Long appreciated by transportation planners for its construction of trails, sidewalks and bike lanes, public health professionals for allowing Americans to choose biking and walking for commuting and recreation, and local municipalities for reenergizing downtown shopping areas, the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program this week added yet another title its long list of accomplishments: cost effective job creator.
A study released this week by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) found that, dollar for dollar, TE projects generate more jobs than any other form of transportation construction.
The study of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) spending, conducted by state and federal planning officials and a broad technical working group, not a bike/ped or trails advocacy group, found that TE
projects, the great majority of which are nonmotorized transportation infrastructure such as trails, bike paths and sidewalks, generated 17.03 full-time equivalent planning and construction jobs per $1 million invested, the most in
any category of transportation investment.