In response to the Free Press article, Downtown merchants raise concerns over King Street cycle lanes, below is a brief summary of some of the benefits of the upcoming King Street cycle tracks on business:
Downtown has seen many changes in how people get around in recent years. Construction has displaced typical commutes, city buses moved permanently to King and Queens, and the new Fanshawe campus and residential developments have all affected getting around downtown. We can understand why you may feel uncertain about another change this spring to add cycle tracks to King Street.
To ease your worries, experience from other cities has shown bike lanes are good for business. Bloor Street in Toronto saw an increase in sales of 4.5% in the first year after protected bike lanes were installed. Businesses in Calgary and Vancouver have cited an influx of new customers. And a study in Portland revealed that cyclists spent more per month than their driving counterparts. All this leads to good news for business.
Additionally, making it safe for people to cycle on King will dramatically increase the number of people who choose to bike. Laurier Avenue in Ottawa saw an increase of 330% over 5 years with cycle tracks. More people cycling will free up road space, lead to a safer and more vibrant King Street for all users, and make our air cleaner.
The installation of cycle tracks on King Street this spring will be a game-changer for people on bikes, will offer additional waiting space for transit users, and will produce a more vibrant street. We cannot guarantee the future, but cycle tracks on King should be a very good thing for your business.