Bicycling provides positive health and economic impacts beyond just the cyclist, a recent post from Tanya Snyder of Streetsblog Capitol Hill reports. How so?
When bike lanes were installed in both New York and San Francisco streets, business owners said that they saw an increase in business. When you are on your bike, traveling at a reduced speed, you are more likely to notice what’s in the shop. Business owners with bike share stations in front of their building said that bike share users were more likely to patronize their store.
Bike infrastructure is also more cost-effective than providing car parking. Here are some numbers:
- 12 bikes fit in one car parking space
- One parking space in a garage costs at least $15,000 to build and hundreds of dollars per year to maintain; building a rack for two bikes costs $150 to $300
- The city of Tulsa is currently paying $30 million to widen one mile of Yale Avenue. Darren Flusche of the League of American Bicyclists explains that $30 million could have been used for “six hundred miles of bike lane, 100 miles of sidewalk, 300 miles of buffered bike lanes, 120 miles of bicycle boulevards, 30 miles of first-rate bike trails, 20 miles of really elite physically separated cycle tracks, or 2,000 rapid flashing beacons for pedestrian safety.”
Nearby property owners also see the value of their property rise as a result of new bike facilities. Snyder notes that “each WalkScore point is worth $700 to $3,000 in the price of a house.”
Finally, when people chose to use transportation options other than driving, they save a ton of money in terms of car costs. According to Snyder, “The IRS estimates the cost of driving to be 56.5 cents per mile. AAA estimates the average annual cost of car ownership to be near $9,000. Energy regulation expert Ken Colburn — also a cycling instructor with the Bike-Walk Allinace of New Hampshire — said the top reason for mortgage disapproval is that people’s car payments are too high, making them a bad credit risk. ‘The probability of foreclosure increases with car ownership,’ he said.”