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Toronto's Bloor Street Survey

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  • Richard Risemberg
    When the Clean Air Partnership raised the question of installing bike lanes on Toronto s Bloor Street, the city s best cycling route across town, there was the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2009
      When the Clean Air Partnership raised the question of installing bike
      lanes on Toronto's Bloor Street, the city's best cycling route across
      town, there was the usual trepidation that the business community
      would reflexively oppose the idea of giving up car parking for
      cyclists. But a comprehensive survey of shoppers, merchants, and
      parking patterns made the surprising discovery that pedestrians and
      cyclists not only comprised the majority of visitors to the Annex
      neighborhood's local merchants, but spent more money per month and
      per visit than did drivers or transit users.

      To read the entire (very long) report in PDF form, see http://
      tinyurl.com/bckezh at the Clean Air Partnership's website.

      A quote:

      "The general finding from this study is that pedestrians, cyclists
      and transit users account for the bulk of retail spending on Bloor
      Street West in the Annex neighbourhood. In fact, there is evidence to
      suggest that efforts to attract more pedestrians and cyclists will
      have a more positive economic impact on businesses than maintaining
      the existing parking on the street. On this section of Bloor Street,
      the existing parking demand can be accommodated by a reduced number
      of on street parking spaces combined with the existing off street
      parking spaces. It is clear that many merchants in the study area do
      not view on street parking as key to their business."

      While the same results might not obtain everywhere, it underscores
      the importance of not making unwarranted assumptions about the
      perceived "necessity" to accommodate motoring at all costs for what
      may turn out, upon inspection, to be spurious economic rationales.

      Richard Risemberg

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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