|Want to create jobs with transportation money? More of this.|
In short: some smart people measured the impact on employment caused by transportation projects involving various combinations of bicycle, pedestrian, and road infrastructure. They found that bicycling-only infrastructure projects created the most jobs per $1 million spent.
From the abstract:
In this study we estimate the employment impacts of building and refurbishing transportation infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. We analyze various transportation projects and use state-specific data to estimate the number of jobs created within each state where the project is located....And more:
We evaluate 58 separate projects and present the results by project, by city, and by category. Overall we find that bicycling infrastructure creates the most jobs for a given level of spending: For each $1 million, the cycling projects in this study create a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects create an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million and multi-use trails create nearly as many, at 9.6 jobs per $1 million. Infrastructure that combines road construction with pedestrian and bicycle facilities creates slightly fewer jobs for the same amount of spending, and road-only projects create the least, with a total of 7.8 jobs per $1 million. On average, the 58 projects we studied create about 9 jobs per $1 million within their own states. If we add the spill-over employment that is created in other states through the supply chain, the employment impact rises by an average of 3 additional jobs per $1 million.You can read the full 16-page report for yourself here.
*We assume that UMass Amherst's study of political economy is more nuanced than Mark Twain's priceless take on the topic.