UPS Announces Global No-Parking-in-Bike-Lanes Policy*


Company Considers New Policy the Natural Continuation of Its Commitment to Triple-Bottom-Line Best Practices and Positive Brand Identity

Atlanta, GA, December 2020 — Global delivery and logistics company, UPS, based in the Metro Atlanta city of Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA, just announced a new no-parking-in-bike-lanes policy as a continuation of its 14-year-old “right turns only” commitment. A company spokesperson stated:

“We pride ourselves here at UPS at being good corporate citizens, continually looking for ways to improve not only our bottom line and that of our employee-owners but also how to improve the world through our daily operations.

We have found that doing the right thing ends up being right for our business.

This includes making right turns only in order to reduce fuel, wages, and vehicle running costs to the tune of 300-400 million dollars annually while reducing emissions the equivalent of 20,000 passenger cars a year. That’s a great start, but it’s not enough and we recognize that.

We are now ensuring that vulnerable road users such as people riding bikes and other human-powered transportation throughout the 220 countries in which we operate maintain their legal right of way in designated infrastructure on the roads we share. It is our next right thing.”

Previously, companies such as UPS considered tickets received while parking illegally in bike lanes to be a cost of doing business. The corporation now admits that this illegal practice is costing its business in other ways such as undermining its position as a sustainability leader and undercutting its positive brand identity, especially now that the company has implemented electric-bike package delivery service in select cities around the world.

“This new policy is being implemented immediately as we at Corporate Headquarters recognize that every single time a UPS package delivery vehicle blocks safe access for a person on a bike, in a wheelchair, or otherwise using non-motor-vehicle transportation, a life is at stake. There is no longer any excuse for this, especially during a pandemic when we have made a commitment to saving lives by delivering vaccines.

There is no greater value to us as a company than doing the right thing, and we regret we have not taken a firm and consistent stand earlier on this issue.

We have now included this non-negotiable offense in our daily driver training. We have also trained our social media team to address any lingering issues by funneling the offense to the right person here at Corporate, and thereby ask the public to post photos on Twitter @UPS if you encounter a bike or LIT lane (Light Individual Transportation, coined by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and now used as a term throughout the USA) blocked by a UPS package deliver vehicle of any size or type. We look forward to leading the way forward on this issue for other package delivery companies as well.”

* Okay, granted, this isn’t true. But it could be, couldn’t it? I’ve written to UPS and posted about blocked lanes on social media for years, to no avail except random, useless apologies which resulted in nothing changing (except maybe UPS driver James Collins, pictured above — see How UPS Went from #BikeLaneBully to #BikeLaneBuddy and Got $30 from Me Today). When I encountered yet another UPS package delivery vehicle blocking a lane this week here in the Metro Atlanta city adjacent to where its global headquarters is located (in the Metro Atlanta area that hosts the largest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the southeastern USA), I wondered if maybe this aspirational media release would help make a more permanent difference. As always, I like to imagine what’s possible . . .

I’d love to have a meeting with UPS to discuss, and to do whatever I can to help make this market-leadership decision a reality. As a previous UPS corporate headquarters employee** (in the Customer Communications department as a writer and project manager for National Accounts and Worldwide Logistics, plus I created the very first piece the company released as sponsor of the Centennial Olympic Games), it would be nice to be back in the mothership for a visit. In fact, I could even ride my bike there.

See the follow-up post: Satire, or Success Story?

** You had to know that, right, when I referred to the trucks as package delivery vehicles? (That’s the company protocol.)

FYI, here’s what it looks like when a bike lane is blocked by a delivery vehicle:

Other aspirational Metro Atlanta-related media releases include:

City of Dunwoody Announces 1st Pop-Up Protected Bike Lane Outside-the-Perimeter (OTP) in Metro Atlanta

Metro Atlanta Cities Announce Bike/Ped Path Around Entire Perimeter Highway

Introducing the Dunwoody Woodline — the Gateway to Greater Atlanta

Click here for fun, functional, and even free gifts. All proceeds help more women and girls ride bikes (like Diana, and the girls in the most diverse square mile in the USA to whom I recently taught a 5-week course at two different levels).

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