REMOVE PARKING, ADD BIKE LANES, SALES INCREASE 400%*

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Well someone finally decided to test this outdated steel-box parking=$$ theory, and guess what?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:

Hmm... that looks like a bit of an increase.

Hmm… that looks like a bit of an increase.

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!

XOXO

Return to riding

Ahhh, scenery. One of many joyful jaunts atop two-wheels this summer!

Ahhh, scenery. One of many joyful jaunts atop two-wheels this summer!

Well hello, Ladies! Long-time no post!

Over here at TWAAL, we’ve had a summer packed with… well… everything, but as the crispness of mornings stirs memories of flaming foliage, cozy consuming sweaters, and 4pm sunsets, it’s finally time to settle into the grounding beauty of Fall.

Days get shorter, commutes get chillier, and tips for riding gracefully through the transition will be all up in this Lady’s posts! So will lovely gear suggestions, recipes to fuel your ride, livable streets news and commentary, ideas and wares for living simply, plus ideas for two-wheeled autumnal travel.

So Ladies – grab your skirts, tall socks, layering cardigan, beautiful boots, or whatever the fuck makes you smile while you pedal! It’s time for Fall riding.

Keep pedaling and enjoying life, Ladies! Looking forward to riding along with all of you :)

XOXO

“THE SUMMER BIKES TOOK CONTROL”: THE BICYCLIZATION OF URBAN AMERICA

Citibike rolls out 10,000 bikes, launching bikeshare for Ladies (and Lady-lovers) of the Big Apple. Chicago is slated for 4,000 in their initial bikeshare launch, and have already installed miles of new bike lanes. Indianapolis opens the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a physically separated cycletrack and pedestrian walkway connecting five major cultural districts in the city center. The mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, vocally advocates for increased biking and pushes through the conversion of Balboa Park, a former parking lot, into a car-free plaza.

Ladies (and Lady-lovers) are reshaping the urban landscape across the USA. And they're here to stay.

Ladies (and Lady-lovers) are reshaping the urban landscape across the USA. And they’re here to stay.

Two-wheels are ushering in a wave of livability and sensibility to an urban landscape typically dominated and divided by automobile-centric design, and the sea-change in cities across the US is now undeniable.

The rise of the bicycle through bikeshare and infrastructure implementation, against all odds and detractors, has taken hold, and it isn’t stopping anytime soon.

On Citibike in NYC:

The bottom line is that one contentious month since the launch of New York’s program — with riders as bad as they’ll ever be, and the blue paint without any sun-fading to tone down the gaudiness — the actual majority of New Yorkers love the bikes. Numbers released yesterday from Quinnipiac University showed overwhelming approval…

See also Copenhagenzine‘s graph of the typical timeline of “whining” around the launch of bike-share programs worldwide: a steady rise during the months preceding, followed by a precipitous drop to almost zero shortly after launch. The dissenting New Yorkers are not an original phenomenon. If precedent holds, they will fade…

No transport system is perfect, but bike-sharing is promising, and among the best we have.

And from the NYTimes article, The End of Car Culture:

…recent studies suggest that Americans are buying fewer cars, driving less and getting fewer licenses as each year goes by.

…things are converging which suggest that we are witnessing a long-term cultural shift…

Part of the explanation certainly lies in the recession, because cash-strapped Americans could not afford new cars, and the unemployed weren’t going to work anyway. But by many measures the decrease in driving preceded the downturn and appears to be persisting now that recovery is under way…

Demographic shifts in the driving population suggest that the trend may accelerate. There has been a large drop in the percentage of 16- to 39-year-olds getting a license, while older people are likely to retain their licenses as they age, Mr. Sivak’s research has found…

A study last year found that driving by young people decreased 23 percent between 2001 and 2009. The millennials don’t value cars and car ownership, they value technology…

[BILL FORD of Ford Motor Company proposed] partnering with the telecommunications industry to create cities in which ‘pedestrian, bicycle, private cars, commercial and public transportation traffic are woven into a connected network to save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety.’

The landscape is changing, Ladies, and this time of momentum (pun intended) for the joy of two-wheeled transport is an opportunity for inspiring projects and creation/extension of bike networks that are not only the best in the USA, but can set an example for what is possible to the rest of the world.

The first car-free downtown in the US? Uninterrupted bike thoroughfares connecting people to places they want to be and/or need to go? What if Broadway, a major route through the heart of Portland, was converted into a cycletrack and pedestrian plaza lined with shops, offices, and greenery? What all could this do for the city and its people?

