Bike/ped projects save money, help towns
Biking, walking and trail infrastructure projects create more jobs per dollar than highway projects. That's one of the conclusions of a study released in late January by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Another revelation included in the study "Active Transportation Beyond Urban Centers: Walking and Bicycling in Small Towns and Rural America" is that the rates of walking and bicycling in small communities are often comparable and in some cases higher than the rates in large cities.
"Small communities need safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities just as much as big cities," said Kevin Mills, RTC's vice president of policy and trail development, and co-author of the study. "To meet this need, Transportation Enhancements, the nation's top source for active transportation investment, has provided twice the funding per capita in rural America than in big cities."
The study states that "active transportation facilities cost a tiny fraction of roadways, and because there is pent-up demand due to past failures to build safe and convenient bicycling and walking networks, active transportation investments offer taxpayers a far greater return on their money. Additionally, these projects create more good jobs per dollar than large highway projects, and the money stays closer to home in small, local businesses."
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