The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure

The economic benefits of building a bicycle infrastructure cannot be overstated. In Bicycle Means Business, a comprehensive overview of all the benefits U.S. cities can expect from investing in bicycle and walking paths is provided.

These benefits include increased jobs, spending, tourism, and a decrease in accidents due to ramping up bicycle safety. And the cost of injury from bicycle accidents can be serious. For example, there were over 4,468 bicycle accidents in Los Angeles County between 2010 – 2015, according to attorney Joshua Glotzer.

Other benefits that a city can expect from investing in bicycling include:

  • Reduced costs from not building expensive car parking lots,
  • People who ride bikes save their company money on healthcare costs,
  • Lower travel costs for bicycle riders means more money to spend on local businesses

But to increase the numbers of people using bikes, we need to improve the infrastructure that will allow riders to feel safe riding in urban areas and alongside cars.

A great example of the regional economic impact that biking tourism can have is North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Based on one study, the Outer Banks generates $60 million in economic activity through bicycle tourism. And Boulder, CO sees an estimated $52 million in economic activity from the local bicycle industry.

Business districts also benefit from an improved bicycling infrastructure. In national surveys, business owners have consistently demanded increased bicycle parking. In San Francisco’s Valencia Street district, over two-thirds of local merchants stated that increased bike lanes and bike parking had an overall positive effect on their business. Additionally, a study in the greater Portland, OR area found that bicyclists spend the most per month at local businesses.

Another little-known benefit is an increase in home values for communities that ensure better walkability and bike paths for their residents. For example, houses in Indianapolis near the Monon Trail sell for 11% more than similar houses further away from the trail.

Find out more by reading the PDF below.