Bragging Rights?

Eugene is known as bicycle-friendly town, but a new study this week put some real numbers to the notion. According to The Atlantic, Eugene tops the list for the number of people commuting by bicycle. Across the nation, less than one percent of Americans use their bicycles to get to work. But both Eugene, Oregon, and Fort Collins, Colorado, top the list with more than 5 percent of the population riding bicycles to work. Other college towns including Missoula, Montana, Gainesville, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California, also rank highly.

While many benefits have been discussed related to implementing bicycle lanes, a new study from The Portland Business Journal adds job creation to this list. The study gathered data from 11 cities, Eugene included, and compared the number of jobs created building bike, pedestrian, and road infrastructure. Of these three types of infrastructure programs, building bicycle lanes created the most jobs per $1 million spent.

Joseph Rose, of The Oregonian, followed up this article on the blog He reiterates the main message, but also encourages frustrated citizens to examine the benefits of these cycling projects. He added that “Some might argue that it’s silly to compare the construction of something such as a bike boulevard to a major highway project. Then again, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is talking of reviving the vision of an interstate, cross-country U.S. Bike Route.”


About rschoeck

Grad student studying journalism at the University of Oregon.
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