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Volume I : Issue 9
Welcome to Common Ground News
In this issue:
* Feature Article – Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing
* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at GeoMetrx: “Measuring Distances”
* Thematic Map – Bicycling Heat Map
* Trivia Challenge – Bicycle History
This and all our future newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center
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Franchising Opportunity: Bike Sharing
We are living in an age of increase – increasing population, oil and gas prices,
pollution, traffic congestion, infrastructure crisis, and even our waist lines.
You might think the last item on that list is out of place; however, many of our
modern conveniences have a direct link to our lack of exercise. Beyond walking
the halls of the office, many of us get little to no meaningful regular
exercise. We drive to and from everything: work, shops, school, church, kids’
activities, even the gym… when we go. Some of us even use the car to travel to
the end of the driveway to retrieve our mail! In the United States, we own 30%
of the automobiles produced in the world and yet we account for just 5% of the
worldwide population. Can we reverse this trend of being so heavily
Bicycling is a growing industry as the activity is gaining popularity across our
nation. Bicycling has the ability to decrease all of the negatives listed above.
One particular new trend within the industry in the United States has the
potential to transform our sedentary, gas-guzzling ways – bike sharing. Bike
sharing has become very popular in European cities. It’s a straightforward,
green commuter concept which replaces short trips ordinarily made by car. Large
fleets of bicycles are made available at closely spaced rental stations. Bikes
can be rented on the spot for a low hourly or weekly rate by tourists or other
occasional riders, and low-cost affordable membership packages can be purchased
by frequent users. Bike sharing is ideal for cities of any size, corporations
with sprawling facilities and school campuses. Participants need not be troubled
with bike maintenance, storage or even theft.
Anderson Corporation in Bayport, MN is a leader in bike at work programs. With
more than 3 million square feet of ground to cover within their plant, everyone
from maintenance mechanics to executives utilize company supplied bicycles to
get from place to place. This innovative program not only saves time and money
by increasing the efficiency of getting from one end of the factory to the other
allowing for quicker response times, it also promotes a healthier environment
and a healthier lifestyle. Many companies are now making bicycles available for
employees to use during breaks to run errands in town as well.
New York University is a leader among campus programs. As of 2010, nearly 90
universities have introduced bike sharing programs for their students. Demand is
coming from the students and in the case of NYU, as well as others, the actual
programs have been developed by the students themselves.
“The NYU Bike Share provides free short-term bicycle rentals
to NYU students, faculty, and staff. The program was proposed
and developed by a student-led Green Grant team, with
funding, organizational and planning support from the NYU
Office of Sustainability. It’s founded on the idea that
bicycling can be a safe, healthy, sustainable, and fun way
to get around New York City. The Bike Share seeks to lower
the barriers to entry (such as cost and inexperience)
that prospective cyclists face at NYU.”
The Bikes Belong Coalition, founded in 1999, is an organization of bicycle
retailers and suppliers who have banded together to promote bicycling. According
to their 2011 report on bicycling trends in the U.S., there has been a large
increase in funding for bicycling. Many cities are incorporating bicycling into
their urban planning including bike sharing programs. According to the U.S.
Department of Transportation, half of all trips made are less than 3 miles. This
behavior lends itself well to bicycling and bike sharing programs. Leading the
way are groups such as B-Cycle, a collaborative effort of Humana, Trek and
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, with locations in over a dozen cities; Nice Ride, a
non-profit organization in Minneapolis, MN; and companies such as Alta Bike
Share and DecoBike, consultants and partners with several local municipalities.
In the 70 largest cities in the U.S., the League of American Bicyclists
reports that bicycle commuting has risen 63% in the last decade, yet this only
accounts for 1% of urban commuters. Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong
would like to see that number rise to 5%. Bike sharing programs will play a big
part in achieving this goal, along with continued bike friendly improvements,
such as safer and more plentiful bike lanes. There are currently an estimated 15
bike sharing programs in operation in our cities with 17 more planned for this
year alone, according to CNN Money.
In America, we are used to being the leaders. For now, Europe is well ahead of
us, but the yellow jersey is within our grasp if we choose to stay in the chase.
If you are interested in starting a bike sharing business, our GeoMetrx
territory mapping application can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Tips & Techniques –
Measuring Distance on a Strategy or Territory Map
The tool panel in GeoMetrx has many useful utilities. The RULER tool allows
you to measure distance from one point on the map to another, or cumulatively to
multiple points on the map. This can be helpful when trying to determine travel
distances and times when defining territories.
To measure distance:
① Click on the RULER icon in the tool panel
② Click on the location on the map where you want to begin your measurement
③ Move the cursor to your first measurement point and click. A hover box will
display the measurement in miles.
④ Repeat for as many points as you want to measure. The hover box will display
the current segment distance as well as the cumulative distance up to that
⑤ Double click when you are finished and the distance segment markers will
Bicycling: Heat Map[facebooklike][twittertweet]
Bicycling is a great activity. It promotes a healthier lifestyle and provides
zero-emissions transportation. In addition to our GeoMetrx data used to
create the heat map below, here are some more bicycling statistics:
• Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. after
running/jogging (Outdoor Foundation, Outdoor Recreation Participation
Topline Report 2011)
• 83% of Americans want to maintain or increase the small percentage of funding
that helps build sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths (Princeton Survey
Research Associates International, 2012)
• The number one reason given for not bicycling is lack of access to a bicycle
(National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)
Further anecdotal information reveals that men outnumber women 3 to 1 when it
comes to cycling, and those with lower incomes tend to ride bikes more often for
utilitarian purposes while those with higher incomes are more likely to ride for
recreation. New immigrants to the U.S. ride bicycles more frequently than native
born U.S. citizens, and most European countries do not report significant
differences in frequency or purpose by gender or income level.
Below is a heat map depicting the percent of U.S. Adults (18+) that have ridden
a bicycle within the last year, whether riding a mountain bike or a road bike.
The southeast region dispalys the lowest level of activity (yellow) while the
rest of the country has greater participation (green).
Click to see a larger version of this map.
For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.
❀ ❀ ❀
September 2012 – Trivia Challenge
1) In what year was the very first “bicycle” invented?
2) What was this invention with two inline wheels actually called? (Hint: it was
not called a bicycle)