In light of the efforts to improve transportation in the Tampa Bay Area, bike traffic could provide incremental relief to car traffic. There are some bike paths in Hillsborough county that are really coming of age: Cass Street Greenway is one example. Another goes through downtown out under the Selman expressway and another is through Riverwalk.

According to 83 Degrees Media, the number of bicycle commuters across the United States grew by more than 47 percent between 2000 and 2011, and is on the rise. If you live in downtown Tampa it is easy to spot this growth! Many people live within 5 miles of their workplace and are choosing to cycle to work, and everywhere else. Cities and counties around Tampa Bay are investing in bike paths and lanes to help improve safety and ease congestion. In addition to the obvious benefits, you might be surprised to learn how cycling can actually increase small business revenue. In 2008 Magnolia Street in Forth Worth, TX repaved a busy street to include bike lanes. After the road was repaved and rearranged, restaurants saw an increase in revenue for a combined total of 179%!

I think that including biking as a solution to transportation problems makes the region even more marketable. This will benefit Tampa when attracting new businesses to town, and/or encouraging suburban based companies to consider a move into more urban areas like downtown. Alternative transportation options also relieve the pressure on the costs to park down town. Companies have additional mechanisms for their employees to get to work without having to pay big dollars for parking every month. Consider what the availability and affordability of services like Uber and Lyft have done for local transportation. Investing in bike lanes and encouraging this mode of transportation would boost our already growing commercial real estate market and improve transportation in the Tampa Bay Area.