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Bike lanes help local businesses, study says

Published February 4, 2014 8:06 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In the course of reporting yesterday's story on bike accidents I found a report with a surprising finding: dedicated bike lanes actually generate economic growth.

The report — produced for People For Bikes and the Alliance for Biking and Walkingfound that protected bike lanes have an array of positive economic impacts on cities. They include:

• Fueling booming real estate markets

• Recruiting and retaining skilled workers

• Producing healthier and more productive workers

• Increasing retail revenue in growing urban markets

Among other things, the report notes "that wide streets with fast-moving car traffic tend to depress property values, while buildings on streets with new bicycle facilities and pedestrian improvements have appreciated."

Moreover, case studies cited by the report show properties increasing in value as the get closer and closer to bicycle trails.

The impact on retail revenue is even more interesting. In San Francisco, for example, 66 percent of merchants saw increased sales when the city replaced car lanes with bike lanes. In Portland and several other cities, bicyclists spent less per visit at local business but more over the course of the month because they visited more times.

The entire study is fascinating and includes a number of specific case studies from around the U.S. and else where.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii