Millennials are becoming more willing to move away from city centers, and existing suburban communities are looking to attract younger residents with city-like amenities. This includes bike lanes, plenty of sidewalks, and trendy shops and restaurants within walking or biking distance.
“What millennials want are places that have a vibrancy, where you … can shop, go out to bars, walk, and bike,” says Lynn Richards, President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
According to experts, more pedestrian-friendly a town is, the more desirable it is for potential residents. Homes near walkable or bike-able trails carry premiums between 5 and 10%, according to an analysis by Headwaters Economics. In response, many suburbs have turned to installing new sidewalks, repairing their existing ones, and creating new bike paths and trails.
A University of Michigan study shows that more than 87% of 19-year-olds had a driver’s license in 1983, but only 69% did in 2014. At the same time, according to the Urban Land Institute’s Ed McMahon, cycling is the fastest-growing form of transportation in the country, due in part to an increase in bike lanes.