Why U.S. suburbs are investing in bicycling

Summary:U.S. suburbs are increasingly investing in bicycle infrastructure. Here's why.

Suburbs, they aren't just for big houses and cars anymore.

Increasingly, Sarah Goodyear reports for The Atlantic Cities, suburbs throughout the United States are investing in bicycle infrastructure.

The latest clue comes from the annual designation of "Bicycle Friendly Communities" by the League of American Bicyclists, a four-tier rating system that ranks communities from bronze to platinum based on everything from bike infrastructure to laws protecting cyclists. This year many of the 32 communities to make the list for the first time are suburbs, from Montclair, New Jersey to Elmhurst, Illinois (full list here).

Why? To increase competitiveness. Goodyear explains:

[S]uburban leaders are seeking out a "bicycle friendly" designation because they think it makes their communities more attractive to new businesses and residents. He cites Greenville, South Carolina, as another unexpected place that earned a bronze designation this year. Amenities like good bike infrastructure can help set a suburb or small city apart from its sprawling counterparts.

And it's a pretty cost-effective economic tool at that.

Read more: The Atlantic Cities

Photo: Flickr/sama093

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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