Ray LaHood biked to work today, which gave him [a nice excuse to talk about](http://fastlane.dot.gov/2011/06/biking-to-work-with-dot-commuters.html#more) the advantages of safe and well-marked bike infrastructure, and about the Department of Transportation's commuter benefit for its biking employees.
The DOT's policy reimburses some commuting costs for cyclists. To encourage bike commuting, this policy is just as important as building bike infrastructure into roads. If the support structure for biking stops as soon as commuters enter their office, even the staunchest bike advocate can question her transportation choice. As Elly Blue [wrote a little while back at Grist](http://www.grist.org/biking/2011-05-09-how-employers-can-encourage-happy...), bike commuters can face skepticism when looking for a job to begin with, and not all companies are sympathetic to the idea that employees might want a place to stow their bikes during the day or to change into some less-smelly clothes.
A bike commuting benefit, at the very least, signals that cycling is an acceptable option for employees to get to work. City governments can also help normalize bike commuting by requiring new buildings to include indoor, secure spaces to park bikes, [as New York does](http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/bicycle_parking/index.shtml).