Bike Friendly Business Districts and The Business Case for Bikes

On November 21 2011 Passerelle invited April Economides, Long Beach's Bike-Friendly Business District (BFBD) developer, to come and speak at 359 State Street (our new bike pop-up downtown). April informed Los Altans about the benefits of having a cycling enthusiastic community and showed us that they could be developed in our own hometown. Her presentation on Long Beach's BFBD illustrated the misconceptions held by merchants about bicycles and how they positively changed over time.

Outline of Long Beach's BFBDs

  • What
    • The City of Long Beach received grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
    • 4 BFBDs were established in the cityThe East Village Arts District, 4th Street Retro Row, Bixby Knolls and Anaheim Street’s Cambodia Town.
  • Why
    • The purpose of BFBDs is to encourage merchants and customers to choose bikes instead of cars for short trips
    • Benefits
      • Bicycling encourages us to shop and dine locally
      • Minimizes traffic and parking issues
      • Increases safety
      • Reduces air pollution
      • Bicycling is healthy and fun!
  • How
    • Merchants and their employees will ride bikes and cargo trikes to run errands, make deliveries, buy lunch, and conduct other business within and around their district
    • Retail/Service discounts for bicyclists every Saturday, all day
    • Bikes will be incorporated into existing events via:
      • Free bike valets – i.e. ‘rock star’ parking
      • Free basic bike maintenance and tutorials
      • Free bike safety training and booklets
      • Free kids’ bike rodeos
      • Free bike goodie giveaways

A unique part of the BFBD program that April highlighted as an option for downtown Los Altos is the "Bike Saturdays". Every Saturday over 100 Long Beach retailers offer discounts to cyclists. Not only does this encourage residents to shop locally but it also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Check out the Bike Long Beach website for more information on Bike Friendly Business Districts!

Link to Los Altos Patch article "Can a Bike-Friendly Downtown Provide a Low-Cost Boost of Vitality?"