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Costs and benefits of bicycling investments in Portland, Oregon


Gotschi, T (2011). Costs and benefits of bicycling investments in Portland, Oregon. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8(Sup.1 ):S49-S58.

Abstract

Promoting bicycling has great potential to increase overall physical activity; however, significant
uncertainty exists with regard to the amount and effectiveness of investment needed for infrastructure. The
objective of this study is to assess how costs of Portland’s past and planned investments in bicycling relate to health and other benefits. Methods: Costs of investment plans are compared with 2 types of monetized health
benefits, health care cost savings and value of statistical life savings. Levels of bicycling are estimated using
past trends, future mode share goals, and a traffic demand model. Results: By 2040, investments in the range
of \$138 to \$605 million will result in health care cost savings of \$388 to \$594 million, fuel savings of \$143
to \$218 million, and savings in value of statistical lives of \$7 to \$12 billion. The benefit-cost ratios for health
care and fuel savings are between 3.8 and 1.2 to 1, and an order of magnitude larger when value of statistical
lives is used. Conclusions: This first of its kind cost-benefit analysis of investments in bicycling in a US city
shows that such efforts are cost-effective, even when only a limited selection of benefits is considered.

Abstract

Promoting bicycling has great potential to increase overall physical activity; however, significant
uncertainty exists with regard to the amount and effectiveness of investment needed for infrastructure. The
objective of this study is to assess how costs of Portland’s past and planned investments in bicycling relate to health and other benefits. Methods: Costs of investment plans are compared with 2 types of monetized health
benefits, health care cost savings and value of statistical life savings. Levels of bicycling are estimated using
past trends, future mode share goals, and a traffic demand model. Results: By 2040, investments in the range
of \$138 to \$605 million will result in health care cost savings of \$388 to \$594 million, fuel savings of \$143
to \$218 million, and savings in value of statistical lives of \$7 to \$12 billion. The benefit-cost ratios for health
care and fuel savings are between 3.8 and 1.2 to 1, and an order of magnitude larger when value of statistical
lives is used. Conclusions: This first of its kind cost-benefit analysis of investments in bicycling in a US city
shows that such efforts are cost-effective, even when only a limited selection of benefits is considered.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:25 Jan 2011 14:50
Last Modified:14 Aug 2016 09:19
Publisher:Human Kinetics
ISSN:1543-3080
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.8.s1.s49

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