Bicycles Build Business: How bike lanes revived Salt Lake City’s downtown economy

Protected bike lanes require space on the street, and removing curbside auto parking is one of several ways to find it.

But whenever cities propose parking removal, retailers understandably worry.

A growing body of evidence suggests that if bike lanes and parking removal are part of a general plan to slow traffic, everybody can win.

In an in-house study of its new protected bike lane, Salt Lake City, Utah found that when parking removal was done as part of a wide-ranging investment in the streetscape — including street planters, better crosswalks, public art and colored pavement — it converted parking spaces to high-quality bike lanes and boosted business at the same time.

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