Study: Cyclists and Pedestrians Make Up the Majority of Shoppers in Toronto’s Parkdale Neighbourhood
A new study of the Parkdale area of Queen Street West (“Bike Lanes On-Street Parking and Business_ A Study of Queen Street West in Torontos Parkdale Neighbourhood”) highlights the economic importance of cyclists and pedestrians to the area, despite the tendency of local merchants to overestimate the prevalence of those arriving by car.
In the fall of 2015, 698 visitors and 60 merchants were surveyed along the section of Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and Roncesvalles Avenue. The surveys explored methods of travel, perceived methods of travel and the spending habits of visitors, among other information.
Key findings of the survey show surprising differences between visitors’ habits and merchants’ perceptions:
- 72% of visitors to the Study Area usually arrive by active transportation (by bicycle or walking). Only 4% report that driving is their usual mode of transportation.
- However, almost half of the merchants surveyed estimated that more than 25% of their customers drove, and one in five merchants estimated that over half their clientele drove
- Visitors who reported using active transportation to visit the Study Area visited more often and spent more money per month than those who usually drove or relied on public transit.
- Visitors to the Study Area were much more likely to prefer a bike lane or widened sidewalks over no change to the streetscape, even if this resulted in the loss of on-street parking.
“These findings are a reminder of the importance that street design has on shopping behaviour and the positive impact the local customer base has on their local economy when they shop in their community.” said Anna Bartula Executive Director of the Parkdale Village BIA “It’s a win-win for businesses and communities when streets are designed for the accessibility, comfort and safety of all users—cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.”
The Parkdale study was developed and administered by volunteers of Cycle Toronto’s Ward 14 Advocacy Group, in cooperation with the Toronto Centre for Active Treansportation and the Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (PVBIA). A seven-member working group provided direction and research support, including analysis and report writing.
This study was modeled on earlier studies of the Annex, Bloor West Village and Danforth Avenue conducted by TCAT, which revealed similar results about the economic importance of cyclists and pedestrians in downtown Toronto. The methodology of the Parkdale study mirrors those of the previous studies, corroborating this body of research and contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between shopping behaviour and modes of transportation.
Read the full report here.
About Cycle Toronto: Cycle Toronto is a member-supported organization that advocates for a healthy, safe, cycling-friendly city for all. Volunteers in the Ward Advocacy program, currently active in 26 of Toronto’s 44 municipal wards, organize outreach activities in their respective wards. For more information see www.cycleto.ca.
For more info contact: Maxine Chan, Cycle Toronto Ward 14, [email protected]