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Jones, F. Ron.
An economic impact analysis of the proposed Memorial Causeway Bridge realignment on the central business district of Clearwater, Florida /
by F. Ron Jones, Margaret Marshall.
[Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research,
iii, 17 leaves :
ill., 1 col. map ;
"Prepared for: The City of Clearwater, Engineering Services Department, and HDR Engineering, Inc."
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 16-17).
Also issued online.
x Economic aspects
University of South Florida.
Center for Urban Transportation Research.
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
An Economic Impact Analysis of the Proposed Memorial Causeway Bridge Realignment on the Central Business District of Cleanvater, Florida Prepared for: The City of Clearwater Engineering Services Department and HDR Engineering, Inc. CUTR By: F. Ron Jones, Ph.D. Margaret Marshall Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida College of Engineering 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, ENB 118 T8l)lpa, Florida 33620-5350 November 1996
Table of Contents List of Ta bles and Figures ...... . .. .. . ...... ............................. ii i I ntroduction ... . ........................... . .............. .. ... ......... I S tu dy Area ................................................................... I Factors to Co ns ider ............ . .................................... 3 Methodology ..... ....... .. ..... .. ............................. . . ........ . 6 Literature Review ....... .... ...... .......... ..... . .......... . .......... 7 Local I n terviews .......... ................. . ............... .... ..... I 0 Analysis and Conclusions ...................... . ..... . .................... 12 Destination Trips ................................ ......................... 12 Deviation Trips .................. . .... ................... .............. 12 Thr ough Pass-By Trips .................................. . ... .. .. ... ....... 12 Local Pass-By Trips ................ ...... .................. .... .......... 13 Cleveland Street East and West .... . . . ..... .................. ..... .... 13 Probable Impacts East of Myrtle .............................................. 14 Probable Impacts West of Myrtle .. ........... ... . .................... ....... 14 Sun1mary ...... ..................................... ........... ........... 15 References . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6 11
List of Tables and Figures List of Tables Table 1 : Est imate d Dependence on Pass -By Traffic and Potential Loss o f Customers for Various Establishments ............................. . ... 7 Tab le 2: Summary oflmpacts on Smal l Bypassed U rban Communi t ies .................. 8 Table 3: Impacts of a Highway Bypass on Selected Communities .................... 9 List of Figures Figure I : Study Area .................... ... ............................ 2 Figure 2: Examples of Trip Types ..................... ... ... ............ ...... 4 111
An Econo mi c I mpact Analysis o f the Pro pos ed Me m o rial Ca u seway Bridge R ea lignm e n t o n the Ce n tral Bu s in ess Dis t ri ct o f C l earw a te r F l o rida Intro du c tion The city of C learwater is consid ering replacing and c hanging the alignment o f the Memoria l Causeway B ridge as part of an ongoing project development and environment (PD&E) study. All but one of the alignment alternatives would result in a substantial reduction of traffic on S t ate Road 60 (Cleveland Street). For those alternatives that would reduce Cleveland St r eet traffic the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) was asked by the City to determine what tbe probable economic impact would be on the businesses on Cleveland Street. For each of the proposed alignments, the volume o f traffic that would be diverted from Cleveland Stree t bas been estimated by the City's traffi c consultants. These volumes vary so mewhat among the alignments, but for the purposes of this study a reduction in Clev eland Stree t traffic of 50 percent west of Myrtle and 40 percent eas t of Myrtle is assumed. The determinat ion of the economic impact of this diversion is largely a question of how much of the business activity on C leveland Stree t now comes from the traffic likely to be diverted. Another important question that is not part of this study is the extent to whic h reduced traffic co n gestion and improv ed pede s trian amenities in the central business dis tri ct (CBD), as proposed in the City's redevel opment plans, may i n crease business activity. This study looks p ri marily at on e side of the issue: what losses can be expected if traffi c is diverted? It is important to note that, although this i s a vital question, it is not the whole pictu re. Stu d y A r ea This study examines the e<;<>nontic impacts on the establishments located on State Road 60 between Highland Avenue on the east and Memorial Causeway on the west (The study area is shown in Figure !.) As one travel s west from Highland Avenue along State Road 60 there are scattered "traffic -serving" businesses s uch as fust food restaurants, service stations a car wash, severa l budget motels, and numerous small strip shopp i ng areas There also are some destination oriented es tablishments, inclu ding a few small churches and offices ofthe Florida Department of Health and R eha bilitative Services and GTE. The overall appearance of the eastern section of C l e v e land Street is o n e of economic decline and stagna tion co n tribu t ed to by numerous empty l ots, severa l vacant buildings, and some e s ta b li shments that cater to a transient, low inc ome population.
