With the furor over paid parking at RTC it would be nice for RTC to support retailers by providing free bike parking adjacent to retail outlets for people who bike. Currently RTC does not even allow the Bike Lane, with all of its cycling customers, to install bike racks.
RTC is falling behind the times in this area and retailers are losing out financially. Studies show that cyclists are an active customer base bringing in more revenue as a group than auto drivers—converting one car parking space to bike parking accommodates ten times more customers.
Arlington has hundreds of bike racks installed and requires new development to provide sufficient bike parking. Their goal is to allow people who bike, to park quickly, in well-lit locations, adjacent to their destination. DC has installed more than 1,000 outdoor bike racks across the city and is constantly adding more. Even Tysons Mall has bike parking adjacent to Gordon Biersch, Barnes and Noble, Macy’s, LL Bean, California Pizza Kitchen, and Panera. (And their car parking is still free.)
RTC should dramatically increase accessibility for existing customers and attract new ones with bike parking adjacent to retail outlets. These amenities encourage people who bike to stop, stay, and spend. If RTC
goes bike-friendly, everybody wins: people who bike benefit from essential services while businesses gain a loyal, customer base. A rapidly expanding customer base, considering the growing number of millennials without cars and other people who bike in Reston.