Cyclists and Pedestrians Outspend Drivers (Atlantic Cities)

10Dec12

image

An article was recently published in Atlantic Cities showing that over time cyclists and pedestrians spend more at local businesses because they visit the businesses more frequently than drivers. The data and graphs supports effort to make communities more pedestrian and bike friendly.

This quote about Portland, Oregon really struck me as I think about my suburban community:

The “young and fearless,” as Clifton calls them, are already biking there. These are the riders who will happily dodge cars and thunderstorms without much dedicated infrastructure. Now the city needs to coax what Clifton calls the “interested but concerned.” These are the people who will require a higher level of accommodation – separated bike lanes, actual bike parking – and therefore some tougher conversations about what that might mean for scarce resources and roadway (and for the drivers who might be impacted by reallocating them).

In my town, because there is no infrastructure and the idea is so foreign to most people, “a higher level of accommodation” will be needed from the beginning. A sidewalk is in process of being constructed on a main road here between two schools. Pedestrians were already using the road despite having to walk on a tiny should or in a ditch. Hopefully this is the beginning of a larger strategy to make the road pedestrian and bike friendly.

Are you seeing efforts to make your community more friendly for bikes and pedestrians?