Cost-benefit analysis of building bicycle lanes in Truro, Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2013
Bachelor of Arts
With rising gas prices, the threat of climate change, and the growing problem of obesity, bikeway networks have become increasingly popular over the past few years as an infrastructure to encourage bicycling. This thesis examines the feasibility of building bicycle lanes in the town of Truro. The costs of building a bicycle lane network in Truro are compared with the benefits. The benefits of building bicycle lanes are the benefits of switching from car travel to bicycle travel. The internal and external costs and benefits are quantified following Litman (2009). To compute these benefits, it is necessary to estimate how many people would be likely to switch from using a motor vehicle to using a bicycle if indeed a bicycle lane was in place, and how many additional kilometres would be traveled by bicycle if there was a bike lane. These estimates are found using Statistics Canada census data on number of commuters on each mode of transportation, data on average commuting distance, and previous research on the impact of bicycle infrastructure on bicycle commuting. Once these estimates have been completed, the benefits of bicycling are compared with the costs of construction of the bicycle lane network to find the estimated net benefits. Results show that when only commuters are taken into account, costs of building a bicycle lane network exceed benefits.
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