Tag Archive for bikes are good for business

Morning Links: Did Santa Barbara driver commit 2014 road rage, and bike lanes really are good for business

Maybe there’s more to the story.

Yesterday we mentioned the Santa Barbara bike collision that sent two-time Olympic gold medal volleyball player Craig Buck to the hospital with major head trauma.

Now Cyclelicious points out the similarities between the pickup involved in that collision, and one involved in a 2014 road rage assault on a pair of bicyclists.

In the earlier case, photographer Carson Blume reports the driver buzzed within inches of them as they rode along a road in coastal Santa Barbara County, then cut to the right, grazing Blume and knocking his companion over.

The driver then brake-checked Blume, and briefly shifted into reverse before driving away laughing. Then came back on the other side of the road, shouting profanities.

Yet despite the presence of an independent witness, police did nothing more than issue the driver a ticket for unsafe passing.

And yes, it certainly looks like the same truck was involved in both cases.

Which would call into question the CHP report that Buck “…cut the corner, driving (sic) on the wrong side of the roadway, while failing to stop at a posted stop sign…” where he hit the side of the pickup.

Unless there’s an independent witness who saw any of that, police may be relying on the testimony of a driver who is accused of using his truck as weapon to attack people riding bikes at least once before.

One who has every incentive to paint the victim’s actions in the worst possible light. And who I’m told is silver tongued when it comes to dealing with police.

The question is whether he did it again, and whether the police will once again let him get away with it.

………

A Chattanooga business owner gets it, saying new protected bike lanes are way better for the downtown area than a few extra parking spaces.

A study from Salt Lake City proves him right, as sales increased more than the citywide average after spaces were removed for protected lanes and other street improvements.

Which may be why streets with scarce auto parking are the best places to remove it, according to People for Bikes.

And unlike some cities we could name, Seattle’s mayor didn’t cave in the face of opposition, but carefully worked out a compromise to overcome a challenge from 300 businesses worried about losing parking spaces for a 1.7 mile protected lane. Thanks to David Atwell for the heads-up.

Which sounds sort of like what happened with the My Figueroa project that’s scheduled to break ground on South Figueroa next year.

………

The safety video prepared by the PCH Task Force has won a national award for Best Public Service Announcement.

You tell me. Maybe it’s better than I think it is.

………

Ian Crane, the pro cyclist who nearly died after going through the rear windshield of a support vehicle in last year’s USA Pro Challenge, turned down a chance to re-sign with the Jamis team for next year in order to focus on his recovery.

The owner of the world champion Velocio-SRAM pro team says the future looks bright for women’s cycling.

And Greg LeMond, America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, gets credit for the innovations that led pro cycling into the modern high-tech era.

………

Local

The editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal calls for an end to the mythical war on drivers; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton very politely suggests he’s full of it.

Turns out the most popular day in LA cycling history was the first-ever Valley CicLAvia back in March, according to Strava data. Pretty impressive when you consider that many CicLAvia attendees have probably never even heard of Strava.

Santa Monica’s two-to-three mile long Colorado Esplanade is on track for completion by spring of next year, including separated bike lanes and walkways. But serioualy, shouldn’t they know how long it’s going to be by now?

The New Urbanism Film Festival screens this weekend, from Thursday through Sunday. Vancouver’s Modacity will come to LA as part of the film fest, with additional engagements Thursday at the Echo Park Film Center and Sunday in Santa Monica.

 

State

An Orange County judge hears testimony from the victim’s relatives as he considers a plea deal for Dylan Thomas Randluby in the death of fallen rider John Greg Colvin in Laguna Beach last year.

Garden Grove’s Main Street goes car-free this Sunday with the seven-hour Re:Imagine Garden Grove By Day and By Night open streets festival.

Long-time Long Beach expats The Path Less Pedaled offer three reasons to attend the National Bicycle Tourism Conference in San Diego next month.

Horrifying case from Fresno, as two people are on trial for torturing a woman and forcing her to watch the murder of another man after she knocked on their door to look for her stolen bike.

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear takes an in-depth look at San Francisco’s attempt to pass an Idaho Stop Law. What we really need is support to pass the law on the state level, which has authority over all traffic laws. On the other hand, I can’t imagine Jerry Brown actually signing it.

 

National

Denver CO plans to install the same sort of protected bike lanes nearby Boulder is ripping out.

A Kansas driver gets just one year in jail for killing a bike rider he never even saw because he was busy looking at the GPS on his cellphone.

An Albany NY man rides 200 miles with his daughter, retracing the route he took to Boston 20 years earlier to receive a heart transplant.

Gothamist looks at the practice of shoaling, wherein one rider cuts in front of others at a red light. And it’s usually a slower rider, which means having to move into traffic to pass them once the light changes.

New York considers adding bike and pedestrian lanes to the iconic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Philadelphia bike riders shout the universal refrain about the dangers of cars parked in bike lanes, calling for greater enforcement so riders aren’t forced to ride in traffic.

