Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Mar, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

………

This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

………

Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

………

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

………

People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

………

Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

………

Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

………

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

………

Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

An open letter urging Beverly Hills to approve Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes

Yesterday we had a guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot discussing the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which is back for discussion before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

Stephen Collins wrote to the mayor and city council in response, urging them to approve the desperately needed lanes, which is the missing link between existing lanes in West Hollywood and Century City. He agreed to let me share his letter with you.

………

Hello Mayor Bosse and Beverly Hills City Council Members,

As a resident of a neighboring community (Hollywood), an individual who makes an effort to bicycle commute whenever possible (for the environment we all share, in addition to my wellness), a visitor and patron to parks and businesses in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities, and an engineer with work experience in public infrastructure;

I write to urge your strong support of Bicycle Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. I ride this route regularly, and there is a stark contrast between the safe, relaxed, and predictable riding I am able to do on this same street through nearby West Hollywood, and the dangerous, nerve-racking, and unpredictable riding I must choose if I stay my path into Beverly Hills.

A popular website for cyclists called Strava publishes an aggregate map of where their users ride. I would like to draw your attention to how important Santa Monica Blvd. is to the region in the image below, where I’ve approximately circled the segment through Beverly Hills.

Brighter lines indicate higher utilization. As you can clearly see, this is the most important East/West route for bicyclists North of the 10 Freeway. It’s utilization is on par with streets like Venice Blvd (complete bike lanes, with recent safety improvements in Mar Vista), San Vicente Blvd (complete bike lanes), Sunset Blvd through Echo Park/Silverlake (complete bike lanes) and even the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path, which is car-free. This is the most important stretch of road in the whole area which does not have complete bike lanes. You should have no worries that an investment in safe multi-modal transit for the future of Santa Monica Blvd will be underutilized.

[FYI – Strava is able to provide better data and analysis to city planners and decision makers directly through their Strava Metro program – I encourage you to check it out here: http://metro.strava.com/]

If you haven’t, I would also encourage you to take a single short ride along this segment of road one weekday morning or afternoon, in either direction. Cars and buses move swiftly in open sections of road, and completely jam forward progress when traffic gridlocks. Neither of these are nearly such a concern to cyclists in neighboring communities on this route.

The wide, green lanes in WeHo are a delight, but even the striped lanes on the other side through Century City are leaps and bounds more safe and comfortable to ride than the section through Beverly Hills.

This is a very important bicycle thoroughfare for the region, and Beverly Hills has an opportunity to step up to or even exceed the standards in safety and environmental consciousness set by its neighbors on the same road. It can also be used to encourage cyclists to visit your business district, and to allow community members safer access to their favorite shops in town.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter. I am sorry I am unable to attend your meeting tomorrow – thus my note.

Best,

Stephen M. Collins

………

If you’d like to voice your support, you can attend attend the meeting at 7 pm in the council chambers at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. If you can’t make it, email your support to mailto:[email protected], and indicate whether you are a resident or work there.

 

Morning Links: Beverly Hills considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes, bikes as mobility aids, and not speeding fast enough

Don’t miss yesterday’s great guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot about the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills. After being rejected several times in recent years, they will be back before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

The anti-bike NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force once again. So turn out in person if you can; if not, email to voice your support for a desperately needed safe route through the city.

Here are the vital details from Elliot’s post.

Help us support bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please contact City Council by email with your support for high-visibility bicycle lanes. Reach Council [email protected] Your short statement should indicate whether you are a resident and/or if you work here. Those are important considerations for any councilmember.

Plan to attend the meting on Tuesday, June 20th in Council Chambers, City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. and the main act should hit the stage at 7:45 or so (please refer to the agenda).

………

A British survey confirms that many disabled people use bicycles as a mobility aid, finding that traveling by bike is easier on them and healthier than other means.

Yet they are frequently required to dismount and walk their bikes, despite using them in the same way someone might use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Which is something else to consider in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles, where the city’s disconnected bike non-network could raise issues of compliance with the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act), if it prevents people with physical mobility issues from using their bikes to get around.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

A Canadian cyclist got pulled over by a cop, not because he was speeding on a descent, which he was. But because he was doing it in the traffic lane, which forced drivers who wanted to zoom even faster above the speed limit to change lanes to pass him.