nd Ave ouri Ave (/) .... -c cil .. il: Cll Cll > .. .. Q (J j .. ... a. Myrt e Av F t arri s n A e C l earwater Memorial Cswy
As one travels farther west past Missouri Avenue, there are several destination-oriented businesses, such as car dealerships, banks, and the Florida Power building. As one crosses Myrtle Avenue, the core CBD begins. The section of Cleveland between Myrtle and the approach to Memorial Causeway features on-street parking, sidewalks lined with trees, and plazas and benches that promote lingering pedestrian activity. The bui ldings in this area are primarily restaurants, office buildings, and retail shops, including higher-end specialty shops. Most of the restaurants cater primarily to a lunch crowd Some of the restaurants c lose in the early evening (6 p.m.), while others remain open through the early-dinner hour (8 p.m.). One restaurant in the CBD is open 24 hours per day. Another, which also has an active bar as well as restaurant, draws a large dinner crowd on weekend-nights. Although there are some vacant store fronts, the area has the appearance of a small but thriving downtom1. Factors to Consider The customers of any given business who arrive by automobile may be classified by the primary purpose and routing of the tdp. These trips may be either destination trips, deviatio n trips or pass -by trips, as described below and as illustrated in Figure 2 for Cleveland Street. Destination trip: The business is the customer's primary destination. Deviation trip: The business is an intermediate stop that is not on the customer's route to his primary destination and requires the customer to deviate from the usual route between his origin and destination. Through pass-by trip: The business is an intermediate stop directly on the customer's route to his primary destination, and the origin and destination of the trip are not on the road segment that is being bypassed. Local pass-by trip: "The business is an intermediate stop directly on the customer s route to his primary destination, and either the origin or the destination of the trip are on the road segment that is being bypassed, or else multiple intermediate stops are be i ng made on that road segment. The significance of these distinctions lies in the relative likelihood that a change in the road network, such as the provision of an alternate route around the business district, will affect the making of the trip. Destination trips to a particular establishment are unlikely to be affected by the provision of an alternate route unless the alternate route provides a sufficiently n ew or improved access to the business's competitors to attract the customers away from the business in question. The other way that destination trips can be affected is if the current route is made sufficiently more difficult or less attractive that shoppers decide to shop at competing stores on other routes. 3
Dcstjpatjo _n..Irip Deyjttion Trip 0 D I Tbrogch PaJS:b)' Trip l.oca l Pass-bx.:IdJl 0 C l earwater Bcacb 1 D r ... ., 0Origin !-Intermediate Stop D 4 Desti.uatioo Figure2 Examples of Trip Types 4
Depending on the local circumstances, deviation trips to a particular establislunent may be even less likely than destination trips to be affected by the provision of an alternate route, since changes to the current r oute may have no effect on the route of the existing deviation trip. (Examples of deviation and other trips for the Clearwater study area are described in the Analysis and Conclusions section at the end of this report.) Pass-by trips are the ones most likely to be affected by the provision of an alternate route. However, when evaluating the impacts on a central business district or on a particular road segment, a distinction must be made between two types of pass-by trips. The highest potentia l for diversion of traffic comes from through trips that have only one intermediate stop on the road segment being evaluated. Pass-by trips that involve multip le stops in the study area are somewhat l ess likely to be diverted. The more needs that are being met on a partic ular road segment, the less likely are trips to be diverted from that road segment. Pass-by trips that have as their destination another business in the study area are even less likely to be diverted than are pure desti nation trips because of the added attraction of the intermediate stop. In other words, there are two reasons to continue to go to the study area instead of just one. The economic impact of a highway bypass on a p art icular business is primarily a function of the following factors: 1. The percent of the business's customers that come from "pass-by" traffic. 2. The percent of pass-by traffic that is diverted. 3. The percent of destination traffic that is diverted. 4. The uniqueness of the business. 5. Customer loyalty. 6. The ease w ith which customers can switch to another provider. 7. The ease with which the business can be acce ssed on an occasional basis by the diverted pass-by traffic. As an exam p le, service stations are highly dependent on pass-by traffic. They are not unique, customer loyalty is low, and i t is easy to switch to another station. If there is a service station on the new route, the diverted motorists usually will shop there rather than detour even a short distance to the old route to shop at their old service station. Service stations, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants tend to be hurt the most by highway bypasses, and they often relocate to the new route. At the other extreme, professional services usually have no dependence on pass-by traffic. They may be unique, customer loyalty is high, and there usually is some effort and paperwork invo lved in switching providers. Therefore it would be rare for a person to change his physician, for 5
