June 2, 2017
Today’s 5 on Friday looks at the economics of cycling. The number of bicycle commuters has soared by 60% during the past decade.
Cycling’s growing popularity is reflected in increased interest in cycling tourism and related business, investments in community bike paths and debates about street parking vs. bike lanes.
Five Resources for the Economics of Cycling
The Complete Business Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes – This report from CityLab provides an annotated, chart-filled review of 12 studies from around the world. It documents that replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time.
Ontario's Cycling Tourism Plan - This strategy was released in May 2017 with the goal of positioning Ontario as a premier destination for cycling tourism. The report points out that cycling visitors generally spend more on average per trip than other visitors. Cycling tourists spend an average of $255 per trip compared to expenditures of $171 per trip for total visitors. http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/tourism/cycling.shtml
America’s 9 Best Cities for Biking – This article includes ideas to borrow from across the US including New York, Seattle, Austin, Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco.
Mont Tremblant, Québec, is quickly becoming Canada’s cycling Mecca - This article from the Toronto Star reports that Québec has more than 5,000 kilometres of uninterrupted bike paths and outlines the businesses and services geared to supporting the cycling visitors and residents. https://www.thestar.com/life/travel/2014/08/21/mont_tremblant_qubec_laurentians_take_a_road_trip_just_leave_the_car_at_home.html
Bicycles are good for business – a report on the economic impact of cyclists, bike lanes and on-street parking from Torontocycling.org This report examines the impacts of cycling and bike lanes on main street businesses in urban North America. This detailed review shows that cyclists tend to be more reliable customers than drivers, spend larger amounts of money per capita per month, and are easily attracted with appropriate infrastructure. NB: you will need to register with Toronto Cycling to access the report.