Bike Lanes + Bike Culture = Profit?

Mary Ellen of the West End Beautification Association sent over this interesting little article regarding the impact bike lanes have made in Long Beach, New York California (Read – Bike Lanes: The New Job Creators?). In California, the bike culture has taken off and people are profiting from it:

Already we know that when it comes to jobs created per million dollars, bicycle facilities are one of the most efficient transportation investments. But once the paint dries and the asphalt cools, are there lasting economic effects? Can bicycle infrastructure build bicycle culture that will build a bicycle economy?

The answer seems to be yes — at least in the case of Long Beach, California. More than 20 new bicycle-related or bicycle-inspired businesses have opened at last count.

The article then highlights some of those companies, which include:

It’s interesting how DecoBikes, bike lanes and more bike racks could, in a way, have a positive effect on our three local bike shops by strengthening the bike culture of Long Beach. I said this once already (I don’t know what article I said it in), but Long Beach, NY has to be one of the few towns in the New York metro area where I see such a wide variety of people riding bicycles for both transportation and pleasure.

I realize our Long Beach is much smaller and less populated than in California. It’s just the idea of establishing a strong bike culture, which could rub off on new businesses opening up – or get more people to buy bikes from our three local bike stores. A strong bike culture in Long Beach, NY will add value to [our] community by creating economic activity, creating jobs, and improving quality of life (source – Bike Lanes: The New Job Creators?). 

 

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9 thoughts on “Bike Lanes + Bike Culture = Profit?”

  1. Bike lanes have been a part of the transportation landscape in CA since the late 60s. I went to UC Davis and the (then) small town was enhanced by the bike lanes, which quickly appeared in Sacramento. Up and down the state there were small concessions to the bike rider. Small pull off areas on long grades, bike racks were as ubiquitious as fire hydrants, signs stating such and such is a designated bike route. I have no idea about the boost to the economy, but they certainly contributed to less vehicular traffic and its pollution and added IMO a certain cachet to the areas.

  2. Chrispeck, I totally agree. I wish the city would put more bike racks in front of the stores. They have ones that don’t take that much room. They just look like lollipops and you can lock at least 2 bikes up to it. Nobody uses the bike racks in the parking malls and I am tired of locking my bike to garbage pails, trees and light poles. Oh this sounds like a new post….

    But yeah, I totally agree. NY is far behind when it comes to bikes, but it seems like we are starting to finally get it.

  3. I agree completely. Bike lanes would definitely increase the businesses at the 3 local shops. It would also be safer too for the bicyclists. I went to Leuven, Belgium. This city is 600 years old and they still managed to install bike lanes. I think we can too.

  4. That’s the whole thing – I was in Dumbo and Williamsburg Brooklyn recently and they managed to put bike lanes on narrow streets. They have more cars, more people, maybe more bikes. it works there. It’s no big deal here.

  5. Rich, Councilman McLaughlin was involved in trying to secure a grant of $80K for a bike lane feasibility. With high gas prices, limited parking and narrow sidewalks bike lanes are already a no-brainer in Long Beach. Slowing traffic and the potential for reducing fumes in our people-packed beach town are bonuses. For want of a stencil, a few cans of paint and some concerted effort, thousands of bike riders may spend another summer risking their lives on Long Beach streets. It seems to me that with all the avid riders in Long Beach, they should have a pretty powerful voice. Just look at the surfer and volley ball players. I nominate Anthony to get the “wheels rolling” to organize a Pedal Power Protest at City Hall on Earth Day, April 20.

  6. @ mary ellen “I nominate Anthony to get the “wheels rolling” to organize a Pedal Power Protest at City Hall on Earth Day, April 20”

    hehe. I never organized anybody to do anything. I can’t even get friends to celebrate by birthday. I will do my best creating conversations with this blog and would definitely help out if anybody wants to organize a “pedal power.”

    I just know I can’t do it myself. I do appreciate your faith in me though 🙂

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