example, just because he had to ddve a fe\v bi6cks exira on his occasional visit to the doctor. In between these extremes, there is a continuum along which other types of establishments fall. Methodology The methodology usually employed for this type of analysis is to compare the area under study with similar cases ar01md the country where bypasses have been implemented and the impacts have been measured. These other cases are never identical to the case in question, and professional judgment must be applied to adjust for the uniqueness of the study area. In the case of Clearwater, CUTR used several different approaches to evaluate the probable economic impacts on Cleveland Street businesses, as outlined below. Data compiled by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) that shows the extent to which different types of establishments depend on pass-by traffic was used to estimate the potential impacts on individual types of businesses and shopping areas. (See Table 1 ) National literature was and case studies from around the country that reported on the economic impacts of highway bypasses were used to estimate impacts fbr some types of businesses not covered by the ITE data. Local government staff, civic leaders, and merchants were interviewed to determine what unique circumstances would need to be taken into consideration in Clearwater's case. Shoppers and pedestrians in the central business district were surveyed to determine whether their travel and shopping patterns would change as a result of the proposed bypass and to determine the comparability of the data reported for other areas by ITE and the published case studies. The Clearwater case was discussed with national experts to get their opinions of how best to make the comparison between Cleruwater and the other cases arotmd the country These discussions were with economists and urban planners at other universities and with authors of some of the rep11rts listed as references. The unique circumstances in this case were evaluated and taken into consideration in making the final impact estimates. Although the data compiled by lTE in its Trip Generation manual are the best currently available, they often are based on a limited number of observations and, therefore, should be applied with caution using professional judgment, and, when possible, should be compared with results obtained using other approaches. 6
-_. Table 1 Estimated Dependence on Pass-By Traffic and Potential Loss of Customers for Various Establishments Customers Customers Lost if CU$tOmers I....M-t If Obtained from SO% of Pass -By 40% of Pass-By Type of Establishment Pass-By Traffic Traffic Is Diverted Traffic is Diverted Convenience store* 65% 30-35% 25 30% Service station 55% 25-30% 20 25% Restaurant: Fast food' 45% 20-25% 15-20% High turnover, sit--down 400/o 20% 15% Motel 1045% 5-25% S-20% Miscellaneous retail: -Small strip shopping 30-60% IS-30% 10-25% Medium shopping center* 20-50"/o 10-25% 10-20% Regional mall* 20% 10% 5-10% Drive-in bank 15% 5-10% 5-10"/o Automobi l e dealer and related business 5-15% 0.10"/o 0-S% Professional service 0% 0"/o 0"/o Other: Apartment building 0-10% 0-5% 0-5% Church 0% 0% 0"/o Government office 0% 0% 0% Manufacturing pl ant 0"/o 0% 0% Ut ility company 0% 0% 0% Office building 0"/o 0% 0% Estimates for these estab lishments are deri\ed from data compiled by the Institute of Transportation E ngineers in the ITE Trip Generation manual. In cases where the manual provides different percentages for arn. and p.m. peak hours, a simple average was calculated and then rounded off so as not to imply a h ig her level of precision than is justified As noted in tho text, theso data tend to be from a limited number of obse r vations and, sho uld be used with caution Other estimates are developed from ease s t udies and CUTR's sur\' e ys and interviews. Literature Review The case studies reported in the literature are n ot as nwnerous as would be desirable and, as would be expected, they all differ somewhat from the Clearwater case. However, they do provide some useful insights into the impacts of bypasses on central business di. stricts lll!d on some specific types of businesses. 7
