The Connective Corridor bike lanes are enjoying great usage.  By mid-November, phase one of the new Corridor “greenway” bike network will be installed, connecting University Hill to downtown — from Waverly down University Avenue, across East Genesee Street to Forman Park.  Next phases are in the planning stages, too!

That’s good news for lots of reasons.  Here are some below, from two recent reports:

The League of American Bicyclists’ recent policy research report, The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments, makes a strong case for return on investment.

Read the full report here:

Some highlights:

  • The bicycling industry contributes an estimated $133 billion a year to the U.S. economy.
  • The bicycling industry supports 1.1 million jobs and generates $17.7 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.
  • $46.9 billion is spent annually during bike trips and tours.
  • As a result of policies to encourage bicycling and maintain urban density, Portland residents travel 2.9 billion fewer miles and spend 100 million fewer hours, saving $2.6 billion a year.  A recent Portland study found that a disproportionate share of the bicycling occurred on streets with bicycle lanes, separate paths, or bicycle boulevards and concluded that data supports the need for well-connected neighborhood streets and a network of bicycle-specific infrastructure to encourage more bicycling among adults.
  • Along San Francisco’s Valencia Street, two-thirds of merchants surveyed four-and-a-half years after bike lanes were painted said that the lanes had a positive overall impact on their business.
  • A recent study of Bloor Street in Toronto found that people who biked and walked to the area spent more money than those who drove there.
  • A study of home values near the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, Ind. showed that homes within a half mile of the Trail gained an 11% increase in value.
  • The results of a study of 33 large U.S. cities showed that each additional mile of bicycle lane is associated with an approximate one-percent increase in the share of bike-to-work trips.
  • For the cost of repaving 3 miles of Interstate 710, CalTrans could sign and stripe 1,250 miles of California roads for bike lanes.
  • Researcher Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute estimates that replacing a car trip with a bike trip saves individuals and society $2.73 per mile.
  • A 30 percent mode-share in the U.S. would lead to an estimated savings of $163.8 billion a month (nearly two trillion dollars a year).

A recent report in the Journal of Public Health also validates the public benefit of dedicated bicycle infrastructure when it comes to reducing injuries.

Read the report here:

Some highlights:

  • Bicycling is underused for transportation in the United States, constituting 1% to 3% of trips compared to 10% to 27% of trips in Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden
  • Toronto, with snowy winter weather, has 11 kilometers (nearly seven miles) of bike lanes and paths per 100,000 population.  Vancouver, with rainy winter weather, has 26 kilometers (more than 16 miles) per 100,000 population.
  • Dedicated cycle tracks have the lowest injury risk – about one ninth the risk of route types.
  • Other route characteristics associated with risk reductions included traffic calming (quieter streets), dedicated bike lanes and bicycle-specific facilities.  Urban streets without bike lanes, particularly those with streetcars, trolleys or light rail, had the highest risk factors for cyclists.
  • Route types most preferred by cyclists include cycle tracks, local streets, bike only paths and major streets with bike lanes.
  • As a public health approach, well-planned bike route infrastructure offers many advantages.  It is population-based and benefits everyone.  It does not require initiatives by individual cyclists.  It does not require repeated reinforcement, and most important, it prevents crashes from occurring rather than preventing injuries after a crash has occurred.

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