A nod to the “My Wheels are Turning” Blog for this one…
When we must use vehicles for transporation, we spend a lot of money on their upkeep. A LOT of money.
“Using numbers from AAA, the average American spends $8,485/annually on an automobile. Of that amount, only $1,390 stays in the local economy. The rest, $7,095 per vehicle, leaves the local economy.”
– $1,390 Staying in (and returning to) the local economy includes: License, Maintenance, Registration, Taxes
– $7, 095 leaving the local economy includes: Gas, insurance, purchase price over time, finance charges
A lot of two-car families have the second car for chores, or to get another “bread-winner” to their job. Walkable and bicycle-friendly changes to our community can allow more people (not everyone, but some) to ditch the second vehicle alltogether. With fewer vehicles, there is proportionally more money available for use in the local community as families “spend local”.
Area merchants and businesses can benefit as well by being able to use cargo/work cycles (still less-common here in the car-crazy US, but all over the place in the rest of the world):
This is something that’ll take time for a lot of our residents and business owners to wrap their heads around… especially since we hardly have any supporting infrastructure in place. It is important to start working on it NOW though; less Federal, State and County money coming in will REQUIRE our villages to be more self-sufficient, resilient, and adaptable.