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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-06-08, 11:24 AM   #1
katmu
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I need to vent!

Ugh. So, again this year I am in charge of organizing Bike Walk to Work day for my employer, which we expand to be Bike / Walk / Carpool or Public Transportation to Work day. In the last year, we had moved our call center to a new office downtown (where the city will be providing free breakfast to participants, bike lockers are $30 per season, and there is a large network of bike lanes). The call center is refusing to participate AT ALL. No biking, no public transit, Nada. This event was endorsed by the head of HR and they still refuse.

I'm just so frustrated. I don't know what to do.
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Old 05-06-08, 11:36 AM   #2
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Can you clarify the problem with the call center. Do you mean the management is refusing to allow the event to be held at its location, or that there is merely no interest in participating by the individuals who work there?
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Old 05-06-08, 11:41 AM   #3
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Management is refusing to allow the site to participate at all.
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Old 05-06-08, 11:55 AM   #4
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Sounds like a problem between the managements. I understand you wanting the project you're in charge of to be successful, but it will probably be less stressful for you if you just stay out of it and concentrate your efforts on the other departments that are on board.
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Old 05-06-08, 12:01 PM   #5
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They're call center employees. Your expectations of them shouldn't be very high.

See if you can get some kind of prize raffle approved. Maybe something valued at $100 or
more. They must participate to enter. That will at least get one person to do it.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:13 PM   #6
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You have to get the call center's boss' boss' boss involved. When high level execs get involved, sphincters usually tighten up and people hop to it. You're working at too low a level. Get an executive or board member on a bike, and you will become the most popular person on the planet.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:18 PM   #7
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If this is officially supported by the company, there is no reason the call center should refuse. My experience has been that if you want to get something done in a company, go to the bottom or the top. The middle will never be helpful.

So kf5nd's suggestion is correct. Go to the top. Find out how far up support is for the project and go to the top there and have them lean on the call center. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:25 PM   #8
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So, what's involved in a Bike To Work Day? I'm imagining things like bike shops setting up tents and having demo bikes for people to try out. Regular bikes, electric bikes, recumbents, maybe tandems too. Talks about different kinds of bikes and riding methods. Handing out bike maps. Demos and discussions about how to ride the bus, maybe the local transit company handing out a monthly pass to anyone who listens to a how-to-ride presentation. How to load and unload a bike onto a bus rack. How to freshen up at the office. Inspirational pamphlets and handouts. Stuff like that?
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Old 05-06-08, 01:33 PM   #9
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So, what's involved in a Bike To Work Day? I'm imagining things like bike shops setting up tents and having demo bikes for people to try out. Regular bikes, electric bikes, recumbents, maybe tandems too. Talks about different kinds of bikes and riding methods. Handing out bike maps. Demos and discussions about how to ride the bus, maybe the local transit company handing out a monthly pass to anyone who listens to a how-to-ride presentation. How to load and unload a bike onto a bus rack. How to freshen up at the office. Inspirational pamphlets and handouts. Stuff like that?
The last few I attended were like a mutual admiration society, people who bike to work anyway meetup and have some bagels and coffee. The bike shops get involved because they get to meet people who spend a lot on parts and stuff, the city and politicians get some outreach to healthy energetic people with incomes above the median- in this area anyway. I don't recall much practical stuff, maybe some maps and freebee water bottles. I haven't been to the DC bike to work day in 5 years maybe it is different now. They also had these "convoys" of bikes that met in the suburbs and pedaled as a group to the downtown. It was nice to see 100 or so bikers gathered together before work checking out each others commuter rigs.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:48 PM   #10
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The last few I attended were like a mutual admiration society, people who bike to work anyway meetup and have some bagels and coffee. The bike shops get involved because they get to meet people who spend a lot on parts and stuff, the city and politicians get some outreach to healthy energetic people with incomes above the median- in this area anyway. I don't recall much practical stuff, maybe some maps and freebee water bottles. I haven't been to the DC bike to work day in 5 years maybe it is different now. They also had these "convoys" of bikes that met in the suburbs and pedaled as a group to the downtown. It was nice to see 100 or so bikers gathered together before work checking out each others commuter rigs.
Hmm. I think you'd have to start the outreach process at a much more basic level. A public event would at least provide an opportunity to people to take some fundamental confidence building steps, like maybe getting on a bike for the first time in years, actually getting on and off a demo bus that runs in a circle around the grounds, things like that. Someone needs to at least outline a believable scenario for how potential bike and transit commuters can get from where they are now to where they'd like to be.
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Old 05-06-08, 01:52 PM   #11
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Ours locally has the commuter convoys, reception area downtown with free breakfast, prizes for participants who register, help with finding routes prior to the ride day, maps, information about bike lockers and showers. the local transit company is a partner as they encourage people who can't ride the whole distance to bike part way and then use the on-bus bike racks.
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Old 05-06-08, 04:12 PM   #12
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Ours locally has the commuter convoys, reception area downtown with free breakfast, prizes for participants who register, help with finding routes prior to the ride day, maps, information about bike lockers and showers. the local transit company is a partner as they encourage people who can't ride the whole distance to bike part way and then use the on-bus bike racks.
All both of them...pet peeve of mine...the buses around here only have capacity for 2 bikes. If you catch the wrong bus or stop, the racks are full. I have noticed more than one bike chained to the bus stop bench or a nearby sign post.

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Old 05-06-08, 04:14 PM   #13
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Agreed, but if it's a way to get newbies to try commuting by bike I think the racks are better than nothing.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:00 PM   #14
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It sounds like at least one of your contacts at the call center has a problem with cyclists.
Could be something like they don't like cycle couriers, or maybe they had a loved one
get killed on a bike? Anyway you can get some info on exactly who/why they are blocking you?
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Old 05-06-08, 08:47 PM   #15
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All both of them...pet peeve of mine...the buses around here only have capacity for 2 bikes. If you catch the wrong bus or stop, the racks are full. I have noticed more than one bike chained to the bus stop bench or a nearby sign post.

Aaron
Same here, you know. It turns out that those new triple racks have an unpleasant tendency to dump bikes.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:43 PM   #16
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Maybe you could just suggest to senior management that they move the whole call center offshore if they don't get off their fat lazy butts and ride, dammit...
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Old 05-07-08, 08:57 AM   #17
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They're call center employees. Your expectations of them shouldn't be very high.

See if you can get some kind of prize raffle approved. Maybe something valued at $100 or
more. They must participate to enter. That will at least get one person to do it.
Hey now, I worked in a call center for a few months, and I biked to work everyday. A bunch of us did. The site was at an old office building, and the management let the bikers park their bikes inside, in an otherwise unused room.
The work sucked and all, but that's not the point.
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