According to a study released Saturday by the Midtown Greenway Coalition, the costs of extending the Midtown Greenway over the river and through St. Paul are “essentially amortized.”
“Our new study shows that the expansion would pay off primarily, in the form of economic development and new tax revenues for public coffers,” said Soren Jensen, executive director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, made up of neighborhoods, organizations and of individuals who “love the Midtown Greenway.”
Soren says some people claim extending the Green Lane “would be too expensive,” but the study released Saturday shows the Green Lane halfway has generated nearly $ 2 billion in economic development.
“Our new study estimates that the new trails that would form part of the expansion of the greenway would generate nearly $ 3 billion in economic development. Over $ 30 million in annual tax revenue for public coffers, ”Soren said.
While the Midtown Greenway cost around $ 34 million to build, Soren says the report shows that returning to the city has paid off more than ten times.
“It has generated nearly $ 2 billion in economic development, in the form of new apartments and condos built next door. And it generates tens of millions of dollars in annual property tax revenue for public coffers. The developers want to build next to the greenway and people want to live next to it, ”he said, noting that the study shows the new extension would be just as popular as the Midtown Greenway.
“The extension of the Voie verte on the river and through Saint-Paul would create the best intercity cycle highway in the country. It would instantly catapult St. Paul to the top of the best cycling cities in the United States, ”he said, adding that it would help fight climate change.
The current 5.5-mile Midtown Greenway rail corridor often accommodates more than 5,000 cyclists per day through southern Minneapolis, making it the state’s most heavily used cycle route.