With the decline of traditional retail, commercial corridors must discern how to increase foot traffic and customer spending if they hope to stay in business. They need to offer an experience that cannot be easily matched by online retailers. Yet, as these spaces struggle to adapt, the public realm — which once contributed to their success — is undergoing its own changes.
Increased interest in biking has led cities to restructure their streetscapes, replacing areas once lined with cars with bike lanes. For some, this signals the end of the downtown shopping experience. Fewer cars, they propose, leads to less foot traffic, fewer sales, and shuttered storefronts.
However, this might not be the real outcome.
In fact, bike lanes may lead to increased economic activity in commercial corridors as authors Daniel Arancibia, Steven Farber, Beth Savan, Yvonne Verlinden, Nancy Smith Lea, Jeff Allen, and Lee Vernich find in their article “Measuring the Local Economic Impacts of Replacing On-Street Parking With Bike Lanes” in the Journal of the American Planning Association (Vol. 85, No. 4).
Read the full article here: A “Wheely” Good Way to Save Commercial Corridors