GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 28, 2014) — It’s a trend Grand Rapids is trying to develop even more. Over the past couple years, the city has taken steps to be more bike-friendly, and is encouraging companies to do the same.
When Rockford Construction relocated downtown last summer, they wanted to create a program to get their employees out and about during the day.
It’s a refreshing way to break up Marianne Fick’s day, sitting at a desk in Rockford Construction’s accounting department.
“Anywhere from five to eight miles; takes about an hour,” said Fick.
She is one of a handful of employees who hits the road during her lunch hour as part of Rockford Constructions biking program.
“We just wanted to provide our team members with a way to get around,” said Pete Michell, Chief Innovative Officer with Rockford Constriction. “We’re in an urban setting which is new for a lot of people.”
Michell said the biking program is not only a health benefit for employees, but a convenient way to make downtown meetings without having to drive a car and hunt for parking spots.
The city of Grand Rapids is working to be more bike friendly, with designated biking lanes and adding more bike racks.
“The more options you provide people for getting in and out of downtown grand rapids, the more vibrant the place is.” said Bill Kirk with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “From a biking perspective, its healthier, its making people more active and it just adds life and contributes to the place.”
“We all had a bike safety class. You can’t ride on the sidewalks in Grand Rapids so you have to ride on the road,” said Fick. “It was a little nerve-wracking.”
Rockford Construction provides six bikes for employees, with some who actually ride their own to work.
Fick strongly believes the fresh air and increased heart rate is good for her.
Rockford Construction’s biking program has only been around for a year, but Michell predicts more and more employees will join.