Civic Return on Investment – British Style
Reset readers know we think government funding decisions should be reviewed through the prism of Civic Return on Investment. That way the government investments generating the highest civic return would get funding priority – not just those expenditures that could deploy the best lobbyists or most-connected special interests.
Although most of us are committed environmentalists (certainly founder Phil Ting, who launched the San Francisco Solar Task Force, is), it is our Civic ROI calculator that keeps bringing us back to bicycles.
With our floundering local economy everyone’s number one concern, we keep following the great reporting of Grist, showing how more bike riders means more funds flowing into our economy. With San Francisco spending more than $1 billion of our $6.8 billion city budget on public health, we follow the reports showing that bike commuters are healthier overall and have fewer sick days closely. Certainly as a community focused on making the San Francisco Municipal Railway work, we follow reports showing that more bikes, and fewer cars, would speed up Muni. And now we see via the Sustainable Cities Collective that the London School of Economics has generated a Civic ROI report for the bicycle economy in Great Britain.
The conclusion – British cyclists and the emerging industries supporting them are already a 2.9 billion British Pound economy – or nearly $4.7 billion US dollars. That’s a Civic ROI worthy of our investment.