When promoting active transportation and complete streets infrastructure, health and environmental benefits are easily quantified. Calculating economic benefits can be more difficult. Recently, studies have shown that bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure also bring economic benefits. A study conducted by the League of American Bicyclists in 2009 researched the economic benefits of bicycling for business.
The study found that bicycling increases jobs and tax revenue for communities. Firstly, bicycling infrastructure creates more construction jobs per dollar when compared to road projects. This creates more jobs locally while also having lower implementation costs. Secondly, the study found that people on bikes are more likely to make repeat trips to local stores, which can increase business. Lastly, cities can save money on parking costs by providing bike parking, which costs less to implement. Increased bicycle parking provides access for more people in a smaller space; with more spaces available, more people will have access to local stores and the city will increase its visitor capacity.
With the information from this study, The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center developed a model to assess the economic impact of active transportation in New Jersey: “The Economic Impacts of Active Transportation in New Jersey.” The study used an input-output model to look at the economic impact of active transportation-related capital investments, active transportation-related business, and active transportation-related events. It found that active transportation-related infrastructure, business, and events added an estimated $497.46 million to the New Jersey economy in 2011.
Overall, active transportation-related infrastructure investment, business, and events in 2011 created $497.46 million in economic activity, supported 4,018 jobs and added and generated an estimated $49 million in total tax revenue. These findings show that active transportation is not only important for health and community, but also contribute to the economic vitality of local communities and the state.
2011 Economic Contributions of Active Transportation in NJ
|Component||Output ($1,000)||Employment (jobs)||Compensation ($1,000)||GDP($1,000)|
|Events and Races||57,818||369||17,786||31,200|
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has been energetic in promoting active transportation across the state. The NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center works directly with state, county, and municipal governments to promote active transportation infrastructure. To date, the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center has worked with 7 counties and 102 municipalities in adopting complete streets policies. Active transportation contributes to the physical health and economic vitality of communities and its expansion across the state is essential to resilient New Jersey.
To read the full economic impact report, click here.