New Report Shows Bike Lanes are Good for Business!
The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to announce the publication of a research report titled Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business.
Contrary to common public perception, the evidence shows that removing
on-street parking to install a bicycle lane or widened sidewalk would
likely increase not decrease commercial activity. "This report should
alleviate concerns that downtown business owners have about on-street
bicycle lanes", said Eva Ligeti, Executive Director of the Clean Air
The study – conducted in July of 2008 – surveyed the opinions and
preferences of merchants and patrons on Bloor Street and analyzed
parking usage data in the Annex area. Among the study’s findings:
• Only 10% of patrons drive to the Bloor Annex neighbourhood;
• Even during peak periods no more than about 80% of paid parking spaces are paid for;
• Patrons arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month;
• There are more merchants who believe that a bike lane or widened
sidewalk would increase business than merchants who think those changes
would reduce business;
• Patrons would prefer a bike lane to widened sidewalks at a ratio of almost four to one; and
• The reduction in on-street parking supply from a bike lane or
widened sidewalk could be accommodated in the area’s off-street
municipal parking lots.
Background: To encourage more Canadians to use bicycles for utilitarian
trips more often, it is essential that the implementation of bike lanes
on major streets be accelerated. The Bloor-Danforth corridor is a
particularly attractive option for a city-wide east-west bike lane in
Toronto because it is one of the only long, straight, relatively flat
routes that connects the city from end to end; there are no streetcar
tracks; and has one of the highest car-bike collision rates in the
city. However, the installation of bike lanes in this corridor has
historically been thought to be too politically difficult to achieve.