The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, a nonprofit organization that promotes bicycling in L.A., is set to interview shoppers and diners on York Boulevard—as well as those who hang out on the boulevard—in an attempt to determine how certain features of the York corridor influence their shopping choices.
According to an Oct. 19 LACBC blog, the interviews will be held along the section of York Boulevard that stretches from Eagle Rock Boulevard to Figueroa Street. The interviews will cover such questions as whether the introduction of bike lanes in 2010, along with corresponding changes in vehicle speeds as well as road width, have changed people’s shopping behavior.
Study to Examine Effect of Bike Lanes on Businesses
The proposed study, which will be led by UCLA student researcher Cullen McCormick, stems from a research grant that the LACBC won earlier this year from Bikes Belong, a major bicycle research and advocacy group, to examine how bicycle lanes might affect economic activity in L.A. neighborhoods, according to the blog.
York Boulevard is an ideal place to conduct such research because “the number of businesses and business types remain fairly constant along the stretch of Eagle Rock Boulevard and Figueroa Street, but the road configuration changes halfway along this segment at Avenue 55,” says the LACBC blog.
York Boulevard Businesses Interviewed
The blog adds that the LACBC recently interviewed more than 100 businesses along this York corridor of Northeast L.A. in an effort to broaden the organization’s understanding of how bike lanes and “road diets”—modifications in traffic flow that include center turn lanes and sidewalks—might affect the number of customers who visit business in the area.
Besides the interviews, the LACBC will compare sales tax data and property sale prices along York’s western and eastern halves—from Eagle Rock Boulevard to Figueroa, and Avenue 55 to Figueroa—in order to examine the economic impact of a road diet introduced along the western half in 2006, according to the blog.
The eastern stretch of the York Boulevard study area retains its “original road configuration—two auto lanes in each direction, with a center turn lane and on-street parking,” says the blog.
By contrast, the western half that abuts Eagle Rock Boulevard is slightly narrower and has one auto lane in each direction, a center turn lane, plus bike lanes in each direction and on-street parking, says the blog.
Results of the study are expected in mid-2012 and will be posted online. Feel free to contact LACBC with any questions, suggestions or requests for more information via their blog.