Executives Voice Concern About Congress Removing Funding For Bicycling, Walking
June 19, 2012 – We are a small collection of business and property owners in Southern California, who, like hundreds of our business colleagues, are dismayed at Congress’s attempt to try and remove the mere one percent of funding in the transportation bill that is now before the House and Senate dedicated for bicycling and walking. Investing in safe walking and biking infrastructure and programs is not only crucial in keeping our citizens, children, and workforce healthy – and reduces our nation’s enormous healthcare costs that stem from inactivity and obesity – but is essential for our economy and businesses.
Bicycle and pedestrian investments create around twice as many jobs (11-14) as road projects per $1 million spent, and increase property values by an average of 11 percent. Bicycling generates $133 billion in economic activity, supports more than 1.1 million jobs, and generates $17.7 billion in local, state, and federal taxes.
Cities throughout our region have identified these investments as critical to revitalize business districts and neighborhoods, create jobs, and grow local economies. Success stories are not hard to come by. In Long Beach, within one year of investing in bicycle infrastructure and programs, 18 new bicycle related businesses opened providing local jobs and increasing tax revenue. In a down economy, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena, San Diego, and other cites are using this low-cost high-return strategy to boost our sluggish economic recovery.
That Congress is dangerously close to eliminating the small amount of federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programming essential for our regional economy is inexcusable. We must preserve this funding and seek ways moving forward to increase it.
Rand Foster, Owner, Fingerprints
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