Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Bicycles

Bicycling, Transit, & Public Space Initiatives Boost Local Economies & Businesses, New Report Finds

 
Bike lanes are often the subject of controversy and criticism, and often unrightfully so. New research has shown that, rather than being a waste of money, they help to boost the local economy.

20121026-015539.jpg

A new report released on Wednesday by New York City’s Transportation Department finds that one clear and perhaps under-the-radar benefit of bicycle lanes, pedestrian plazas, and rapid-transit bus systems is that the businesses that are located near this infrastructure often experience a significant increase in customers.

“These projects are not just about the quality of life or aesthetics,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a phone interview. “In case after case, these projects really do set the table for economic development.”

The report was created after analyzing data provided by the Department of Finance, primarily sales figures from small businesses in the areas around the new infrastructure. Apparently, larger chains couldn’t be included in the analysis because they report receipts centrally, rather than by individual location.


 
“On Ninth Avenue, where the city has installed protected bike lanes, businesses from 23rd Street to 31st Street have seen a 49 percent increase in retail sales, compared with a boroughwide average of 3 percent over the same period, the report said.”

That is a significant increase, and correlates very clearly with the new transit infrastructure.

And where a plaza and protected bike path were put in on the north end of Union Square, there has been a 49 percent drop in commercial vacancies. The borough average for the same period was an increase of 5 percent in commercial vacancies.

“In Brooklyn, where a parking area on Pearl Street was converted into a plaza, retail sales have increased 172 percent for neighboring businesses, compared with 18 percent throughout the borough.”

The report also linked improvements in bus service with economic improvement. There was a 71 percent increase in retail sales along Fordham Road in the Bronx. According to Ms. Sadik-Khan, faster rapid-transit buses and the increased ridership that they’ve brought were most likely bringing more customers to the local businesses.

“Everybody’s got an opinion,” she said, “but we have the data.”

Source: The New York Times
Image Credits: Bike Lanes via Wikimedia Commons

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Preparing for New York’s Shift to Cleaner, Quieter Electric Cars for Hire Stepping off the curb to hail a cab. Hopping in a taxi...

Clean Power

The latest IPCC report cannot emphasize enough that what cities do in the next decade matters.

Clean Transport

Critics of electrification often call early retirement of long-life diesel trucks and buses an expensive waste - but this EV conversion program is giving...

Cars

Polestar intends to introduce 3 new electric car models in the next three years that will compete with similar models from Porsche.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.