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Cost-benefit analyses of walking and cycling track networks taking into account insecurity, health effects and external costs of motorized traffic


  • Sælensminde, Kjartan


The study presents cost-benefit analyses of walking and cycling track networks in three Norwegian cities. The cost-benefit analyses take into account the benefit of reduced insecurity and the health benefits of the improved fitness the use of non-motorized transport provides. In addition to reductions in health costs, the analyses also take into account that a change from travel by car to cycling or walking means reduced external costs (e.g. air pollution and noise) from motorized traffic and reduced parking costs. The benefits of investments in cycle networks are estimated to be at least 4-5 times the costs. Such investments are thus more beneficial to society than other transport investments. The results of such complete cost-benefit analyses make it possible to calculate the benefits to society that are not realized because motorized traffic prevents people from bicycling or walking as much as they otherwise would prefer. These "barrier costs" attributable to motorized traffic are estimated to be of at least the same magnitude as air pollution costs and more than double the noise costs. Barrier costs should therefore be taken into account in the same way as other external costs, when the issue is to determine the proper level of car taxes or to evaluate different kinds of restrictions on car use.

Suggested Citation

  • Sælensminde, Kjartan, 2004. "Cost-benefit analyses of walking and cycling track networks taking into account insecurity, health effects and external costs of motorized traffic," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 593-606, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:38:y:2004:i:8:p:593-606

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sælensminde, Kjartan, 2003. "Embedding effects in valuation of non-market goods," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 59-72, January.
    2. Hopkinson, P & Wardman, M, 1996. "Evaluating the demand for new cycle facilities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 241-249, October.
    3. Ortúzar, Juan de Dios & Iacobelli, Andrés & Valeze, Claudio, 2000. "Estimating demand for a cycle-way network," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 353-373, June.
    4. Noland, Robert B & Kunreuther, Howard, 1995. "Short-run and long-run policies for increasing bicycle transportation for daily commuter trips," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-79, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yeung, Jennifer & Wearing, Scott & Hills, Andrew P., 2008. "Child transport practices and perceived barriers in active commuting to school," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 895-900, July.
    2. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas, 2012. "The value of time and external benefits in bicycle appraisal," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 673-683.
    3. Laird, James & Page, Matthew & Shen, Shujie, 2013. "The value of dedicated cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure on rural roads," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 86-96.

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