Modeled after a successful pilot program in Long Beach, CA, San Diego's bike friendly business districts will encourage local residents and shoppers to bicycle when making short trips to their neighborhood businesses and events. The Bike-Friendly Business District (BFBD) Initiative is the nation’s largest and started with the opening of North Park’s new bike corral on 30th Street and North Park Way.
San Diego’s Business Improvement Districts participating in the BFBD Initiative include:
- Adams Avenue Business Association,
- East Village Association,
- El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association,
- Hillcrest Business Association,
- North Park Main Street,
- Ocean Beach Main Street Association, and
- Discover Pacific Beach.
“I’m proud to represent so many neighborhoods that are taking steps to make San Diego a leader in bicycling as transportation,” said Gloria. “It’s a win-win situation: our businesses benefit from bicycling customers, who will also lessen vehicular traffic on our streets.”
By encouraging bicycling rather than driving, the initiative will help alleviate parking problems and traffic congestion as well as help promote local shopping and economic growth. As a partner of the BFBD Initiative, the SDCBC is working closely with the City of San Diego to provide more accessible bike parking in neighborhood business districts including more bike racks and on-street corrals.
“These bike corrals allow ten bikes to park in the same space as one car,” said the bicycle coalition’s Executive Director Andy Hanshaw. “When other cities in the nation have implemented similar programs, they show positive return on investments in their own business districts. It’s easy math—bicycling is good for business.”
To demonstrate that bicycles mean business, the program includes a fleet of Electra Townie Bicycles, one for each Business Improvement District office to incorporate into its daily errands, deliveries, patrols and other activities in the district.
“Bicycle integration into downtown business districts is a progressive and effective transportation improvement,” says Electra Bicycle Company’s Elayne Fowler. "Plus, don't forget it's fun!"
San Diego’s new BFBD also encourages the use of bike valet services at Business Improvement District events. The SDCBC currently provides free bike valet to attendees at some of the city's largest festivals including the North Park Festival of the Arts, Ocean Beach Street Fair, Earth Fair and others. The convenience of bike valet promotes an active, environmentally friendly alternative access to these events and eases traffic congestion.
The program also encourages retailers to offer discounts to those who ride their bicycles to businesses.
SDCBC and the San Diego Business Improvement District Council structured their BFBD Initiative by following the Bike-Friendly Business Districts Guidebook prepared by Green Octopus Consulting. More information on the BFBD Initiative, bicycle parking and bicycle valet programs can be found at the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition’s website at sdcbc.org.