Hit the showers

Biking to work is a good way to get exercise and help the planet, but it can also leave you sweaty and stinky. And no matter how far you bike, you still won’t get points for wearing spandex in the office. But these won’t be problems anymore if AB 163, the “Green and Healthy Workplace Bicycle Facilities Act,” becomes law.

Introduced by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Norwalk, in January, the bill would require showers and lockers and other amenities for employees who bike to work, in new state offices and any state offices undergoing major renovation.

“Some places have great facilities and some places have no facilities, or very substandard facilities,” said Walt Seifert, executive director for the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and one of the bill’s advocates. “Not having a place to put your bike [or] not having a place to shower means some people might not bike to work.”

Seifert said that many current bike racks are insufficient for employees with expensive bikes because the bikes get stolen.

Though a Department of General Services report puts the cost of upgraded facilities at around $50,000 per building, Seifert says a single-car parking space within a garage can cost up to $40,000 in Sacramento.

The bill has passed the Assembly floor and is ready for the Senate appropriations committee in September. Currently, there is no opposition on file.