Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, victim-blaming in the press, and 1st ‘Tis the Season of the season

Once again, a study has shown that bikes are good for business.

Researchers in London concluded that people who arrive at businesses by bike, walking or transit spend 40% more than people who get there by driving.

Yes, forty percent.

Yet most business owners will insist that their business can’t even survive the loss of a few parking spaces.

But that’s just the start.

The study shows that improving access for people on bikes and on foot nearly doubles the number of people walking in a given neighborhood.

People also spent more time there, increasing activity such as going into shops and cafés by a whopping 216%.

At the same time, retail rents increased 7.5%, with a 17% decline in retail vacancies.

Which proves once again, that business owners who fight bike and pedestrian improvements are just shooting themselves in the foot.

………

This is how easy it is to blame the victim in a bike crash.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a 75-year old man was killed in a crash while riding his bike Saturday evening.

This is how they described it.

A 50-year-old Carmichael man was driving a red Lexus, the release said, when he entered an intersection at the same time as the biker, who was not using a light or wearing a helmet. The impact caused the biker to be thrown from his bicycle onto the roadway.

Note how mentioning the lack of a light and helmet subtly shifts the blame, even as the next sentence notes that the crash is still under investigation.

And never mind that every crash is the result of the operators of two or more vehicle attempting to occupy the same space at the same time.

The question is why.

But chances are, after reading the above description, most people would assume that a 75-year old man somehow ran a stop sign or a traffic signal.

Whether or not there even was one.

………

‘Tis the season.

An Oklahoma charity is building bikes to give to children for the holidays; last year they bought, built and gave away 1,350 bicycles.

Fifteen Minnesota bike riders braved snow and icy streets to collect $450 worth of food for victims of domestic violence in the annual Cranksgiving ride.

Baton Rouge Cranksgiving bicyclists turned out to collect food for a local food bank; last year they collected over 400 pounds of food.

A group of cycling Santas took to the streets of Windsor, Ontario to spread some pre-Thanksgiving Yuletide cheer in the form of $5 McDonalds gift certificates for the homeless and others in need.

And Road.cc offer a Christmas gift list for bike riders for whom money is no object.

………

Nice promo piece from Metro says we refuse to be labelled a car culture.

At least some of us, anyway.

………

Turns out former Tour de France champ Vincenzo Nibali is pretty good on gravel, too.

………

Local

Metro wants to know where you’d put new bikeshare docks as they plan their expansion west from Downtown. Unfortunately, Hollywood is still not an option.

Speaking of Metro, should we really be surprised that they’re recommending replacing plans for the recently cancelled 710 extension with equally car-centric surface street plans?

UCLA transportation expert Michael Manville talks about the benefits of congestion pricing in an NPR podcast, saying a toll that would reduce driving less than 5% would increase speeds up to 20%. Although increasing speeds isn’t exactly what we should b doing under Vision Zero.

Uber’s JUMP has beaten out Lime and Bird to score LA’s first official e-scooter permit.

Bike SGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash and fundraiser on December 1st. Which would be a great way to get in the mood for the next day’s CicLAvia.

 

State

Friends, family and fellow firefighters turned out on Saturday to remember fallen Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding his bike in Mission Viejo.

San Diego is considering requiring homeowners to fix their broken sidewalks before they sell, after paying out $11 million for bicyclists and others injured on them.

San Diego State University has opened a bicycle-themed art exhibit in their downtown gallery.

Still more San Diego news, as the city is planning its first bike and pedestrian promenade through the Hillcrest district.

San Francisco has received a $75,000 to educate bicyclists and pedestrians to improve safety. Even though they could improve it a lot faster by getting drivers to slow down and put their phones down.

 

National

The owner of Performance Bike, and distributor of a number of bike brands, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though the CEO insists it will survive. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

NBC News examines the rise in e-scooter injuries as providers spread across the US and around the world. The two scooter deaths that have occurred so far are two too many. But in context of the massive scooter usage numbers — Bird alone has surpassed 10 million rides — it’s not significantly more dangerous than riding a bicycle, and perhaps even safer.

Speaking of which, NPR looks at why Ford is getting into the scooter business.

Bike-friendly Portland makes plans to grow without adding more cars.

That’s more like it. A Washington man got nearly eight and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a teenage bike rider on his way to work.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only place homeowners leave trash cans in bike lanes. After Washington rider writes to complain — following a crash with a fog-shrouded garbage bin — a columnist says don’t leave your trash there, even if there’s no law against it.

Over 6,000 people took part in the 36th annual Tour de Tucson on Saturday.

A Utah bike shop owner explains why you should support your local bike shop.

Local riders say Topeka KS has made great progress in making the streets safer and more inviting for people on bicycles.

A Kansas City entrepreneur says coming up with bad ideas for bike safety first is what led to plans for colored bike lanes and harsher punishments for drivers that hit bicyclists. Or she could have asked just about any bike advocate, most of whom have been calling for those things for years.

Boston bicyclists mark the World Day of Remembrance by installing a ghost bike for a rider who was killed last week. Meanwhile, a local news site asks what the city should be doing to improve safety for people on bicycles.

No bias here. A Florida writer freaks out over the $35 million price tag to put a seven-mile bike and pedestrian path on a local bridge. But doesn’t seem at all fazed by the $841 million being spent to make the bridge over for drivers.

 

International

Road.cc says the Toronto cop who walked for dooring a bike rider while stopped in a bike lane got credit from the judge for successfully not dooring three other riders before he nailed one.

After losing her leg in a bicycling crash, a British woman says it’s time to recognize the dangers of traffic collisions. And actually do something about it.

There once was a teenager from Limerick, who stole 14 bicycles in four months. And no, it doesn’t rhyme and the meter sucks, just like the crime.

At least no one died when California drivers rose up in a failed attempt to roll back a gas tax increase. One person was killed and over 100 injured when French drivers rioted over plans to increase fuel taxes in that country. Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the heads-up.

An Indian writer explains why riding a bike to work in Delhi around the Diwali holiday isn’t a great idea. And not just because of the pollution.

A New Zealand driver is pissed off when she finds herself following a group of bicyclists riding up to four abreast. Even though they stayed in just one lane, and didn’t take up any more lane space that a single rider taking the lane would have.

A Brisbane, Australia paper says the city’s river brings $70 billion in financial benefits every year, including a riverside bike path that brings a whopping 80,000 people to work each year, with 30,142 bike rides each working day.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe it’s just me, but a pro cyclist talking about how much she enjoys suffering and watching others suffer on their bikes probably isn’t the most effective to get more women to ride. But I could be wrong.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says fellow Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is just looking for attention by praising ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Bicycling looks at how former world champ Lizzie Deignan got a new pro contract, even though she’s six months pregnant.

 

Finally…

The new Cirque du Soleil is one of us, too. Riding a sort-of bike at speeds approaching 90 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

And no. Just…no.

 

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    In San Jose CA and Sacramento it is very common to find piles of yard debris out on the streets for pickup. Bike lanes or not. Plus the collection still leaves bits and pieces for cyclists to run over

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