OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

“Joining communities through fitness, recreation, heritage and transportation networks”

Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business

Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business

With good reason, the rise of the protected bike lane in North America is showing little signs of slowing down. A new report from PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking makes a clear connection between more accessible and connected bicycle infrastructure and creating prosperity in our cities.
 
Combining the latest academic and technical research with original reporting, "Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business" tracks four trends spurring demand for better bike lanes:
     1. The Great Urban Rebound – Cities experiencing a resurgence in residential growth are looking for ways to cope with harmful and costly congestion.
     2. The Battle for Human Capital – Businesses looking for a competitive edge in attracting top talent are positioning themselves in areas served by better bicycle infrastructure.
     3. Rising Health Care Costs – Promoting and supporting active lifestyles can help cities and businesses cope with record health care costs.
     4. Planning for Wealth, Not Traffic – Cars don't spend money: people do.
 
Illustrating each of these trends in action, "Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business" features hard data from existing infrastructure and interviews with 15 businesspeople in Austin, TX; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC.
 
“These data and testimonials from business leaders make it very clear that, as a nation, we need to prioritize investments in 21st century transportation networks where bicycling plays a key role,” said Jeffrey Miller, President/ CEO of the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “This is an especially timely finding given that Congress is beginning work on a new federal transportation bill. Protected bike lanes help businesses thrive — in today’s world and in the context of our nation’s shifting demographics.”
 
“More and more communities across the country are investing in protected bike lanes — and for good reason. These lanes are part of the solution to getting small and large businesses back on their feet,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes vice president of local innovation. “Just in the past two years, we’ve seen the total mileage of protected bike lanes in the U.S. nearly double, and we expect this growth to continue.”
 
Read the full report here (PDF): Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business
 

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Ever bike? Now that's something that makes life worth living!...Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you're going to smash up. Well, now, that's something! And then go home again after three hours of it...and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again! 
—Jack London, Author
The cyclist creates everything from almost nothing, becoming the most energy-efficient of all... animals and machines and, as such, has a [genuine] ability to challenge the entire value system of a society.... The bicycle may be too cheap, too available, too healthy, too independent and too equitable for its own good. In an age of excess, it is minimal and has the subversive potential to make people happy in an economy fuelled by consumer discontent. 
—Jim McGurn
Too often, the advocates of trails and linear parks along rights-of-way come up against officials who recognize only one kind of park–the squared-off kind that comes in chunks; and one kind of recreation–the supervised kind known as ‘organized sweating.’ Such officials refuse to acknowledge that there has been a change in US recreation trends, reflected in the phenomenal growth of hiking, biking, and horseback riding… 
—Constance Stallings
We believe that the place to start … is in our communities. Americans living together and joining in associations across the country–this is where the tremendous strength and vision of our people will be tapped. We recommend a prairie fire of local action to sweep the nation, encouraging investment in outdoor recreation opportunities and rededication to the protection of our great natural heritage.   
— President Ronald Reagan's,Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987
Greenways can draw people together in their communities to provide open spaces for all close to their own homes. They have the potential to be this country's most important land-based effort for conservation and recreation in the next several decades. They can draw private and local entities into lead roles in provision of recreation opportunities. They can capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and give pride of accomplishment and responsibility to millions of people in every community. They can protect vital water, fish, wildlife, and recreation resources as integral parts of the growth of cities and communities. And, if greenways truly capture the imagination and boldness of the American spirit, they could eventually form the corridors that connect open spaces, parks, forests, and deserts— and Americans— from sea to shining sea. 
—President Reagan’s Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1986
The [Great Allegheny Passage] Trail is already attracting a lot of people, and were just starting to market it. It’s a major asset for our region, not only because of the tourist dollars it’s attracting, but also because it’s a piece of our economic rebuilding efforts.
—John P. Murtha, U.S. Congressman (D-Penn)

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