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May 1, 2014

Protected bike lanes and local economic activity

People For Bikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking recently released the report "Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business" that seeks to show how and why protected bike lanes can increase economic activity for nearby businesses.   The report offers the reflections and explanations of fifteen entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the country on how protected bike lanes have provided benefits and value for their companies.

In addition, the report gives an overview of the recent research into four macro-level trends that the authors see as associated with the potential economic impact of protected bike lanes:

  1. Americans — especially younger Americans — are driving less and biking more.
  2. More and more Americans are moving to urban areas, where the desire for increased street flow without the negative impacts of motor vehicle congestion is driving new transportation solutions.
  3. Due to the high cost of health care, companies are actively looking for ways to increase the health of employees, including through regular exercise provided by walking and cycling.
In urban shopping districts, the most valuable long-term customers are "local customers," – i.e. those who stop by often, on foot or on bicycle.