Study touts bike lanes as economic engines
By Suzanne Stevens, Business journal web editor
Business journal web editor
Could bike lanes be a key to job creation?
There are lots of tangible benefits to bike lanes. They reduce traffic congestion, lead to better air quality and a healthier citizenry.
A new study from the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute aims to add job creation to the list.
Researchers gathered data on public works projects in 11 cities, including Eugene, and compared the number of jobs created building bike, pedestrian and road infrastructure.
Surprisingly, building bike lanes created the most jobs — 11.4 to be exact for every $1 million spent on design, construction and materials. That compares to 10 jobs per $1 million spent for pedestrian projects and 7.8 jobs per $1 million for road-building projects.
The study analyzed six projects in Eugene and found those projects that included bicycle infrastructure created an average of 9.15 jobs per $1 million spent.
In a city led by a cycling mayor, don't be surprised to see this data rolled out at some point in defense of spending on bike lanes.
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