BikeWalkLee has for some time focused on showing how a paradigm shift to complete streets has many benefits that go well beyond safety and livability. FGCU Student Hailey Amundson recently completed a study on the economic benefits of complete streets. Using the Tice neighborhood as a study area, Hailey showed how a complete street could not only be safe, but economically beneficial.
Among the many benefits of complete streets are neighborhood revitalization, physical safety, and individual and community economic growth. This study estimates how an increase in walkability resulting from constructing complete streets in the Tice neighborhood has the potential to increase community engagement, property values, the tax base, and the individual economic prosperity of residents.
The implementation of safe pedestrian and bicycling facilities is known as complete streets. Complete streets facilitate a wider range of multi-modal options for transportation to work, school, grocery stores, and service providers.
This study uses estimates from the National Complete Streets Coalition that shows that implementing complete streets has shown to increase property values and walkability, subsequently raising more funding for the local public schools and increasing the earnings potential of residents. National estimates cite a one-point increase in a neighborhood’s walkability with an increase of $700 to $3,000 in home values.
|complete streets drawing for Ortiz Ave. in Tice|
As a result of increased property values, a complete streets initiatives can lend themselves to improved funding for local public schools and create an environment attractive to potential homeowners. The current high numbers of bicycle and pedestrian counts within the Tice neighborhood—as well as the secondary data from the National Complete Streets Coalition—suggest that if streets were designed as a complete street, then more residents would participate in physical activity, engage more as a community, and enjoy the economic benefits that come from smart investments in infrastructure. With these positive externalities associated with complete streets, suggestions for Complete Street policy implementation is recommended.