There are more and more bicycle communities popping up in the land of the car. Boulder, Portland, Minneapolis, New York and so on.
And one way to talk to politicians and legislators about cycling is to show them that their most influential constituency, the business people, benefit from cycling infrastructure, as explained in this report from the Aliance for Biking and Walking. The report specifically refers to the benefits of PROTECTED bike lanes.
For instance house prices: In Indianapolis, proximity to a bike route increases your home price by an average of 11%. And 83% of residents near Washington, DC’s 15th Street protected bike lane say it’s a valuable asset to the neighbourhood.
And of course the shopping patterns: people who arrive to a shop by bike spend less per visit but return more often, resulting in similar overall spending per month (and instead of parking, all you need are trees and lamp posts). In numbers this looks like that: each square foot of auto parking generated 19 cents in retail revenue, while a square foot of bike parking led to 69 cents (these figures come from Melbourne). I love the tag line of that finding: “cars don’t spend money — people do”. In Portland, people who shop by bike spend 24% more per month than those shopping by car, but in smaller chunks.