Nicholas Kristoff writes in the New York Times about World Bicycle Relief, a program that is donating bicycles to people in third world countries. Started in 2005 after the Tsunami disaster the program has grown and is now changing the lives of people in Africa. The simple addition of a bicycle can positively affect the life of one person and the economy of a whole village.
Ian Lovett writes in the Beverly Press about the battle being waged over parking on Third Street. It is a problem that is stifling business and affecting the economy of the whole neighborhood. Businesses are not being allowed to open or expand because there is no place to put all the cars.
The Third World is moving up to the bicycle, now maybe the First can scale down and accomplish the same goals: more personal mobility and improved access to health care, education and commerce.
On Third Street traffic congestion and lack of parking are making it difficult for children to get to school, people to get to health care and businesses to service more customers. In Africa long distances and poor roads are causing the same problems.
The bicycle is can be part of the solution on both continents.
The bicycle travels four times faster and can carry five times the load of a person on foot. The bicycle is cheaper to run, burns no fossil fuel and is easier to park than a car.
If the city of Los Angeles or the Mid City West Neighborhood council started to think outside the box, or car, as the case may be and implement measures to make bicycling safe in the village, more people would choose to ride a bike. And if more residents rode a bike traffic congestion would ease, parking would become available and the result would be a cleaner, quieter and more prosperous Third Street.
The Magnolia Bakery would be allowed to open just by adding infrastructure for bicycles. Not every storefront needs Valet Parking.
F. K. Day the founder of the Chicago based Word Bicycle Relief says that the 70,000 bicycles that his organization has given away is helping people—help themselves. http://Worldbicyclerelief.org With each 50 bikes that they donate they train one local to be a mechanic, which in turn becomes a small business opportunity.
“Fifty-three pounds of love” is the name given the specially designed bicycles that are assembled in the country of destination. Day explains that, “Bicycles become the foundation of a self-sustaining economy. People on bikes transform their community by taking teachers to students and students to school, helping workers get to jobs and in many cases becoming a job in itself.” A bicycle is a “productivity increaser.”
Maybe World Bicycle Relief can help right here at home, in Los Angeles, in Hollywood. Not by giving away bicycles free to Angelenos, although many of us could use “53 pounds of love,” but by opening our eyes to how the bicycle can improve a situation.
Third Street can use a “productivity increaser.” World Bicycle Relief helping people, help themselves at home and abroad.