Two Ohrn Facebook posts back to back:
Five big bags of groceries, 10lbs of potatoes, 7lbs of apples, 48 rolls of toilet paper, and a new blender. Our biggest haul yet! — at Central Valley Bike Path.
Bike lane Business case: guess what? People on bikes buy stuff. From CityLab:
An annotated, chart-filled review of 12 studies from around the world.
… here’s the thing about the “studies on possible economic impacts” requested by retailers … wherever bike-lane plans emerge—they’ve been done. And done. And done again. And they all reach a similar conclusion: replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time.
So to put these debates to rest we’ve compiled an annotated, chart-filled guide to every major study we know of conducted on the subject to date. Here they are, in no particular order, for your public meeting pleasure.
- Portland, Oregon
- East Village, New York City
- Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, New Zealand
- Dublin, Ireland
- Los Angeles, California
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Davis, California
- Bristol, England & Graz, Austria
This study of shops in downtown Vancouver did find a net decrease in sales after the implementation of a separated bike lane. But the analysis relied on business surveys, rather than actual sales data, which might have led to a response bias among the merchants who took the biggest hit. The little sales data that was received “indicated that the estimated loss in sales was not as high as reported in the surveys.”
Despite efforts to increase response with follow-up telephone calls, there is some degree of uncertainty about the randomness of the results obtained.
Surveys were conducted with 61 merchants and 538 patrons on Bloor Street in Toronto. It was found that only 10 percent of patrons drove to the shopping area, and that those arriving by foot and bicycle spent the most money per month. Report authors concluded that converting street parking into a bike lane in the area was “unlikely” to have a negative impact on business and that, on the contrary, “this change will likely increase commercial activity.”
The best graphic for last:
- Melbourne, Australia
The award for best infographic goes to research conducted on the shopping behavior of cyclists and drivers in Melbourne, Australia. Researcher Alison Lee found that drivers spent more per hour than cyclists, about $27 to $16.20. But because six bikes can fit into a single automobile parking space—for a total hourly spending of $97.20—Lee argued there would be an economic gain to using that space for bicycles instead.