How does your downtown district move? Making a district easy to explore by bike brings benefits to both public health and businesses. The “feet on the street” can be increased by promoting cycling. Cyclists can make short trips without the worry of parking, which means more convenience purchases than other modes of transport.

Research by Portland State University showed that cyclists in the Portland, OR metropolitan area spent the highest amount per month on convenience and bar purchases when compared to other transportation modes, and the second most on restaurant purchases.

Cyclist traffic data can inform strategies to increase cycling to businesses. Counting cyclists provides a way to measure how frequently they visit a district and the current use of infrastructure.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership counts bicycles along the 1200, 900, and 600 blocks of Penn Avenue using TUBE counters. The counters are installed for the warm months of May to October, and then removed for the winter. A summary of the 2015 counts revealed trends in bike lane usage. Sunday was found to be the most popular day of the week and there was a mix of recreational and commuter use overall. Special events held by Open Streets increased ridership on three days.

Counting cyclists has several benefits for business districts:

Track the impact of incentives, discounts and marketing efforts on cyclist numbers.
Measure the need for bike amenities, such as bike parking and bike valet program for events.
Report on the level of bike commuting in your district.
Promote the bike-friendliness and mobility options of your district.
Gauge the impact of new development on bike activity.
Want to learn more about our counting solutions for downtown districts? Learn more here.

Resources:

Nine Reasons to Create a Bicycle Friendly Business District, Bikes Welcome
Consumer Behavior and Travel Choices: A Focus on Cyclists and Pedestrians, Portland State University

Author: Julia Gunst
Julia Gunst is the Marketing Content Specialist at Eco-Counter.

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