Protected Bike Lane Networks Save Money and Protect Planet,
Investment in urban protected bicycle lanes can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, lower transport costs, and prevent road fatalities compared to investment in other infrastructure, says a new report developed by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s (ITDP) global Cycling Cities campaign, supported by the FIA Foundation.
The report, Protected Bicycle Lanes Protect the Climate, finds that networks of protected bicycle lanes in middle-income cities are an extremely cost-effective way of reducing emissions; providing quantifiable economic benefits, and paying for themselves in less than a year. These networks create more economic value annually than they cost to build, given the transportation cost savings and the public health benefits of increased exercise. Protected bicycle lane networks outperform all other infrastructure developments, for example, metro rail systems, while an essential part of sustainable urban transportation, are outperformed by a factor of ten in terms of emissions reductions per dollar spent. For every 200 USD spent on highways, the report estimates, one tonne of GHG emissions per year will be created, while the same spend on protected bicycle lanes mitigates almost exactly the same level of GHG emissions.