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Did You Know?

Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

One more argument for building bike lanes

Studies continue to pile up showing that investments in bicycle and pedestrian facilities reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life. That may not be news to you. What may be surprising, though, is how bike projects can provide other benefits like job creation.

Last week, my colleague brought to your attention how the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is helping spread the word about this newly realized benefit of building biking infrastructure. Here are a few details from this important study showing how building bike infrastructure helps create jobs.

The study, conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, compares the dollar for dollar impact of constructing a bike lane and a road. For every $1 million dollars spent building an on-street bike lane, there are more than 14 jobs created. There are eight jobs directly created in fields like design, construction and engineering. These jobs pay living wages to local workers.

There are also another six jobs created indirectly through the spending. These six jobs go toward supporting the first eight jobs, and may include the server at a restaurant where the construction worker goes for lunch.

Road repairs, on the other hand, create about half as many jobs.

Check out the full report.