In general the literature suggests that, although rerouting of traffic is l ik ely to hurt individual traffic-serving businesses it is less likely to harm central business districts and may actually help them The principal concerns among busine ss and property owners re late to economic impacts The National Cooperative Highway Research Program [Buffington, 1996], reporting on the effects of highway bypasses i n small urban areas, found in a survey of highway agencies that 43 percent of the concerns raised by communities relate to fears of economic downturn. Research ers h ave fowtd that the majority (59 percent) of local traffic-serving businesses are, in fact, lik ely to experience a greater negative economic impact than th a t felt by businesses that cater to a consistent local clientele However as reflected in Tabl e 2 the overall commwtity-wide im pact in areas comparabl e to Clearwater' s downtown has been fowtd to be positive in 93 p ercent of the areas studied. Table2 Summary of Impa cts on S mall Bypa ssed Urban Co mmunities Nature oflmpac l Impact On the Ov=ll Community (Number of Studies Conducted; 28) Percent Positive Impact 93% Percent No Impact 0% Percent Negative Impact 7% On Traffic-Serving B u sinesses Located on the OJd Route (Number of Studies Conducted: 17) Percent Positive Impact 29% Pezcent No Impact 12% Pezcent Negatiwlmpacl 59% Sowce: Buffmgtoo, et. al., NCHRP, Rluorch Rau/4 Dtgu<, Numbet210, May 1996. Table 3 shows the impacts of bypasses on gross business sales in l6 communities around the country. The table s hows the percentage differences in gross business sales for traffic-serving businesses and all businesses located in the vicinity of the bypass, as compared to those within a control area. Of the eight communities for which there was total vicinity sales data, only one reported that overall sales declined within the vicinity of the bypass. Five of the communities reported that th e traffic-serving businesses experienced a net loss in gross sales, ranging from 0.1 percent to 5.8 percent, whil e in 10 of the communities the traffic-serving businesses experienced a gain in sales, ranging from 0.1 percent 8
to 5 .I percenl This suggests that often there may be economic factors at work in the community that have a greater impact on l ocal sales than do highway bypasses. Table3 Impacts of a Highway Bypass on Selected Communities Percent Change in Gross Sales Volume On or in V'ic:initv or bvnassed route In laNer studv area City, State Traffic-senting All businesses Bypassed area Contro l area buslnesses Delano, Calif -OA -Petaluma, Calif 5.0 -0 6 -3. 0 Tulare, Galif. 5.8 2.7 0 6 Boone, Iowa 0.1 1.1 3 9 3.7 Ne,"!on, lowa 1.0 4.2 2.0 2.0 Adrian, Mich. 1.5 1.9 -!A Holland, Mich. 1.4 --0.8 1.1 Miles, Mich. 2 0 -1.7 -1.4 2.1 Austin. Minn. 3.0 2.7 1.0 Fairbault, Minn. 2.6 5.5 6.8 4.0 Fergus, Minn. -1.1 3 9 4.8 Rolla, Mo. 3 0 3.0 9.S 6.1 Jamestown, N D 5 1 5 5 5 2 Huntsville Tex. 0.3 6 7 Temple, Tex. -0. ( 3.8 4 8 3.7 Waxahachie Tex. -3.8 0.8 1.0 2 .2 Source: Adapted from Buffington, et. al., NCHRP, Research Results D.gest, Number210, May 1996. A study by J.D. Edwards  suggests that bypasses design ed to shift through traffic off the main street through downtowns may y ie ld positive benefits for local governments, as the lower congestion and reduction in traffic hazards will foster a more pedestrian-friendly environment and stimulate downtown revitalization. A study of bypasses in Micltigan by H Faville (1960] reports that the rerouting of U S. Highway 223 away from the center of Adrian, Michigan, yielded such positive results for the community that a second bypass a way from the city's central business and shopping distr ict was later sought In the two years following the initial bypass, most businesses retained pre construction volumes although some businesses experienc:ed negative economic impacts from the bypass. Bas ed on the stability of businesses in the CBD, the overall impact of the bypass on business sales was concluded to be neg ligible. 9
According to the same study, sales tax data and interviews with local businessmen in Hart, Michigan "tended to substantiate tb.e hypotb.esis tb.at while high way bypasses will indeed adversely affect certain types of businesses in a community, general business activity possibly may be inc(eased as a result oftb.e bypass." The business owners in Hart said tb.at the dive(sion oft(affic was accountable for a decline in some motorist-oriented businesses, notably a 14 percent loss in restaurant businesses following tb.e construction. Gas stations also reported a negative impact from the reduction of traffic volumes. However, tb.e overall community consensus was that the bypass had a positive outcome for the city, as it increased tb.e ease of driving, improved environmental conditions due to a reduction in polluting emissions, and created a better shopping district fo( people in tb.e CBD. Local Interviews Interviews were conducted witb. busiriess and property owners, city government officials, and economic development and real-estate professionals Most persons interviewed were quite knowledgeable about the alternative alignments proposed fo( the Memorial Causeway bridge. Downtown economic developmen t p(ofessiooals were very familiar with tb.e proposals, as were tb.e members of the business community whose establishments are located in the co(e of the downtown on Cleveland Street. There was less familiarity with the propo sals among the owners of businesses located mme to the eastern end of Cleve l and Street as it appmaches