The Wall Street Journal takes a luxe cycling journey along rail-to-trail paths through the Pennsylvania and Maryland rust belt.

An Atlanta musician is running and riding to New York to protest police brutality.

 

International

Advice on how to buy a used bike.

Pot, meet kettle. English cab drivers call cyclists reckless after one jumps a red light in front of Cambridge cops.

A road raging British driver is on trial for driving up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist before crashing into a salon — with four kids in her car, no less.

No distraction here. A British rider catches a driver watching a movie behind the wheel, while claiming she was only listening to it.

An Irish paracyclist will attempt to set a new hour record this Saturday.

Ireland’s transport minister says it should be left up to individual bicyclists to decide whether or not to wear a helmet.

Huh? An Irish paper says spinal injuries due to bicycling tripled, from five in 2010 to 21 in 2014. Which looks more like it quadrupled, but maybe they do math differently over there. And maybe they use a different kind of bike helmet, since the ones we have don’t prevent spinal injuries.

An Indian writer says someone needs to save the cycling from the county’s cycling federation.

South African police are looking for a car full of white men who reached out to drag a black cyclist in a racial attack.

An award-winning New Zealand architect faces charges for running down a cyclist with his SUV, despite the rider’s lights and bright clothing.

Freestyle cyclist Vittorio Brumotti visits the Philippines, and declares Manilla one of the world’s best places for cycling; he was the victim of a viscous assault just two months ago.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride a bikeshare bike; not everyone can solve a Rubik’s cube in 40 seconds with one hand while doing it. Cycling really is the new golf, unless maybe it’s running.

And today may be the end of the world, so you might as well skip work and go for a bike ride.

Otherwise, I’ll see you here tomorrow, assuming there is one.

 

Today’s post, in which I follow Metro’s lead and issue a challenge to bike lane-averse merchants

I’ve been surprised by the opposition from local businesses to the planned bike lanes that could bring them more business.

Yes, I fully expected some blowback to plans to install bike lanes on busy streets like Westwood, Bundy and Figueroa. Auto-centric residents who can’t comprehend any other means of getting to and from their homes can be counted on to rise up in NIMBYist opposition to any suggestion of reducing traffic flow to a more rational level, or providing a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel.

Even though they don’t have to get out of their cars to enjoy the benefits. But just make it practical for other people to leave their cars behind so they can move more freely in theirs.

But the vehemence of the opposition from the merchants who would benefit from bike lanes has come as a very unpleasant surprise.

It doesn’t take a Masters in Business Administration to realize that anything that enables more customers to come to your door is good for the bottom line. Never mind that bike riders have been shown to visit merchants more often, resulting in higher sales over the long run.

Or that calming traffic — one of the many secondary benefits of bike lanes — can make a shopping district more attractive to everyone, And at the same time, replacing cut-through drivers with destination traffic more likely to actually stop and spend money.

So I was intrigued this morning when I received an email from Metro announcing that this year’s Bike Week will take place from May 13th to 19th. And that a new feature in 2013 will be the first Bike Weekend, in which merchants will be encouraged to offer a discount to bike riders.

Metro invites you to be part of Bike Week LA by offering discounts to any bicyclist who mentions “Bike Week” during Bike Local Weekend, Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, 2013. This is a FREE advertising opportunity to attract and encourage customers to eat, shop, and play locally. Metro wants to promote you as a destination location for Bike Local Weekend through our website, social media network, and other media channels.

Did you know that bicycling is great for local business? Studies show that people who travel by bicycle actually make more visits to small businesses than people who travel by car. These visits add up – cities all across the U.S. are discovering that when bicycling increases, sales revenue does too. In San Francisco and New York City, for instance, retail sales along certain bike lanes is up as much as 50%! Because bicyclists travel at slower speeds than cars, it’s easier for them to stop and smell the coffee. (It also helps that they don’t have to pay for parking).

If your business would like to participate in Bike Local Weekend, please sign up here no later than May 1, 2013. The earlier you sign up, the better we are able to promote you! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at [email protected] or 213.922.5634.

So let me issue a challenge to business owners who oppose bike lanes in front of their shops. Especially those who have been most outspoken in their opposition, like Galcos in Highland Park and A Little Taste of Hoboken in Westwood.

Just give it a shot.

Offer a discount to bicyclists that one weekend.

If you don’t notice any difference in sales, maybe you’re right. You can come to the next meeting and argue that you tried to market your business to bike riders, and it didn’t do any good.

But if, more likely, your business goes up that weekend, you’ll have solid evidence that we bicyclists spend money at places that make us feel welcome.

And that, rather than the highway to financial ruin you fear, a bike lane in front of your business could be the pathway to higher profits. Let alone a better, safer and more livable business district.

The best part is, you have nothing to lose.

Except your misconceptions.

But don’t be surprised if we complain about the lack of bike parking.

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