Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The biggest side benefit from instituting One Lane From Two Lanes in the Old North End is that there will be room for wide bike lanes on a number of arterial streets running through the neighborhood.
When two lanes of traffic in each direction are reduced to one lane, an entire lane on the street surface becomes available for a use other than automobiles. A logical use for the empty lane is to make it a bike lane.
Scott Lane, a transportation planner in Raleigh, North Carolina, summed up the economic benefits of bike lanes this way:
“Cycling alone contributes an estimated $133 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 1.1 million jobs and generating nearly $18 billion in tax revenues. But for our purposes, the key statistic is this: bicycling generates nearly $50 billion for non-cycling-sector businesses in the form of meals, hotel lodging, clothing, and entertainment…
“Cycling investments are returned nine-fold by extending vacations, drawing new vacationers to the area, and encouraging them to return again and again. Cyclists tend to have higher-than-average incomes and educational levels, facts that businesses should be aware of when thinking about creating bike-friendly atmospheres…
“The old mantra that walking and cycling advocates – and not that many other people – used to say was, “Biking and walking are good for you.” Now we see institutions like the Urban Land Institute, mayors of cities of all sizes, and increasing numbers of everyday people say, “Biking and walking is good for us, our economy, and our community!”
So the wide bike lanes that will come with One Lane From Two Lanes in the Old North End should have very dramatic effects on the economy of Colorado Springs, particularly downtown.
Read the full article here