Highland Avenue. However, all persons interv iewed had seen something about the pmposed p(oject in the local newspaper. Almost all of the 28 business owners who were interviewed said that a diversion of traffic away from the CBD would hurt the downtown and "cause bus inesses to dry up and go away." The ovc(all feelings were that a consistently high tmffic flow through the downtown to tbe beaches was essential to keeping the businesses downtown. One respondent predicted a "domino effect" to follow a diversion of traffic: if the traffic is diverted, businesses will decline; if businesses decline they will begin to relocate; if relocation occu(s, the mixed-use developments proposed in tb.e city's (edevelopment plan will neve r take shape, and the entire composition of the downtown will crumble. Only one business owner felt that the diversion of traffic from the downtown would have primarily a positive impact. That opinion was coupled with tb.e caveat that tb.ere must be good physical and visual access (signs) to the downtown, and tb.at "to date, none of the proposals have really illustrated good access." Another respondent felt that the diversion of traffic was overall a negative thing, but "not a major catastrophe." His (easoning was tb.at downtown is slowly becoming more of a destination place, and that people will still come downtown for goods and services. A third said that a diversion of traffic would have a "negligible effect on the downtown, at best." That respondent a property owner in the downtown, said that the downtown retailers a(e not benefiting from the ttaffic downtown, and that "if traffic we(e a determining factor in 10
whether businesses were successful, the current traffic flow should correlate to a thriving downtown, instead of what s there." The perceptions were more mixed about the effect of a diversion of traffic on the businesses located east of Myrtle, out to Highland Avenue. A majority of survey participants felt there would be less of an impact on these businesses. Some said they felt that these businesses catered more to a local clientele, while others felt that good access would continue to be provided to this area by the numerous side streets However, a few respondents felt that these businesses would be harder hit than those west of Myrtle because they depend more heavily on pass-by traffic for exposure and patronage. Many of the merchants also raised the issu e of on-street parking on Street west of Myrt l e. (In January 1993, the City created 63 on-street parking spaces on Cleveland Street between Myrtle and Osceola Avenues.) Some of those interviewed felt very strongly that the return o f on-street parking to the downtown has been a tremendous boon to their businesses and to surrounding businesses. Others felt that it was the worst thing that has happened to the d o wntown in years, for reasons explained below One person indicated that his business had increased considerably once people were able to park more readily in front of his store: "People told me that they'd been driving by my store for six months or more but could never find parking Now that they can finally park, they come in and shop." Another business owner in strong favor of the parking said that now people "have the illusion that they can find parking, whether or not they can. They're more willing to circle the block and look harder for a place to park, even if it ends up being on an adjacent street. Before the on-street parking, they tell me they would just drive by." Another entrepreneur in the district said that before it was implemented she was against it, but since it has been in effect she has realized that "on-street parking makes the downtown look busier; more active. The increased activity seems to make more people want to come downtown." Others in tbe downtown felt that the institution of on-street parking has been one of the primary elements leading to heavy traffic congestion and a decline in property values. One respondent asserted that there was a 30 percent decline in property values from 1992 to 1996 as a result of decreased traffic flow and increased congestion, attributable in part, to the on-street parking Another business owner said that adequate parking has nothing to do with customers stopping in your store. If you have a product they want, they'll find a place to park. On-street parking on a congested roadway such as Cleveland has killed the businesses and resulted in a high number of vacancies along the r oad ." That viewpoint was echoed by another respondent, who said that there arc no more businesses or greater retail activity as result of the parking. In his view, the "on-street parking has caused horrendous gridlock during the peak tourist periods," contributing to the vie w that the downtown is too congested. 11
