New York City discovered that businesses located on streets where the city installed protected bike lanes saw increases in retail sales as high as 49 percent (see full report below).
So it makes sense that downtown Seattle business leaders are meeting today to learn how they can make sure they get the most from the Bicycle Master Plan. Imagine how much more inviting it would be to spend time and shop on 2nd Ave if it were comfortable to walk and bike there. Imagine how many more downtown workers would head out to patronize restaurants for lunch if walking or biking there didn’t feel so hostile.
And since we know that workers who bike to their jobs are more productive and less likely to call in sick, there’s a lot of money to be saved by making it easier for more people to bike to work.
And, of course, safe roads mean fewer employees injured whether they bike, walk or drive to work. And businesses trying to attract talent need a city that has 21st Century streets, not Seattle’s downtown roadway homage to traffic engineering in the 1960s.
Really, the reasons a business should support safe streets go on and on. But if you need more here’s the New York report on how successful their protected bike lanes have been for business:
One response to “Downtown business leaders will discuss Bike Master Plan today”
Hopefully, it goes better than the Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting on the BMP a couple of weeks ago. The anti-bike mindset could not be more in evidence, to the extent that they were still gnashing their teeth about their “defeat” over the Burke Gilman Trail! Crazy. The takeaway from that meeting was that the Fremont Chamber of Commerce does not care the slightest bit for the safety of their neighbors (like me), their customers (like me), or their employees. It was the most demoralizing illustration of dinosaur thinking that I’ve seen since Dubya was in office. Downtown, don’t be like Fremont.