Go ahead and think about that one for awhile.

………

Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon is back to racing after a six-week suspension for making an alleged racist comment to another rider, which he kind of denies.

Hundreds of cyclists have competed in RAAM. But how many have done it without any legs? Then again, racing with one arm and a bum leg isn’t exactly easy, either.

The 25th annual Yukon to Alaska Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay will have to wait a year, after the race was cancelled due to a very late spring snow storm — except for the unicyclists, who decided to ride it anyway. And no, you won’t be getting your money back.

………

Local

Transportation planner and UCLA faculty member Ryan Snyder says LA must be a bikeable city in order to be a world class city.

Apparently, Elon Musk thinks you’re going to want to walk or bike through his underground tunnels.

LA designer Phillip Lim was inspired to get into the movie business while on a bike ride along New York’s East river with a director friend.

CiclaValley explores the eastern portion of Angeles Crest Highway.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a community ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

Bicycling injuries have dropped for children and teens in California, while more bike riders over 55 are suffering injuries serious enough to visit the ER. The most obvious explanation is that fewer children and teens are riding bikes, while more people over 55 have taken up recreational riding.

A transient bicyclist was injured when he was hit by a car in Anaheim while ghost riding a second bicycle. Let’s hope police checked the ownership of the second bike; ghost riding is a common way to transport a freshly stolen bicycle.

People continue to be attacked by rock-throwing residents of homeless camps, for no apparent reason, along a popular bike path on the American River in Sacramento; one rider was seriously injured last week.

A mobile bike co-op helps keep Ukiah bicyclists on the road.

A pro skier is spending her summer selling homemade gourmet popsicles by bicycle in Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Deadspin offers a comprehensive guide to riding your bike, saying buy a goddam helmet and don’t buy that fixie; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link. Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know about ebikes.

A Texas writer says yes, bicyclists have to obey the law, too. But we bear the brunt of collisions when drivers don’t.

After an Arkansas teenager set up a lemonade stand to try earn money for a bicycle, kindhearted strangers gave him two bikes, and bought more lemonade than he could make.

Austin TX residents have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a man who said he was just blowing off steam.

A writer for the New York Post seems to think she’s the victim after people take offense at her tweet that she’s nearly been run down by cars twice and by bikes 3,763,459 times, and that we should be grateful that the city has been transformed for bike riders. Maybe she could try looking up before she steps off the curb next time.

A New Jersey man gets 35 years for killing a bike-riding man who got caught in the crossfire of a shootout near his home. Now if they’d just take it that seriously when people use their cars as weapons.

A Philly writer takes offense when two cops refer to bicyclists as “hood ornaments” on Facebook. Although it’s more offensive that police officials didn’t.

 

International

In a report that should surprise no one, a Canadian newspaper concludes that drivers usually receive nothing more than a fine for hitting a bike rider. Which makes Canada pretty much like just about everywhere else.

After 14 months of sobriety, a Canadian man is riding over 5,100 miles across the country to raise awareness of addiction.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Quebec man is still riding 25 miles a day, and says crashing is just part of the sport. Except for the crashing part, that is.

A Montreal cyclist survives by hiding in a small hole after encountering a tornado on his ride.

Lululemon is getting into the “small” bicycling market by investing in a Canadian bikewear maker.

Bike riders in Canada’s Maritime Provinces call for more to be done to protect people on bicycles.

London’s new walking and cycling czar lays out plans for the future of bicycling in the city; the city’s new cycle superhighways and quietways have boosted bicycling rates 56%.

A British bicyclist nearly died when paramedics misdiagnosed a rare adrenal condition due to a benign tumor, assuming he was just a drunk tourist before sending him to the hospital. If anything ever happens to me, promise you’ll smack anyone who refers to me an “avid cyclist.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a tour of Fausto Pinarello’s personal bicycle collection.

The Italian soccer coach who promised his team he’d ride across the country if they avoided relegation to a lower league finishes his 800-mile journey in nine days.

Caught on video: A bike-raging Aussie cyclist lashes out at a woman driver after she pulls out of a parking space into his path, apparently without looking. Seriously, don’t throw a temper tantrum like that. And if you do, don’t be stupid enough to post it online.

