It pays to ride a bike. In addition to improving health and creating a greener environment, biking also happens to be good for the neighborhood and can help a community thrive.
Whether for transportation or recreation, biking creates a more attractive, livable city, and with that comes economic vitality.
After an especially tough 2020, with many businesses hit hard, biking is a great investment that can help breathe economic life back into communities.
A 2015 University of California study suggests that cities whose residents ride bikes have increased economic growth and productivity. The study further notes that bike-friendly communities have higher levels of mental health and wellbeing. Healthier residents have lower health care expenses, which can increase spending power.
Money is also saved due to lower transportation costs. These savings enable people to buy other things.
People who ride bikes places pick up food, go for coffee, and shop at stores along their route – pumping money back into the community. The League of American Bicyclists reports that people on bikes are more likely to make repeat trips to their local stores too.
You see more storefronts cruising through the neighborhood on a bike going around 10 mph than speeding by inside a car at 45+ mph.
The League of American Bicyclists estimates that bicycling-related activities contribute $133 billion to our national economy, support over 1 million jobs, and bring in nearly $18 billion in tax revenue.
In addition to this big payoff, bike infrastructure makes streets safer — for everyone, not just bicyclists, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Bikeways are good for the whole community: calming traffic and reducing the frequency of crashes, making streets safer for bicyclists, walkers, and drivers. More bikes on the road than cars means less congestion as well.
Studies continue to add up year after year demonstrating the economic impacts of biking. Pop by our Bike Month Pit Stop at the Westwood Farmers’ Market on Thursday, May 20, from noon to 2:00 p.m. to show your support for local businesses and see the economic benefits of riding a bike in action.
Photo credit: Matthew Brush/UCLA Magazine