Since the impact of bike lanes on businesses has emerged as a peripheral issue in the New York City mayoral race, as well as one City Council contest (and counting), a post today from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia seems especially timely.
coalition points to a June League of American Bicyclists report that
heralds cycling as a $133 billion industry, putting some 1.1 million
Americans to work and contributing $17.7 billion in federal, state and
local taxes annually, in addition to the $46.9 billion cyclists spend
on bike tourism:
The report is brief but it
does a great job pointing to the economic/health benefits of bicycling
while dispelling myths commonly used to oppose bicycle infrastructure
investments. For example a study of bike lanes on Bloor St. in Toronto
concluded that the addition of bike lanes would be unlikely to harm
local business and predicted that commercial activity on the street
would likely increase. Three-quarters of merchants surveyed on the
street believed that business activity would improve or stay the same
if a bike lane replaced half of the on-street parking.
You can find the LAB report, with plenty of U.S. success stories, here.
If there is a downside to this bit of positive economic news, it could
be that in one of America’s most hospitable cycling towns — Portland,
Oregon — would-be pedalers may have a tough time finding an affordable starter ride. Cash for beater bikes, anyone?
In other news, Smart City Memphis laments that city’s refusal to abandon sprawl-inducing land use patterns; Second Avenue Sagas delves into this week’s subway station ceiling collapse; Streetsblog San Francisco offers analysis on the potential positive effect of the transit strike near miss; and Cycling Solution reports on livable streets improvements in Budapest, Hungary.