Bike lanes and a perceived loss of retail access.


It isn’t so much that this essay applies to the exact situation in New Albany. After all, we’ve been careful to place our bike lanes where they barely matter. Still, if for no other insight than the first paragraph, it’s worth a read.

No, Bike Lanes Don’t Hurt Retail Business, by Eric Jaffe (Atlantic Cities)

City retailers tend to overestimate the importance of parking to their business. They fail to see the many downsides of free parking (congestion and low shopper turnover, among them). They believe more people arrive at the store by car than actually do. They may not even realize that while driving customers spend more per visit, non-drivers spend as much or more in the long term.

And yet whenever a city considers installing a bike lane, rest assured some retailers will protest the perceived loss of automobile access.