The Economic Impact of Investments in Bicycle Facilities
A Case Study of the North Carolina Outer Banks
North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
The northern Outer Banks region was selected for the study because of existing high levels of bicycling activity and the presence of an extensive system of special bicycle facilities.
The study was conducted by the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University. Researchers surveyed bicyclists riding on the bicycle facilities -- paths and wide paved shoulders -- and also obtained data from self-administered surveys of tourists at three visitors' centers in the region.
The study found that the economic impact of bicycling visitors is significant. A conservative estimate of annual economic impact is $60 million, with 1400 jobs created / supported per year. This compares favorably to the
estimated $6.7 million of federal, state and local funds used to construct the special bicycle facilities in the area.