A new survey says more women in Canberra, Australia are riding bikes — including BMX bikes. However, the opposite is true in the country’s New South Wales state, where cycling rates are dropping, especially among women. Which couldn’t possibly have anything to do with NSW’s draconian fines for cycling violations that went into effect last year.

 

Finally…

No, Fox News host Sean Hannity was not killed in a bike crash — and didn’t fake it to catch a terrorist, either. Hold your horses on getting that poop transplant.

And don’t chase bike riders in your creepy clown suit.

 

Back at Beverly Hills City Council Tomorrow: Bicycle Lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please join residents, riders, regional bicycle commuters and multimodal mobility advocates tomorrow for a return engagement of ‘Bicycle Lanes Comes to Beverly Hills’! The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council chambers. There is a new cast but a familiar storyline: Will city officials agree to include bicycle lanes on our reconstructed Santa Monica Boulevard? Will we finally plug the gaping hole in the backbone bicycle network to connect West Hollywood and Century City?

When the curtain closed on this show back in July of 2015, councilmembers Nancy Krasne, Willie Brien, and (then-Mayor) Julian Gold would not agree to striping bicycle lanes. Even though the boulevard would be wide enough to accommodate lanes. Even though riders would have shared a 15’ wide curb lane with buses and many, many motorists.

(For more about the twisted road to Santa Monica Boulevard bicycle lanes in Beverly Hills, check out my recent recap. Want a news update by email right after the decision? Sign up for the Better Bike blast!)

Of course US DOT advises against letting bicyclists share such a wide lane with motor traffic. And for good reason: on a corridor that sees 50,000 motor trips on average every day, for example, why would any city official choose to put bicycle riders into a scrum with buses and SUVs? Yet our two councilmember-doctors, Gold and Brien, along with councilmember Krasne (“I love the bikers”), simply could not be persuaded by a safety argument. No matter how many riders offered it.

Now, two years later the curtain rises again… but with a new cast!

Returning for an encore performance is Mayor Lili Bosse. She has made multimodal mobility a priority for the city and we are looking forward to our first complete streets plan early next year. (The RFPs are back at the end of June – stay tuned!) Councilmember John Mirisch also supports bicycle lanes. He’s actually a resident of Sweden so he knows what Euro-style multimodal mobility looks like. First-time councilmember Robert Wunderlich could add a third vote for bicycle lanes on the corridor. Not only has he said he supports lanes; he’s even asked why they can’t be protected lanes!

Supporting players in the City Council drama include Vice-Mayor Julian Gold. He couldn’t support bicycle lanes in 2015 (but said he was open to them). And first-time councilmember Les Friedman, a longtime member of our Traffic and Parking Commission, has never been a pro-multimodal or pro-bike voice. (When pressed on infrastructure, he simply asked, “Why do all the cyclists run stop signs?”) We need to give these two officials in particular a reason to make safety job #1. We want five pro-safety votes.


The curtain rises again tomorrow, Tuesday June 20th at 7 p.m. The storyline is familiar: Will city officials agree to include bicycle lanes on the new Santa Monica Boulevard? Tomorrow’s City Council meeting (455 N. Rexford Dr. Beverly Hills at 7 p.m.) is your opportunity to write a different ending to this saga.

Here are our top-three arguments for bicycle lanes: safety, safety, and safety.

Bicycle lanes are recommended because a wide curbside lane encourages higher speeds. Buses and bicyclists are generally “not compatible” when sharing the curb lane, according to design guidance, so why have a too-wide curb lane when we can stripe a bicycle lane within it?

Moreover, Santa Monica Boulevard is appropriate for bicycle lanes because there is no curbside parking on the corridor in Beverly Hills. That’s often an impediment to riders because the ‘door zone’ is a known hazard. But here it is not a problem. This boulevard is a perfect case where bicycle lanes will improve flow for all road users.

Santa Monica Boulevard is regional connector and bicycle commuters already use it. We go to UCLA, the beach, and to businesses and homes right here in Beverly Hills. Let’s give us a safe way to reach them!

The second issue concerns rider experience. Aside from the question of whether we have the votes to stripe bicycle lanes is the question of what kind of lanes we will get.

