Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Safety

Business Has Nothing to Fear From Bike Lanes

11:44 AM EST on December 10, 2008

florent080506_1_250.jpgFlorent Morellet. Photo: Kevin Cooley/New York Magazine

As City Council Member Alan Gerson attempts to codify opposition to livable streets improvements, Lower Manhattan restaurateur Florent Morellet (a.k.a. the "Unofficial Mayor of the Meatpacking District") has filed a refreshing op-ed in The Villager, touting the commercial benefits of cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure. 

Our excerpt offers a taste, but this myth-busting column deserves a full read.

Regarding loss of business due to loss of vehicular traffic, I have a couple of points to make:

First,every study seems to show the same very low number of actual customersdriving in and around the city, under 20 percent. The more on-streetparking, the more traffic generated by cars searching for spaces,reaching close to 40 percent of traffic in Soho on some days.

Second,the latest loss of business in Little Italy has to be taken with agrain of salt; there is not one friend of mine who has not seen hisrestaurant business drop dramatically as of late. With the greatestcollapse of Wall St. ever, I don’t think it is fair to blame businessloss on the little [Grand Street] bike lane that could.

Furthermore,my former restaurant — Florent, on Gansevoort St. — did very well whenpeople could park. It did better when people couldn’t park. And whentraffic came to a standstill because of the nightlife, it was packed.

NewYork is not so different from London, Paris and other cities. If youmake it attractive to people — i.e. pedestrians — they will find theirway and come en masse. Businesses will flourish.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Analysis: ‘Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program’ is a Failure By All Measures

The Department of Transportation wants the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program to simply expire in part because it did not dramatically improve safety among these worst-of-the-worst drivers and led to a tiny number of vehicle seizures.

September 22, 2023

School Bus Driver Kills Cyclist in Boro Park, 24th Bike Death of 2023

Luis Perez-Ramirez, 44, was biking south on Fort Hamilton Parkway just before 3:15 p.m. when he was struck a by school bus driver making a right turn.

September 22, 2023

‘Betrayal’: Adams Caves to Opposition, Abandons Bus Improvement Plan on Fordham Road

The capitulation on Fordham Road is the latest episode in which the mayor has delayed or watered down a transportation project in deference to powerful interests.

September 22, 2023

Friday’s Headlines: Yes He Said Yes He Will Yes Edition

That headline above is a reference to the last line of James Joyce's Ulysses, which we won't pretend to have read. But we have that ... and other news.

September 22, 2023

Madness: Port Authority Will Spend $8.3M to ‘Study’ Widening Outerbridge Crossing

Will this $8.3 million find out anything we don't know about induced demand?

September 22, 2023
See all posts