The proposed Garrahy garage is $43 Million. Just how many miles of protected bike lanes could we build for that?
|This may be the only time I've ever made a Google Map and the curvature of the Earth needed to be accounted for on the map.|
I made a map imagining the cost broken down in a protected bike lane going as-the-bird-flies from Garrahy Judicial Complex. This is of course meant to be taken somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Since flex-posts are usually put on existing streets in a non-linear network riddled with rivers and mountains, and since we would tend to count highways out of that network since they need more advanced infrastructure to accommodate bikes, obviously no one would really plan their network this way. But still, it gives the mind a way of envisioning how expensive parking really is--and just how many miles of bicycling we could get for the same price.
At the liberal end of the spectrum, estimates for flex-post bike lanes cost $15,000 per mile. That would take us to Yukon Territory. At the more conservative end, assuming the protected lanes cost $30,000 per mile, we'd "only" get to North Dakota.
Of course, flex-posts are not the only kind of protected bike lane that cities can build. When we really get serious we can discuss somewhat more expensive projects like what Indianapolis did with the Heritage Trail. At $63 Million, the trail is eight miles long and created a complete linear park. The city was able to raise money for it privately, and as it was built the neighborhoods adjoining it--with many brownfield plots like those in the I-195 lands--started to develop and grow local businesses. And the Heritage Trail created bioswales to control rain runoff and add beauty to the borders of the trail itself.
Or we can build another garage.