I don't think economics alone can explain the lack of bike use. The average American works over 12 weeks every year just to pay for their car. A good commuter bike, especially used really isn't expensive and could pay for itself pretty quick.
I think you might find more of a cultural stigma attached to bike use, that it's just not seen as cool.
To help the community economically, more bike use can be a solution not the problem, but it would take leadership and education form the community not knee jerk reaction against change.
Fact: Hundreds of people bike up that street everyday.
Fact: It is incredibly dangerous along that commercial stretch because of the parking situation. I bike up it 5 days a week rain or shine and have witnessed dozens of accidents. Not just from "doorings" but from motorists stepping into the bike lane or suddenly swerving into the bike lane to grab a spot. I know several people who have had serious injuries along that stretch.
This is what is happening and if anything it is going to get worse. The city needs to face reality and not stick their head in the sand because some people fear change. Change happens whether you like it or not.
The more the city delays the more likely a fatality happens along that stretch.
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