President Obama has emphasized "green jobs" as a way to stimulate the economy and create a sustainable energy future. One of the best ways to achieve these goals would be to include funding for bicycle, pedestrian and mass transportation infrastructure and operations in the Economic Recovery Bill, to be voted on by the Senate this week.
One of the reasons the country is in the economic mess we're in is because of wastefulness of resources on a massive scale. Billions of dollars of public money could be saved in street construction, widening and maintenance during the next four years by making walking, biking and mass transit into viable options for people in urban and suburban communities. Almost 50% of all trips in the U.S. are three miles or less and yet the vast majority of these short journeys are taken by private motor vehicle.
Reducing car journeys and increasing active and mass transit journeys also improves the public health, reduces traffic congestion and pollution and reduces carbon emissions. By including a major bike, pedestrian and mass transit component in the Economic Recovery Bill, and cutting wasteful spending on highways, Congress can address all these problems while creating "green jobs" and stimulating the economy in a sustainable way.