Leaders in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood are hoping to encourage more bike traffic by having local businesses attract riders with discounts. Anyone interested in learning about the program or offering input can come to a workshop meeting this Tuesday evening.
The program is a continuation of the Lakeview Area Master Plan, a product of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and Special Service Area 27, a body that uses local property taxes for projects beneficial to the neighborhood. The plan, which was launched three years ago, aims to make Lakeview more appealing to shoppers, visitors and residents by making it greener, more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and adding public art and green spaces.
A bike friendly business district will incorporate discounts at local businesses for riders and improved infrastructure from bike lanes and racks to stations where riders can make minor bike repairs, put air in their tires and fill up water bottles. Businesses that sign up for the program will get branded logo decals to place in their windows informing people of their eligibilty for discounts if they patronize the store and show their bike helmet.
“Biking is good for business,’’ said Heather Way-Kitzes, executive director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. “People stay closer to home, they spend more time in the area, they move at slower speeds and have a greater awareness of the businesses around them.
“The faster they pass by, the less likely they are to end up at your cash register.’’