Hey Calgary. As many of you already know, the City is already constructing the cycle tracks (similar to the one on 7th Street, shown above) in the downtown core. From the City of Calgary: “A cycle track is a bike lane protected by a physical barrier from moving cars, parked cars and sidewalks. It provides a predictable space and minimizes potential conflicts between people who walk, bicycle, and drive.”
We at the Good Life Community Bike Shop are super excited about the cycle tracks and hope to see more constructed. We will support anything that encourages more people riding and improve safety for everyone on the road. Here is some research about New York’s experience in cycle tracks (specifically in Manhattan): there were 35% and 58% decreases in injuries to all street users on 8th and 9th Avenues.
Much of the opposition comes from retail businesses who are worried that cycle tracks will draw customers who drive away from their business due to lack of parking. However sometimes we wonder if these businesses have considered the numbers of cyclists who might come. In New York, there was a 49% increase in retail sales among local businesses along the 9th Avenue routes, compared to 3% throughout Manhattan.
Here is an article from Momentum Magazine summarizing the cycle track experiences around the world. Here is an excerpt:
“a growing body of research shows that people who arrive on two wheels have a bigger impact on the bottom line, too. Recent research out of Portland, OR, showed that cycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at bars, restaurants and convenience stores. A 2009 study of Bloor Street in Toronto, ON, found that customers who arrive by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.
Why do people who arrive on bicycles spend more money? Researchers in Muenster, Germany, suggest that because bicyclists buy smaller quantities and thus shop more frequently, they’re “exposed more often to temptation” – more likely to get extra items that aren’t on the shopping list. So it’s not surprising that a survey of 1,200 consumers in Bern, Switzerland, found that businesses made more profit per square meter of bike parking ($9,900 per year) than car parking ($8,800).”
See you on the roads.