful to note that we’re a great city for walking in winter. Bike Walk Twin Cities data shows that we’re a hardy bunch, who tend to keep walking to get places in winter. Depending on location, there are 50-75% as many people out walking in the depths of winter as in warmer months.
Remembering that you can cover pretty good distance in a 15-30 minute stroll, here are some options for good walks this winter. Don’t forget a shopping bag!
*Downtown to Nordeast and back over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. The lights on the river in winter are beautiful. Your reward for heading in either direction is any of several new places to stop on either side of the bridge. The area around Hennepin and University has seen several new storefronts open along with some perennial classics like Nye’s and Kramarcuk’s. Plan a side trip to the Soap Factory for their latest show or up to 13th Avenue in Northeast for the shops and galleries and eateries there. On the downtown side, head for Nicollet Mall or into the North Loop for galleries, eateries, and activities.
*Stroll to the Walker. Target Free Thursday nights are your chance to check out the latest in the always vibrant mix of art forms.
*Take the #18 bus from downtown Minneapolis to the corner of Nicollet and 26th. Stop in at The Bad Waitress, the Icehouse, or any of several restaurants with food from around the world. Stroll over to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Children’s Theater, and MCAD just a few blocks away.
Walking in winter is a great way to avoid the winter blahs. Hands in mittens and hat on head, winter is a joy, especially with so many great places to go.
Tags: biking and business, Downtown Minneapolis, Northeast Minneapolis walking, Uptown Minneapolis, walkability, walkable neighborhoods, walking and business, winter walking
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Monday, September 12th, 2011
For digitally driven, fully integrated advertising agency Colle+McVoy, biking is a big part of the work culture. How big? One-third of the 170 employees bike to their office in the Wyman Building in downtown Minneapolis.
How did Colle+McVoy foster a culture of biking?
Biking isn’t a new trend for the 76-year-old firm. In fact, president and CEO Christine Fruechte’s grandfather owned a Schwinn dealership. The biking culture bubbled up over the years without the agency forcing it. As one employee puts it, “It’s just there, especially among leaders.”
It helps that Colle+McVoy has several bike-friendly programs and amenities:
- Showers, locker rooms, maintenance supplies and covered bike parking.
- The Bike Purchase Program, which was implemented at the suggestion of an employee. The program gives employees interest-free loans to purchase bikes, with payments deducted from paychecks. Dozens of employees have used the program (including Allison Rust, profiled below).
- Lunchtime rides to local eateries, such as Psycho Suzi’s.
- Hosting several events during National Bike Month (May), such as the Miles Challenge, a contest to see which employee could log the most miles during the month. The winner biked a whopping 700 miles. The firm also hosted events during Twin Cities Bike Walk Week June 4-12 this year.
- The beer bike, a three-wheel Schwinn that has become a Friday ritual. A bell rings at 3:30 as a new employee typically rides the bike around the office so he or she can meet everyone.
This all contributes to a workplace where it’s not frowned upon to work out over lunch or come into the office sweaty from your morning commute. In fact, last year, the League of American Bicyclists named Colle+McVoy a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Business. And supporting this culture helped the agency get named as a Best Place to Work in 2011 by Outside magazine, Advertising Age and the Star Tribune.
A culture of outdoor enthusiasts
A healthy lifestyle is part of Colle+McVoy’s DNA. Many of the employees are passionate outdoor enthusiasts, so it’s no surprise that a culture of biking continues to thrive at the agency.
Colle+McVoy employees who bike range from newbies to hardcore cyclists. Here’s a sampling of the people who keep the bike culture moving:
- Allison Rust. A creative coordinator who is fairly new to commuting by bike, Allison got her start as a bike commuter through working on Colle+McVoy’s blog, where she chronicled her early rides on video. The biking culture at the agency is important to her: “There’s a camaraderie. It’s very common–it’s almost expected. You can’t walk around the office without seeing bikes.” Allison rides a hybrid bike (her first “official” bike) that gets her around town, including regular visits to the Mill City Farmer’s Market on the weekends.
- Joel Stacy. A mountain biker turned road biker and a senior copywriter at Colle+McVoy, Joel has a couple of routes for his commute, picking up either the trail around Lake Harriet/Lake Calhoun to the Cedar Lake Trail or the Minnehaha Ave. trail to the River Road all the way to the Federal Reserve. He bikes for his own well-being, but also to show his two children that biking is an option and that it’s “cool” to bike. Joel rides a racing bike most days for his commute. And, some days, he’ll even drive his kids downtown from his south Minneapolis home, drop them off, drive back home and bike back in to the office. Now, that’s commitment.
- Mike Caguin. In addition to being executive creative director at Colle+McVoy, Mike is the owner of four bikes that he uses for different purposes and during different seasons. He’s a year-round biker not intimidated by Minnesota winters–he’s even biked in 20-below temperatures. His route is almost all bike path, taking him around Lake Harriett/Lake Calhoun, then onto the Cedar Trail. Time-wise, commuting by bike is about the same as by car, he says, and can even be faster than driving if there’s a Twins game at nearby Target Field.
What about the business impact of biking?
With some of the biggest names in biking as clients, you could say it’s Colle+McVoy’s job to know bikes. The biking culture has been a contributing factor in winning some of the businesses the firm represents.
Beyond the direct correlations, the passion and interest in biking carries over to other industries, says Caguin.
“Cycling is a passion industry,” he explains. “We get lots of heads nodding when we talk about that–even when we don’t have category experience.”
Internally, there’s a case for biking in that it helps employees be happier, more productive and less sluggish. And what business-minded company wouldn’t want that?
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when