With all the new segregated bike lanes going up in Vancouver, there’s been a lot of controversy about whether it’s necessary. Yes, it is definitely taking away road space. However, the city’s own car counts of vehicular traffic going in and out of the downtown core shows that our traffic in 2010 was almost the same as car traffic in 1965!
So what else have bike lanes done around the world? Apparently, they have helped to raise property values.
Rachel Smith writing for This Big City notes that properties in Sydney along a new bike path experienced up to $100,000 increase. She also found that in Melbourne, car parking that was replaced with bike parking generated 3.6 times more expenditures. She also notes that 65% of Vancouver realtors are using bike lanes as a selling point. There’s more studies that Smith refers to on her post about bike lanes boosting the economy.
Another article by Josh Green at Curbed Atlanta also notes that similar effects on property values are happening in the Georgian metropolis. Real estate agents in Atlanta seem to be beaming with joy about new bike lanes there. They anticipate the lanes to be major selling points for properties along the route. There not expecting huge jumps like Sydney experience, but more modest increases of $5,000 seem to be reasonable.
It will be interesting in the long run what bike lanes will do for a city overall. I suspect it will be more than just property values that will be affected. Cities are hoping to reap big health benefits in the future with more active denizens.