BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Bike Belong's Green Lane Project awarded $125,000 in grants on Monday to five cities working on green lane projects: Austin, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
A local nonprofit in each city will receive $25,000 to build the case for how green lanes in their community benefit local businesses.
Green lanes are dedicated spaces for people on bikes in the roadway, protected from cars and separated from sidewalks. These grants will help cities better understand and address business community concerns about the lanes and recruit business voices as supporters.
Local efforts will include grass-roots engagement with businesses located on key corridors, as well as identification and cultivation of respected business leaders who can help guide public opinion.
"We have clear examples in our city that growing the number of people riding bikes benefits businesses. Better bicycling facilities draw new visitors to explore commercial corridors on two wheels and help professionals get to work more easily and enjoyably,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycling Coalition, one of the organizations receiving a grant. “As more business leaders recognize these benefits, they too can be champions for great bikeways in their own communities."
Studies have shown that people arriving by bike spend as much, or in some cases more, at local shops and restaurants than those who arrive by car. In New York City, retail sales increased 49 percent on Ninth Avenue after green lanes were installed, compared with 3 percent growth in the rest of Manhattan.
The grants are supported by REI.