The Federal government, as well as places like Seattle, WA, right now are pushing for more freeways, bridges, and car-focused infrastructure, but bikes may be a better solution with a faster return on investment:
…In reality, bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects generate more than just peace of mind. They also generate 46% more jobs than car-only road projects, according to a new study.
Streetsblog points us to the University of Massachusetts study, which evaluated job opportunities created by 58 infrastructure projects in 11 U.S. states. The result: Cycling projects create a total of 11.4 local jobs for each $1 million spent. Pedestrian-only projects create a little less employment, with an average of 10 jobs for the same amount of money. Multi-use trails create 9.6 jobs per $1 million–but road-only projects generate just 7.8 jobs per $1 million.
A similar study that examined infrastructure projects in Baltimore, Maryland came up with similar results: Pedestrian and bike infrastructure projects create 11 to 14 jobs per $1 million of spending while road infrastructure initiatives create just seven jobs per $1 million of spending.
This never would have occurred to me, so I’m glad that there is somebody out there looking at some of the economic perks to encouraging bicycling. Bikes are also obviously a great investment for cities because they promote exercise, connection with one’s environment and community, and lower pollution, all lowering cost of living there.
- Study: Bike lanes the best job creators (oregonlive.com)