America’s Most Bike Friendly City?
Via The Nation, a story on Long Beach, California’s effort to make itself into America’s Most Bike Friendly City:
“The math is pretty simple,” says April Economides, the principal of Green Octopus Consulting and the leader of the city’s outreach to local businesses. “You can park twelve bikes in the amount of space it takes to park one car. And someone who shifts from owning a car to a bicycle tends to have more discretionary income, because, for a commuter, the typical cost of a bicycle is $300 a year, compared to $7,000 a year for a car.”
The owner of a Long Beach coffee shop adds, “The bike racks outside our shop increase our visibility and bring us more customers. People on bikes stop at places they haven’t visited before because they don’t have to try to find parking.” (By the way, Economides is a great name for someone reaching out to businesses about the benefits of bike lanes!)
As I pointed out in relation to Hubway, Boston’s bike share system, some drivers tend to avoid certain neighborhoods because it’s too difficult to find a place to park. Add bike parking, however, and you’ll open up your neighborhood to a demographic that is willing to explore, able to go out of their way, and–thanks to the calories burned–hungry. That’s good for business.