Media Release #2 – Better Bike Lanes are Good for Local Businesses

Media Release
October 30th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BETTER BIKE LANES ARE GOOD FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

“It has been well documented that the building better bike lanes leads to an increase in the number of people who choose to cycle on a daily basis, which in turn reduces congestion on city streets” remarks Sean Shaw, Better Bike Lanes Coordinator.

“One of the big misconceptions about placing bike lanes on downtown streets is that they will result in a decrease in the profitability of local businesses” indicates Shaw.  “What study after study from others cities have shown is the exact opposite” continues Shaw.  “On streets where separated bike lanes have been included there has also been a positive impact on local businesses” Shaw explains.  “While those who cycle spend less per trip, they tend to make more trips than those who choose to drive through the downtown and spend more money at local businesses overall”, added Shaw.

“One of the most striking examples of the positive impacts that separated lanes can have on local businesses comes from New York City.  An increase in retail sales of 49% occurred on a street where separated bike lanes were installed, compared to a 3% increase in the rest of the neighbourhood”, explained Shaw.

“We believe that separated bike lanes on 24th St. and 4th Ave can increase the number of people accessing local businesses along these routes”, explains Shaw.  “However, it will be vitally important to measure these impacts before and after installation of the bike lanes, to provide the city with the proper data to make judge the benefits of the demonstration project”, adds Shaw.

“We understand that on-street parking is an important amenity for downtown businesses and we believe that the separated bike lanes can be incorporated along 24th St and 4th Ave without the loss of any significant parking capacity” Shaw assures. “In fact, in many cities, on-street parking along with separated bike lanes is a good thing, as it provides an extra layer of protection to those using separated bike lanes.”

Two weeks ago Saskatoon Cycles launched the Better Bike Lanes campaign – to date nearly 1,000 Saskatonians have shown their support for separated bike lanes in our downtown, a number that is growing daily.  To learn more about the benefits of better bike lanes for our transportation system, their positive impacts on local economies, and to sign the petition, please visit the Better Bike Lanes website – www.betterbikelanes.ca.

To learn more about the benefits of better bike lanes for our transportation system, their positive impacts on local economies, and to sign the petition, please visit the Better Bike Lanes website – www.betterbikelanes.ca.

For further questions or to set up an interview, please contact:

Sean Shaw
Better Bike Lanes Coordinator
betterbikelanes_at_saskatooncycles.org
www.betterbikelanes.ca