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Boston Bike-Share Returns—w/ Cambridge, Somerville Spokes

Oh, foul winter, render us free from your icy grip, that we may As the snow melts and the weather warms The blizzards will seem very distant very soon and It can't warm up fast enough Anyway, it hasn't been that cold nor snowy this winter, so how do we demarcate that magical turn toward spring? Hubway is returning for its second year! The wildly lauded bike-sharing program will have a soft launch starting March 1, with 40 stations opening. The rest, about 20, will come online shortly after St. Patrick's Day.

And! More importantly perhaps, the program is expanding by some 30 stations, with 300 bikes, into Cambridge and Somerville. That will happen in the summer once plans are finalized. We have explored what this expansion might mean for the respective municipalities' real estate markets. It appears to be nothing but good news for property owners near the proposed pathways and bike racks. From a University of Delaware study in 2006 of the effects of three bike paths in Iowa, Florida and California:

Of those who purchased property along the trails after the trails had been constructed, the majority reported that the trails either had no effect on the property’s appeal or added to its appeal. The vast majority of real estate professionals interviewed felt the trails had no negative effect on property sales adjacent to or near the trails. Trail users and landowners reported that the trails benefited their communities in many ways. Health, fitness, and recreation opportunities were considered the most important benefits by the landowners, and health fitness, aesthetic beauty and good use of undeveloped open space were benefits most sited by users. Our hunch, though, is that more than anything a bike rack at the end of your block harbingers gentrification (or further gentrification, as the case may be). And all that brings.

· Boston Bike Share Program, to Roll Out Again in Early March [Boston.com]
· What Hubway Expansion Means for Cambridge, Somerville Real Estate [Curbed Boston]

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