We are looking for standard 5-foot wide lanes at least. The staff report proposes bicycle lanes as narrow as 4’ 6”. Ostensibly that’s because the city proposes to stripe the inside lanes at 11-feet wide. It could also be because city transportation officials never supported bicycle lanes and a 4’6” lane is designed to fail to gain support. Regardless, it comes back to safety: according to current design guidance that 11’ #1 traffic lane needs to be reduced to 10 feet. That would reduce vehicular speed on the corridor and make available a greater margin of safety for riders.

Tomorrow we will ask that City Council direct staff to distribute the available curb-to-curb space in a way that maximizes safety for all road users. Here’s a preview of what that could look like.

Santa Monica boulevard with the lane width adjustments that will get us the room for first-class lanes that we need!

Santa Monica boulevard lane width adjustments could get us the room we need!

 

Moreover, we urge City Council to support high-visibility green bicycle lanes. Making lanes more conspicuous offers several advantages over conventional (Class II) lanes. Reduced road conflict is a feature of high-viz lanes and should lead to fewer crash injuries (which have increased dramatically in Beverly Hills). When color delineates the space available to riders, motorists are discouraged from encroaching into the lane and are encouraged to yield to riders when appropriate. Not only that: colored lanes highlight the multimodal function of the boulevard. Our plans say we want travelers to travel by bicycle so let’s make it obvious!

An added benefit is that green lanes add to the apparent greenspace while reducing the visual impact of the blacktop. Win-win!

Help us support bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please contact City Council by email with your support for high-visibility bicycle lanes. Reach Council at [email protected] Your short statement should indicate whether you are a resident and/or if you work here. Those are important considerations for any councilmember.

Plan to attend the meting on Tuesday, June 20th in Council Chambers, City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. and the main act should hit the stage at 7:45 or so (please refer to the agenda).

I want to thank Ted Rogers for this essential blog, as well as thank all of the tireless supporters who have come to my City Council hat-in-hand, year-after-year, asking for this most basic of safety measures. You have come from Westchester, the Valley, and the far Eastside on two wheels and I salute you!

Special thanks goes to Kory Klem, Rich Hirschinger, Eric Bruins, and the many other folks who helped to craft our Greenway proposal in 2014. That was the leverage we needed to get an additional 2.5 feet of width to make lanes even possible. We also couldn’t have done it without LACBC which lent staff support for our proposals and outreach over the years. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Morning Links: Ventura hit-and-run goes to trial, Trans Am cyclist killed in KS, and world’s 1st porn cycling team

Check in later today, when we’ll have a guest post from Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who’s almost single-handedly led the Sisyphean fight for bike lanes in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

He reports the city council will reconsider their decision not to paint bike lanes on the soon-to-be-reconstructed Santa Monica Blvd tomorrow.

………

Ventura tow truck driver Hermin Martin Henderson is scheduled to face trial in August for the hit-and-run death of 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez.

Hernandez was killed when he rode out to see a friend after an emotional family meeting following the death of his sister from leukemia.

Security footage shows he apparently went through a red light, and was struck by Henderson’s truck. Henderson left him lying in the roadway; whether alive or dead, no one will ever know.

What is known is that he was then struck by another driver who also fled the scene, and has never been apprehended.

It’s impossible to speculate whether Hernandez would have survived if Henderson had stopped and called for help. What is certain is that his choice to leave him lying there unprotected meant he didn’t have a chance.

………

Tragic news from Kansas, where a 61-year old man from San Luis Obispo was killed in a collision while competing in the Oregon to Virginia Trans Am Bike Race. Eric Fishbein is the second ultra-distance cyclist to be killed while competing in the last three months, following the death of famed British rider Mike Hall in Australia last March.

Over 1,200 riders helped the annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay race celebrate its 25th anniversary, rolling 150 miles from Haines Junction, Yukon, to Haines, Alaska.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old British cyclist has been banned from a grueling race because organizers think he’s too old, even though he routinely beats riders half his age.

………

Local

Metro’s Metro Bike bikeshare could expand to Pomona in time for the 2018 LA County Fair.

A conservative street artist claimed responsibility for vandalizing several West Hollywood WeHo Pedals bikeshare bikes to promote alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos.

