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June 17, 2010


Anthony M. Humphreys

City staff of the city of Portland, Oregon, came to Toronto and gave a wonderful presentation to us last year.

There are two things I distinctly remember from this:
1) the families who divested themselves of a car spent 75% of their saving in the businesses (retail shops, restaurants and bars) locally to where they lived.
2) Every capital dollar spent on cycling infrastructure returned a $2 operating savings in health-care costs.

Too many of the business owners only drive, they don't have anything BUT a windshield perspective. Parking studies have repeatedly shown that in most areas that the on-street parking is used up by the store owners, the staff working in the stores, and the residents living above, or just behind, the stores -- leaving little (to none) of the on-street parking actually left available to customers.


Studies out of Toronto (of all places!) and other places have shown that turning on-street parking into bike lanes increases foot traffic in stores as well as sales. I guess some people just can't see the bigger picture even when it runs over their foot.

Michael D

You're right, but most people fail to understand that introducing better cycling infrastructure will actually make more people cycle -- they view it as giving more space to "cyclists" and less to everyone else. It's a false dichotomy, of course. I made this point here: http://psystenance.com/2010/03/15/the-fundamental-attribution-error-in-transportation-choice/

It is imperative to demonstrate to the population and businesses that many of those using better cycling infrastructure do or did have cars, but choose to cycle when it's made attractive.


It has certainly been my experiance that the car eats money. Prior to owning a car, I was at a lower income but had at least $4000 disposable income every year.

Since becoming a car owner, I just dont seem to have any extra money, even with my income doubling. The car and all of the related expense just eats away at income in a way no bike ever has.


I've never understood why merchants, especially in larger urban areas are against adding bikes, even if it means removing parking.

Usually it is locals (who walk or bike) that draw traffic to these stores.
I'll use Jarvis in Toronto. Most motorists use that as a highway and speed through. Pedestrians & Cyclists are the ones who spend the money there.

I just read yesterday that in Nanaimo, BC, they decided against the adding of a bike lane to one of their downtown streets because it would take away 58 parking spots.
The day before I also read that in Nanaimo, 70% of all pollution there is caused by vehicles.

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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