The social costs of driving that are not paid by the driver amount to a $300 billion subsidy each year. The EPA (Lowe, 1988) found that if employees were directly handed this subsidy, transit and bicycle use would go up and auto traffic would go down by 25 percent. A Seattle study found that society pays a $792 subsidy to each motorist each year (excluding a $1,920 annual free parking subsidy). In New York City, the metro area loses $55 billion each year in hidden auto costs associated with safety and environmental damage. More than 90 percent of all commuters park for free at work.
…Dispersed, auto-dependent development in Loudoun County, Virginia, is a net loss to the tax base of $700 to $2,200 per dwelling unit. In San Jose, California, planners determined that such development would create annual deficits of $4.5 million compared to a $2 million surplus if future development is compact.
next time you’re reading the comments on a news article and some ignorant biased guy caps locks saying bicyclists should pay for the road, get licenses, etc, point them to this article.
A tidbit of bicycle-friendly statistics.
A couple years back I was on the market for a classic road bike. I didn’t know much about the things or what I was really looking for but I was desperate to have one and be a part of the growing hipster-esque shift towards fixies and ten-speeds. (I thought they were all the same back at that time to be honest.)
I was big on checking out the used goods stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army and other local clothing shops. You never know what you’re going to find and I was obviously elated when I walked in the Goodwill near my university to find this heap of junk decaying away. The tires were flat and dry-rotted onto warped steel wheels, the chain rusted into an immobile loop, the wiring all snapped loose and astray and the fitting price tag of just $10 hung hopeful that some fool would crack. It was love at first sight. (I think it was the red that got me.) As soon as I had my hand on it I crunched it along its wheels across the sales floor to check out.
Once I got it home I honestly didn’t know where to start. The first thing I did was pump air into the rotted tires, throw on a new chain and take it for a ride brakeless. That night the tires exploded in the living room while my roomie and I were sleeping. It sounds akin to a shotgun blast no joke.
Over the next couple of weeks I took it to the shop for an overhaul. New tires and tubes, trued up the rims, cleaned the body, all new brake and gear wiring. A few visits to the same Goodwill landed me some classic extras to throw on such as the kickstand, the round rear reflector and the wheel reflectors. I was happy to be riding in relative style.
Above are pics of the final product. This is a Free Spirit all-steel construction bike made in Taiwan for Sears. Date of sale is somewhere between 1974 and 1976. (That makes this a nearly 40 year old bike!) The rims are all-steel 27-inchers with gum-wall tires. Deraileur and chain ring (in fact the whole drivetrain) is original and in surprisingly great shape. Even the rubber grip over the handlebars is original with a neat diamond pattern cut out through it. There are some understandable chips in the paint here and there but it’s overall in impressive shape and mostly rust-free considering its age.
It should be noted (don’t kill me traditionalists!) that I have since converted this bike with some much lighter components into a gearless single-speed (not a fixie) and it is still one of the loves of my life to this day!
Goodbye to these steel deadweight pedals from the old ten speed. I’ve since converted it into a lighter single gear ride with aluminum pedals from wellgo for one. Of course that’s not the only thing converted out but there may be more to come in my postings.
Bicycles by the dissident artist in China. At first I only sympathized with him for his plight. Now I love him.
Sam Shere, Underwater bicycling, February 1947.
What hipsters did in the 40s.
For your urban trek.
Found on Mission Bicycle Company’s website. I’m not one for gears, external or internal, but this is awesome!