Throughout the month of May, people across the country strapped on their helmets and put the pedal to the metal, of sorts. It was national Bike Month, and in recognition, Seattle Children’s Hospital’s employees showcased their love of biking in a very big way.
Each year, Cascade Bicycle Club celebrates Bike Month with a challenge to see who can get the most people to bike to work throughout the month of May. Consistently ranked among the top organizations in the region for embracing alternate forms of transportation, Seattle Children’s employees took the competition seriously.
Ask Andrew Hansen about his daily commute to Seattle Children’s, and he’ll do more than explain his route, he’ll give you a front row show, using a YouTube video he created. As seen in the video below, biking is about more than the destination; it’s a journey, even if it is just to work.
Success by numbers
This year, Seattle Children’s had 79 teams registered to compete in the annual competition, totalling more than 642 riders, a distance of more than 68,471 collective miles. Seattle Children’s ended in second place in the competition, behind the U.S. Department of Interior, but Paulo Nunues-Ueno, Seattle Children’s director of transportation and sustainability, doesn’t seem to mind.
“It’s all in good fun,” said Nunes-Ueno.
Part of Seattle Children’s success during Bike Month is due to a hospital-wide focus on sustainability and transportation. Although May is Bike Month, Seattle Children’s staff and volunteers are encouraged to take alternative modes of transportation to work throughout the year.
Last month, Seattle Children’s unveiled an innovative parking and commute management cloud- service to its employees, through a partnership with Seattle-based start-up Luum. The program, which highlights the different modes of transportation an individual could take to work, compares an employee’s commute choices with one another, and incentivizes commute choices that reduce car trips and benefit the environment. Users log trips to track their alternative transportation commutes and receive a $4.00 incentive for each trip, as well as manage parking charges.
“It was a great way to show employees just how much of a difference their alternative mode of transportation made throughout the month,” Nunes-Ueno said.
Building a safer, bike-friendly community
What matters most to Nunes-Ueno, however, is the sustainability and growth of a safe and enjoyable commute.
“The hospital is located in an urban setting, where land is scarce, and neighbors are precious,” said Nunes-Ueno. “It’s imperative that we dramatically reduce transportation impacts – congestion, environmental, and financial cost – all while creating the best employee and patient experience.”
Join Seattle Children’s on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2014, for a livable streets celebration, to see just how far Seattle Children’s Livable Streets Initiative has come.
The initiative, which aims to make the neighborhood a better place to bike and walk for people of all ages and abilities, has been years in the making. Now, Seattle Children’s can’t wait to showcase its success, and show just bike safe our community is becoming. People of all ages are invited to participate in the celebration. Activities include:
- A bike rodeo for kids
- Food and fun
- Walk and bike tours of the Greenway and improved connections
- Bike to School Awards presented by Cascade Bicycle Club
- Walk and ride the newly completed connection to the Burke Gilman Trail