Designated Bike Lanes May Help Local Businesses Thrive

Designated Bike Lanes May Help Local Businesses Thrive

Creating a safe and secure biking infrastructure in White Flint is essential to our mission in promoting a sustainable and walkable community. One of the best ways to ensure residents will feel safe enough to bike is to design and implement protected bike lanes, which are an important part of the White Flint Sector Plan. Indeed, we know these bike lanes will help cyclists but how will these bike lanes help those who do not travel by bicycle? Or will it even benefit them at all? These are often the questions community developers and practitioners ask when redeveloping cities and urban areas.  Amelia Taylor-Hochberg in her recent Archinect article discussed a report was completed by PeopleForBikes and Alliance for Biking & Walking, that researched cities with protected bike lanes. The report found that cites have started to see positive benefits for local economies and businesses because of these designated bike lanes.

As cities and urban areas become more dense with buildings, including residential and retail space, as well as people, they need to figure out a way to transport people that will use less space. Many of the cities found that “cycling infrastructure is the most efficient way to get more people around in less space.” Bicycling can also help to reduce traffic. If a city has designated bike lanes, we know more people are willing to use bikes as their means for travel, causing less cars to be on the roads. So how can bicycling help local businesses? Well those who bike to complete errands or daily activities, are more likely to stop at businesses or retailers more often (a reason for creating mixed-used properties that provide various goods and services in one area). This trend ultimately creates more spending, boosting the local economy. And an added bonus, local businesses will need less available parking spaces.

If bike lanes can help local businesses thrive, then those who do not necessarily bike will see positive change for their community or even themselves (if they are business owners). In White Flint, we hope that the designated bike lanes soon to be implemented will help our local businesses thrive too.

 

Rebecca Hertz

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Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

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