Bikeways economically profitable in tourist regions

Bikeways to Prosperity: Assessing the Economic Impact of Bicycle Facilities (PDF file):
The ITRE study found that visitors who bicycle in the northern Outer Banks have a significant
economic impact on the area. Moreover, the study provides evidence that the expenditure of public funds on bicycle facilities in an area with a substantial amount of tourism can be a worthwhile investment.

The annual economic impact of $60 million and 1,407 jobs supported is a reasonable but conservative estimate of the benefits. The estimate compares favorably with the $6.7 million in public funds invested in the construction of the bicycle facilities. That investment annually yields an economic return approximately nine times the initial expenditure.

The study suggests that public investment in a network of bicycle facilities in other coastal and resort areas could return similar benefits, whether the area attracts tourists primarily for bicycling or for other reasons. Because of the usefulness of the EIA findings, North Carolina DOT plans to study more bicycle and pedestrian facilities for the economic impact on local economies to allocate direct public funding most effectively.
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