Talk about removing street parking to put in bike lanes, and merchants complain it will cost them business.

But cycling advocates and environmentalists say that bit of conventional wisdom is an urban myth — one that needs to be challenged in the face of increasingly congested roads and plans for boosting public transit and other green initiatives.

They’re touting a new study of the Annex neighbourhood as proof that a lively shopping district need not depend on street parking.

The research released this month by the Clean Air Partnership reveals that 75 per cent of merchants along Bloor Street between Spadina and Bathurst don’t believe their businesses would suffer if the city removed street parking in favour of a bike lane or sidewalk widening, in part because sufficient parking exists in nearby municipal lots.

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