A n a l ysis a n d Con cl u sio n s This section discusses the likelihood that various types of trips will be diverted off C l eveland Street, and presents conclu sions regarding the probable impacts of that diversion. Des tin ation Trips T h e only impact the proposed alignments will have on shoppers from north east, and so uth of Cleveland Street who mak e destination trips to stores on that street will be to reduce the congestion they now experie n ce on Cleveland Therefore, no reduction in these d estination trips would be expec ted In fact there likely would be some increase in desti n ation trip s from these areas. Because shoppers west of Cleveland Street ( i .e., from C learwater Beach ) also would experience less congestion on Cleveland Street and because the proposed bypass would add only a few blocks onto their trips to shops on Cleveland Street, it is expect ed that there would be little o r no diversion of this destination traffic. DeviJitlon T ri p s The situation with deviation trips to shops on Cleveland Street i s very similar t o that of destination trips. Typical deviation trips in the study area would include persons traveling north south on Fort Harrison, Myrtle and Missouri Avenues who deviate o nto Cleveland Street to mak e an intennediate stop. These trips would not be affected by the pr oposed bypass except to the extent that congestio n was r e duced on Cleveland Street, which would in crease the lik elihood of these trips. Other typical deviation trip s would motorists traveling east-west on Dr ew, Pierce, and Court Streets who deviate onto Cleveland Street for an intermediate stop. These travelers also would experience l ess congestion on C l eveland Street, and since the travele rs on Pierce and Court Streets would not otherwise be affected by tbe bypass, they might increase the number of their deviation trips to Cleveland Street. Some of the proposed alignmentS may make travel on Drew Street more difficult, which could reduce the number of deviation trips onto Cleveland Street by travelers on Drew Street. However, what is likely to happen is that some traffic would be diverted from D rew Street to Pierce or Court Street and those travelers would continue t o deviate to C leveland Street since it would be about the same as deviating from Drew Street, i.e., it is about the same distance. There fore, on balance, it is expected tha t the prop osed bypass would increase slightly the number of deviation trips onto Cleveland Street. T h ro u gh Pas$-By T ri p s Motorists traveling between Clearwater Beach and points east of Highland Avenue will be the m ost l ikely ones to be diverted off of Cleveland Street by the proposed bypass. To the extent that businesses on Clevel and Street are dependent on impulse shopping by these travelers they will 1 2
experience a loss of patronage if these travelers are diverted to another route To th e extent these travelers now make planned intennediate stops to shop on Cleveland Stieet and are diverted to another rout e the businesses also will experience so me Joss of customers. As diseussed be low it is assumed that these through trave lers do stop to shop on Cleveland, and data from the Institute of Transportatio n Engineers (ITE) were used to estimate the impac t the loss of their patronage would have on C leve l and Street businesses. However, as the survey results presented below suggest, on the section of Cleveland Street west of Myrtle Avenue the amount of business attributable to through traffic may be quite small. Local Pass-By Trips A typical trip of this nature would be one made by a person whose destination is the Florida Power b uilding on Cleveland Street and who, while traveling there, dec id es to stop for gas at a service station on Cleveland Street. This pass-by trip would continue to be made if the proposed bypass were imp l emented, and the service station would continue to derive patronage from this type of pass-by traffic. The other type of local pass-by trip is when the destination is not on Cleve land Street but the traveler makes two or more intennediate stops on Cleveland Street on the way to his ultimate destination. Some of this pass-by traffic may be diverted to the new route, but the more reasons that a person has to stop on Cleveland Street the les s likely that he will be diverted to the new route The primary impac ts felt by businesses on Cleveland Stree t will be due to the diversion of pass-by traffic and the extent to which those businesses rel y on that traffic However, use of the ITE pass-by rates in Table 1 will tend to overstate the loss of business because the ITErates include local pass-by tdps, and, as noted above, much of the business attributable to those trips will not be losl It also is likely that the percentages in Table I are on the high side, even for through pass-by trips, because the rates assume that there are alternatives to these stores on the n ew route. I f there are not a driver may once a week, for instance, drive the old route to stop at a service station. Cleveland Street East and West There is a distin ct difference in the land use patterns o n Cleveland Street east and west of Myrtle Avenue East of Myrtle, development is spread out and is typical of suburban commercial str\Ps; there is no concentration of employment. West of Myrtle, the development is typical of a cen tr al business district. It is relatively dense store fronts are continuous, and there i s a large concentration of employment. There also is a slight difference in the volume of traffic that is expected to be diverted east and west of Myrtle. East of Myrtle, about 40 percent ofthe traffic would be diverted, while west of Myrtle, it would be around 50 percenl 13
