New York city, as always is being extremely innovative when it comes to cycling infrastructure improvements. This video demonstrates some the benefits of on street corral bike parking.
This is something that Vancouver has mastered on the downtown Dunsmuir and Hornby separated bike lanes. If you look at the above photo of a bike corral at Dunsmuir and Seymour Streets separating the traffic from the separated bike lane. The on street bike corral is full, and there is a sidewalk bike loop that is empty, perhaps indicating that people do prefer to park in the corral.
Bike corrals have a number of economic benefits. They eliminate the quasi-confusing legibility of the streetscape. Sidewalk parking encourages people to cycle on the sidewalk in order to get to the parking. Replacing a parking stall with bicycle parking removes cycling and parked bicycle from the sidewalk, creating a safer pedestrian environment, providing more room for businesses to set up patios and more room for shoppers to move around. They also improve the number client parking stalls from 1 to 16, and the potential for providing the “golden” client parking spots right at the doorstep. This info-graphic about Portland corrals shows that having a bike corral in front of your business is good for business since it makes your business seem distinctive and sends people a message that you are willing to support cycling.
It can also be good for business to provide more bicycle parking in front of your business since many studies are finding that cyclists shop more frequently and spend more overall that vehicular shoppers.
Bike corrals also make it easier and less confusing to cycle, thus making it easier for people to choose cycling as their main mode of transportation. These corrals also make it legible and easier to find bike parking, and getting potential customers off their bikes and into your store to generate revenue. As the New York article also states,it can provide a inexpensive buffer between the cycle lane and the traffic which makes it safer for cycling.