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10964(Old) blog on cyclists as better shoppers than drivers

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  • Christopher Miller
    Jun 27, 2008
      From last year on the Copenhagenize blog:


      24 NOVEMBER 2007
      Cyclists Are Better Shoppers Than Motorists

      It has come to our attention that in some cities where bike culture is
      still only budding, there is resistance from the community - namely
      commerce - towards such things as bike lanes and bike infrastructure
      in general.

      Back in the 1960's in Copenhagen, a radical idea was born.
      Pedestrianising the city centre. There was very vocal resistance from
      the shops. There were even cries of "we're not Italians! We don't want
      to walk around the town!" The car was king.

      It happened anyway. The world's longest pedestrian street was born -
      Str�get - and others followed. One of the early strokes of genius by
      legendary urban planner Jan Gehl.

      Did commerce suffer? Not at all. On the contrary. Pedestrian and
      bicycle access without motor vechicles created the ideal shopping
      concept. Sales increased.

      It remains the case to this day, especially with the massive
      investment in bike infrastructure over the past 40 years, providing
      even more access to the city and her neighbourhoods for cyclists.

      Stats and Studies for use by bike advocates
      The idea that �vitality of commercial enterprises = access by car� is
      really rather old school. Those motorists who arrive at a supermarket
      or department store are not better customers than those who arrive by
      bike or with public transport, just because they can carry more goods
      home in their vehicles.

      On the contrary. The contribution made by customers who arrive by
      public transport, bicycle and on foot is greatly underestimated. Not
      to mention the negative impact for our towns and cities and for the
      urban environment of building of large supermarkets and thousands of
      parking places on the periphery of urban centres.

      It turns out that cyclists are better customers in many categories.

      A study carried out in M�nster, in Germany, reveals a number of newly
      discovered statistics. The study concerned three large supermarkets
      and a department store which also sold other goods.

      Cyclists purchase smaller quantities each time they go, obviously.
      Which means, just as obviously, that cyclists go to shops more
      regularly - 11 times a month on average, as opposed to seven times a
      month for motorists in M�nster - and are thereby more exposed to the
      temptation that shops love to inflict upon us.

      Motorists are in the minority in shops in urban areas - between 25 to
      40 % of customers, depending on the day of the week.

      Barely 25 % of motorists leave a shop with two or more bags of goods
      (as opposed to 17 % of cyclists). Therefore, 75% of motorists have
      nothing to prevent them from using other transport forms. The study
      concluded that a large number of motorists could do without their cars
      when shopping, leaving them open to using another mode of transport.

      Another study, this time in Berlin, showed a massive increase in cross-
      neighbourhood movement when they introduced a 30 km/h speed limit for
      cars, except on major routes. People were simply using their bikes and
      the public transport to get around and they found themselves more
      mobile as a result. Up to 40% in some cases, for trips between home
      and the shops.

      Similarly, a survey carried out in Strasbourg indicated more than 30%
      increase of visits to the shopping area of the city after
      pedestrianisation and closureto through traffic in the town centre.

      A survey carried out among consumers in Bern, Switzerland, established
      the ratio between the value of purchases made and the parking area
      used by each customer over a year. The profitability was highest in
      the case of the cyclists.

      �7500 per square metre for cyclists.
      �6625 for motorists.

      Cyclists increase sales. Period.


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada

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