Bike Economic Impact Study featured in APA Newsletter

Our firm’s work to quantify the Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan was featured in the Summer 2015 American Planning Association (APA) Transportation Planning Newsletter. We teamed up with the Michigan Department of Transportation and BBC Research and Consulting on a two-year, two-phase project to examine the total annual economic impact of bicycling in Michigan, which we estimated at $668 million. Across the state, we found that nearly 800 people are employed in a bicycle-related field. Many of these jobs are in retail sales, with an estimated total annual revenue of $63 million.

Our team handled all of the in-state outreach and research for this report. In addition to examining the total state economic impact, we also measured the tourism and event impact of bicycling in Michigan. Event participation and in-state tourism spending by Michiganders are a major part of the bicycle economy, accounting for $438 million in annual spending.

Click here to view the newsletter article.

Our Research: Michigan bicycling events bring $21.9 million economic impact

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We’re thrilled to see the release of a new report by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) that finds out-of-state participants in organized Michigan bicycling events are responsible for an estimated $21.9 million in economic impact for the state. R. Neuner Consulting worked with MDOT and BBC Research and Consulting on this project, the second phase of the “Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan” project, funded by federal and state planning and research funds and aimed at describing the economic benefits that bicycling brings to the Michigan economy.

Bicycling events of various size and type were selected for analysis in order to compare the variety of economic impact, including the Tour de troit and the Apple Cider Century. R. Neuner Consulting completed on-site, in-person survey research at the events in 2014, and assisted with the overall analysis . For more information, please visit the MDOT website.

Introducing… SOCA

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For the last two years we’ve worked with a small, community-based non-profit organization working to revitalize one of Lansing’s most critical commercial corridors — the Saginaw Street and Oakland Avenue one-way pairs. This fall we completed a several month effort to re-brand this organization (formerly the Westside Commercial Association) and launch a new identity: the Saginaw Oakland Commercial Association, or SOCA, for short!

Thanks to the fine team at Lansing’s Redhead Design Studio, we launched this new logo in November. In the coming months we will continue to work with SOCA to find ways to creatively engage businesses and neighborhood partners to work together to revitalize the corridor. Learn more at www.socalansing.org.

Released: Phase I MDOT Economic Impact of Bicycling Report

After many months of writing, edits, approvals, and some waiting, the Phase I MDOT Economic Impact of Bicycling Report is now available.

The 2014 report finds that bicycling provides an estimated $668 million per year in economic benefit to Michigan’s economy, including employment, retail revenue, tourism expenditure, and increased health and productivity. Case studies of five Michigan communities are also now available (including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Traverse City).

Phase II of this project is now underway and will include more specific data on the economic impact of bicycling events, bicycle touring, and Michigan as a bicycle destination. That phase is scheduled to be complete in spring 2015.

If your business or organization is interested in hearing more about the study or reviewing the findings, please contact us.

Women in Agriculture Network Featured in Good Food Newsletter

MIFFS_WomenAg_1Did you know that there are almost one million female farmers in the United States? According to the USDA Agriculture Census, Michigan alone saw an increase of 17.6% female farmers between 2002 to 2007.

Increasing the number of women in agriculture requires that new support systems be created. To that end, I’ve been working with the MIFFS Facilitation Team as the lead facilitator on an exciting project to engage female producers in Genesee County. Thanks to generous support from the Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU, the Women in Agriculture Network of Genesee County has been meeting regularly throughout 2014. The project was featured in the July 2014 edition of the Michigan Good Food Newsletter. Read more by clicking here.

MIFFS Facilitation Team

I’m delighted to be working on several food systems projects with the Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) Facilitation Team. MIFFS currently offers food systems facilitation services to clients across Michigan. Current and/or recent projects include conducting focus groups for the Eaton Good Food planning initiative, serving as the lead facilitator for the new Women in Agriculture Network in Genesee County, and as a co-facilitator to help the Ecology Center and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems launch the Michigan Farm to Institution Network.

Visit MIFFS’ website for more information on the Facilitation Team’s work.

MDOT Economic Impact of Bicycling Study

I’m working on Phase II of a research study with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and BBC Research & Consulting to quantify the economic and community benefits of bicycling in Michigan. Phase II is aimed at quantifying the impact that bicycling events and tourism have on Michigan’s economy. To that end, I’ll be conducting in-person surveys at the following 2014 Michigan bicycling events:

– The Michigander (Reed City)
– DALMAC (East Lansing)
– Ore to Shore (Marquette)
– Apple Cider Century (Three Oaks)
– Tour de Troit (Detroit)
– Bell’s Iceman Cometh (Traverse City)

Say hello if you’re attending one of those events (and take a survey, too). The final product of Phases I and II of this study will estimate the economic value that a variety of bicycle-related industries, activities and events have on Michigan’s economy. Stay tuned for links to our final published reports and data.

Bicycles on Amtrak Demonstration Project

In May 2013, I was invited to participate in a test run of bicycle parking facilities on-board the Amtrak’s Wolverine route between Chicago and Pontiac. Amtrak and MDOT officials wanted to test the concept through a controlled demonstration run. Not only was I honored to participate, it is exciting to see this mulit-modal project move forward. Thanks to Josh DeBruyn at MDOT and Derrick James at Amtrak for the chance to participate.

Read a full write-up of the test run over at the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ website.

Update: On August 29, 2013, Amtrak and MDOT welcomed bicycles on-board Blue Water Trains between Port Huron, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. Read more here.

MSU Non-Profit Communication & Fundraising Survey

I recently partnered with Professor Wendi Tilden at Michigan State University’s Professional Writing Program and the Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures Department to develop a monthly nonprofit communication workshop series designed to bolster the effectiveness of area non-profit organizations. We surveyed executive director and management staff in Greater Lansing non-profits to ensure the workshops meet educational and professional development needs and stay affordable. Interested in more information? Review the survey here.

Greater Lansing Food Hub Learning Circles

As part of my role as a Local Consultant with the Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network, I am excited to partner with the Allen Neighborhood Center and Michigan State University Extension on hosting a series of co-learning sessions in 2013. We’re calling the project the Greater Lansing Food Hub Learning Circles. Click here to view a PDF overview of the project.