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Friday, October 5, 2012

There IS a Bicycle Economy, Two Cities Find [Treehugger]

Portland, Oregon and New York City, two very different cities, are finding something similar about cyclists and pedestrians - they tend to spend a bit more money in local economies.
Transportation Alternatives has been promoting the 'bicycle economy' in New York's East Village, finding that:
“Streets that promote bicycling and walking mean more business for local shops and restaurants,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives (TA). “When it comes to the impact bike lanes have on local businesses, it’s a case of ‘if you build it, they will come."
In the East Village, putting in new bikes lanes has lead to an increase in cycling, with nearly a quarter of residents reporting biking for their transportation needs. Altogether, 95% of retail dollars in the area that Transportation Alternatives studied were spent by cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport users.
That's perhaps not a completely surprising find, as in the dense East Village, most people are cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport users, rather than car drivers. Yet it is important to counteract that ingrained perception that car-based business is 'better'. Transportation Alternatives found that of the four different mobility groups, cyclists and peds spent the most (when looking at weekly spending).

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