Bicycle Lanes are Really Cheap

Bicycle Lanes are Really Cheap

It’s easy to forget just how much cheaper building bicycle infrastructure is than roadways and public transit.

Writing about the cash available to states for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure investments in my last point made me think about a recent post up on Bike Portland that shows just how cheap it is to build out a comprehensive bicycle network. Portland only spends 0.7% of its transportation budget on bicycle improvements and with that paltry sum it has grown the highest bicycle mode share in the country of 6.4%, a figure that’s set to keep rising. Now, the city is in the process of finalizing a new Bicycle Master Plan that will dictate the direction of development into the future with the end goal being a 25% bicycle mode share by 2030. But check out these figures:

According to estimates from PBOT, the full “build-out” of the plan (meaning to complete all 900+ bikeway miles) would cost about $500 million dollars. At the Planning Commission hearing this week, Commissioner Chris Smith put that amount into perspective by comparing it to other transportation infrastructure investments we could make.

For $500 million we could complete our entire bike network or get:

* 15 miles of streetcar * 1 ½ Sellwood Bridges * 40% of a MAX [light rail] line * 1/8 of a CRC [I-5] bridge

And here in New York, that half a billion wouldn’t get you more than half a mile of subway tracks.

Tags: infrastructuretransportation spendingbike lanesportland

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