Bicycling means business in Memphis

Bicycling means business in Memphis

In Memphis, TN, bicycle lanes are part of the city’s Broad Avenue Arts District initiative, which has revitalized a struggling commercial and residential area. The revitalization of Broad Avenue began with a focus on attracting artsrelated businesses.

However, according to local business leaders, the popularity of the project exploded when the focus was expanded to include bicycles. The bike lanes include “temporary” bike lanes, painted by volunteers and kept by the city, and plans for the Overton Broad Connector cycle-track. Local leaders now talk about the ABCs of becoming an urban magnet: Art + Bikes + Community.

Business owners on Broad Avenue see the connection between bike lanes and business growth. “The lanes slowed down traffic and people started noticing the businesses more,” said Pat Brown, co-owner of T Clifton Gallery on Broad Avenue. 

"It was probably one of the best things to happen for my business," Katelynn Meadows, owner of Sweetly, about the new bike lanes in front of her children’s clothing store.Since the beginning of the project, the district has seen 16 new businesses, 29 property renovations (17 at blighted locations), and 40,000 visitors to the Arts Walk. Restaurants have reported a growth in business from bicycle riders. The Memphis Food Truckers Association recently began weekly Food Truck Rodeos on Broad Avenue.


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