So much is possible, and finally, the tides have turned in favor of Ladies and Lady-lovers all over the USA.

What do you want to see in your city?

Keep thinking big, riding, and changing the world, Ladies!

XOXO

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT: WALKABILITY CREATES SUCCESS

Living next to the tram isn't the key to increasing transit use and developing areas around them. But a walkable "20 minute neighborhood" near here? Perfection!

Living next to the tram isn’t the key to increasing transit use and developing areas around them. But a walkable “20 minute neighborhood” near here? Perfection!

This Lady has had a thought when passing many an apartment complex lining the Max rail-lines in N Portland: the city has offered incentives for transit development projects (apartments and the like) right along the tracks, but who would want to live there? And why are so many of the projects still mostly empty?

The noise of the max, some of the crime that circulates around the stations… most Ladies would rather live a little ways away and enjoy riding to their destination (or riding two-wheels to the Max). Well, according to a planner from Berkeley, transit isn’t the key to transit-oriented development, it’s walkability.

From The Atlantic:

‘In these data, the lower auto ownership and use in TODs [transit oriented developments] is not from the T (transit), or at least, not from the R (rail), but from lower on- and off-street parking availability; better bus service; smaller and rental housing; more jobs, residents, and stores within walking distance; proximity to downtown; and higher subregional employment density.’

After modeling all the material, Chatman found that transit-oriented development did indeed have a positive impact on several measures of car dependency. When he drilled deeper into what TOD elements were most responsible for this benefit, however, proximity to rail didn’t carry its expected weight.

Take car ownership. Chatman found that it was 27 percent lower per capita in new housing near a rail station compared to new housing far from one. But once he controlled for housing type (rented or owned), neighborhood parking, and area bus stops, the significance of the rail station disappeared. Rail proximity was no longer linked to car ownership; instead, the scarcity of off-street parking was a powerful predictor.

…’Current sustainability policies are often quite focused on investing in rail and developing housing near rail stations. … Such a focus primarily on TODs to reduce greenhouse gases could miss the boat. These results suggest that a better strategy in many urban areas would be to incentivize housing developments of smaller rental units with lower on- and off-street parking availability, in locations with better bus service and higher subregional employment density.

Much like the presence of bike lanes alone does not make Ladies comfortable riding, plopping transit and apartments along a stretch of a city does not make people use it or want to live there. But quiet, low traffic streets? The ability to walk and ride atop two-wheels to the grocery store, shops, and work? All of these increase our use of the public realm, all of which makes us more likely to utilize transit if, say, the front axle is totally shot and one now has no upright two-wheels upon which to experience the glorious summers of Portland (purely hypothetical…), so a Lady may choose to walk and, for longer distances, hop on a local rail-line to get a bit further.

And, as always, re-purposing parking for other uses is one of the best ways to alter transit choices in the urban core. Reclaiming public space that is utilized for private storage of steel-boxes makes a lot of sense, and so do walkable neighborhoods. And all of this plus easy, intuitive bicycle infrastructure and adequate and speedy public transit? Sounds like a fabulous city of the future!

Keep walking, riding, and enjoying your neighborhoods, Ladies!

XOXO

BIKE SHARE THE LOVE

Monday in NYC, Ladies (and Lady-lovers) had reason to rejoice, smile, and feel the rush of fresh breeze through their hair. Citibikes, the newest in a series of blossoming bike shares greenlit from coast to coast, was partially launched today. Joyful riders around the big apple took to the facebooks, twitterverse, and instagrams with praise for the bikes, the ride, and the ubiquitous enthusiasm around the often individually-distanced city.

Two wheels anywhere, anytime. Lovely :)

Two wheels anywhere, anytime. Lovely :)

Cab drivers honking and waving, the “citi nod”, as one tweet called it, from rider to rider, acknowledging the shared experience.

Stats for the first day partial roll-out?

Trips on 5/27 as of 5 pm: 6050

Avg Duration: 20.48 minutes
Miles traveled: 13,768 miles

Most popular starting stations
E 17 St & Broadway: 113
Broadway & W 57: 109
Broadway & E 14 St: 98

Most popular ending stations
E 17 St & Broadway: 108
Broadway & W 57: 103
University Pl & E 14 St: 78

Annual Members: 772 new members, 16463 total Annual Members

Almost 14,000 miles traveled by New Yorkers atop two wheels just through bike share alone.

