Specifically designated bike lanes are proven to benefit small businesses and the local communities as a whole. Bike lanes that are physically shielded from automobiles, not only provide environmental benefits to communities, but they also spur economic prosperity.
Essentially, protected bike lanes are different than ones that share main roadways and streets. These bike lanes provide cyclists with a defensive barrier making cyclists feel a lot securer, enabling them to feel comfortable cycling to and from work.
There has been a plethora of case studies conducted on bike lanes and their effects on small establishments in cities. A study in 2007, conducted by the NYC department of transportation, showed that small businesses situated near protected bike lanes saw a dramatic increase in sales. In Portland, it was evaluated that cyclists visited the same business more often and spent more money, over a longer period of time. U.S cities have begun to discover that the protected bike lane creates new opportunities in urban economies.
Inherently, if you build a neighborhood where everyone enjoys spending time, people are more likely to spend more money. Bike lanes increase pedestrian traffic and inspire people to be outside. Protected bike lanes make biking more comfortable and popular as well; people always feel safer when there is is no danger of automobiles causing accidents. Additionally, bike lanes help companies locate their establishments in places that don’t have adequate parking allotments. People start to go out of their way to use these bike lanes because of the protection from automobiles. The more people that are in these lanes directly translates to an influx of business to the local stores.
Protected bike lanes are also extremely beneficial to bike carriers, messengers, and deliver boys. In large cities it is quite common to see a delivery boy riding a bicycle, instead of a car. Bikes allow delivery drivers to weave in and out of traffic, while never having to worry about a parking space. Prior to designated bike areas and lanes, bike carriers would have to share the road with large automobiles, and would often get hurt in the process. Their large cargo bikes are harder to turn, and when carrying a large load, they can be more difficult to slow down. With protected bike lanes, delivery boys, riding cargo bikes, can make their transports much more efficient and safe. The more they deliver per day, the more money a business makes.