Why bicycling can be good for business

Today is the official National Bike to Work Day. This entire week Cortland has been participating in Bike/Walk to Work Week. So I hope on this beautiful day you are going to get out and do some walking or bicycling. There’s no excuse today. It’s a perfect day to be outside.

An interesting article that appeared several months ago on dc.streetsblog.org talks about how bicycling can actually be very good for business – especially local downtown businesses.

People who ride bicycles don’t normally ride out to the big box stores on the edge of town. Instead, they will head downtown where there are bike racks and where it is more manageable to shop and perhaps grab a bite to eat.

April Economides, a consultant who helped the city of Long Beach, California build bicycle friendly business districts says “Bicycling, just like walking, helps make a Main Street more vibrant. It adds more eyes and ears to the street, so it makes it safer. So think about a mom pushing a stroller. She’s going to want to walk down a block that has more people walking and bicycling; she’ll feel safer. And you do want to attract women and moms. We’re a pretty important shopping base.”

Another idea mentioned in the article which I have seen before and think would be a great idea for downtown Cortland in the summer is a ciclovia or “Open Street” event. Part of Main Street would be closed off to motorized traffic and only walkers, bicyclists, skateboarders, etc. would be allowed. A study of these types of events show that 73% of participants spent money at a store or restaurant on the route.

Lots to think about.

Jan

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