Biking and Walking Contribute Millions to Vermont’s Economy
By Carolyn S on January 26, 2012
What’s the economic impact?
Not surprisingly, that question has been a common theme and focus at this year’s massive Transportation Research Board meeting. And, up in Vermont, Alliance member organization Local Motion worked with a local consulting firm, Resource Systems Group Inc., to answer that question for the Green Mountain State.
On Tuesday afternoon, Beth Isler from RSG Inc. drew a crowd to her TRB presentation on the “Economic Impact of Walking and Biking in Vermont.” In conducting the study, Isler explained, she worked with the advocates at Local Motion to distribute more than 150 surveys to bicycle- and pedestrian-related businesses across the state. But that’s not all. She also tapped into data from the Vermont Agency of Transportation on road project expenditures, accessed statistics on visitor spending related to biking and walking events, utilized modeling from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute and correlated information from Walk Score with real estate sales.
The result? Even in a small state, where locals joke that summer lasts just two weeks, biking and walking provide a significant boost to the local economy. Among Isler’s findings:
Bottom line: In 2009, biking and walking created at least 1,400 jobs, $41 million in personal income (wages) and $83 million in revenue. In addition, the health and property value benefits could bump that up by more than $400 million. Now those are the kinds of numbers that get policymakers’ attention.
I’ll upload the presentation to the Alliance Resource Library soon.
Tags: walking, vermont, revenue, resource systems group, local motion, job creation, economic impact, biking
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