Share, Ladies (& Lady-lovers). No one should ever fear for their life, or lose their child, just because they’re walking or riding a bicycle.
An emotional plea from the parents of Allison Liao, a 3 year-old who was recently run over and killed in a NYC cross-walk. This video is hard to watch, leading this Lady to tears. It is also a moving argument for why our streets need to change.
Streets are for people. It’s time we took them back.
FROM THE VIDEO:
The police know the driver was in the wrong, they issued him two traffic tickets… Ali paid the death penalty for crossing the street. It is unbelievable that the driver’s penalty is two tickets, and our daughter is gone…
So, our message to all drivers is simple. Please, before you get behind the wheel, and realize that the machine you are about to operate can kill people. We may drive everyday, but we need to be conscious of the enormous responsibility we have when we get behind the wheel. We urge drivers to pay attention to the road, and to SLOW DOWN. YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS, they have the RIGHT OF WAY and it’s the right thing to do. Your vehicles weigh one ton of steel, the average human body weighs a fraction of the vehicle and is made up of fragile flesh and bones. New Yorkers are always in a hurry, but we challenge drivers to pause and ask: IS IT WORTH IT?
Is it worth RUNNING OVER A CHILD because you are running late? Is it worth picking up the phone when it could mean a family must pick out a grave for their child? Is it worth texting a friend when that message could force a father to text a date and time of their child’s funeral? Is it worth looking at the phone when it causes a mother to look at their daughter in the ER as they try to resuscitate her daughter?
We ask you to pause, because if the driver who killed our happy daughter on that fateful day had PAUSED, perhaps I would not have to stand before you today. Where did he need to go in such a hurry that he couldn’t stop for a few seconds to let an elderly lady and her granddaughter cross the street? We challenge drivers to pause and ask, is it worth it? Because the next person killed by a reckless driver may be someone you love.
Your morning brew with a side of bicycle? Lovely!
A creative, low-fi bike share program based in coffee shops has started in the Czech Republic.
Grab a cup, put down a deposit, and ride your new foldable bicycle for the day.
Despite obvious reservations a Lady (or Lady-lover) may have at first conceptualization (theft? damage? what if I hate coffee?), the program has been awesomely effective.
More from TheAtlantic:
Brno’s project is small – so far only five bike points are involved – but the city’s alternative and apparently unique model still has some very useful lessons for other cities looking to get more citizens biking.
Firstly, Brno shows that you don’t always have to go big, either in bike numbers or in sponsors. Major bike-share schemes typically involve major enterprises like Citibank and Barclays, but Brno’s participants are all small, local businesses – its hub is a café, bar and arts venue in Brno’s old city called Kavarna Trojka. While participants like Trojka need to take a long view, they clearly believe they can recoup their investment in a few bikes by encouraging more customers to buy drinks, by developing user loyalty and creating a city-wide publicity platform for themselves and the events they host.
Secondly, micro-schemes mean you don’t necessarily need to invest in new infrastructure. Brno has no docking stations, specially designed vehicles or bike redistribution system. All it relies on is participating venues having enough space to store some fold-up bikes.
Thirdly, Brno proves that you can have private bike-share start-ups even in cities lacking the cash or political momentum to create larger public schemes.
Creating a devoted & loyal customer base, eliminating the need for large corporate sponsors (a problem Portland’s bike share has already encountered)… these Ladies (and Lady-lovers) may be on to something!
While this model may not be effective in every city, the idea of micro-share, or at least placing bikes and stations at locally sponsored and run locations, can open up bike share to larger swaths of the city and give citizens a greater sense of ownership of, and therefore responsibility for, the program. Imagine if in, say, Portland, communities could operate and fund bike share by-the-station rather than a large, random corporate donor overseeing the entire network?
Alberta share stations brought to you by the Vernon Neighborhood Association and Alberta Main Street? Downtown station brought to you by the Ace Hotel? This could expand bike share to where it’s really needed: beyond downtown.
What do YOU think Ladies (and Lady-lovers)? Would you like a bike with your coffee? Or perhaps a bike with your neighborhood main street?
Keep riding, supporting local business, and spreading the love, Ladies!
More Women riding bikes more often.
That’s precisely the goal of Gladys Bikes, a new bike shop located inside the HUB building along the heavily ridden Williams corridor in Portland, OR (3808 N Williams, Suite 132, Portland, Oregon 97227). If you’re a Lady riding Vancouver/Williams, you need to check this place out.
Owner Leah Benson has stocked her shelves with essentials for a comfortable and fabulous ride, from reflective flower pins and helmet bows, to rain jackets, saddles, helmets, and more. Also offering Lady-run maintenance, classes, and bike fittings from an oh-so-accessible $50, Gladys is exactly the kind of shop that makes entering the realm of riding feel approachable for Women of all ages and abilities.
And did I mention free cookies?
While the face of two-wheeled travel is still predominantly male, shops like Gladys are tapping into what happens to be the fastest growing segment of the two-wheeled world: Ladies! From the League of American Bicyclists:
Looking at the gender breakdown, the data shows the total number of women bike commuters in 2012 grew to 236,067, which is an almost 11% increase from 2011. More broadly, women commuting by bike has grown by 58.8% since 2006. What’s more, the ACS data shows that the growth in bike commuting by women is outpacing that of men. Between 2011 and 2012, the growth in bike commuting by women was 10.9%, compared to 8.4% for men.
Gladys Bikes is a lovely shop in a great location with a wonderful owner and mission worth supporting. Check out the accessories and awesomeness in the space just behind Ristretto next time you’re riding by, and in the meantime, you can check out and LIKE Leah’s shop on facebook, and attend her clinic “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Bike (But Were Afraid to Ask) on 10/17 @6:30pm at the shop.
