April Economides “Bikes Mean Business” Evening Presentation

April Economides fullsizeNational bicycle-friendly business consultant, April Economides, will visit Tucson on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 to give a public presentation on how bicycle-friendly business districts are transforming cities across America and boosting local economies.  Ms. Economides will discuss the “Bike Local – Shop Local” connection, its relationship to business districts, and share examples of what communities around North America are doing to leverage the growing trend of bicycle use in their business districts.

Ms. Economides, a business consultant with national firm Alta Planning + Design, provides analytical evidence on the retail bounce that growing numbers of cyclists provide: “Sales go up, property vacancies decrease, and the area becomes more vibrant.” She designed the nation’s first bike-friendly-business-district program, in the city of Long Beach, then started the largest program of its kind in San Diego, where 18 neighborhoods cater to cyclists. She has jump-started more than 30 other such efforts around the US and Canada. “When we travel at human speed (on a bicycle),” she says “we notice more businesses than we would in a car, and we can easily hop off and walk in.”

In response to the engrained dichotomy that bike access means less room for car parking Economides suggests, “Yes, the number one concern of business owners is they say they need more parking; but when you convert some of their existing customers from drivers to bicyclists, you open up more car parking and you alleviate those problems — or perceived problems.  The whole point is to make more short trips via bicycle instead of cars, and to make them into the business districts. Bike local, shop local.”

Economides makes the case that bicycling can bring business districts:

  • More customers
  • Increased sales
  • Increased parking capacity
  • Free and convenient customer parking
  • Reduced car traffic
  • Increased public safety
  • Improved community health
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Bicycle tourists and commuters
  • Decreased property vacancies
  • A unique marketing hook
  • Positive media attention
This event will be hosted by local non-profit organization Living Streets Alliance in partnership with the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Interested merchants and residents are encouraged to attend.

What:          April Economides “Bikes Mean Business” happy hour event

When:         Tuesday, November 12th

Where:          Maker House, 283 N. Stone Avenue in downtown Tucson
*5:00-6:00pm Happy Hour for LSA members and by invitation-only*
6:00-7:00pm Public presentation and reception

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