NYC recently released a report that shows bike lanes reduce traffic accidents and improve retail sales to boot. This recently released report has been shared on major news sites like the Wall Street Journal and blog sites as well. Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken is known for championing bike lanes for their greenness and pedestrian safety but who knew 5 years ago that there would be potentially substantial retail benefits as well? Now the argument for bike lanes could be extended to the fact that they are good for commerce as well. Still, Hoboken is not NYC but some of these principles could possibly be applied to Hoboken in future planning where they make sense.
The Mayor has put forth a plan to completely redo Washington Street incorporating some of these aspects. In her State of the City Address on February 13th, 2013 The Mayor remarked “Washington Street is our main street, it represents the core of our city, and it is key to our economic and social vitality. But it’s also in need of a major upgrade. This year we hope to complete a redesign process with the community so that we can secure more grants for renovations.”
Link to State of the City Address: http://boken.it/3df
The Mayor followed through and put her Washington Street Redesign up for vote on the City Council. However, the obstructionist City Council Minority consisting of Occhipinti, Mason, Russo and Castellano defeated the bond to do the study. Without a study the City of Hoboken would not be eligible for substantial grants that could cut the cost of repaving and redesigning Washington Street for the 21st Century.
Here are some of the study’s findings:
First protected bicycle lane in the US – 8th and 9th Avenues (Manhattan):
- 35% decrease in injuries to all street users (8th Ave)
- 58% decrease in injuries to all street users (9th Ave)
- Up to 49% increase in retail sales (Locally-basedbusinesses on 9th Ave from 23rd to 31st Sts., compared to 3% borough-wide)
Expanding an iconic space – Union Square North (Manhattan):
- Speeding decreased by16%, while median speeds increased by 14%
- injury crashes fell by 26%
- 49% fewer commercial vacancies (compared to 5% more borough-wide)
- 74% of users prefer the new configuration
These are just a few examples from the report. Share your thoughts in the comments below as to whether or not such concepts could improve the overall quality of life in Hoboken. Below is the full report for your perusal.
Link to NYC Report: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-10-measuring-the-street.pdf