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Study: Pittsburgh bike share increased property values

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 4, 2016 5:24 PM
bikeshare_philly.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Newly assembled bike share bicycles are staged for distribution Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Philadelphia.

(Harrisburg) -- Bike shares are spreading across the U.S., including in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

While no midstate city has set one up yet, a new study could provide more reasons to get the wheels spinning.

Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey have found that when bike share stations were set up in Pittsburgh neighborhoods, property values increased two-and-a-half percent in the following months.

Researchers used a method that attempts to show the impact of one specific factor: in this case, bike share stations.

Bike shares allow people to pay a set rate to use a bike for a day.

"We need to go beyond the surface, beyond the first sign that we get from the data. So we see an increase and this is positive, but down the road, this might not be as positive as we think," says Konstantinos Pelechrinis from Pitt, who also worked on the study.

Pelechrinis says if property values increase, gentrification can happen.

He says policy-makers should think about how to limit such a result in neighborhoods with bike shares.

"Trying basically to use the benefits that you get from the shared bike system, in terms of reduced traffic, reduced congestion, reduced air pollution, and give it back to the zip codes that generate it."

Harrisburg and Lancaster have both talked about bike-share programs.

An earlier version of the story noted that the study researchers were from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster. In fact, they are from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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