Urban cycling supports sustainable cities and ensures the health of its city-zens. Yet at times it comes up in controversial conversations as well, such as cycling vs car lanes, helmet regulations, you get the idea.
Our friends at Momentum Mag propose yet another benefit of urban cycling to consider that is purely about dollars and cents. They suggest a positive correlation between the presence of city cyclists and upticks in the economies of local shops.
An example is an art gallery owner in Memphis, Pat Brown, who pinned her hopes on “community members who were determined to transform Broad Avenue from a fast-moving thoroughfare, where traffic whizzed past boarded-up storefronts at 50 mph (80 km/h), into a bustling arts district”.
The local nonprofit group Livable Memphis, together with the Broad Avenue Arts District, put in a temporary cycling lane that ran down the street in front of her gallery. After the protected bike lane opened, a local art walk that typically drew only 1,000 people attracted 15,000. How’s that for thriving, not just surviving in these tough economic times.
And this trend is worldwide. Momentum reports “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. So it’s not surprising that a survey of 1,200 consumers in Bern, Switzerland, found that businesses made more profit per square meter of bike parking ($9,900 per year) than car parking ($8,800).”
Cycling with its slower travel patterns through commercial areas, economically benefits local businesses. Sometimes, two wheels are better than four!
Photo Credit: Momentum Mag