“Streets that promote bicycling and walking mean more business for local shops and restaurants,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “When it comes to the impact bike lanes have on local businesses, it’s a case of ‘if you build it, they will come.’ It’s no surprise that in the East Village, which is home to some of the city’s best street safety improvements, bicyclists and pedestrians play a critical role in the local economy.”
The majority of respondents rely on public transit and non-motorized transportation modes to get to and around the neighborhood. In the East Village, 55 percent of respondents walk or bike as their usual means of transportation, while 40 percent take the bus or subway.
Aggregate weekly spending by public transit and non-motorized transportation users account for 95 percent of retail dollars spent in the study area.
The First and Second Avenue protected bike lanes and local bike network have spurred a dramatic increase in bicycle ridership in the study area. Twenty-four percent of respondents indicated bicycling as their usual mode of transportation in the neighborhood. This is higher than the one percent of New Yorkers who use a bicycle on a regular basis. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they were more inclined to ride a bike with the addition of the protected bike lanes.
Last month, Transportation Alternatives launched the first Bike Friendly District in New York City. The East Village and Lower East Side Bike Friendly Business District is a network of more than 150 businesses and cultural institutions dedicated to promoting safe bike riding and better bike infrastructure locally.
“With the launch of New York City’s first Bike Friendly Business District in the East Village and Lower East Side,” said White, “these neighborhoods are helping to highlight the role bicyclists play in creating vibrant local economies.”
The full report can be found online at http://transalt.org/files/newsroom/reports/2012/EVSS_Final.pdf.
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