On August 7, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital (SSRRH) became the first Sonoma County employer to be certified as a Bicycle Friendly Business by the national cycling advocacy organization League of American Bicyclists.
“Business owners and workers across the country are looking for simple, straightforward ways to build their companies, do right by their workers and customers, and contribute positively to their local communities,” says Executive Director Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists. “Boosting participation in bicycling achieves all of that and more, and Bicycle Friendly Businesses such as SSRRH are wonderful models of that success.”
Bicycle Friendly Business certification requirements identify incentives, programming, and amenities proven to enable and inspire more people to ride bikes. Among those offered by Sutter are secured covered bike parking, a bike maintenance station (with tools, pump, and inner tubes), helmet/shoe lockers for commuters, open bike racks in front for visitors, free memberships to the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, showers, a guaranteed ride home in case of emergencies, Bike to Work Day sponsorship and an online employee portal for green transit.
Shaun Ralston, Sutter Regional Manager and Vice Chair of Santa Rosa’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, was the driving force behind Sutter’s certification process. (The city of Santa Rosa is a certified Bicycle Friendly Community.) Many of the bike-friendly amenities were adopted after he surveyed cyclists on staff about the challenges they faced. “These things are really not very expensive to implement,” he said. “Of course, some of them are easier for a large organization like Sutter than they might be for a small business.” Asked about the certification process, Ralston said, “It was pretty easy and took about 4-5 months. The application is kind of long. The application fee, which is based on the size of your business, was very reasonable.”
Pursuing the Bicycle Friendly Business certification fit within Sutter’s bigger vision of sustainability. The four-year-old hospital building has Gold LEED certification and is completely off the power grid. Sutter offers free electric vehicle charging and a variety of incentives for employees that carpool or take alternative transit.
We congratulate Sutter on achieving BFB certification, and encourage other local businesses to apply! The next application deadline is October 10. For more information, visit bikeleague.org/business.