Monday, September 2, 2013

More bikes means more business.


Studies show that bike lanes not only improve livability for communities, but also increase business for retailers within that community.

For one, people who travel by bike are more likely to stop and patronize a business, because parking’s so easy.  A bike rider can always a place to lock up a bike, whether it’s a tree, or a rail or a fence. In the case of the Five Points area, bike access will increase business for all retailers, restaurants, and bars in the area.  Secondly,  as anyone who rides a bike knows - whether  it’s for commute, leisure, or exercise - stopping is often part of the goal.  Perhaps you need to do an errand while on your commute, or perhaps a place looks so inviting, stopping for a cold beer or a sandwich or a coffee, is exactly part of the whole point of traveling by bike.  The fact is, it’s simply easier to spend money when access is easier. 

I’ll say it again: there’s no parking in Five Points and most of Hillcrest now.  I’m sure we are going to squeeze out a few more spots if we work with the City to do head-in 90 degree angle parking in Five Points, but then what?  What will we do as we add more density to our communities?  Where exactly will all these additional cars park? Adding more parking when there is no space to put it is simply not an option.  The key is to act now, and embrace bike and pedestrian access to mitigate density impacts that are coming.

Here are some very good studies and articles that show bike access is great for business. 

 I particularly liked this one, because it shows how cities in Colorado used bike trails to lure tourists in non-skiing months.  Now we have pretty good weather year round in San Diego, but are we a cycling destination when getting around is so unsafe?  Probably not.  So bike lanes will likely give us one more reason for vacationers to come for a visit, and increase overall spending.

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