Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fulton Area Shoppers Prefer Bike Over Car

We're always talking and writing about bike-friendly business districts, so we were pleased to see coverage from Streetsblog of biking on Fulton Street in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill where we recently wrapped up a retail market study for the  the Fulton Area Business Alliance and Pratt Area Community Council.

On street parking is so coveted by business owners that the shear thought of removing the spots for bicycle infrastructure such as protected bike lanes or public plazas sends many into panic because those spots are often assumed to be directly associated with increased business and revenue. The findings of a recent study may help to calm business owners' nerves. The FAB Alliance and the Pratt Area Community Council surveyed 477 people on Fulton Street this summer and found that the vast majority of shoppers arrive without a car. 

Image: FAB Alliance and Pratt Area Community Council
The results of the survey show that only 15% of respondents used an automobile to access Fulton Street to shop, which is even less than those that typically bike to the area to shop (either by their own bike or CitiBike). This may be an isolated set of data but it adds to the growing strength of argument toward bike-friendly and multi-modal business districts.

A 2011 study by Kooshian and Winkleman, "Growing Wealthier," notes market trends now favoring mixed-use, walkable and bikable town centers and neighborhoods. They also note that businesses profit from bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements, time savings, and healthcare cost savings, referencing Gotschi's “Costeffectiveness of Nonmotorized Transportation Investments as a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy.” 

The point to drive, or in this case walk or bike, home here is that with a growing number of shoppers walking and biking, car-centric streets could be a thing of the past.  

1 comment:

  1. IF parking were possible in this retail district...more auto users would come...biking is great...but the traffic here is dangerous...and there is just sooo much u can carry on a bike! Retail needs cost effective parking...or they'll shop on line and jobs, taxes and retail districts will be lost...sad.