The Benefit Of Free Parking In Bike Lanes

by | Jun 9, 2017 | Economics

I rather frivolously, whimsically, and very non-rigorously calculate a value of $16,000 of free parking benefit per mile (per year) of bike lane.

Autocase for Buildings has a Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis (TBL-CBA) for bicycle infrastructure. If you are interested in bike infrastrcture, you might want to attend American Public Works Association webinar “Bicycle Infrastructure – Where the Rubber Meets the Road” on Wednesday, May 18, 2017 11am-1pm ET.

Cycling Benefits & Bike Infrastructure

By providing buildings with bicycling infrastructure and encouraging cycling and driving less:

  • Carbon emission are reduced
  • Air quality is improved
  • Congestion is reduced
  • Accident costs are reduced
  • Vehicle operating costs fall
  • And bike infrastructure in a building will increase occupancy rates and yield a rental rate premium

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of benefits. And we apply them to many types of bike infrastructure:

  • Bike Racks
  • Bike Cages
  • Bike Lockers
  • Wall Mounts
  • Showers
  • Weather Protection
  • Bike Lanes
  • Signs

However as a cyclist I am always looking for a better way to make the case for cycling infrastructure.

Non-Rigorous Whimsical, Frivolous Analysis

The following proposes an addition to our TBL-CBA and uses a NRWFA (Non-Rigorous Whimsical, Frivolous Analysis) approach.

Here is what I observe:

  • Parking is valuable.
  • While drivers don’t pay for it, they do benefit.
  • In a 9.5mi/40 min. commute I see this on average 6 times (95% confidence interval 1-10).

How to value the benefit to car drivers of the free parking that is available to them for every mile of bike lane the city installs?

Non-Rigorous Whimsical, Frivolous Analysis    
  low high
Internal Costs* $670 $4,000
External Costs* $1,000 $1,000
Cost per Space $1,670 $5,000
Spaces/mi** 0.63 0.63
Free Parking/mi of bike lane $1,054 $3,158
*Parking Costs Victoria Transport Policy Institute (2017)    
**Parker (2017)    

So there you have it – between $1,000 and $3,000 of free parking benefit per year per mile of bike lane.

A Less Take On Whimsical Bicycle Infrastructure

P.S. I am presenting to the American Public Works Association (APWA) webinar “Bicycle Infrastructure – Where the Rubber Meets the Road” on Wednesday, May 18, 2017 11am-1pm ET. It is sponsored by the APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S). This Click Listen and Learn will address the challenges and opportunities of bicycle infrastructure, including: – The economic benefits of cycling – Ways to retrofit existing infrastructure – Integrating maintenance and operations – Serving both commuter and recreational users – Innovative designs such as buffered bike lanes and painted bicycle boxes After attending this program, participants will be better able to: – Overcome the barriers to bicycle infrastructure. – Explore innovative ways to create and enhance bicycle infrastructure. – Evaluate the economic factors to consider when designing and implementing bicycle infrastructure. This program has been approved for .2 CEUs or 2 PDHs. Please note there is a $7 fee per non-member individual requesting CEUs (there is no fee for members).



Submit a Comment

Automate your business case with Autocase

Book a demo and leverage our expertise today