Keep pedaling, supporting local Lady-run businesses, and enjoying the ride, Ladies!
Ladies, Ladies everywhere! (…and Lady-lovers, too!)
According to a recently release study from Europe, of 27 different countries where data is recorded, 23 have seen bicycle sales outpace new steel-box sales. Only Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland saw the inverse.
While some attribute the sales to shifting behavior patterns related to the recession, this data has been trending towards two-wheels since 2000. The shift was potentially fueled by post-recession lifestyle changes, and shows no signs of stopping.
More from TheGuardian:
Bike sales exceeded those for cars in all but 4 of the 23 European countries we looked at (those were Italy, Spain, Belgium and Ireland). The biggest gap was in the UK where in 2011, 1.3 million more new bikes were sold than new cars were registered.
More people are choosing two-wheels for more trips, and the industry boom is creating jobs and revenue across the globe. Fabulous for the economy, connecting communities, and increased daily joy.
Keep riding, encouraging your friends to ride, and smiling as we pedal toward Fall, Ladies!
I’ve discovered over the past several years some repurposing, rethinking, reusing, and DIY-able loveliness for the daily Lady (& Lady-lover) commuter.
I’ll be sharing these tidbits and tips in my new segment “LadyGyver”. And if you think you have a tip worth sharing, contact us through the “why I ride” section of the website and we’ll share you’re ingenuity with the world!
LADYGYVER TIP #1: The Essential Hairtie
A Lady is always prepared. And a hair tie can prove one of the most useful preparation tools to carry atop two-wheels! I just leave it around my wrist when not in use, but you can also leave one or two lassoed to your handlebars, just incase. In a pinch, a rubber band can also do the trick!
-HAIRTIE AS LEG STRAP: In the Fall and Winter, I leave my hair down to cover my ears (if it’s long enough) so I don’t need ear warmers, and use the hairtie as a leg-strap to keep my pant leg out of my chain. I can then pull my hair back upon arrival at my destination. Lovely
-HAIRTIE AS LIGHT HOLSTER: No place to attach your rear light when you’re wearing a dress/borrowing a bike/some-other-reason-it-won’t-stay-on-your-bike? Use your hair tie to tie your hair low on your scalp, and clip your rear light to the elastic band . Voila! Instant visibility.
-HAIRTIE AS BUNGEE CORD: Need to attach, well, anything to your rack/basket/person? Hairties are great, flexible lassoing tools in a pinch.
But if you take our parking, you’ll destroy our businesses! Our customers NEED to PARK!
Anytime improving street access for lovely Ladies (and Lady-lovers) and/or Ladies who walk involves reclaiming street space originally dedicated to steel boxes, or to storing private property on publicly funded land (aka parking), the outcry from “business” becomes deafening. Here in Portland, it’s the PBA (whose members do not truly represent all small business owners throughout Portland), nationally it’s the Chamber of Commerce (a lobbying group comprised of large corporations, NOT small business owners. And NOT a governmental agency despite the deceptively official name).
Well someone finally decided to test this outdated steel-box parking=$$ theory, and guess what? It’s poppycock!
More from TheAtlantic:
Rowe collected city data on taxable retail sales in the corridor before and after the bike lane on 65th Street went into place. He compared the 65th Street sales figures to those generated by a similar retail corridor where no changes had been made to the street, and also to the sales made by retailers in the entire neighborhood. What he found isn’t exactly subtle…
After the city removed 65th Street’s 12 parking spots and striped a bike lane there instead, the sales index in the corridor exploded 400 percent. Now keep in mind that Rowe didn’t have the experimental controls to say that the bike lane caused the increase — some other factor may have played a greater or contributing role — but it’s quite safe to say business didn’t suffer from it.
To make sure 65th Street wasn’t a fluke, Rowe also looked at a lane installed in the Greenwood district…
Rowe says the unequivocal takeaway is that bike lanes have no ‘negative impact’ on retailers:
‘Looking at the data, one conclusion can clearly be made, these bicycle projects did not have a negative impact on the business districts in both case studies. This conclusion can be made because in both case studies the business district at the project site performed similarly or better than the controls.‘
Want to see the graph for 65th street? Check it out. Everything after the green stripe is economic activity after bike lanes were installed:
I notice the temporary decrease, too, as perhaps a transitional period as Ladies and previously steel-boxed customers get used to the new infrastructure (or learn that it exists and start to use it). After that… wow.
In general, places where bike lanes take over parking perform the same or better (MUCH better) than neighboring areas. This happens for a lot of reasons, like more people meandering past business store-fronts rather than speeding by, streets becoming lower traffic and therefore more hospitable to Ladies who walk, therefore increasing foot-traffic in and around businesses, etc.
And of course there’s the additional loveliness-quotient increase as more Ladies (and Lady-lovers) take to the streets.
And this conclusion doesn’t stand alone. An additional study conducted in NYC also showed a lack of negative impact and a general positive correlation between expanded access for Ladies atop two-wheels & Ladies atop two-legs and increased economic activity.
And a witty-Lady side note: these studies focus on the “lack of negative impact” not because there isn’t an obvious POSITIVE impact: it’s because it is dicey, scientifically speaking, to claim exact causes. Most studies represent “correlations” (or trends with identifiable links), so research from awesomely intelligent Ladies (& Lady-lovers) wont usually go so far as to make an assertion of cause, but their language in these cases is generally PhD code for “more bikes = more business”.
So Ladies, when your city is thinking about adding more access to our streets, speak up and speak to your local businesses. Their impact will be positive if anything at all, and the benefit to Ladies and our neighborhoods is priceless.
Keep riding, stopping at little local shops, and changing the world, Ladies!