As this debate has taken place in many cities throughout North America where others have studied the dollars and sense that cycling provides our communities, consider this:
In a 2013 study, entitled Whose Roads? Evaluating Bicyclists’ and Pedestrians’ Right to Use Public Roadways Tod Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute suggests, that “about half of total roadway costs, and the majority of local roadway costs, are financed by general taxes, which people pay regardless of how they travel….People who drive less than average tend to overpay their fair share of these costs, while those who drive more than average underpay. As a result, pedestrians and bicyclists tend to subsidize motorists.”
If more people cycled it is doubtful that there would be a decrease in the cost of gas or tires, but consider the savings to our health care system as postulated by the Canadian Medical Association, “ In Canada, 77% of women and 74% of men in Canada are considered physically inactive. (1) The cost of this inactivity and obesity was estimated at $4.3 billion in 2001. (2) A 10% increase in physical activity could potentially reduce direct health care expenditures by $150 million a year.”
If any of your readers would like to learn more about cycling as an alternative form of active and healthy transportation please drop by the Kelowna Area Cycling Association booth during Kelowna Bike To Work Week May 26 to 31st.