Since the impact of bike lanes on businesses has emerged as a peripheral issue in the New York City mayoral race, 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.