Wearing a helmet while riding your bike in Glendale could get you a ticket for a free Slurpee. But only if you’re a kid.

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride will explore the controversial new bike lanes and road reductions in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. If you support the Mar Vista bike lanes, give it some stars.

Long Beach is considering developing their own app-based bike registration program. Someone should tell them that they could just use Bike Index for free.

Elon Musk wants you to bike and walk in his underground tunnels.

 

State

A Lemon Grove woman was badly injured when she hit a pothole and went over the handlebars; because of the location on the border between the cities, it was unclear whether the pothole was in Lemon Grove or San Diego.

A San Marcos cyclist is recovering from a collision with a truck after he allegedly entered the intersection on a red light and was thrown in front of the truck when he attempted a panic stop.

A Sacramento man suffered a collapsed lung when he was hit with a rock thrown by a bike-riding homeless man as he was riding his bike home last week. Meanwhile, a Sacramento runner was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run cyclist on the same trail, who also appeared to be homeless.

 

National

British bike historian Carlton Reid, author of the newly published Bike Boom, looks at how America’s 1970s bike boom went bust.

American riot police have embraced the bicycle as a more efficient tool for crowd control.

Bike Portland looks at the ugly economics of bike crashes.

A 78-year old pastor is riding 2,000 miles from Sante Fe NM to Tampa FL in memory of his late wife.

The Denver Post talks with a handful of riders who completed the paper’s annual Ride the Rockies, finishing 447 miles with 30,000 feet of elevation gain.

An Illinois cyclist is still among the living because he happened to have his heart attack on a club ride full of physicians.

A Wisconsin man rode his bike to Louisiana to meet the man who received his daughter’s heart after she drowned in a Cancun swimming pool.

Two New York bike riders were killed by tour buses in less than a week; the latest victim was an 80-year old man riding in a crosswalk.

Caught on video: A New York bike rider is in a coma after a random attack by a man who punched him in the face for no apparent reason.

The Washington Post illustrates the history of the bicycle.

Baltimore bike advocates fear a bikelash will result in a rollback of bike lanes in the city, where the mayor has ordered a review of all bike lanes and parking spaces. The debate has resulted in dueling petitions for and against the bike lanes, something Mar Vista and Playa del Rey riders can relate to.

Virginia bicyclists aren’t thrilled with plans for a noisy, smog-choked bike path next to a new multi-lane freeway. Or they could do it right, like this new Denver to Boulder CO bikeway.

The drunk, gay-bashing Key West Trump supporter who tried to ram two men as they rode their bikes gets off without a single day behind bars. But at least he doesn’t get the hug he wanted from his victims.

 

International

Maybe pushing yourself too hard for too many years isn’t great for your heart after all.

The Guardian profiles a British baker who delivers her goods by bicycle — as long as you live within a mile of her shop. Meanwhile, the paper says the wheels have not come off the country’s grassroots cycling boom, despite problems with the elite cycling program.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker rebuts the claims that bike lanes make air pollution worse.

A 30-year old British man plans to ride the 2,000 miles from Bath to Rome standing up due to congenital arthritis in his hip.

Rather than making sidewalks handicapped accessible, Dublin’s lord mayor considers allowing people with disabilities to use bike lanes.

Roughly 1,000 Paris bicyclists staged a die-in in front of the Bastille to call for greater safety on the roads.

As expected, the Saudi Arabian driver who fatally doored a German bike rider has claimed diplomatic immunity, protecting him from prosecution and halting the investigation.

ESPN talks with American cycling champ Rebecca Rush about her 1,200-mile ride along the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to visit the site of her father’s death in the Vietnam War.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride, don’t do it alone. Seriously, don’t crash your bike into people on the sidewalk — and don’t punch an elderly man if you do. And don’t spit on dogs, either.

And how did it take this long for someone to found the world’s first all porn cycling team?

 

Truck driver fatally strikes Hesperia bike rider from behind with wing mirror

This is why we have a three-foot passing law.

According to the Victor Valley News, a 47-year old man died after he was struck from behind while riding on Ranchero Road near Lassen Street in Hesperia Friday night.

Hesperia resident Ryan Dennis Angus was riding west on Ranchero around 8:27 pm when he was struck in the head with the wing mirror of a passing utility truck.

