Investing in Bicycling Creates Jobs, Improves Economy

One good way to create jobs, as Obama and his secretary of transportation Ray LaHood know, is to invest in efficient, green transportation, like bicycles.

One recent study in Wisconsin showed that bicycling adds $1.5 billion/year to its economy. Now, another study by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure,” [PDF] has found that “building bike lanes and pedestrian projects, and bike boulevards, create more job per million dollars spent than road repairs and road resurfacing,” Darren Flusche of the League of American Bicyclists writes.

In general, bike lane projects create about twice as many jobs for every dollar spent.

“Each $1 million spent creating on-street bike lanes directly creates 7.9 jobs and creates a total of 14.4 jobs when we include the indirect and induced effects,” the author of the report, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, writes. “The two categories of road repairs have the lowest employment effects, with 3-4 direct jobs and approximately 7 total jobs created for each $1 million.”

The economic benefits of bicycling [pdf] have been known about for awhile now, but this is a point many of us are not aware of, so it’s good to see more reports bringing it out into the open.

The question, of course, is why only 2% of federal transportation spending goes towards bicycle and pedestrian projects if this is the case, especially given that 12% of trips are by bicycle or foot.. surely, our legislators and government officials should have easy access to such data and findings. (Probably something to do with auto and road-building lobbyists.)

Related Stories:
1. NYC Doctors Ask for Better Bike Infrastructure
2. 10 Cool Bike Stories
3. 10 More Cool Bike Stories [& VIDEOS]

Photo Credit: cleverdame107

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