Biking - What’s it worth?
Summary of an economic analysis of biking from Bike Baton Rouge
Our friends at Bike Baton Rouge have produced a compelling report that details the various economic benefits of bicycling and therefore making a strong case for continued investment in bicycle infrastructure for their city. The Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Baton Rouge quantifies the value of bicycle infrastructure for Baton Rouge and the value of an individual riding a bike. The bottom line of the report is: bike infrastructure adds value to a city and people riding bikes add value to a city.
The analysis of per mile infrastructure investments, including costs and savings, can also apply to our region. Economic, health, and social benefits can all be realized by individuals as well as by the community at large when on and off street bicycle facilities are built. As the cost of living in New Orleans continues to rise, biking proves to be an economical choice for transportation and will continue to be a viable option for many folks in our region.
Costs from congestion, emissions, and parking impact all road users and can drastically be decreased by prioritizing bike trips. Moreover, Bike Baton Rouge quantifies the health benefit of biking, something we all know intuitively, by demonstrating that overall cost to public health for individuals and the broader community are over $1 per car mile. Other key findings from the report include – a) car trips cost over 300% more per mile to the individual and the community (i.e. wear and tear on the road) as compared to bike trips; b) replacing short car trips (2 miles or less) with bike trips will save individuals over $2,000 annually; and c) both on and off street bike facilities significantly reduce the overall cost of maintaining roadways.
Reports like this economic analysis and the Complete Streets for Health Equity Report produced by Bike Easy demonstrate the quantifiable need and benefit of prioritizing streets built to share with all modes, in all communities. The current momentum for public investment around our region is exciting. This includes the recent announcement from Mayor Cantrell about creating a New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Transportation, St Bernard Parish breaking ground on the first of many bikeway connections throughout the Parish, and Jefferson Parish pursuing initiatives developed in their Bicycle Master Plan. Throughout the stages of this progress, Bike Easy is committed to advocating for complete and safe streets built for everyone in our region.