Nine Reasons to Create a Bicycle Friendly Business District

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Quincycles Board Member Irene Lutts representing Quincycles

Quincycles Board Member Irene Lutts at the Quincy Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting 

Members of Quincycles were pleased to attend the Quincy Chamber of Commerce 2014 Annual Meeting and Business Showcase on Thursday, January 30 to begin a conversation with Quincy business owners about the benefits of bicycling to businesses and the community.  According to April Economides, principal of Green Octopus Consulting and creator of the nation’s first Bike-Friendly Business District program for the City of Long Beach, California, here are nine reasons to create a bicycle friendly business district:

1.  There is a strong “bike local” / “shop local” connection:  bicyclists tend to shope closer to home.

2. People traveling at human-scale speed are more likely to notice businesses they pass:  Bicyclists not only notice more businesses than car drivers, they can also easily hop off and stop, and their parking is right in front of their destination.

3. Most trips are short trips:  40% of U.S. trips are less than two miles.  Bicycle friendly business districts help convert some of these trips into bicycling trips, which increases sales for local businesses.

4. Bicyclists have more discretionary income:  Car-free bicyclists save an average of $8,000/year, and car-light bicyclists save, too.  Bicyclists tend to shop closer to home and more often.

5.  Businesses along bike lanes see increased sales:  increased sales were reported in such diverse cities as San Francisco, California; Ft. Worth, Texas; and Toronto, Canada after bike lanes were installed.

6. Bicycle-friendly districts attracts tourists:  bike tourism is on the rise.  In 2005, in Quebec, bike tourists spent an average of $83/day compared to non-bike tourists, who spent an everage of $66/day.

7. Increased bicycling reduces the need to create more car parking:  “Not enough parking” is often a concern of business districts.   However, incentivizing drivers to instead bicycle opens up car parking. 

8.  Bicycling brings joy, and joyful workers bring higher earnings:  In the U.K., regular bicyclists take 1.3 fewer sick days per year.

9. Bicycling brings more vibrant Main Streets:  Bicyclists, just like pedestrians, add more eyes and ears to the district, making it safer, friendlier, and more vibrant.  This attracts more women, families, and a diversity of customers, thereby increasing sales.

Click Here to read the full article and access studies that back up each of the points.

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