Flagler Memorial Bridge closure good for bike business

Biking will be the easiest way to go now that the Flagler Memorial Bridge is closed and for some businesses with bike shops, they're hoping to cash in on a sport that was once recreational , but now a necessity.

Charles and Mary Love visit their favorite bike shop on Palm Beach.

The two enjoy riding.

“It’s a very relaxing ride. It’s a good way to start a day," said Love.

But their day will now consist of taking the longer route now that the Flagler Memorial Bridge is closed.

Love said, “I never thought of it as a necessity before recently. It was more of a recreational activity for us."

That necessity is turning into a business boom for Palm Beach Bicycle Trail shop.

"I have sold a few bikes over the past weekend where people that work on the island that live Downtown West Palm Beach, knowing that it's going to be a problem, having the experience before, are starting to ride their bikes," said Philip Elliott, manager at Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop.

It could take drivers up to 45 minutes to commute back and forth using the alternate routes. But riding a bike over the bridges takes about 20 minutes.

Elliot said business would usually decline when the bridge shut down in the past, but it's never been closed for six months and he's hoping the frustrations of bumper to bumper traffic will get more people on two wheels instead of four.

Elliott said, "Not only a good thing for less traffic, but it's also healthy, you can get over the island in a good amount of time. So we're encouraged by it. We're thinking maybe we'll get a boom in business with more people commuting on bicycles which is good for us."


 


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