Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Mentions Job Creation Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure

This is from LaHood's blog at

This week, a coalition of bicycling advocates introduced me to a new report showing that in Baltimore, MD, pedestrian and bicycle projects created nearly twice as many jobs per dollar spent than traditional 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.

Putting the two studies together creates a powerful argument for continuing the Department of Transportation's support for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects. Even as these investments increase mobility, they also generate economic growth. And, people are demanding them for their communities.

I don't think anyone who reads this blog doubts my enthusiasm for increasing Americans' transportation options. In 2009, in one of my first blog entries, I wrote that "Cyclists are important users of our transportation systems." Since then I have demonstrated my commitment to programs that improve options for safe bicycling.

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