He was flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where the San Bernardino coroner’s office reports he was pronounced dead at 10 am Saturday morning.

A street view shows a wide-open two lane roadway with a minimal dirt shoulder.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. No word on whether he will be ticketed or charged as a result of the crash.

However, this crash could not have happened if the driver had given the victim the minimum three-foot passing distance required by state law.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County. He is also the sixth bike rider to be killed in Hesperia since 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ryan Dennis Angus and his loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Morning Links: Tamika Butler leaves LACBC, anti-bike NIMBYs sue LA, and Peter Flax nearly needs his own obit

When I was asked to join the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition in 2010, I set out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish as a board member.

Chief among those was extending the reach of the LACBC beyond its mostly white, mostly Westside base to serve the too often ignored communities south of the 10 Freeway, and east of the LA River.

Tamika Butler made that happen.

In her nearly three years heading the coalition, she brought a degree of professionalism that the mostly volunteer organization had never known, building a solid organizational structure and hiring an experienced professional staff to serve the bicyclists of LA County.

But more than that, she built upon efforts that had already been underway — some successful, some not — to make the LACBC a national leader in addressing equity in bicycling, and in using bikes as tools for social justice. And in the process, started a conversation on race and bias that has reverberated throughout the US.

Since stepping down from the board last year, I’ve watched as the stature of the bike coalition has continued to grow, not in her shadow, but on her shoulders.

And it had become obvious that she had outgrown her position with the LACBC, and would inevitably soon move on to a more prominent role.

That day has come.

The LACBC announced yesterday that Tamika Butler will be leaving her position as Executive Director as of July 14th. Streetsblog reports she’ll be moving on to head the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

They’ll be lucky to have her.

Normally, that would be their gain and the LACBC’s loss. But in this case, that doesn’t fit.

In her short time with the coalition, she has lifted it to heights no one could have predicted when the board voted unanimously to hire her. And left it positioned for even greater growth and success in the years to come.

I hate to see her go.

But it’s time to take her fight beyond the world of bicycling, where she can make a bigger impact on the greater society.

And help make this a better, fairer and more equitable city for all us.

You can read the messages of Tamika Butler and LACBC Board Chair Doug John announcing her departure here.

………

The City of Los Angeles is being sued by the guardians of LA past, who think it’s their self-appointed duty to stop any forward momentum in the City of Angeles.

Like the nearly completed Target store that’s been sitting vacant and unfinished at Sunset and Western for several years, keeping the neighborhood blighted, depressing local businesses and denying residents the jobs it would create.

Not because it violates city zoning rules, as they claim. But because they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood.

In other words, the worst kind of NIMBYs, willing to screw over an entire neighborhood — or city — in an attempt to maintain the status quo for the privileged few.

Now these same people are suing the city for — get this — exposing children to dangerous levels of smog by placing bike lanes on major streets.

Not that kids are likely to use those arterial commuter lanes. Or that they give a rat’s ass about kids with asthma.

And never mind that the studies they insist the mayor is refusing to conduct have been done repeatedly around the world, and show that the benefits of bicycling far outweigh any risk from auto exhaust or otherwise polluted air.

They just don’t want bikes besmirching their fair boulevards. Or to sacrifice one inch of pavement that could be devoted to their cars.

And they’re willing to rest their case on bogus fears about the dangers to kids to do it.

If they win, LA’s hard-fought bike plan will be out the window. Which has been their real intent all along.

Meaning that you’ll be forced onto side streets, if you choose to use what few bike lanes they deem appropriate, requiring longer, circuitous routes to get where you’re going. Or continue to mix it up with motor vehicles on streets that will remain dangerous in deference to LA’s automotive hegemony.

Let’s hope the courts see through this one and show them the door.

Preferably with a foot firmly attached to their collective ass.

You have to hand it to any attorney who would be willing to publicly display such a complete and total lack of understanding of bike lanes and road diets.

………

Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax writes his own obituary following a chilling close call with the driver of a Porsche on Olympic Blvd.

………

Manhattan Beach residents are going to war over the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, preparing to sue the city for their God-given right to drive from the South Bay to their offices in Santa Monica and Century City without setting wheels on a roadway actually designed for that purpose.

