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CONCORD

Study: Cycling lanes produce more jobs

Building bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure creates an average of 11.4 jobs for every $1 million spent, according to a new study that analyzed data from Concord and 10 other U.S. cities.

The study from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was released earlier this month and examines the employment impact of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects.

Three to six projects in each of 11 cities, including Concord, Baltimore, Houston and Seattle, were analyzed.

Its conclusion: Cycling-specific projects create an average of 11.4 jobs in the state per $1 million spent.

That included six direct jobs like construction workers and engineers, 2.4 indirect jobs such as sign manufacturers and three 'induced' jobs in industries like food service that see increased demand.

Road-only projects, like repaving and widening, create an average of 7.8 jobs per $1 million, including four direct jobs, according to the study. On average, all projects together created about nine jobs per $1 million, including 4.7 direct jobs.

'The U.S. is currently experiencing high unemployment, unsustainable use of carbon-based energy, and a national obesity epidemic,' the study concludes. 'All three of these problems can be partly addressed through increased walking and cycling.'

The full paper, 'Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts' by Heidi Garrett-Peltier, is available at peri.umass.edu.