Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is the Metro Editor for WNYC News. She has previously served as Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) This study comes to us via Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary. It's brief -- but by giving it the imprimatur of his blog, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is forcing us to pay attention.
The Political Economy Research Institute, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst-linked public policy group, looked at 2008 data from Baltimore, and found that while road projects created about 7 jobs per million dollars spent, bike projects created 11-14 jobs per million, and pedestrian projects, 11.
The report says this is because bicycling and pedestrian projects have a high ratio of engineers to construction workers, and that engineering jobs are both more labor intensive and have a great "multiplier" effect -- meaning each engineering job creates more demand for labor in supporting positions, like clerical jobs.
We are fascinated that LaHood is calling this to our attention, particularly at a time when road builders are giving a bit of a sneer to the Obama livability agenda.
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