Pathways to Prosperity: The Economy Impact of Investments in Bicycle Facilities

North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation

"In the summer of 2003, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) commissioned a study to examine the value of public investment in bicycle facilities and determine the economic benefits accrued in the northern Outer Banks. This area was selected for the study because of existing high levels of bicycle 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 the annual economic impact is $60 million, with 1,400 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."

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Plans and Policies, Funding

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