Bicycle Colorado breaks down the $1.6B cycling industry in Colorado
Special to the Daily
A new study released by multiple state agencies found that bicycling contributes significantly to Colorado’s economy ($1.6 billion in 2015), and that almost half of the state’s adults rode a bicycle in the past year, making Colorado one of the most active states in the nation.
Bicycle Colorado partnered with several agencies and groups to help guide the Economic and Health Benefits of Bicycling and Walking study, which is part of the Colorado Pedals Project — Governor’s Hickenlooper’s initiative to make this the number one cycling state in the U.S. The study is an overview of the who, what, where, how and why of bicycling, walking and health in the state of Colorado. This comprehensive study is a first of its kind and could set a national standard for gathering and legitimizing such data.
The results show that a majority of people in Colorado own a bicycle and that they’re getting out and using it, which makes our work at Bicycle Colorado all the more vital. Riding a bike is not just a niche activity; it helps our neighbors get around, stay healthy and enjoy life. Bicycling also substantially supports our local businesses, attracts jobs and tourists to the state and makes communities more livable.
“The study results show that bikes aren’t just toys; they are a serious economic driver for the state and provide significant health benefits,” said Dan Grunig, Bicycle Colorado’s executive director. “The results also quantify the value biking and walking bring to Colorado and shows community- and state-level investments in better biking and walking infrastructure pay off. And, if we are able to increase participation in cycling, there will be huge additional benefits to the state.”
The study results confirm the value that residents place on good biking and walking facilities in Colorado, as well as the need and desire for more, from bike lanes to safe routes for kids to bike parking. Moving forward, state agencies will use the results to inform health and transportation planning. The study will also affect economic development and international trade policy in Colorado. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office–one of only three such entities in the country–will use the results to bolster its efforts to attract and retain outdoor industry jobs for Colorado.
“This shows that funding biking and walking infrastructure is a good investment for our state–not only for the health of Coloradans, but also for the health of our economy,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
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