I recently attended a conference where I discussed our plans for Bulldog Ave. I mentioned that we were causing some stress to some of the businesses along the route. I’m sympathetic with the their concerns and want to make sure any changes we make are in the best interest of the overall city. We have a corridor that has a State-wide-reputation as a dangerous street with a very high number of accidents. It also lacks curb appeal. And yet some of the business are concerned that a lack of access with hurt them.
When I mentioned our situation I was quickly referred to an expert on this very issue who happened to be attending the same conference. She felt strongly that the changes would be beneficial for all including the businesses. I asked her if she had come across any data that would support her views and she promised to look for some. Little did I expect that within a few days she would be giving me data from Salt Lake City.
She shared an article, “How Bike Lanes Helped Salt Lake City Businesses.” Although their situation is not the same, the bottom line is that business is up 20% since last year. How is that so? “The bike lanes and lower speed limits help to calm car traffic and increase pedestrian traffic — all positives for my business” said business owner John Mueller.
According to the article, “Bike traffic increased by 30 percent, which could account for some of the additional business. But more likely than not, the boost is due to the creation of a more pleasant district for those lingering and shopping.”0