Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Virtuous cycles

It’s no secret that we’re big bike fans around here. There are lots of reasons to opt for cycling: It’s environmentally friendly. It’s fun. In New York City, where RTBC is headquartered, it’s often faster than taking a car or public transit. But what about the effects on businesses? This week, Editorial Director Rebecca Worby shared a Business Insider story that gathered the results of studies on the economic impact of bike lanes.

Rebecca Worby Slack avatar

Becca says:

The takeaway here is essentially that some businesses benefit more from bike lanes than others (makes sense that a cafe would draw more cyclists than a furniture store), but bike lanes are seldom bad for businesses in the way that business owners sometimes claim. And there are some interesting stats in here, including this one: “Every new mile of bike lane per square mile of city increases the number of cyclists by one percent.”

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One dam thing

Recently, several stories about the successful removal of dams — and the way that river ecosystems bounce back afterward — have made headlines. But dam removal can be a complicated issue. That’s certainly the case with this story that Executive Editor Will Doig shared from WHYY, which looks at how a proposed dam removal plan in Delaware is pitting residents against environmentalists.

Where a mill race pours into Brandywine Creek in Delaware.
Where a mill race pours into Brandywine Creek in Delaware. Credit: TCDavis / Flickr

will doig Will says:

We ran a story about dam removals last December — and we're holding a live event on the same topic in Maine in a couple of weeks — and when hydropower isn't involved, the fight often seems to boil down to nostalgia vs. nature (or, less charitably, past vs. present).

What else we’re reading

🌳 Seven times size of Manhattan: the African tree-planting project making a difference — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from the Guardian

♻️ Opinion: Ours is the most wasteful civilization in history. Here's how to stop that — shared by Contributing Editor Michaela Haas from the Los Angeles Times

🛋️ How this sleek affordable housing project in Maryland became a reality — shared by Rebecca Worby from Fast Company

From our writers…

Frequent RTBC contributor MaryLou Costa sent along this intriguing BBC story about redwoods in the UK. They’re younger and smaller than their California counterparts but faring well — and doing their part to combat climate change by absorbing plenty of carbon dioxide. The UK climate, scientists have found, “seems to suit them.”