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December 05, 2017

Philly company named one of America's top bike-friendly workplaces

Biking to work has plenty of perks in its own right: it's free, it's good exercise and it's an environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

But in recent years, more and more companies are waking up to the value of a staff that commutes to work locally on their bikes.

Bicycling magazine recently ranked the top 25 bike-friendly companies in the United States, adding a familiar name to the list.

Philadelphia's Urban Engineers, a planning and construction consulting firm headquartered in Center City, landed at number 20 on the strength of its facilities.

When you’re a design and construction support services company, you make your building bike-friendly. The firm worked with its landlord to create a private storage area with 30 spots for bikes (one is occupied by a company loaner bike), as well as lockers. Employees also designed bike racks for all of the building’s tenants to use. And the company renegotiated its office lease to get its workers access to the building’s gym, locker rooms, and showers.

“We are honored to have our commitment to cycling to work benefits recognized by a national outlet like Bicycling,” said Kenneth R. Fulmer, Urban Engineers' president and CEO. “Making alternative commuting easier has long been a priority for Urban, and we have seen that the more benefits we provide for cyclists, more of our staff opt to bike to work.”

Last year, Philadelphia received silver "Bicycle Friendly Community" recognition from the national League of American Bicyclists. As the city tackles its Complete Streets and Vision Zero commitments, a growing emphasis on accommodations for cyclists has emerged in recent months.

In the fall, Philadelphia opened its first two-way protected bike line along Chestnut Street from 45th to 34th Streets. Mayor Jim Kenney has pledged to construct 30 miles of cyclist-friendly roadway in the coming years.

On the other hand, a data mapping project released this year by PeopleforBikes found that Philly can be a pretty stressful place for cyclists. 

One employee at Urban Engineers praised the company's dedication to wellness and cycling as a preferred mode of transportation.

“It is important to me that my employer takes my mode of transportation seriously,” said Kate Mundie. “The firm has shown unparalleled support to me and my coworkers who bike to work every day.”

Here are Bicycling magazine's top 10 bike-friendly companies in the United States.

1. New Belgium Brewing — Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina

2. Clif Bar & Company — Emeryville, California

3. Garmin International, Inc. — Olathe, Kansas

4. Salesforce — San Francisco, California

5. ViaSat — Carlsbad, California

6. SunPower Corporation — San Jose and Richmond, California

7. REI — Kent, Washington

8. Patagonia — Ventura, California and Reno, Nevada

9. Kimberly-Clark Corporation — Neenah, Wisconsin

10. Meredith Corporation — Des Moines, Iowa