When scooters swooped into Richmond, Virginia overnight last August, battle lines emerged just as fast. Like other cities where the electric, dockless flock cropped up with little to no warning, some decried while others praised the newcomers. Several groups of residents urged government leaders to roll out the welcome mat instead of red tape, but politicians voiced concerns about safety as they issued directives to squash the permit-less scooters.
We talk a lot about economic impact analysis here but the question of economic impact is only one part of a multifaceted reality.
Researchers at the Michigan Department of Transportation had a different type of question. They didn’t want to just know about the jobs that could be created from constructing trails. They didn’t want to just know about tourism and retail spending that comes when people ride bikes or walk on those trails.
Late in the summer of 1949, Wassily Leontief fed the 25-ton computer the last of the stiff paper punched with precisely-placed holes. The machine at Harvard University now had hundreds of thousands of data points about the United States economy.