THIS, dear Ladies, is the future of transportation. And this, dear Ladies, is what city streets should feel like: a temporary community, created and united by our need to get from place to place, and lasting till we turn off towards each destination.

The freedom many associate with steel boxes is misplaced: true freedom is walking around a corner, swiping a fob, and pedaling into the sunset (ideally on separated, low-stress lanes that encourage leisurely travel and enjoyed commuting).

Did you check out citibikes today? If so, we’d love to hear your stories and see your photos! Check us out on Twitter to share!

Ladies in NYC and beyond: keeping riding and enjoying the beauty of life and living in all experiences, especially in your daily travels :)

XOXO

BIKE COMMUTING CONTINUES TO GROW! AND IN MORE THAN JUST PORTLAND

More Ladies on city streets is always better.

Check out the new data from the League of American Bicyclists. Ladies (and Lady-lovers) commuting by bike are on the rise!

So many more Ladies! So many more smiles!

So many more Ladies! So many more smiles!

Lovely :)

So hop atop two wheels and join the rest of the fabulous Ladies and Lady-lovers experiencing the beauty of commuting by bicycle.

 

As always, from coast to coast: remember to enjoy the ride, Ladies & Lady-lovers!  XOXO

LADY EDITORIAL: SUNSHINEY GOODNESS & THE DISSERVICE OF “GEAR”

Sunshine and skirts and bikes, hooray!   (image courtesy of carrelle.wordpress.com)

Sunshine and skirts and bikes, hooray! (image courtesy of carrelle.wordpress.com)

Poised pedaling, lovely locks of all lengths billowing in the breeze, wafts of wildness and blooming and pot, the sensation of sunshine warmly embracing cool, wintry-white skin that has longed for sheer exposure: nothing compares to the loveliness of summer riding!

As the skies clear and temperatures finally rise to a heat conducive to unbuffered flesh-air contact, shared city spaces and streets bud and burst with life of all kinds. Seeing people gathering, walking, biking, and just generally grasping the opportunity to experience the world beyond interiors makes this Lady’s heart well-up and ‘splode all over its wonky self.

Summertime means a public realm packed to the brim with citizens enjoying and living in shared space, not to mention an overflowing and wonderfully expanded community of active commuters just enjoying the ride.

Seeing more fair-weather Ladies (and Lady-lovers) take to the streets atop two-wheels provides a glimpse of what our neighborhoods and streets COULD be, of how much more enjoyable, useful, connecting, and beautiful streets and city centers have the potential to be. It also reminds me of what, besides the fabulous forecast, makes summer riding more enticing to those who forgo the enjoyment of riding year-round: casual accessibility.

No new-fangled, neon-yellow jackets (which ultimately don’t make a big difference in visibility, anyhoo), no waterproof glorified-trash-bag outwear, no elasticized booties or so-many-rear-lights-you’ve-become-a-land-bound-lighthouse. The temperature and physical activity dictate lighter layering, and for most people that means riding in average daily attire. For shorter, slower jaunts to the store, that often means the provocative exposure of scalps, too.

When average people look out on the streetscape, they see something they can relate to; something they could actually be comfortable becoming a part of. The gear-attire mentality does a huge disservice to us Lady’s (and Lady-lovers) trying to expand the joy of riding to more people, by making it feel like a club you need an obnoxiously bright card to be a part of. It also makes cycling seem incredibly uncool. And honestly, what young Lady-in-training wants to be lumped in with predominantly male baby-boomers in bright spandex on flagged recumbents?

All riders are welcome on the roads, and I have a special place in my heart for the geared commuter kind (my bikey heart has space for EVERYONE!), and you should wear whatever the hell you want when you ride. But when the landscape is monochromatic and aesthetically dismal, it becomes harder for average people used to wearing what they’d like and driving a steel-box they’ve customized to their liking to place themselves alongside their two-wheeled neighbors. We become more and more “other”, and less and less understood.

What can every Lady do to support her fellow riders and neighbors in their pursuit of happier, healthier streets? Ride like you’re living, not like you’re “cycling”. Increase your “picnic riding”, or slow, leisurely, helmet-free (whenever possible) jaunts to the neighborhood market, school, and other short daily trips. Encourage your friends to come along, no special-attire required.

Keep smiling, riding, rocking skirts & dresses, and loving the sunshine, Ladies!

XOXO