Friday, December 11, 2009

New York leading the way

Bikes will soon become a more familiar sight around office cubicles in New York City. Today a new bike access law takes effect in the city, stipulating that buildings with freight elevators must allow employees to use those elevators to take their bikes upstairs. Passed in July, the law aims to encourage bicycle commuting by eliminating worries about the security of street parking. One company that does offer employees showers, bicycle parking and even a bike-sharing program is the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather North America. When it moved to a new office on 11th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, bike parking was a priority, said Gunther Schumacher, Ogilvy’s chief operating officer. The company’s previous landlord had been unwilling to accommodate bikes, as were public garages that Ogilvy had approached about renting space. Now, the agency has racks for 150 bikes in its own garage, including 50 that Ogilvy bought for employees to ride to meetings or run errands. On an average day, about 75 people cycle to work, Mr. Schumacher said. “We’re in a very young industry, and we depend on people who have fresh new ideas on a daily basis,” he said. Read on in the New York Times.