Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Business Benefit from Alternative Mobility

"Contrary to popular delusion, cars are so inefficient at moving large numbers of folks into limited areas that the obsession with them has been holding back economic development, draining government treasuries, and actually pushing businesses out of cities as more and more land is seized to make room for more and more motor traffic lanes and car parking spots." -Richard Risemberg, Flying Pigeon LA. Richard shows that Santa Monica is beating this trend while Los Angeles is slow to react.

There are studies underway in several U.S. universities (Colorado State, Portland State, Rutgers) to take measure of the economic benefit from different modes of transportation as alternatives to the car. One study published results recently in the TR News, a trade magazine of the Transportation Research Board.

Woodlawn Art Bike Rack-14-9
Bike parking at Breakside Brewery in Woodlawn.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
"Survey results suggest that patrons who arrive by automobile do not necessarily convey greater monetary benefits to businesses than bicyclists, transit users, or pedestrians. This finding is contrary to what business owners often believe."

-Kelly Clifton, Associate Professor of Civil and Env. Engineering PSU

Clifton showed while the vast majority of people surveyed arrived by car, the auto drivers spent the lowest amount per person/per month when compared to those who biked, walked, or took transit.  See a table of the study results at Bike Portland  and read the full article "Study Shows Biking Consumers Spend More" by Johnathan Maus. -LS


  1. In other words, if a business district is already saturated with cars, attracting even more patrons driving cars will not improve business.

  2. Myth #7: Laguna’s welfare is measured solely by health of the business district.

    Busted: Not when community and village life suffer as a result. Complete Streets is an alternative to car modality alone, and it is pro-business.