Bottom line: Protected bike lanes boost business

For years, we’ve written about the trickle of good research that is starting to prove that protected bike lanes and better sidewalks do a lot to spur sales at street-front businesses.

This still seems to be counterintuitive to a slew of business owners, but they probably should take heed or start preparing for second careers.

Here’s a nice related tidbit from a new Strong Towns article:

Picture the busiest, most successful shopping districts in America. Think Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago or Pike Place Market in Seattle. Are these areas filled with parking lots and parking spaces? No. They’re filled with people walking around from store to store.

Akron, Ohio is, of course, a very different place from Chicago or Seattle, but that doesn’t mean the same basic concepts won’t apply. When you make an area appealing for people on foot or on a bike — when you slow down the pace of life in that neighborhood just a little — suddenly visitors are lingering longer and stopping in more stores. Suddenly residents are walking or biking over on a regular basis to see what’s new.

The article goes on to compile a lot of the best research that should be helpful to businesses and neighborhoods all over:

In New York City, the addition of a protected bike lane on two major streets led to “a 50 percent increase in sales receipts.”

In San Francisco, after a bike lane was added on Valencia Street “two-thirds of the merchants said bike lanes had been good for business.”

In Seattle, the creation of a new bike lane, which eliminated 12 on-street parking spaces resulted in a serious increase in retail sales along the street.

Click here to read the full article: