Cycling is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to travel again. More people are cycling to and from work every day. In fact, urban cycling is becoming far trendier than it used to be. As more people realize the effects of vehicles on the environment, they begin to look for greener alternatives.
When you are selling a home, you are always going to be looking to get a good price on your sale. Studies have shown that having a bike path near your home is a great way to increase the selling price of the house. In fact, one study of homes in and around the Monon bike trail in Indianapolis revealed an 11% increase in the prices of homes with the trail near them.
This was done in comparison with a second, identical home in the same area without a bike path outside. Of course, a bike lane doesn’t mean one of the strips set aside on the main road to signify a biker’s lane. Instead it means a path that is dedicated to bikes and pedestrians. This is sometimes called a “protected bike lane” because the normal one is simply a section of the main road that is painted apart from the rest.
As you can imagine, this doesn’t serve as much in the way of protection for bikers. The bike path on the other hand is usually separated from the road using barriers of a sort, including rows of trees or a grass verge.
No one asks for bike lanes? Here’s why
One of the main reasons why bike paths aren’t the standard in most neighborhoods is that politicians and councils choose not to spend the extra money due to “lack of popular demand”. Nobody asks for bike lanes anymore because everyone is buying homes that already have one in the vicinity!
In places all around the world, the introduction of bike lanes is leading to rises in property values. For the most part, people aren’t sure whether there is an actual correlation between the two. However, all you need to do is think about it in this way: would you rather buy a home with a bike lane right outside, or not?
Bike lanes are a great selling point!
In fact, a lot of people would pay more for a home with one of these paths nearby. This is especially true for people with kids, because they will be making a safer living environment for the children. For example, in Atlanta, the local government has begun the setting apart of parts of the suburbs for bike lanes.
This has made it appear to be a far more progressive city. In fact, some houses that weren’t being bought up for extended periods of time are now extended to go under contract in a week or even less, after the bike lanes have been constructed.
This means that bike lanes dramatically increase the demand for real estate in a particular area. With there being such a shortage of neighborhoods with separate bike lanes, it should be an obvious decision for real estate agents and homeowners alike to increase the prices of their homes when selling them.
Why do people love bike lanes?
There are many reasons why everyone, not just cyclists, love bike lanes near their homes. This is a world where everyone is speeding around, for some reason. Every day, you hear horror stories about how some idiot in an SUV knocked down a pedestrian because they were texting or distracted.
Safer commuting in the city
When biking in the city there are many dangers like these that could pop up out of seemingly nowhere. You have to constantly be prepared for all of these while cycling to work in the mornings. All of the stress that is added with this results in all the relaxation being taken out of that morning ride to work, leaving you with mini heart attacks that last all day.
A bike lane offers the perfect safe zone for cyclists and walkers alike. With one of these near your home, you wouldn’t have to worry as much about the dangers of petrol heads gunning for you. You could actually go to work and back without a worry in the world. This will take a lot of stress off you in the long run, and is just one of the many reasons why people insist on bike paths.
Children at play are protected
In addition to being safe for commuters, the addition of a bike lane to a street means that there will be a little more of the street that is designated as “pavement” to drivers of vehicles. This adds extra layers of protection for children playing in the neighborhood, and who doesn’t want to live somewhere that children can play in peace?
For example, imagine if your children were playing catch and tossed the ball a little too high. If the ball were to roll onto the road, and your child were to cross at the wrong moment to get it, there could be horrible consequences. The bike lane would actually provide an extra roll zone for the ball, so your children are more protected.
Easier for the disabled
This extra protection extends to the disabled as well, as it is much easier for people in wheelchairs to roll on the bike lane, instead of the bumpy pavement. Since the “vehicles” on a bike path are generally bicycles, skaters and pedestrians, there won’t be much to worry about in terms of accidents.
Speaking of accidents, bike lanes provide visual incentive for people to stay off the curb. This reduces the incidence of drivers veering off the road and causing damage to property and life. In fact, one study in Philadelphia found a 70% decrease in the rate of collisions once a bike lane was marked.
This is a massive decrease in the amount of cyclists injured because certain drivers tend to forget that bikers are a part of the road too. This risk to safety extends to parked cars, where drivers are notorious for “forgetting” that there was a cyclist behind them and abruptly opening the door.
While the ensuing scene may seem comedic at the time, there is a high risk of serious injury. However, the bike lane ensures that an extra visual reminder is present to warn parked drivers that there may be cyclists behind them.
Cyclists and drivers alike love them
However, bikers aren’t the only people who demand homes with bike lanes nearby. Anyone who wants the joy of living in a peaceful, quiet neighborhood will want bike lanes. They are the best way to encourage more people to begin cycling short distances.
This in turn will reduce the number of vehicles on the streets, which leads to fresher air, better living, and a happy neighborhood. This is why a bike lane is the third most in-demand amenity that realtors and buyers have requested over and over.
In fact, a study conducted in Delaware discovered that properties that were within 50m of a bike path were selling for nearly $10,000 more than identical homes that were further away from bike paths. When interviewed, some residents stated that behind highway access, bike paths were one of their major requirements when looking for a home in the area.
In addition to this, bike lanes mean less people will be jaywalking, cycling, or skating on the city streets. When you consider the fact that cyclists travel at one tenth of the speed of a normal car, you will understand just how important this factor is to drivers.
The removal of cyclists from the busy streets will in fact make normal drivers have less delays. Overall, the addition of a bike lane will reduce congestion and will take away one of the biggest causes for drivers to toot their horns all the time.
Aesthetically pleasing addition to the neighborhood
Usually, a bike path is cordoned off from the rest of the road using lines of trees, plants, concrete borders, and other barriers. When done properly, some of these can be very lovely indeed to look at. This adds a sense of homeliness to neighborhoods that have bike paths in them.
A study in Denver, Colorado found that out of the many families living adjacent to bike paths, 30% felt that the bike path had been a major deciding factor when they had been looking for a home in the area. Nearly 17% of residents in apartments around bike paths also felt the same way.
Great for business as well
In the same manner, a survey in Vancouver, Canada, found out that nearly 65% of its realtors were using the presence of bike paths to make properties far more attractive to prospective buyers, while in Pittsburgh small businesses started to report higher growth rates as well due to introduction of a bike path.
This is owed in part to the fact that drivers can’t afford to make stops on their way. They have to get where they need to go as soon as they can, and don’t have the luxury of stopping for a drink or to rest. Cyclists on bike paths go along at their own leisurely place, and tend to get tired after an hour or so of riding. This means that they are far more likely to make a stop at a small business to get refreshments.
An increase in business means that any entrepreneurs on the lookout for a likely location to set up their small business will be looking specifically for places that boast of having a bike path nearby, so that they can be sure to maximize their profits.
According to the Vancouver study, bike parking generates about $31 per square meter, while car parking generates about $6 per square meter. This means that the more bikes there are in an area, the higher the income of businesses in the area will be.
Lady luck is with you today!
Every day, the number of people cycling to and from places is increasing. People have begun to realize the importance of greener methods of transport. This means that a lot more people are going to be looking for properties that have bike lanes nearby.
In addition to this, the people who are looking for such places aren’t very likely to find them. Too many houses are being built in areas that are very urban, without the facility of a bike lane. This is probably because it is take a little time for local governments to catch up with their people.
Since having a bike lane near a home that is actually for sale is a relatively rare occurrence, the prices of the homes that are being sold in such locations are going to shoot up like you never thought they would.
If you are a homeowner lucky enough to have a property with a bike lane nearby, you are probably going to see a sharp hike in the asking price for your home. However, now that you know the benefits of the bike lane, the real question is whether you will want to sell your home after all!