Every city wants economic development, and now it looks like bicycling is a major way to get it.
According to Fast Co.Exist’s Ben Schiller, bikes have a major economic impact on cities. Schiller writes that states all over the U.S. receive hundreds of millions of dollars from bike-related tourism, health effects, and business benefits. Perhaps most surprisingly, investment in bike infrastructure also creates more jobs than the same amount of investment in other types of infrastructure.
Bike infrastructure has also been associated with favorable levels of job creation compared to other forms of transport. A study last year by Heidi Garrett-Peltier at thePolitical Economy Research Institute, looking at 58 separate projects, found that $1 million invested in bike infrastructure produced 11.4 jobs, against 10 jobs for the same amount invested in pedestrian schemes, and 7.8 jobs for road-only projects.
Schiller specifically mentions places like Colorado, Wisconsin and Iowa as leading bike places. Significantly, those states all have comparable or even harsher weather than Utah, meaning the winter cold simply isn’t an excuse for not beefing up bike infrastructure. Schiller’s article is also based on a recent report from the League of American Bicyclists.
I’ve written about cycling on this blog more times than I can list in single post. Among other things, I wrote about the economic impacts of cycling in April and May. Cycling also has been shown to attract young people and save lives, among the more obvious benefits.
Provo also happens to have the 4th best bike path in the entire West and is in the process of becoming certified as a bike friendly city. All of this means Provo has both the history and justification to reap the benefits of better bike infrastructure.