Money: the Other “Green” in Cycling

Money: the other “green” in cycling. Learn to love it!

I know, whenever the subjects of bike lanes and road diets come up, merchants immediately jump to the conclusion that increasing cyclists’ access to the streets, slowing down traffic, and perhaps even removing the tax-subsidized curbside parking these people fetishize, will somehow destroy their businesses.

It’s a gut reaction, but, like most gut reactions, it’s mostly gas.

Cities with a bit more courage than LA have found that the opposite is true: accommodating bicycle riders improves business for most merchants.

Take a look at the two photos below, which I snapped yesterday, a cold and grey Tuesday, between 10:00 and 10:30 in the morning. There were hardly any cars on the roads…but there were bicycles parked at the private racks in the parking lot of the Trader Joes on Hyperion, and even more locked up in the bike corral fronting Café de Leche on York.

Bikes parked at Trader Joes on Hyperion

Bikes parked in corral at York & Ave. 50Portland merchants are lining up to rent spots on streets with bike facilities—read about how cycling has revived neighborhoods in that northern city here. Chicago is counting on bikeways and other bike-friendly facilities to help it lure high-level, well-paid young workers from other cities. And even the Wall Street Journal had to admit that bikeways have been great for New York City’s small businesses, as well as improving safety for everyone on the road, even drivers.

So read those articles, keep the salient facts in mind, and be ready gently but firmly to correct the misconceptions of the timid at the CD 14 meeting next week, which may determine the fate of the bike lanes proposed for Figueroa and Colorado..

I mean, you are going to be there, aren’t you? Especially if you live and shop in NELA? Because the naysayers will be out in force, loudly proclaiming that bikelanes will harm them—when it is lack of bikelanes that will actually harm them.

It won’t hurt to reveal to them that Metro is offering to promote local merchants to the region’s bike riders for free in conjunction with Bike Week in May….

Let them know that the bikelanes will be as good for them as for the pedalers. Quote a merchant or two from the articles I linked you to. LA is falling behind the rest of the nation, and we can’t really afford to. Pandering to cars is just too expensive, compared to promoting bike use.

And it’s bad for business.

Council District 14 meeting on Figueroa & Colorado Bike Lanes
Norris Hall of Chemistry, Mosher #1
Occidental College
1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Wednesday, March 27th, 7:00PM
Number 4 on this map
RSVP to Nate Hayward required:

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  1. Posted March 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Last time I was on York Blvd the bike corral looked like this

  2. grrlyrida
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I noticed you didn’t take a picture of the Traders’ parking lot, because it’s usually packed. It doesn’t matter what time it is. When I go to Traders it’s by bike only because of the parking situation and Hyperion highway’s high speeding traffic or the highway’s traffic jam. Plus it’s only .9 of a mile away from my house and I now have a bike that can carry a lot of groceries.

    And I’ll be at the meeting too.

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