Friday, June 29, 2012

Economic Benefits Bike Lanes

Over at "the conversation" I found a nice article on the "Economic Benefits Of Bike Lanes". I guess a with most things nowadays, the success of something has to be judged in economic terms. And so it seems for some, the economic impact of investing $40 million into new bike paths has not been adequate. The main problem being not enough jobs were created.

This may be a concern, but of course we need to look at the long term impact of the bike lanes. For sure the economic impact of the Sydney Harbour Bridge lies way beyond the jobs that were created to build it, and maintain it. In the same way North Sydney boomed with the bridges development. Property and business along cycle routes is sure to blossom.

Initially it can allready be seen that property prices along bike lanes have been positively affected.

From "the conversation";

"The rise in real estate prices from bike lanes is not limited to Australia. Across the other side of the world, a study in Pittsburgh found that bike paths led to increases in business and property selling prices. Realtors in North Carolina reportedly added US$5,000 to the prices of 40 homes adjacent to the Shepherd’s Vineyard Bikeway. Similarly results from the City of Vancouver indicated that 65% of realtors would use the bikeway as a selling feature of a home. The University of Delaware study showed that on average properties within 50m of a bike path could be expected to increase property valuesby at least US$8,800."

I can only assume that if property values are positively affected by the introduction of bike lanes, then businesses along cycle lanes must also benifit. And In Sydney's case, the bike lanes are relatively new, and the overall impact will only be fully realized in 3-5 more years when more cycle paths have been created, and more people switch to cycling for transport. Just think, the most recent bike count released for Sydney shows a 60 per cent average increase in the AM period and an average 48 per cent increase during the PM period over the past year.  If this trend continues there will be lots more people riding bikes in 5 years - and much more economic benefit.

But beyond the economic benefit it seems that introducing bike lanes creates a more liveable environment. That's got to be a good thing. If cycle paths promote living closer to the city for families, rather than moving further away into the suburbs, where driving is near mandatory, that's definitely a good thing. 

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