Transit's big boost to local businesses

New York City measures how recent transportation projects have impacted the nearby economy.

In New York City, success of transit isn't just measured by how many people it moves from one place to another, but also by how it impacts the local economy.

A new report from the city's department of transportation, provides gives us a snapshot view of how recent transportation projects have impacted local businesses.

Here's a list of some of the statistics:

  • Retail near the first protected bike lane in the U.S. (on Ninth Avenue) had a 49 percent increase in sales. (Compared to a borough-wide average of 3 percent.)
  • At Union Square North in Manhattan, near a new pedestrian plaza, there are 49 percent fewer commercial vacancies. (Compared to 5 percent more borough-wide.)
  • A pedestrian plaza in an underused parking area in Brooklyn increased retail sales at local businesses by 172 percent (only 18 percent borough-wide).
  • New dedicated bus lanes in the Bronx increased retail sales at area businesses by 71 percent.

“These projects are not just about the quality of life or aesthetics,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, told the New York Times. “In case after case, these projects really do set the table for economic development.”

But it's not just about the economy, of course, the city was also able to measure how much these projects improved safety, bus ridership, and travel times. Find out more about all the projects here.

[Via New York Times]

Photo: Flickr/adrimcm

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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