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How Cycling Will Save Your Wallet and the Economy

Theres is a fantastic article in Grist right now by Elly Blue (the managing editor of the excellent BikePortland.org website) that explains how embracing cycling can be an economic boom to an individual, an urban center, and a society:

In the many North American cities where two-wheeled transportation is taking off, a new bicycle economy is emerging. It’s amazing how much money can stay in your community when it isn’t being pumped into the gas tank, big insurance, and the auto market.

What happens when someone saves the estimated $6,257 per year (PDF – CAA figures – Page 5) it takes to own and maintain the average car in Canada?  They pump that money into the local economy.  Some may save it, but most will spend it and buy local goods and services.

It’s something I’ve personally put into practice… every full month I bike to work (which is most of the time, unless the weather is insanely cold or the roads very snowy or icy) I take the $121 that I would’ve spent on a TTC Metropass and put it against the principle on our mortgage.  In 2010 it totalled $1,089 … which is awesome, but if you also figure out the mortgage interest we don’t have to pay on it over the next 25 years… it compounds up to over $3,500.  I *saved* 2,500 in mortgage interest by biking to work instead of taking transit.

That’s just in 1 year.  Over 4 years it would be $10,000… over 8 years $20,000… over 20 years $50,000.

How much can you save?

Read the full article on Grist

RECENTLY ON BIKING TORONTO:

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OH YEAH! Sexy people stopping at a red light

I shared the above photo on facebook the other day, and it got such a good response, I thought I’d share it here too. Look at all these sexy people on bikes stopped at a red light (at a T intersection, no less). Sooooo hot. See it (and a good discussion) on the City of […]

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PHOTO OF THE DAY: Messenger’s Line

Source: Original photo – by Phanciest on Flickr. Toronto via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

OH YEAH! Toronto lawyer helps cyclists pedal through ‘unjust’ legal system

For cyclists injured in an accident, navigating the legal system can be as hard as biking through downtown Toronto during rush hour, says lawyer Patrick Brown. “The system can be very complicated and a lot of cyclists don’t know what entitlements they have,” he said. That’s why Brown, an ardent cycling advocate, has partnered with […]

INFRASTRUCTURE: Help out with the Toronto Parks and Trails Wayfinding Strategy

  Help Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department design their wayfinding system: What is Wayfinding? Wayfinding encompasses all the ways in which people understand their surroundings and navigate from place to place. Wayfinding is more than signs – it also includes names, landmarks, conventions, maps and new media. What is the Toronto Parks & Trails […]

NEWS: Car Columnist has trouble remembering bicycle turn signals; bitches about it

A car columnist for the Globe whines about hand signals being too confusing for him.  Because remembering stuff is hard. He also blames car-bike collisions on drivers not understanding bike hand signals.  That’s totally the reason there are collisions.  It’s not drivers being inattentive or the self-righteous belief that being in a car means they should […]

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INFRASTRUCTURE: New Contraflow Bikelane on Florence St.

Having fun watching cyclists discover the freshly installed bike lane on Florence St. In just a couple minutes since I arrived, over a dozen eastbound cyclists who yesterday were going the wrong way on Florence illegally, have adjusted their lane positioning into the centre of the new contra-flow bicycle lane coming around the corner from […]

OH YEAH: Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them.

About 100 years ago, the auto industry pulled off a neat trick: It stole the public roadways from us. See, in the early days of the motor vehicle, there used to be this quaint idea that the person operating the giant machine should look out for other people. Then came mass production and the Model […]

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PHOTO OF THE DAY: Richmond street

Source: Original photo – by Fixed in Silver on Flickr.  via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Pan Am Path Update: Launch Event May 16

Pan Am Path Art Relay Launch Event May 16 With the international attention that the Pan Am Games will generate, a unique window of opportunity will open to showcase the city’s natural assets to an international public. The Pan Am Path, a project initiated by an independent not-for-profit community-led organization called Friends of the Pan […]

HOW TO: Yvonne Bambrick tackles the commuting fear factor

Is it safe to cycle in a large city like Toronto? In her new book The Urban Cycling Survival Guide, Toronto cycling advocate Yvonne Bambrick attempts to address the “fear factor” that riders new to bike commuting might feel as they roll through our crowded streets.  In a conversation with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Bambrick said it […]

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