January 23, 2011
A lot has been written about a recent study by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, which claims that bike infrastructure projects produce more than twice as many jobs per dollar as road maintenance projects.
According to the study, which examined job data from 2008 in Baltimore, road resurfacing projects create 6.8 jobs per $1 million, whereas new bike lane projects create 14.4 jobs per $1 million.
The authors claim the difference is due, in large part, to the ratio of engineering costs to construction expenses. Projects such as bike lane signing and painting require a high ratio of labor to materials, while road repair budgets are usually lighter on labor and heavier on materials.