Chaining Bicycles to Economic Development

Biking can be a formidable economic development tool, argues James A. Bacon, who examines several ways in which investment in bicycle infrastructure can create wealth and jobs.
March 7, 2013, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"It is commonly said among cycling enthusiasts that if you build the biking amenities, the cyclists will come," notes Bacon. "The challenge is persuading government, business and civic decision makers to put money into bicycle amenities at a time when resources are scarce and public needs are many."

In many communities, the strongest argument that can be made for directing policy and investment to an issue is to point out the benefits in job and wealth creation. So for those interested in "more bike lanes, parking spaces for bikes, bike-friendly traffic laws and the like," says Bacon, "make the link to economic development."

He examines three ways in which bicycle amenities can create value in the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia:

  • Cycling stimulates tourism
  • Cycling trails and property values
  • Cycling, place making and livability

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Published on Friday, March 1, 2013 in Bacon's Rebellion
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