This paper presents the results of a qualitative survey of commercial owners, managers, and occupants in the City of Berkeley who have invested in on-site bicycle facilities such as secure parking, showers, changing rooms, and clothing lockers, what we are calling “bicycle-oriented design” (BOD). The sites represent a selection of building types common in the commercial building stock in U.S. cities. The research is designed to answer three questions about the use of BOD: (1) what were motivations behind the decision to invest in BOD (2) what are the challenges and rewards for investing in BOD? and (3) what types of BOD were chosen? The survey was carried out through structured interviews and by site visits. This research builds on the growing literature on bicycle facilities by exploring the concept that bicycle infrastructure does not stop at the door. We find a number of motivations and challenges shared across a variety of settings, and the insights derived from the study can be applied to broader situations. Operational needs and a desire for “green” image-building and marketing are important contributors. Space costs, especially the cost of interior space, posed challenges. Solutions at some sites suggest strategies that could be applied in other settings. The results also indicate that many decisions on specific BOD components were made on an ad hoc basis, indicating a potential need for an authoritative source of information and guidelines about BOD because much of the information is scattered across different agencies and sources.
January 1, 2011