Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back To Basics: Bike Infrastructure

Living near Chicago, I have enjoyed the perks of having various bike paths throughout the city and along the lake. It is great exercise and provides and cheap way to get from point A to B without emitting any pollution or consuming fuel.

My Sweet Ride
This addresses two obvious issues that are very important to this country:
  • Weight Control
  • Energy Consumption
To my surprise though, job creation may be addressed through the expansion of a biking infrastructure. A study in Baltimore has shown that the investment into biking infrastructures creates more jobs when compared to a focus on traditional roadways:
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, 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.
Obviously this interests me because biking reduces pollution and helps people lead a healthier life, all while being financially attractive to the government.

As I have said before, the only way any of these environmentally friendly projects will achieve staying power is if they make financially sound arguments, and as far as I can tell from this Baltimore study, a furthered investment into biking infrastructures seems like a no-brainer.

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