Don't tell the virulent cyclephobes at the NY Post, but a large swath of Manhattan is now welcoming bike riders with open arms. Transportation Alternatives has partnered with 150 businesses and cultural institutions in the East Village and Lower East Side Bike to create the first Bike Friendly Business District—the first of its kind in New York. No longer will cyclists have to hide their bicycles and helmets under a pile of tree branches and shrubbery before trying to take a seat at certain downtown lunch counters!

Participating businesses will offer discounts and deals to patrons who arrive by bike, and several businesses have committed to making deliveries by cargo bike. These perks include two-for-one drinks at Luca Lounge on Avenue B, and ten percent discounts on coffee at Pushcart Coffee. According to Transportation Alternatives, "streets that prioritize biking and walking and include amenities like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost retail sales by 10-25 percent." The full list of participating bike friends will be officially shared at a press conference tomorrow.

And soon these districts could expand city wide, until the entire town is engulfed with bike-friendly businesses (save for a few entrenched pockets of bitter anti-bike dead-enders in the blocks surrounding News Corp headquarters). Transportation Alternatives spokesman Michael Murphy tells us this is only the beginning. "This is the first of its kind and we launched it in the heart of where the city's bike share network will be," says Murphy. "We do hope to expand to other neighborhoods and we do have bike-friendly businesses in all five boroughs. So there's no limit to how far we can expand this."Steve Cuozzo: know fear.