Before retiring from commercial real estate development I spend many nights at public meetings with planning commissions and city councils. I don't miss those days but maybe it's time to get back to my local City Hall and address some of the lousy infrastructure "improvements" that the City has recently undertaken that treat bicycles as worthy of a token bicycle lane...if even that.
If you want the folks at City Hall to listen, especially about making an investment in human powered transportation, the discussion of safety has to come secondary to the all mighty dollar. Promoting the economic value of cycling might get some attention at City Hall. In the end the safety of cyclists also gets addressed but not without talking money first.
Here's a helpful article in Momentum Magazine (How Bicycles Bring Business) that addresses the issue of economics and cycling.
A couple of excerpts:
"In the minds of many business owners, though, there’s still a direct correlation between cars and customers. Too often, the opposition to bicycle infrastructure is led by retailers who believe ample car parking space is critical to their customer base. But that belief could be depriving businesses of their best potential patrons: cyclists."
"That’s good news, because a growing body of research shows that people who arrive on two wheels have a bigger impact on the bottom line, too. Recent research out of Portland, OR, showed that cycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at bars, restaurants and convenience stores. A 2009 study of Bloor Street in Toronto, ON, found that customers who arrive by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month."
Read more at Momentum Magazine - How Bicycles Bring Business