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Can bike lanes boost a company’s bottom line?


Advocates for expanding North County’s transportation options will meet on Wednesday. They’ll make a case that projects such as the Inland Rail Trail along the Sprinter tracks should be a bigger priority for local businesses. U-T San Diego file photo.

Would more bike lanes in North County boost the bottom line for the region’s businesses?

Health and economic experts attending Wednesday’s North County Transportation Business Summit say ‘yes.’

They’ll make the business case for a “healthy” transportation system (one that includes more bike, pedestrian and transit projects) during a panel discussion from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

The summit is free and open to the general public.

Attendees are asked to register in advance at

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, a longtime advocate for bicycling and transit, is scheduled to moderate the summit along with Supervisor Bill Horn. Roberts said by phone on Monday that companies pay “hidden” health costs associated with a car-dominated transportation network, including costs for obesity and lost productivity.

Ensuring employees can bike or walk to a worksite would reduce those long-term costs, said the former Solana Beach City Councilman.

“We need to think of public transportation and public health as intertwined and not as two separate realms,” Roberts added.

Horn, who represents North County but is not known as a champion for transit or biking, said in a written statement: “We can entice businesses and create opportunities with a smart transportation plan.”

While mindful there may be resistance to changing “the culture of the commute,” organizers said last week they plan to offer businesses concrete steps for how they can create a healthier transportation landscape and benefit financially.

The summit will be hosted by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, Community Health Improvement Partners, Move San Diego, WalkSanDiego, and the San Diego North Economic Development Council.

Set to speak are Hilary Norton, executive director of Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic; Nick Macchione, director of the county’s health and human services agency; and D. Todd Phillips, director of economic development and policy at the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce. | (760) 529-4929 | Twitter@christhejourno