Wheels of Fortune

There’s a rabid disinformation campaign raging in Northeast Los Angeles trying to claim that adding bike lanes to the scheduled road diets on Colorado and Figueroa wil somehow bring about en economic apocalypse.

Since there are now veritable Himalayas of evidence that show how slowing traffic and adding bike lanes actually improve business (and health, and tax receipts, and property values, and community involvement), it seems to many that the opposition is either willfully ignorant or consciously lying. I suspect they are simply trying to protect the sense of entitlement that has been drummed into them as one of the benefits of driving by years of car ads and government driving subsidies.

Nevertheless, the evidence is in— and I mean evidence from US cities, so we don’t have to worry about implications that our cousins in Europe and Asia are somehow genetically different and can ride bikes and prosper. I’ll repeat my posting of just a few links to articles (which themselves link to studies) below, and then I’ll add in some photos showing bikes bringing business to neighborhoods all over the LA basin below them.

So take a look (if you dare) at articles in the following publications:

And then glance at these photos–none of which was shot during a “bike event”; they depict ordinary people crowding into retail districts on ordinary bikes during ordinary days to do ordinary things, which involve spending their money with local merchants:

Bikes bringing business to the Silver Lake farmers market on a Saturday

Bikes bringing business to Santa Monica’s Main Street on a Friday

Bikes bringing lots of business to Santa Monica’s Sunday farmers market

Bikes bringing business to nondescript corner of Spring Street downtown

Bikes bringing business to Venice’s stretch of Washington Boulevard

Bikes bringing business to yoga studio on La Brea

          Bikes bringing arts patrons to LACMA

     Bikes bringing business to Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Bikes bringing business to…York Bouelvard

Indeed, I ride down York Boulevard every Tuesday, and—funny thing—I always see lots of bikes parked in the “never used” bike corral.

York and 50 looks like the liveliest corner in Highland Park these days…I wonder why?

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One Comment

  1. Rik
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Good post, and we definitely need to have people show up with these articles and statistics in hand (along with the other scientifically-proven fact that bike lanes improve safety for all at the cost of — at most — a couple minutes extra commuting time for those passing through the neighborhood at rush hour). When we aren’t blindsided by last-minute additions to the agenda like last time, that is.

    I also think there’s more that can be done to increase the utilization of the York lanes. Everyone loves Highland Park, and — as CicLAvia demonstrates — tens (or likely hundreds) of thousands of Angelenos are hungry for more opportunities to cycle, but very few people outside HP realize that York is so convenient by Metro+bike. Perhaps an ad campaign, funded by local businesses, targeting Pasadena+Downtown LA and touting York as LA’s best bikeable business district, would help drive more bike traffic here (while implicitly showing what Fig could ultimately become with better walk+bikeability).