This is not new to the thousands of cyclists who have been advocating for safer cycling infrastructure in cities but another study from NYC has come up with the same conclusion, that cycling paths protected from motor vehicles does indeed generate more business for local shops.
The findings of the study show that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local businesses in the area of the protected bike lanes. For example, after the construction of protected lanes in NYC’s 9th Avenue, it resulted in a 49% increase in retail sales for the local businesses whereas other local businesses in other areas of Manhattan saw just a meagre 3% increase. There are plenty of other studies and research which end up with the same outcome, and that is that when cities invest in cycling infrastructure, people will ride more. It’s the same principle of induced demand which applies to vehicular traffic, when you build more roads you generate more traffic. So simply, when there is infrastructure to make travelling by bike easy and safe, you will see a growth in the number of cyclists.
The full NYC DOT study can be downloaded here.