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» How Cyclists On Telegraph Avenue Mean Business

Despite the fact that it has no bike lane, Telegraph Avenue is one of the most popular routes for cyclists in Oakland. According to city estimates, more than 1,200 cyclists ride Telegraph Avenue every day, competing with cars and buses for space on the busy street. As part of a substantial redesign of this corridor — a critical north-south route that connects downtown Oakland to the Temescal district to Berkeley — officials hope to make the roadway safer for biking. And if they do it right, it’s not just cyclists who will benefit.

The positive correlation between biking and business may seem obvious to full-time cyclists. But for business owners concerned about trading parking spaces for bike lanes, it’s not always an easy sell.

For Stephanie Sockel, general manager of Marc 49, a Telegraph Avenue wine bar, improved bike access is a no-brainer. For starters, it’s a matter of safety: Two of her employees who bike to work have been hit by cars, she said. Sockel also predicted that a Telegraph bike lane would also improve business. “I really think it will give us better curb appeal, honestly. People riding bikes are able to see businesses a bit closer,” she said, adding that a bikeway would enable more patrons to get to her bar. “That will increase the options for people who don’t drive cars or are trying to drive their cars less.”“

read more: ebx, 11.06.14.

A study in Wisconsin by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce determined that a typical Walmart store costs taxpayers over $1.7 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee. A 2004 study in California put the cost per employee at $2,103.

For the year 2012,  Walmart’s pre-tax U.S. income was almost $18.7 billion. That’s over $14,000 per U.S. Walmart employee.


5 Industries That Are Mercilessly Robbing the American People (via futuristgerd)

(via emergentfutures)

humanscalecities:

(Temporarily) open for business
3Space is an innovative charity which unlocks the potential of empty commercial property by making it available for temporary community use.
If corporations are people, and life begins at conception, does that make anyone who rejects a business plan a murderer?
— Matthew M. 15.02.12.
» City Of Berkeley Plans To Pull $300M Out Of Wells Fargo

In what may be the most damaging blow to Big Banks since the overwhelming success of Bank Transfer Day in late 2011, the City of Berkeley recently announced its intention to withdraw all financial assets from Wells Fargo.

On Tuesday night, the City Council voted unanimously to find a more socially-minded institution to hold approximately $300 million in city assets. Council members said that they hoped the decision would send a very strong message to the Big Banks ultimately responsible for the housing crisis that sent the economy spiraling…

As might be expected, the local Wells Fargo branch was shocked and somewhat defensive following the City Council’s announcement.

“Over the past three years, Wells Fargo has donated more than $3 million to 89 nonprofits in Berkeley… And less than two percent of homeowner-occupied loans in our servicing portfolio have proceeded to foreclosure sale,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido.

While that may be true on a local level, there is no denying the dubious actions of the Wells Fargo corporation:

  • Wells Fargo was a significant player in the subprime crisis. In 2006, the last year before the subprime bubble started to burst, Wells originated or co-issued $74.2 billion worth of subprime loans, making it one of the top subprime lenders in the country.
  • As recently as September 2008, Wells still held $48 billion worth of subprime mortgages in its servicing portfolio, making it the nation’s sixth largest subprime servicer.
  • Despite its large portfolio of at risk mortgages, Wells Fargo has started trial mortgage modifications for only 11% of its 292,515 borrowers who are eligible for the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program (and are at least 60 days past due). At Wachovia, which Wells Fargo acquired in 2008, the number is even lower, 2% of 74,231 eligible borrowers.
  • Wells Fargo put taxpayers on the hook for up to $36.9 billion in bailout funds and programs plus an unknown amount from the Federal Reserve’s $8 trillion in emergency programs. This money was supposed to help the banks get the economy going again. But little of this money has gone to relieve struggling homeowners and increase the flow of credit to small businesses (bullet points sourced via SEIU).

In my opinion, the City of Berkeley is to be applauded for its decision to take bold action against the Big Banks, many of which have yet to face any significant consequences for their negligent and often illegal actions. Let the politicians form their task forces and sub committees. In the mean time, intelligent citizens like those on the Berkeley City Council will continue to take action in the most powerful manner possible: voting with their dollars.

care2, 02.02.12.

Go Berkeley!


the nice little neighborhood Wells Fargo branch that I used to go down to with my mom in the Elmwood.


Occupy Oakland x Bank Transfer Day, 05.11.11.

» Velo Cult: San Diego's loss, Portland's gain

Over the weekend the Velo Cult bicycle shop held a terrific sale with big discounts on bikes and accessories.

The down side: It was a clearance sale.

Sky Boyer is moving his shop and staff to Portland.

“We’re pretty much a Portland store in the wrong city. We’re very commuter-oriented, very city-oriented.”

Velo Cult was at the center of one kind of bicycle culture in San Diego — an urban community of folks who were happy to pedal their bikes from some place, to some place, without having to change into racing garments.

sd u-t, 11.01.12.

San Diego fail.
I would move to Portland, too.

super sad I never visited the shop.
and didn’t know about their Down Townies or Tweed Rides..
now my next chance requires a plane ticket to PDX. 


velocult, 31.12.11.

» Couch surfers unite! Big business stomps on the sharing economy

..Still, the rapid growth of in-home accommodations could take a big bite out of hotels’ business. That’s especially true when you consider that much of North America’s existing housing stock was designed for larger families than are common today. One study by Urban Futures in Vancouver, British Columbia, estimated that 29 percent of all homes had more bedrooms than people in them. That’s more than 220,000 empty bedrooms in that city alone. Multiply that across the landscape and you’ve got a massive untapped reservoir of accommodations, already built, painted, furnished, heated (and sometimes cooled), and provided with bathroom and kitchen access.

..channeling travel growth into existing homes rather than new hotels would bring big environmental benefits, as Finnish think tank low2no.org argued in an analysis of the carbon footprint of hotels.

read more: grist.org, 02.02.12.

couchsurfing on an extra bed in Helsinki this past new year’s.
add me here if you join cs! 

I’m pretty against airbnb because of the $$$. It’d be useful for if I’m not home for a week or more.. but the free spirit of couchsurfing.. <3 
cs is more about people and cultural exchange than just about finding a place to crash.

» San Diego land use planning at its best!

Vacant office space in Hillcrest to become Walgreens

Originally proposed to be part of a boutique hotel, the vacant building at 301 University Ave. in Hillcrest will become a Walgreens before the end of 2012.

read more: sduptownnews, 06.01.12.

so what, if the boutique hotel thing fell through?
I’m sure there’s some group of creative architects out there that would love to make this place pretty. or upcoming entrepreneurs wanting to set up small shops. (but probably need $$$$)

I should’ve gotten into this stuff earlier and popped in to the Uptown Community meetings. 

what I would like: 3-4 story apartment building — ground floor as retail, restaurant/bar, or community space; rooftop garden/park with solar panels.

no one’s got vision here!

Sippin’ on drinks at Urban Mo’s in San Diego’s happenin’ LGBT neighborhood, Hillcrest..  gonna be way more fun staring across at a Walgreens than this! 


because we just can’t get enough of big-chain pharmacies!
thanks for accessing the community demands and making the best decisions on our behalf! our urban environment can’t get any uglier!

feelin’ kinda glad I moved out of Hillcrest now..

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