Monday, June 08, 2009

Conferences and bike promotion

Sun Microsystems (my employer) actively encourages non-car transportation to the annual JavaOne conference by offering shuttle service to hotels not within walking distance and to the 4th & King Caltrain station. Most conference websites give driving directions and parking information, while JavaOne only gave information on public transportation options to the Moscone, with an interactive map showing nearby Muni and BART station locations and transit schedule help.

Although JavaOne didn't push the bike valet option as aggressively as in years past (when they gave away goodies), the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition once again provided bike valet parking during the Java One conference last week at the Moscone Center.

I really like this post from 2006 in Asa Fenton wrote that JavaOne's bike promotion changed his life:
I realized the other night on a brisk bike ride across the city that Sun Microsystems’ Bike Valet initiative at JavaOne in May has had a lasting, positive impact on my life and health. I had a really nice hybrid mountain/street bicycle that I’d only ridden a handful of times. Like me, it was growing lazy and unaccustomed to exercise. I don’t think it had been outside my garage for more than four years until I rescued it from inertia to participate in Bike to Work Week.

Since Bike to Work Week coincided with JavaOne and Sun is a big proponent of finding ways to reduce carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, Sun partnered with the San Francisco Bike Coalition to offer free valet parking for JavaOne attendees. During the event, I rode my bike frequently to and from the Bite office to Moscone Center. On the actual Bike to Work Day, my colleague Ken Shuman and I rode our bikes to City Hall for Mayor Newsom’s press event in order to lure media to our Bike Valet. It was an exhilarating way to get around the city and I decided that day that I would leave my bike in the city at the office. Since then, I use it all the time for running errands, dentist’s appointments, shopping and meeting friends.
While the Apple Developers Conference this week at the Moscone gives public transportation option, they also give driving directions and parking info. I don't believe I've ever heard of Apple encouraging bicycling at WWDC (though I'd be interested in hearing differently).

Oracle OpenWorld 2009 is coming up this September at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. In Oracle's invitation last year for participants to "Think Green," Oracle provided exercise bike powered generators for people to charge their cellphones.

Photo: Nathan Frankel SFBC.


Steven Vance said...

I've written to staff of many Chicago-based websites to ask that they including a paragraph on bicycling on their "Getting There" or "Driving Directions" page.

Yokota Fritz said...

I hope some of them at least respond. I think it's required for San Francisco events of a certain size (basically anything at the Moscone Center)