Economic Impact of Investments in Bicycle Facilities: Case Study of North Carolina’s Northern Outer Banks

The northern Outer Banks coastal area in North Carolina is well suited to drawing bicycle tourism because of its geography, climate, and attractions. In 2003, the North Carolina Department of Transportation commissioned a study to examine the value of public investment in bicycle facilities that have been constructed in this area over the past 10 years at a cost of approximately $6.7 million. A particular challenge in conducting this study was that tourists visited the Outer Banks for a variety of reasons, not just for cycling. Thus, the collection of information on the amount and nature of bicycling activity and on the spending patterns of bicyclists in the area was critical for the development of an economic impact analysis. Researchers surveyed cyclists using the bicycle facilities (shared-use paths and wide paved shoulders) and obtained data from self-administered surveys of tourists at visitor centers during the primary tourist season. The data collected were then used to determine the economic impact of bicycling visitors to the area. Seventeen percent of tourists to the area reported that they bicycled while there; this translates to 680,000 people annually. The economic impact of bicycling visitors is significant: a conservative annual estimate is $60 million, with 1,407 jobs created or supported per year. This is almost nine times greater than the one-time expenditure required to construct the facilities. Continued investment in bicycle facilities is expected to increase this favorable economic impact and is therefore recommended.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01023760
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309094135
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 2 2006 10:14AM