Probable Impacts East of Myrtle The businesses east of Myrtle include 2 service stations, 2 fast-food restaurants, 6 sit-down restaurants, 12 strip shopping areas, 8 motels, 5 automobile-related businesses 6 real-esta te or insurance offices 2 office buildings 2 apartment buildings, 2 utility companies, 3 banks, 4 professional offices, and a variety of other establishments. As shown in Table I some of these businesses are very dependen t on pass-by traffic and could experience significant losses of customers. Motels typically are very dependent on pass-by traffic, but one of the unique circumstances on Cleve land Street is that many ofthe motels cater almost exclusively to local day laborers and have almost no dependence on pass-by traffic This accounts for the wide range of potential diversion shown for motels in Table I. As Table I also suggests, there many businesses east of Myrtle that are no t dependent on pass-by traffic and that would likely experience little or no loss of customers. When these are averaged in, the overall expected loss of customers for this section of Cleveland Street would be between I 0 and 15 percent if 40 percent of the traffic were diverted. Probable Impacts West of Myrtle The businesses west of Myrtle are typi ca l of a medium size downtown, including numerous retail stores and professional offices. Ofttie types of establishments for which data are ava il ab le in Table I, a regional mall has the closest characteristics to a dense shopping area such as the Clearwater CBD. lfthey were directly comparable, the CBD could expect to lose about 10 percent of its customers if 50 percent of the traffic were diverted as shown in Tab le I. However about half of the establishments in the CBD are not typical of a regional mall. They are professional, government, and religious services that would experience little or no loss of business When these are factored in the expected loss of customers in the CBD is reduced to about 5 percent. To test the estimate of 5 percent, surveys of304 shoppers and pedestrians in the CBD were conducted on a Wednesday and a Friday in October 1996, to determine what percent of them were from pass-by traffic that was likely to be d i verted Of those surveyed, 45 percent were employed downtown and, therefore, would not be diverted to the new route. One person was just walking through town on his way to the beach, and eight persons were transferring buses. The CBD was t he primary destination for the remainder. Not one of the 304 had stopped on impulse in the CBD or stopped to shop in the CBD as an intermediate stop on his o r her trip through town. The conclusion from the survey is that the CBD is much more of a destination area than commonly thought There also is a large employment base in the CBD that supports a certain level of retail and other businesses. The survey also confirms that the 5 percent figure is not unreasonable and suggests that the actual loss of business in the CBD, on average, could be substantially less than 5 percent. 14
There aze three other fuctors to consider One is that the 5 percent figme is for the CBD as a wbole. There may be one or two stores that aze unusually dependent on pass-by traffic and that would experience larger losses. Another filctor is the advertising exposure that stores receive from pass-by traffic. Although many of the businesses on this section of Clev e land Street aze difficult to notice from a moving car, some aze sufficiently noticeable that exposure to passing trnffic undoubtedly bas some value. B u t as enclosed malls discovered years ago, a concentration of stores with good automobile acce s s and pedestrian amenities is more i mpo rt an t than passing automobile traffic in attracting customers. The third fuctor is the impac t th a t o ther p l ans by the City may have o n the CBD. To t h e extent the City adds ped e st r ian ame nities d o wnt own and m akes the CBD a more attractive and les s co n geste d destinatio n f o r shoppers, t h e l osses att r ibutable to th e d i version of trnffi c may be more than offset. S ummary In the long term, there likely will be some sorting out of those businesses that are highly dependent on pass-by traffic, and some may relocate to the new route. These businesses, such as service stations and fust-food restaurants, are predominantly located east of Myrtle A venue. The businesses in the central business district (Cleveland Street west of Myrtle ) are mostly dependent on destination trnffic and th e large CBD employment base. The CBD is prim arily a destination area and, overal l the eco nomic impact on the CBD of diverting the pass -by tr affic should be negligible. ff the red evelopment a ctivit ies planned for the C B D by the C i ty are i mplemented, the r eduction of traffic and congestio n in the CBD may be one of t h e f actors tha t help s t o make the downtow n a more attractive destination a rea, resulting i n increased, not decreased, sa l es. IS
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