It Takes A Village To Opt For Bicycles
If you’re in the Ward Village neighborhood, you might notice the same yellow bicycles being used by various businessmen and -women. Still sporting their dress shirts, aloha shirts, pants and other business attire, they’re most likely on their way to or from a meeting in the area.
The bikes belong to Ward Village and are meant to encourage employees, including top executives, to use alternative transportation around the 60-acre property. There are two men’s and two women’s bikes, all custom-made and purchased from Eki Cyclery in Kalihi about a year ago. They feature custom seats, baskets, and yellow paint that matches the Ward Village brand. In addition to the bikes, the company also has surfboards and standup paddle-boards for employees to use before and after work, and during lunch break.
“The idea (for the bikes and surfboards) came from the development team as a way to show the sustainable lifestyle that we’re creating here,” says Katie Ka‘anapu, director of community and retail marketing. “The goal is to promote and foster a healthier lifestyle for everyone.”
Ward Village is a mixed-use community featuring unique local and national retailers, complete streets, a 4-acre park, a wide range of market-rate and workforce residences, and a revitalized Kewalo Harbor.
“It’s a LEED-ND Platinum-certified neighborhood, which means you should be able to satisfy all of your daily needs when you live here in Ward Village without needing a car,” notes Race Randle, vice president of development. “It’s flat, so it’s easy to bike and walk, there’s transit to get around; and our purchase of these bicycles is meant to showcase how easy it is to get around in this neighborhood, even today, without using a car.”
Ward Village, which is a master-planned community by The Howard Hughes Corporation, has 54 employees working in the Hawaii office at Ward Village Information Center (formerly the IBM building).
“I use the bikes every day for meetings,” says Tony Gaston, director of site development. “I even ride it all the way to the municipal building. It’s much more convenient and quicker (than driving), and you don’t have to look for parking.”
Gaston also notes that the Ward Village master plan includes proposed bike lanes, which they are presenting to the City & County of Honolulu.
“We’re all very enthusiastic, excited and honored to be a part of what’s taking place here,” adds Ka‘anapu. “And I think the company shows that it’s fun and responsible, in ways like bikes and surfboards that not only help with employee morale, but also help to exemplify the lifestyle that we are creating here.
“It really is a lot easier and faster, and we live in Hawaii. It’s a great place to just be outdoors.”