Bike Friendly Business District in Lakeside
The Lakeside Business Association has partnered with Bike Walk RVA to bring the region’s first permanent Bike Friendly Business District to the Lakeside neighborhood in Henrico, building upon a similar, temporary effort in the Bellevue neighborhood of the Northside to celebrate National Bike Month this past May.
Twenty-one businesses along Lakeside Avenue are participating in “Bike Friendly Saturdays”—discounts, free merchandise, and other promotions for anyone who arrives by bike on a Saturday. Check out the map below for the names of participating businesses and details about their offers!
Bike Friendly Saturdays will do more than provide savings for people shopping by bike, as studies have shown that people riding bikes are more likely to make unplanned stops at retail locations, and on average will spend more money while shopping. Combined with the increasing support for more comfortable, connected places to bike and walk and the local buzz surrounding cycling leading up to September’s UCI World Championships, the Bike Friendly Business District promises to be a boon for both people who ride and business owners alike.
“Bike Friendly Saturdays are a perfect fit for Lakeside,” says Jennifer Norvell Saunders, owner of Twig, one of the participating businesses. “There’s so much to do and see here, and we’re just a short bike ride away from other neighborhoods such as the Fan, the Museum District, Ginter Park, and Bellevue.”
Lakeside, which is bordered by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at one end and Bryan Park at the other, is growing as a popular neighborhood and shopping destination with a village feel. “More people are being drawn to Lakeside for its shopping, dining, and other attractions,” says Beth Monroe, Public Relations and Marketing Director for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. “It makes sense for us to promote biking given our early history as the Lakeside Wheel Club in 1895.”
The announcement of Lakeside as the first business district in the greater Richmond area to institute Bike Friendly Saturdays, combined with its designation as the starting location of the Team Time Trials at the UCI World Championships in September, provide incentive for improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along Lakeside Avenue.
“Bike lanes, bicycle parking, sidewalk benches, and good pedestrian crossings all act as catalysts for local economies by increasing the safety and comfort of people who visit an area to shop or dine,” says Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Bike Walk RVA. “If you want to get more people to a business district to spend money, plan improvements that make them feel welcome, whether they drive, walk, or bike there. Lakeside is taking big steps in that direction.”
“Twig is proud to be a part of this thriving district as we continue to advocate for improvements which will help develop Lakeside as a place for all ages and abilities to walk and bike,” says Saunders. “We invite you to come enjoy all Lakeside has to offer – by bike!”