Suburbs Banking On Bike Lanes To Lure Millennials

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July 20, 2016

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Many Millennials would probably agree with Doc Brown’s famous line when he said, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Compared to 1983, 18 percent fewer 19-year-olds, 16.4 percent fewer 20-24-year-olds, and 11 percent fewer 25-29-year olds have their driver’s licenses. Who needs, roads, right? Well, unless those roads have bike lanes, then roads are okay.

While all the rhetoric lately seems to be based on the fact that Millennials love city living, can’t stand the suburbs, and are willing to pay a premium to stay by the bright lights and nightlife and avoid picket fences and yard work, it seems as though that might not be entirely true, realtor.com reports.

It may not be big cities that Millennials crave, but a by-product that, to this point, is most commonly found in those big cities: pedestrian- and bicycle-friendliness. Only, this may not be a by-product reserved for big cities for much longer, as many small suburban towns are focusing on building walkable, mixed-use housing and shopping centers.

Millennials still like cities, but if they can get the major amenities they want from a smaller suburban town, farther from the city center, they are not hesitating to do so. Increasingly, Millennials are viewing cities as a place to work, not to live.

Many suburban towns are adding and repairing sidewalks and creating bike lanes and paths. Many of these bike paths connect directly to nearby neighborhoods, towns, and cities. In fact, over the past year, 136 communities applied to be designated as Bicycle Friendly Communities via the League of American Bicyclists. 63 of these communities were suburbs and another 17 were rural towns.

Bicycling is the fastest-growing form of transportation in the country, so it makes sense that these towns are putting so much effort into making sure they are set up to provide for this new wave of bicyclists.

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