Here's a Friday afternoon chin scratcher: could a walk and bike map support local business?
As part of our larger suite of employer services, in summer 2009 we began offering local businesses free neighborhood walk and bike maps to their customers along with a window decal to give passers-by another reason to walk in the door.
We envisioned it as a virtuous circle: business owners get a tool to direct foot traffic into their shops and offer a free service to offer their customers, PBOT gets another partner encouraging inexpensive, healthy forms of transportation, and Portlanders learn great spots to walk, bike and shop in their neighborhoods.
Things rarely go as planned - thankfully this time they've gone better.
The maps are very popular with customers and businesses keep asking for more. To date, our local business partners have distributed 20,000 neighborhood walk/bike maps to their customers. In our last survey, 75% say that promoting walking and biking is good for their business.
Our program is open to any employer in the city and is free of charge. Contact us if you'd like to participate.