Creating bike lanes is more labor intensive than repairing roads, which requires more materials and less labor. According to a case study of Baltimore researched by Heidi Garrett-Peltier, on-street bike lanes impacted employment both through construction process (accounting, legal services, construction services, etc) but also through the local food and drink services.
Last month, a report was released to the US Department of Transportation that said that in Baltimore, Maryland it was shown that pedestrian and bicycle-focused development projects helped to create nearly twice as many jobs for each dollar that was spent than other automobile-focused road projects, such as road repair and resurfacing. The jobs are created directly, in the installation of the bike paths, and indirectly, through sign and concrete manufacturing and retail, healthcare, and food services stimulation through increased customer movement through bike-accessible areas.
In addition to those reasons, bike friendly towns with lots of bike lanes also tend to have jobs like bike delivery people. The more people comfortable biking will result in more bikers, and there are lots of ways to spend money on a bike, so there must be bike shops.
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