How much does it cost to develop a bicycle and/or pedestrian plan?

It can vary widely, depending on the specific scope of the plan, but the range is probably somewhere between $25,000 and $500,000. Obviously the answer depends on a lot of variables and assumes that the development of the plan will likely be done by outside consultants. Factors affecting the cost include:

- The population and area covered by the plan.

- If the plan will cover both bicycle and pedestrian issues or just one of the two.

- Whether the plan is primarily a policy document (setting standards, policies, guidance, etc.) or one that results in the identification of a network of facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, and will the planning extend to include engineering drawings and studies for particular projects.

- The level of public involvement.

- The total completion time.

- The number of maps and other significant printed pieces.

- The number of copies to be printed, and the use of color.

- The inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian suitability assessments and/or levels of service analyses.

- The expertise of the agencies involved. For example, is this their first nonmotorized plan or update? Do they have extensive GIS capabilities and experience?

So, a small city might be able to develop a useful plan for a bicycle network, which prioritizes projects and establishes bicycling policies, for under $100,000. However, that amount of money wouldn't go far in a city like Los Angeles or Chicago, unless the plan was primarily a policy document. Large cities, such as Philadelphia or Houston, might need to spend $300,000 to $500,000 to get a plan that identifies a network of bike facilities, rewrites city policy and design manuals to include bicycling, and has an appropriate amount of public involvement and outreach.

Few pedestrian-only plans have been developed in the United States, and those cities that have adopted them -- for example, the City of Portland, OR -- have often done the work in-house with their own staff. The Maricopa Association of Governments Pedestrian Master Plan, covering the Phoenix metro area, cost approximately $200,000 and included the development of new tools for analyzing pedestrian needs and improvements. It is also important to note that these figures only relate to the development of the plan. The cost of plan implementation varies greatly and can project over long periods of time.

Sample plans are provided in the Pedestrian Sample Plans and Bicycle Sample Plans sections.