Friday, December 11, 2009

Office + park

I used to work in a suburban office complex and tried to commute there by bike as much as I could. The building management and the company from which we sublet were reasonably accommodating and provided me with a free key to the garage where I could store my bike. In all honesty, the garage was the ideal place for my bike.

But, it was hilarious that these people also completely prohibited me from bringing my bike anywhere into the building or into my office. They were determined to maintain the professional decorum of the building. And by professional decorum I mean a lobby covered in fake marble with fake plants everywhere.


Now, even buildings with elaborate fake marble in New York City must allow bikes inside common areas and on freight elevators. This article talks about the recently passed law, and how employers there may still prohibit employees from bringing bikes into the actual offices they lease. So I guess the law is intended to prohibit building managers from prohibiting bikes and designed to leave the issue up to individual employers.

Some will argue that the law is an example of government over regulation, and that the market should sort out this issue. If enough people are in favor of riding bikes to work and keeping them at their offices, and if enough employers are on board, than bike-prohibiting office buildings will be forced to change policies.

I tend to think that the need to accelerate the campaign against an anti-bike mindset is too important to leave 100% to market forces. Crippling obesity, environmental decay, and a reliance on oil countries with sordid rulers are just a few things that come to mind to justify laws like these.

Even if the sight of a bike on fake marble makes some people cringe.

No comments: