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Local Economic Deveopment Impacts of Pedestrian and Cycling Facility Improvements

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    Here is information on walkability impacts local economic development impacts from the Walkability chapter of our Online TDM Encyclopedia
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2012
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      Here is information on walkability impacts local economic development
      impacts from the "Walkability" chapter of our Online TDM Encyclopedia
      (www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm92.htm )

      Pedestrian Malls and Districts
      ==============================
      Pedestrianized commercial districts can support urban revitalization and
      economic development by creating a lively and friendly environment that
      attracts residents and visitors, although they must be carefully implemented
      to be effective (Rodriguez 2010). Some are closed to motor vehicle traffic
      altogether, at least during certain time periods such as evenings or
      weekends, while others allow automobile traffic but use traffic calming
      design strategies to control traffic speeds and volumes. Success varies
      depending on specific conditions. Many pedestrian-only commercial streets
      created in North American towns and cities during the 1970s failed to
      attract customers, and many were subsequently reopened to automobile travel,
      but others thrived, particularly in resort communities or as part of overall
      downtown redevelopment. Below are guidelines for creating successful
      pedestrianized streets and districts:

      • It is generally better to calm vehicle traffic and improve
      non-motorized conditions throughout an area, than to let high speed and
      volume motor vehicle traffic dominate except on a token pedestrian street.

      • Pedestrian areas require a critical mass of users. They should be
      both a destination and a thoroughfare that connects diverse attractions
      (housing, shops, offices, etc.). Encourage development that attracts a broad
      range of customers and clients, including retail, housing, education and
      employment. Apartments and offices can often be located over shops.

      • Develop a pleasant environment, with greenery, shade and amenities.
      Building features and street furniture should be pedestrian scale and
      attractive. Maintain high standards for security, cleanliness and physical
      maintenance. Minimize blank building walls.

      • Allow motor vehicles as required for access, with appropriate
      restrictions based on need, time and vehicle type. This may include
      unrestricted motor vehicle traffic during morning hours, transit vehicles,
      resident and hotel pickup, service and emergency vehicles, or other
      appropriate categories.

      • Pedestrian streets should be located in pedestrian-friendly areas
      with good access to public transit and parking. Slow and restrict vehicle
      traffic on cross-streets.

      • Develop a variety of artistic, cultural and recreational amenities
      (statues, fountains, playgrounds) and activities (concerts, fairs, markets).
      Highlight historical features.

      Mark Byrnes (2012), “The Uncertain Legacy of America's Pedestrian Malls,”
      Atlantic Cities (www.theatlanticcities.com); at
      www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/05/uncertain-legacy-americas-pe
      destrian-malls/1929

      Luis Rodriguez (2011), Pedestrian-Only Shopping Streets Make Communities
      More Livable, Planetizen (www.planetizen.com); at
      www.planetizen.com/node/47517.
      ============================================================================
      ==========

      Here is information on car-free streets impacts local economic development
      impacts from the "Car-Free Planning" chapter of our Online TDM Encyclopedia
      (www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm6.htm )


      Pedestrian-Oriented Commercial Areas
      ---------------------------------------
      Pedestrianized commercial districts can support urban revitalization and
      economic development, although they must be carefully implemented to be
      effective (West 1990; Robertson 1990; “Pedestrian Malls,” Wikipedia). They
      can help create a lively and friendly environment that attracts residents
      and visitors (Rodriguez 2010). Some are closed to motor vehicle traffic
      altogether, at least during certain time periods such as evenings or
      weekends, while others allow automobile traffic but use Traffic Calming
      design strategies to control traffic speeds and volumes (Boyd 1998). Success
      varies depending on specific conditions. Many pedestrian-only commercial
      streets created during the 1970s in North American towns and cities failed
      to attract customers, and many were subsequently reopened to automobile
      travel. However, some pedestrian-only streets succeeded, particularly in
      Resort communities or as part of appropriate downtown redevelopment
      (Rodriguez 2010).

      Retail areas often subsidize vehicle parking on the assumption that
      customers need to drive to make large purchases. This may sometimes be true,
      but not always. Many cities find that a significant portion of shoppers
      arrive without a car and those who arrive by alternative modes are good
      shoppers. A study of Prince Street (Schaller Consulting 2006), a commercial
      street in SoHo, New York City found that:
      • 89% of Prince Street users arrive by subway, bus, walking or
      bicycle. Only 9% arrive by car.
      • By a ratio of 5:1 shoppers said they would come to Prince Street
      more often if they had more space to walk, even if it meant eliminating
      parking spaces. This ratio was nearly identical for visitors and those who
      live and work in the area.
      • Most shoppers would rather see space taken away from parked cars
      rather than street vendors.
      • The shoppers who value wider sidewalks over parking spent about five
      times as much money, in aggregate, as those who value parking over
      sidewalks.


      Similarly, a study of downtown San Francisco shoppers that found less than
      one-fifth drive to shop, and that they spend less money in aggregate than
      shoppers using other transportation modes (Bent 2006). The study indicates
      drivers spend more each trip than transit riders, but visit less often and
      account for far fewer total visits and therefore spend less in total.
      Walkers average eight downtown shopping trips a month, spending $36 per trip
      and $291 per month. Motorists average four downtown shopping trips a month,
      spending $88 per trip and $259 per month. Transit riders average seven
      shopping trips per month, spending $40 per trip and $274 per month. Overall,
      60% of shoppers arrive by public transit, 20% arrive by walking, 19% by
      automobile and 1% by bicycle, yet downtown merchants surveyed in the study
      estimated that 90% of their customers arrive by car.

      A study of consumer expenditures in British towns found that customers who
      walk actually spend more than those who drive, and transit and car travelers
      spend about the same amounts.

      Business and residents should be involved in planning and managing
      pedestrian commercial streets. Often, a downtown business organization or
      Transportation Management Association will oversee Streetscape development,
      as well as parking management and promotion activities. Below are
      recommended guidelines for creating a successful pedestrian commercial
      street or district:
      • Pedestrian streets are only successful in areas that are attractive
      and lively. They require a critical mass of users. They should serve as both
      a destination and a thoroughfare by forming a natural connection route
      between diverse attractions (housing, shops, offices, etc.).
      • Develop a pleasant environment, with greenery, shade and rain
      covers. Use brick, block pavement or textured cement instead of asphalt, if
      possible. Street-level building features and street furniture should be
      pedestrian scale and attractive. Minimize blank building walls.
      • Encourage the development of diverse pedestrian-oriented activities
      that attract a broad range of customers and clients, including retail and
      commercial services, housing and employment. Apartments and offices can
      often be located over shops.
      • Allow motor vehicles as required for access, with appropriate
      restrictions based on need, time and vehicle type. This may include
      unrestricted motor vehicle traffic during morning hours, transit and HOV
      vehicles, pickup and drop-off for residents and hotels, service and
      emergency vehicles, or other categories deemed appropriate.
      • Pedestrian streets should have good access to public transit and
      parking. They should be located in pedestrian-friendly areas. Mid-block
      walkways and buildings open to through public traffic should be developed
      and enhanced as much as possible.
      • Develop a variety of artistic, cultural and recreational amenities
      (statues, fountains, playgrounds) and activities (concerts, fairs, markets).
      Highlight historical features.
      • Pedestrian streets should generally be small and short, typically
      just a few blocks in length, although this may increase over time if
      appropriate.
      • Security, cleanliness and physical maintenance standards must be
      high.
      • Vehicle traffic on cross-streets should be slowed or restricted.

      ======================================================
      Here is information on bicycle facility impacts local economic development
      impacts from the "Cycling Improvements" chapter of our Online TDM
      Encyclopedia (www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm93.htm )


      "In a survey of business owners in an urban retail district, Drennen (2003)
      found that 65% consider arterial bike lanes to provide overall economic
      development benefits, compared with 4% that consider it overall negative,
      and 65% support expansion of the program in their area."

      Emily Drennen (2003), "Economic Effects of Traffic Calming on Urban Small
      Businesses," Masters Thesis, San Francisco State University
      (www.emilydrennen.org); at www.emilydrennen.org/TrafficCalming_full.pdf.


      "Merchants on a particular street often object to parking-to-bike-lane
      conversions out of fear that they will lose customers who use on-street
      parking. This is often untrue or inappropriate. In many cases, on-street
      parking serves only a small portion of their total customers, alternative
      parking is available nearby, and some of their customers who currently drive
      will shift to cycling if suitable facilities are available (Sztabinski
      2009). This is actually a debate between very local costs (the merchants who
      lose a few parking spaces) versus widely distributed benefits (businesses
      throughout the area who will benefit from reduced automobile parking demand,
      travelers who benefit from financial savings and health benefits, and all
      residents who benefit from reduced traffic congestion, accident risk and
      pollution emissions)."

