Urban Velo

Co.Exist: The Cities That Spend The Most On Bike Lanes Later Reap The Most Reward

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Co.Exist posted an article last week exploring a recent study out of New Zealand showing that for every dollar a city spends today on creating separated bike lanes, up to $24 could be saved in future pollution and healthcare costs.

They found huge differences: If the city built a network of separated lanes and slowed down traffic speeds, it could increase cycling by 40% by 2040, but adding a few lanes in a few places might only increase bike traffic by 5%. The more people ride, the more the cost savings would add up for Auckland–the biggest factor being a reduction in health care costs. A smaller investment would have little impact at all; the city is so bike-unfriendly that major changes are needed.

Though the study focused on Auckland, the researchers think that the general principles would apply to other cities where cars rule the road. “Auckland is very similar in design and transport patterns to many US cities, so we expect our findings to be relevant to the US,” MacMillan explains. The exact savings would be different; the study wasn’t trying to predict exact numbers, but show how different scenarios compare to each other.

Read the entire article at www.fastcoexist.com

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