Cycling boosts state economies
The League of American Bicyclists has updated its 2009 report "The Economic Benefits of Bicycling" and produced a map for Fast Company's website that illustrates the impact on 13 states and cities. Teased out for the map was Wisconsin for the $942 million bike recreation and tourism contributes annually to the state's economy (an amount second only to Colorado) and "health benefits" totaled another $409 million in 2010.
The map cites 2001 data indicating commuter and recreational bicycling in Iowa generated more than $400 million in economic activity and health benefits of $87 million. The map also states "In 2009, (Minnesotans) on bikes spent $261 million on bicycling goods and services supporting more than 5,000 jobs and generating $35 million in taxes."
The information may be valuable in making the political case for spending on cycling infrastructure, according to Darren Flusche, policy director for the League.
"You can see that in a vibrant business district that there's a lot of foot traffic and bicycle traffic, and you instinctively understand that it's really good for business. But you need these numbers to have credibility when you are making the case," he said.
The map can be seen on the Fast Company website at bit.ly/QS6zy2. The full league report, released in July, can be downloaded at bikeleague.org/resources/reports.
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