Environmental Policy

Study Shows Biking in MidWest Could Save Money and Lives

biker in urban traffic

Environmental researcher Scott Spak was part of a team that analyzed data sets on obesity, health effects of pollution, and air pollution caused by automobiles in 11 Midwestern cities. Their findings: switching from cars to bicycles for only 50 percent of short trips would yield savings of almost $4 billion per year from avoided mortality and reduced health care costs. Even better, the combined benefits of improved air quality and physical fitness would exceed $8 billion per year. In an article that appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers conclude that "significant health and economic benefits are possible if bicycling replaces short car trips."