How Bicycling Is Transforming Cities, Businesses
ing is definitely part of our strategy to attract and retain businesses in order to compete in a mobile world,” says Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, as we glide across the Mississippi River on one of two bike-and-pedestrian bridges that connect downtown to the University of Minnesota. “We want young talent to come here and stay. And good biking is one of the least expensive ways to send that message.”
As we turn onto to a riverside bike path to inspect another span, the mayor recounts a recent conversation. “I was having dinner with a creative director that a local firm was eager to hire for a key post. He was an American living in Europe, and we spent most of the evening talking about the importance of biking and walking to the life of a city,” Rybak says, smiling. “He took the job.”
- Here are a few of the ways Minneapolis has invested in biking:
- It has created a network of off-street trails that criss-cross the city;
- It has added 180 miles of bike lanes to streets with plans to double that;
- It has launched one of the country’s first large-scale bikeshare programs;
- And it has created protected lanes to separate people riding bikes from motor traffic.
Now the city lands near the top of all lists ranking America’s best bike cities. That “ratchets up” the city’s appeal to businesses in many fields, Rybak says.
“We moved from the suburbs to downtown Minneapolis to allow our employees to take advantage of the area’s many trails,” explained Christine Fruechte, CEO of the advertising firm Colle + McVoy, in a newspaper op-ed.
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