The University of Massachusetts has completed a new study that shows that bicycle lanes create jobs. As a cyclist, this seems obvious to me since whenever I see a store or restaurant I want to go into I just hop off my bike and I’m in there spending money rather quickly.
It’s good to see that research backs up the importance that bike lanes have to a vibrant economy.
On average, the “road-only” projects evaluated created 7.8 jobs per million, while the “bicycling-only” projects provided 11.4 jobs per million. For example, a roadway-focused project with no bicycle or pedestrian components in Santa Cruz, Calif. generated 4.94 jobs per $1 million spent. In contrast, a bicycle-focused project in Baltimore, Md. produced 14.35 jobs per million. The reviewers attribute the difference to the simple fact that bicycle and pedestrian projects are often more labor intensive.
“It’s no secret that investing in transportation infrastructure creates jobs and helps the economy,” said Caron Whitaker, campaign director at America Bikes [sponsors of the study]. “This study proves bicycle and pedestrian projects are no exception — in fact, they are especially efficient in creating jobs.”