Most people enjoy walking. I think that is a safe assumption. And many people also enjoy bicycling. But in policy debates, or talks with transportation planners, “liking” something is not enough of an argument, especially when we have become so accustomed to accommodating the automobile.
But what if increasing the ability for walking, and biking, in your neighborhood raised the value of your home by 5-8%? And allowed you to have a $100,000 higher mortgage? And increased your memory? And cut your risk of stroke and heart disease by 50%? And return to the city $11.80 to every 1$ invested?
These are just a few of the statistics compiled by Placeshakers and Newsmakers for the article “Places that Pay: Benefits of Placemaking.” The full article can be seen here.
While the methodology in some of the studies is a bit questionable, I think it would still be useful to have these findings handy, and perhaps pass them on to one’s local city council, transportation commission, Congressperson, Senator, etc.
I mean, with findings like “if one in ten Massachusetts adults started a regular walking program, the state would save $121 million in heart disease expenditures annually (MA Dept. of Public Health, 2008)” and “Copenhagen’s Bike Account values one mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss (Grist, 2012),” city officials are not acting in the best economic or health interests of their constituents if they continue to limit or cut funding to these methods of transportation.
Anyways, check out the article and let me know the statistic you found the most enlightening!