Customers on bikes are good for business. The evidence points to cyclists visiting more often, engaging more deeply with local businesses and ultimately spending more than motorists.
Customers on bikes are good for business. The evidence points to cyclists visiting more often, engaging more deeply with local businesses and ultimately spending more than motorists –
- Cycling generates $1.2billion of economic activity nationally every year and supports 10,000 jobs
- Commuters benefit the economy by $1.43 for every kilometre they cycle instead of drive
- People cycling and walking spend the most per capita per week, compared with motorists
How can Adelaide benefit more from this activity?
Last week Bike SA, in collaboration with Dutch SA and with sponsorship from the Dutch Embassy, ran a Business of Cycling function with a group of twenty influential leaders from business and local government. The group heard from visiting Dutch senior transport planner Arie Vijfhuizen about the benefits cyclists can bring to retail precincts. Arie showed examples of popular inner city precincts busy with pedestrians and cyclists, barely a car to be seen. Adelaide is not Amsterdam, but we can learn from their evolution from a car-centric city to a place that integrates all transport options.
Arie recommends providing good quality bike parking where we want people to shop, and reducing the volume and speed of other traffic to make it safer which in turn encourages greater visitation from cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users. Rather than seeing cyclists as an ‘issue’, shift the paradigm by putting cyclists at the centre of relevant policy.
There was a tangible enthusiasm circulating at the Business of Cycling function and while each guest had their own perspective, there was consensus that cyclists are great for business and there was a genuine desire to see more people on bikes in town. Some remarked on their frustration with delays and obstacles to easy, practical ideas that encourage cyclists, while others lamented the default approach of equating car park spaces with business success. The evidence is clear: make it safe and easy for cyclists to visit your store, and they will come.
Other guests – business owners – proposed some free-thinking ideas too, such as limiting motor vehicle access to our main retail precincts and replacing car park spaces with bike lanes and racks. There was even a future envisaged when cyclists could ride across Rundle Mall at Gawler Place (Carefully of course. And if that experiment works, actually riding along it).
What are your ideas for making Adelaide a better place to shop for cyclists?
You can read more about the research into the dollar return from cycling investment at http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/03/the-complete-business-case-for-converting-street-parking-into-bike-lanes/387595/.