With bike wars brewing in Brooklyn over the installation of the new bike-share system, the timing couldn't be better for an article by Carolyn Szczepanski in Momentum Magazine about how bicycles bring business. These are serious numbers:
...a growing body of research shows that people who arrive on two wheels have a bigger impact on the bottom line, too. Recent research out of Portland, OR, showed that cycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at bars, restaurants and convenience stores. A 2009 study of Bloor Street in Toronto, ON, found that customers who arrive by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.
Why do people who arrive on bicycles spend more money? Researchers in Muenster, Germany, suggest that because bicyclists buy smaller quantities and thus shop more frequently, they’re “exposed more often to temptation” – more likely to get extra items that aren’t on the shopping list.
Bike lane infrastructure can make a big difference on streets with retail at grade.
According to the NYC DOT, retail sales on Ninth Avenue are up 49 percent since the street’s protected bike lanes were installed – that’s 16 times the area growth rate. And on First and Second Avenues, where cycling is up 177 percent thanks to new cycle tracks, commercial vacancies are 47 percent lower than the rest of the area.