In any discussion about installing bike lanes the argument often is put forward that they are bad for business, what with the loss of parking spaces and the increased difficulty of loading and deliveries. But what if this is completely backwards? TreeHugger alluded to this in How bicycles bring business to your community and There IS a Bicycle Economy, Two Cities Find, but here is the real proof from New York's Department of Transportation.
The most shocking data are from the protected bike lanes on 8th and 9th Avenues. 49% increase in retail sales. (The decrease in injuries is pretty spectacular too.) It all works because there is a place for everyone, not just the car.
Here our focus has been on organizing the different streams of traffic – by simplifying intersections; by creating dedicated lanes for turning drivers and for cyclists; and by setting aside signal time and safe space for crossing pedestrians.
In Brooklyn, giving up parking spaces for patios, making more room for people increased sales by 127%.
New York’s streets serve more functions than simply moving people and goods. In such a densely populated city, the streets and sidewalks are places to congregate, relax, and enjoy being out in public. We have focused on creating great public spaces that serve individuals and groups large and small. Local organizations who maintain and program our public spaces help us ensure that these spaces will remain functional and useful for all users.
So it turns out that one of the main arguments put forward by the anti-bike "war on the car" people turns out to be completely specious. Bike lanes boost business. Complete streets fill retail stores, increasing property tax revenue. What more proof do you need?