Biggest Job Creator?

What industry creates more jobs in Europe than Ford, General Motors and Chrysler combined?

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Parisian commuters

Bicycling.

Cycling in the EU brings in €205 billion a year, when all its benefits (tourism, cardiovascular health, fuel savings, lower carbon emissions, reduced congestion, noise and air pollution) are accounted for. In 2013, EU bicycle sales were almost double car sales.

Not holding my breath that the US love affair with cars is ending anytime soon. I myself fall off the wagon when it gets cold and rainy.

Still, it’s useful to know what great job creators cyclists are, especially if you happen to run into an advocate for taxing bicyclists (to make up for gas taxes cyclists don’t pay).

UPDATE: three-year campaign to make my biking route safer bore fruit. A nice new sign explaining things appeared this summer.

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The old sign encouraging people to cross speeding traffic to a mid-block sidewalk cut-out is still there, but hidden, in summer, when there are leaves. Probably doesn’t endanger too many.

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Curb cut-out on left. Sign on right? Safely hidden behind leaves.

Ringing my bicycle bell in salute to city council. It’s a partial victory. It’s a small bell.

 

16 comments

  • That scary corner needs a traffic light. And you’re going to need a bigger bell! Congratulations on the safer biking route. And how do people think it’s possible to tax bicyclists?

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    • Fortunately, where the new sign is, there is a traffic light — and a 5-way intersection. Yikes. I was hoping for one of those fancy painted-on bike merge lanes at the old sign, warning cars of bikes in motion across the street, because dang it, that five-way intersection with cars revving at the stop light makes my hair stand on end. Taxing bicyclists: requiring licenses and charging a fee. Cheers —

      Liked by 1 person

  • What about electric bikes and so-called ‘Pedelecs’ over there? These are showing exponential growth in Europe, particularly as battery technology has improved. England lags behind mainland Europe in this regard, yet conventional pedal biking is in rude health.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I think when more victories like this happen more Americans will bike. Some cities have great urban designs for bicyclists, like Portland. Others have a long way to go. But how nice it would be to reach those fabulous European numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have heard the the Pacific northwest coast is a very bike friendly area. My brother is wanting to move to the Vancouver/Portland area for work and has to ride a bike since he has epileptic seizures and cannot drive a car. So yes, I’ve been told about the pedestrian/biking/MAX bridge. And I’m so glad you made some strides with your signage Julia. It takes quite an effort to make a change. Yay, you did it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wrote a couple e-mails to city council, and three blog posts — so, not much effort. Maybe I should ring a bigger bell for them. Planners have made a quite a few great bike-friendly changes. How about where you live?

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  • Great that you’re voice/bike bell was finally heard!

    I’ve never seen any benefits study for car drivers …yet. But you know, becoming healthier, one naturally becomes a walking advertisement for cycling benefits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well done JB for getting a new cycling sign up for helping fellow cyclists! I was aghast at the fact that some Americans want to tax cyclists to make up for the loss in fuel tax revenue – that’s just so unbelievably short sighted!!!!!!! Thanks for making all of us not living in the US aware of this, hopefully we can help to support you, the American cyclist, in some way against this preposterous idea.

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