As the 2010 Census results remind us that Baltimore’s population decline has not ended, some better news can be found in local numbers. One major car dealership also moved from the city to the suburbs and another closed its doors.
In 2000, there were only two bike shops in Baltimore. Since then four additional bike shops and one bike co-op have opened. With the four new bike shops, approximately 25 new jobs were created. This month, another bike store opens, with another later this year. In addition to creating jobs, these shops have offered community events including free bike rides and the revival of the Charm City Cyclocross.
In addition to bike retailers & mechanics, Baltimore is also home of several handcrafted bicycle manufacturers.
In January, a report was released indicating that more jobs were created per million dollars spent with bicycle projects than reconstruction or resurfacing projects. Since the Bicycle Master Plan was adopted in 2006, 77 miles of bike lanes and facilities (and over 300 bike racks) have been added to city streets, all for less than $1 million dollars. That’s a serious return on investment considering local bike traffic has increased over 200% since 2000 and 35% within the last year. If vehicular traffic increased that much, would we celebrate it?
Bike culture and the economics thereof are thrieving in Baltimore. The numbers prove it!
Thanks to Sam Greenspan at WYPR for the report!
Follow Elly Blue’s series “How Bicycling Will Save The Economy” on Grist.org