You’re right, this just does state the obvious – but using only economic measures for cycling infrastructure just doesn’t cut it. An article by Murdoch University researcher showed that while the Australian Audit Office doesn’t believe cycleways there have delivered on economics (job creation), there is plenty to indicate other unmeasured benefits are being derived. It’s interesting to note that a study done for the City of Sydney shows the city’s planned 200 km cycleway network would deliver $506 million in net economic benefits over 30 years. This is roughly equivalent to a $4 return on every dollar spent, compared with just $2 for motorway projects.
Evidence of the broader economic benefits of bike lanes is not limited to Australia. In Copenhagen the bicycle, with a modal share of 36%, is already the most used form of transport for trips to work or educational institutions. A study commissioned by Copenhagen’s mayor showed that driving cars offers up a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven, due to congestion, health, accidents and environmental impacts. This is in contrast to the bicycle which offers a $0.35 net benefit to the economy per mile ridden.
The full article by Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle and Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Murdoch University, can be read here.