Let's break down this passenger per bus travel mile "metric". For Raleigh, that number is 2.3. What does that actually tell you about utilization and effective fuel efficiency? Not much by itself. But here's one example of what it could mean for an express bus trip:
Let's say a route is 10 miles long. 23 people get on the first stop and ride all the way to the last stop. By this "metric", that's 23 passengers divided by 10 vehicle miles, or 2.3 - right at Raleigh's average. The capacity utilization of that bus, assuming it has 30 seats, is 77%. That's a lot higher than 10%!
What does that mean for fuel efficiency? Well, even if the bus only gets 5mpg, that's an effective fuel efficiency of 115 mpg! The average car gets about 25 mpg. And if each of those people had driven their own car, there would be 23 cars entering downtown and using valuable space for parking that got replaced by a single bus. Of course, that assumes those people actually have access to and/or can afford a car in the first place, which many people in our region cannot.
How so? There is no consensus in the scientific community about the safety benefits of wearing a helmet while cycling. I understand that runs counter to what you've been told your whole life, but it's true.
Here's an excellent article on the issue: http://www.cnet.com/news/brain-surgeon-the…
Better yet is the video embedded in that article - start around 4:00 mark for the parts about how safe bike helmets really are: https://youtu.be/07o-TASvIxY
Helmets provide the illusion of safety, but provide virtually no actual safety benefits for cyclists. In fact, safety outcomes would improve more for pedestrians and motorists if they wore helmets than cyclists. So if you think cyclists should wear helmets, do you also think motorists and pedestrians should too?
I'm confused. This appears to be a factual, snark-free article in the Indy Week. I didn't know those were allowed :)
Congrats on the new gig, Lauren - show 'em what journalistic integrity looks like!
The author missed the most important component of a vibrant downtown retail scene: people living downtown. There seems to be a perception that because there have been some apartments and condos that have opened in downtown Durham recently that there is suddenly some critical mass of people living (and thus shopping) downtown. But that's just not true. Until more people are living downtown, places like Cave Taureau are going to struggle to survive.
More troubling is the assertion that lack of parking was a big factor in the store's closing. The author makes statements like "But as downtown's parking crunch escalated, sales declined.", but provides no data to back up that assertion (anecdata is the journalist's favorite tool to support their already-defined narrative).
A PSA for potential small business owners who want to locate in the heart of downtown Durham: If your business model requires that a substantial portion of your customers will need to drive to your establishment, you will almost certainly fail. Downtowns are by their very nature the least conducive places to driving and parking because the land is too valuable for wide streets and parking lots.
Places like Cave Taureau (and other places that had relatively small shelf lives in downtown Durham like Reliable Cheese and Bar Lusconi) can only be supported if a large portion of their clientele can walk to them. These are neighborhood places in an area that is not yet a full-fledged neighborhood. They simply existed before their time.
Jesus, this paper is getting out of touch with reality...talking about Raleigh as if it only exists inside the beltline is only the 10th dumbest thing I've read this month in the Indy.
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