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12318Cycling, Walking, & Prosperity

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  • Richard Risemberg
    Mar 24, 2012
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      Streetsblog today published a superb piece on how cyclists (and
      pedestrians) generate far more business for merchants than do drivers
      (even if they're the same people). Solid article with examples and
      citations, plenty of links.


      A couple of choice quotes:

      > Rory Robinson of the National Park Service found many other
      > examples of bicycling spurring economic revitalization, like the
      > opening of the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville, Colorado, which led
      > to a 19 percent increase in sales tax revenues, helping the city
      > recover from a mine closure in 1999. The 45-mile long Washington &
      > Old Dominion Trail in the D.C. suburbs brings an estimated $7
      > million into the northern Virginia economy, nearly a quarter of
      > that from out-of-towners. And downtown Dunedin, Florida was
      > suffering a 35 percent storefront vacancy rate until an abandoned
      > CSX railroad track became the Pinellas Trail. Storefront occupancy
      > is now 100 percent, Robinson found. �Business is booming.�
      > And the economic benefit of bicycling for communities doesn�t end
      > with cyclists� expensive cappuccinos and impulse buys. Properties
      > near bike paths increase in value 11 percent, said Economides.
      > Realtors and homebuilders consistently find that access and
      > proximity to walking and biking facilities, especially greenways,
      > makes homes easier to sell. A reporter for the Indianapolis Star
      > said it best in 2003: �It may not have sand and crashing waves, but
      > the Monon Trail is the equivalent of beachfront property in the
      > Indianapolis area.�

      Related is this anecdotal quote I found on Twitter, from

      > Whenever I've seen a street closed to motor traffic in Melbourne
      > it's flooded with people all day. Why are businesses so afraid of
      > this?

      Richard Risemberg

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