Congressmember Nydia Velázquez Helps Launch City’s First Bike Friendly Business District Today

Bike Friendly Business District Includes East Village and Lower East Side

September 22, 2012
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008

Today, Congressmember Nydia M. Velázquez joined Transportation Alternatives to announce New York City's first Bike Friendly Business District at a bike tour celebrating the launch. The Bike Friendly Business District includes more than 150 businesses, cultural groups and community organizations in the East Village and Lower East Side committed to encouraging safe bicycling in their district.

"A Bike Friendly Business District is a win for everyone in these neighborhoods," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "From the bicyclists who'll enjoy discounts and deals to the local shops and restaurants who will see an increase in business, today's launch represents a new era for safe bicycling in New York City. Not only are these neighborhood's home to the nation's longest protected bike paths, they are now home to the city's first of many bike-friendly business districts."

The community leaders of New York City's first Bike Friendly Business District realize that a network of bike lanes, bike parking and public bike share stations create safer streets that boost local businesses. Streets that prioritize biking and walking and include safety improvements like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost retail sales by 10 to 25 percent.

"For me, bikes mean business, said Tom Birchard, owner of NYC Bike Friendly Business Veselka restaurant in the East Village. Bike lanes make our neighborhood more vibrant and safe and bring customers directly to our restaurant. Since bike lanes were installed outside, I've seen a huge increase in the number of bicyclists going by Veselka, and it's been great for our bottom line. The Bike Friendly Business District will help bring even more customers though our doors."

Tamara Greenfield, Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block, a partner in the Bike Friendly Business District, said, "Riding a bike is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant cultural landscape of the East Village and Lower East Side. Our cultural partners are thrilled to be part of the Bike Friendly Business District, and look forward to making our neighborhood an even better, safer place to ride."

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