As a developer, you follow trends closely and adopt those that will affect your properties. You’ve likely seen how the landscape for bicycling has changed, for the better.

During the pandemic, people turned to bikes – for recreation, for health, and for a safe way to get around. Slow streets have transformed cities across the country. Municipalities are improving bike infrastructure and requiring more bike parking. Bike sales and service are the highest they’ve been in years and e-bike sales are off the charts.

This will have a positive impact on your commercial and mixed-use developments – if you plan for it now.

Here are some things to consider…

Network analysis

It is important to understand how the bike infrastructure network works within and around your property. If there are poor infrastructure connections (like dangerous intersections, insufficient bike lanes, or high stress roadways) that lead to your property, improving those connections is a good investment. A bike network analysis helps to identify those key network gaps which, in turn, guides prudent infrastructure improvements to ensure that cyclists are traveling on a safe and well connected network to and from your property.

Bike parking

Your property will include more bicyclists than ever before. It’s critical that you accommodate their needs for convenient and secure bike parking. There are different bike parking solutions for different uses, such as office, retail/restaurant, and residential. Knowing these case-specific solutions and how to plan for them, will have long-lasting benefits, or consequences.

E-bikes

E-bikes sales have taken off! The boom is great for many reasons, but you have to plan for them, just as you do for electric vehicles. For bikes, you want to plan bike parking with convenient battery charging and racks for oversized and heavy bikes.

Types of Cyclists

In general there are three “types” of cyclists to plan for: recreational cyclists, commuter cyclists, and errands cyclists. Recreational cyclists most often ride in the evenings and weekends, ride longer distances, and are willing to go out of their way to find a bike friendly area. Commuter cyclists are more focused on direct, safe routes to get from point A to Point B, which can be done solely by bike, or paired with transit, where the bike is utilized on either end of the trip. Errands cyclists are residents who prefer to take their shorter trips by bicycle. There are distinct strategies to accommodate each cyclist type and planning for all can garner a true competitive advantage over other developments.

Wayfinding and Signage

As motorists, we get visual cues on every block, including signs to identify key attractions and amenities, directions, and mileage indicators. Doing the same for those biking and walking will greatly enhance the experience of your property. Wayfinding and signage are extremely affordable and give you a strong return on your investment.

Conclusion

Developers who see bicycling as a competitive advantage can use the concepts listed here as a guide to creating bike friendly properties. Bikes Make Life Better has worked with many developers and architectural firms at various stages of design to optimize their spaces for safe and convenient bike use. If you would like to discuss bike friendly development, email david@bikesmakelifebetter.com.

Bikes Make Life Better is dedicated to helping employees at large organizations use bikes for healthy sustainable transportation. They’ve helped design bike programs, facilities, and fleets for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Stanford, Uber and others.