BBC provided insight on the benefits of recent investments in bicycling infrastructure in Northwest Arkansas. We analyzed health benefits from bicycling, retail spending on bicycles and bicycle accessories, and spending associated with bicycle-related tourism. We also provided information about the value Arkansas residents place on access to safe bicycle infrastructure and barriers to bicycling in the region. The study was used by the Walton Family Foundation to better understand the role of their support of bicycling in improving economic and health conditions for area residents. As a part of the study, BBC worked with People For Bikes and the Walton Family Foundation to create a set of economic and health impact modeling templates that communities and organizations throughout the United States can use to understand the benefits of bicycling events and infrastructure. The templates guide users through collecting and analyzing data and using the resulting data to communicate the importance of bicycling in their communities.
Economic vitality: BBC’s research showed that Bicycling in Northwest Arkansas generates more than $130 million annually for the regional economy. Investment in soft‐surface mountain bike trails is a key driver of tourism with at least 55 percent of mountain bikers traveling to Northwest Arkansas from outside the region.
Health and housing: Our research also indicated that Residents receive $85 million in annual health benefits from bicycling, and homes near key bicycle infrastructure are worth $15,000 more on average than those without easy infrastructure access.