Too often, when people propose removing parking spaces in cities, often to add infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, businesses will argue that losing that parking costs them customers. Well, thanks to a months long shutdown of multiple stations along D.C.’s Blue and Yellow lines, we actually have a test of that hypothesis. You’ll never guess what happened next! (boldface mine):
As the Metro summer shutdown continues, riders aren’t the only ones feeling the heat.
Some businesses are reportedly feeling the burn in their pockets.
“During the week, we were down some days by 40 percent. Huge hit,” said Danielle Romanetti.
She is the owner of Alexandria’s Fibre Space, which is a place for materials like yarns and crochet supplies.
“My customers are not going to ride a bike here, spend a lot of money shopping and then ride their bike home,” Romanetti said…
Of the 149 businesses that responded, 46% of retailers and 43% of restaurants reported that their revenue is also down more than 5%.
“There’s no question that when there’s smoke there’s fire,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said.
Many urban customers will be ‘local’, in that they walk to the store. When mass transit doesn’t work, the ‘effective walking distance’ drops dramatically, as Alexandria’s merchants are learning (
Is our merchants learning?). Whether cities would be smart to increase density overall and increase the number of businesses accessible by mass transit is left as an exercise for you, dear readers.