      Fred Sztabinski (2009), "Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business A Study
      of Bloor Street in Toronto’s Annex Neighbourhood," The Clean Air Partnership
      (www.cleanairpartnership.org); at
      www.cleanairpartnership.org/pdf/bike-lanes-parking.pdf.

      =============================================================

      From my report, "Evaluating Transportation Economic Development Impacts"
      (www.vtpi.org/econ_dev.pdf )

      "Walkability can affect retail area attractiveness and therefore economic
      success (Hass-Klau 1993). Retailers sometimes favor automobile access
      (traffic and parking lanes) over non-motorized access (such as wider
      sidewalks, bike lanes and traffic calming) because they assume motorists
      spend more than customers who travel by other modes, but in many urban areas
      a majority of customers arrive by alternative modes, and although motorists
      tend to spent more per trip, pedestrians and cyclists shop more frequently
      and spend more per capita over a month or year (Transportation Alternatives
      & Schaller Consulting 2006; Sztabinski 2009; Malatest & Associates 2010).
      Because bicycle parking is space efficient it generates about five times as
      much spending per square meter as automobile parking (Lee and March 2010).

      Although tourism requires transport, excessive emphasis on motor vehicle
      access (for example, expanding highways, parking facilities and airports)
      can spoil the attributes that attract visitors. Unique transport activities,
      such as walking, cycling and train travel, can help attract tourists
      (Tourism Vermont 2007)."


      European Commission (1999), "Cycling: The Way Ahead For Towns And Cities: A
      Handbook for Local Authorities," Environment DG, European Commission
      (http://europa.eu.int/comm/images/language/lang_en3.gif).

      C. Hass-Klau (1993), “Impact Of Pedestrianisation And Traffic Calming On
      Retailing, A Review Of The Evidence From Germany And The UK,” Transport
      Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 21-31.

      Alison Lee and Alan March (2010), “Recognising The Economic Role Of Bikes:
      Sharing Parking In Lygon Street, Carlton,” Australian Planner, Vol. 47, No.
      2, pp. 85 - 93; at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07293681003767785; also see
      http://colabradio.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Value_of_Bike_Parking_A
      lison_Lee.pdf.

      Malatest & Associates (2010), "Victoria Regional Rapid Transit: Survey Of
      Businesses, Property Owners, And Customers," BC Transit (www.transitbc.com);
      at www.transitbc.com/vrrt/displaypdf/Business_Survey_Results.pdf.

      TA (2006), "Curbing Cars: Shopping, Parking and Pedestrian Space in SoHo,"
      Transportation Alternatives & Schaller Consulting (www.transalt.org); at
      www.transalt.org/files/newsroom/reports/soho_curbing_cars.pdf.

      Tourism Vermont (2007), "Travel and Tourism Industry in Vermont: A
      Benchmark Study of the Economic Impact of Visitor Expenditures on the
      Vermont Economy," Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, Vermont
      Partners (www.vermontpartners.org); at
      www.vermontpartners.org/pdf/Research_Brochure_2007.pdf; methodology at
      www.uvm.edu/~snrvtdc/publications/implan_method.pdf.


      Also see:

      CPF (2008), "Economic Benefits of Cycling for Australia," Cycling Promotion
      Fund (www.cyclingpromotion.com.au); at
      www.cyclingpromotion.com.au/images/stories/downloads/CPF_CyclingBenefits.pdf
      .



      Sincerely,
      Todd Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
      litman@...
      facebook.com/todd.litman
      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”



      Posted by: "Carlosfelipe Pardo" carlosfpardo@... pardinus
      Date: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:31 am ((PDT))

      Bogotá has just pedestrianised a stretch of the city center's main road
      (séptima, between 19th and 26th) since january, and commerce representatives
      have said that their sales went down since then but they don't have detailed
      data or a comprehensive before-after report.

      Pardo

      Probably written while riding a bicycle. Please excuse typos.

      On 23/06/2012, at 3:38, eric britton <eric.britton@...> wrote:

      > Has anyone here ever run across a solid report or study showing that
      > local businesses suffer financially when a zone is pedestrianized or
      > made bike accessible?
      >




      Sincerely,
      Todd Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
      litman@...
      facebook.com/todd.litman
      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”
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