Riding a bike is highly beneficial for our health, the environment, the economy, and other things. Some people are skeptical of the economic benefits of constructing a bike lane. Traders based in the street where the bike lane will be constructed are the most critical of the new reconfiguration of the street, because of the possible effects it could have on their economic prospects.
Nowadays, the streets of our cities are designed for motorized vehicles, and this encourages people to use them in their everyday lives. We go to work by car, we go shopping by car, we take our children to the school by car, and so on. That is why every regulation or reconfiguration of streets affecting the free circulation of cars scares storekeepers in particular, because they link car movements with their sales.
Installing a new bike lane means reducing the space devoted to the car by removing traffic lanes or parking spaces. Storekeepers are worried about this. They are afraid of losing customers who will not be able to park their vehicles near their stores. What storekeepers do not realize is that 12 bikes can be parked in the same space as one car, which means they could gain 11 new clients.
What experience says!
Experience has shown that a city designed for cyclists benefits the local economy, because:
- People who ride bikes to move around the city do not face parking problems, so they are more likely to stop on their way and visit more stores because of the flexibility of their movements.
- Cycle routes make distances in the city shorter, and this allows us to stop whenever and almost wherever we want.
- People who drive cars in their everyday lives minimize distances and are more likely to end up going shopping in a big mall in the city suburbs, where they will not face any parking problems.