Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bike projects create more jobs than road projects

Several representatives from bicycle advocacy groups met with U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood to discuss a new report that shows that "pedestrian and bicycle projects created nearly twice as many jobs per dollar spent than typical road projects."
In this case-study, "Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure," the Political Economy Research Institute compiled data provided by the city of Baltimore. They found that on-street bike lanes and pedestrian measures created more direct jobs, more indirect jobs, and more induced jobs per dollar than either road upgrades or road resurfacing.

That report was followed last week by a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating widespread public support--67 percent--in America's cities for street design activities that increase physical activity.
As Congress debates the new Transportation Bill, it's time for cyclists to become more involved in the process. According to Secretary LaHood,
Bicycle and pedestrian activists have been very successful at achieving valuable safety gains for their stakeholders. Now is the time for advocates of cycling and walking to get into gear once again.

Armed with the powerful arguments of energy conservation, environmental and health benefits, public demand, and--now--job creation and economic development, I am confident they will succeed.



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