Because evidently, it’s worth killing a few strangers every year so they can keep commuting in their single-occupant SUVs from their multimillion dollar beachfront homes. And LA is supposed to just bend over and let them.

Regardless of the harm they do to the people and communities along their way.

You can see what those road diet opponents have to say on the subject by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

………

A British woman has started a petition to protect the roads — or rather, those poor, put-upon drivers — from dangerous cyclists who play chicken with cars and hurl abuse at the people in them.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be drivers who pass too close to bikes or do anything that might inspire that anger.

………

Britain’s governing body for sports either missed or willfully ignored problems with the cycling program.

Greg LeMond once again calls for banning race radios in the Tour de France to make the race more unpredictable and exciting. An idea I wholeheartedly endorse. Just put the riders on their bikes and let them race.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s public meeting to discuss changes to deadly Fletcher Drive though Atwater Village, which writer Joe Linton describes as a necessary route for bicyclists through the area, despite the dangers of high speed traffic. Needless to say, most drivers at the meeting seemed to prefer the option that didn’t include a road diet or bike lanes, and wouldn’t do much to improve safety for anyone.

Six streets in the San Fernando Valley are scheduled for Vision Zero safety improvements, including Sepulveda Blvd and Lankershim Blvd — where Councilmember Paul Krekorian has already decided to keep the street dangerous instead of installing a road diet with bike lanes. The misleading headline implies bike lanes are planned for all of the streets, which is contradicted by the story.

Bike SGV reports Pasadena is planning to make the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station more walkable and bikeable.

The new superintendent of the La Habra city school district rode a bicycle across the US when she was in her 20s. I like her already.

 

State

That bike-riding rhino replica will complete its tour of the left coast in San Diego this weekend.

A UC Riverside man will ride from LA to DC this summer to spread a message of diversity and tolerance.

It’s safe to get back on your bike again. The Sacramento man who was convicted of deliberately running down three bike riders is back behind bars after being released on a clerical error.

 

National

Wired looks at the movement of women’s bike makers to finally go beyond shrink it and pink it.

An Austin TX teenager says he was “just blowing off steam” when he shot a bike rider in the face with a shotgun, nearly killing him. Hopefully, he’ll be in prison long enough to permanently lose that smug look on his face; thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Must be something in the water. In another Austin case, a 26-year old man was arrested after trying to ride salmon on an Interstate highway in an effort to elude police.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News calls on the NYPD to stop automatically blaming bike riders for crashes where they weren’t at fault, and stop cracking down on people on bikes as a result. Like in the case of the Israeli man killed riding a New York bikeshare bike, who didn’t swerve into a bus after all.

Philadelphia steps up plans for Vision Zero after a longtime transportation advocate was killed when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he and another person were walking.

A Baltimore lawyer and the head of the city’s bike advocacy group explain why they successfully sued to prevent the mayor from ripping out a protected bike lane.

What the fuck is wrong with people? A Baltimore mother was murdered in a dispute over her son’s bike seat.

Jamie McMurray is one of us, part of the brigade of NASCAR drivers who’ve taken up bicycling, including a recent 102 mile ride up a South Carolina mountain.

 

International

Treehugger reviews Carlton Reid’s new book Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling. Which I hope to have in my own hot little hands in the near future.

The Guardian asks if you can pick out cities from just their naked bikeway networks. Even without looking at the multiple choice answers, Los Angeles is obvious from its disconnected non-network and over-reliance on river and beachfront bike paths.

Evidently, it’s perfectly okay to kill a bike-riding woman with your truck in the UK, then decide there’s no point hanging around once the paramedics arrive, and continue with your deliveries.

A Welsh website explains why participants in the World Naked Bike Ride aren’t likely to be arrested; apparently, public nudity is legal as long as you aren’t offensive. Which pretty much rules me out.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Record-setting, 105-year old Robert Marchand helps kick off a French cycling event he competed in several times in years past.

A Berlin bicyclist was fatally doored by a diplomat, apparently from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Thanks to again to Steve Katz.

Denmark focuses on building streets where children can bike to school alone, resulting in happier, healthier kids. And adults.

ZDNet looks at the smart internet-connected Estonian bike lock being installed in the Bay Area BART stations.

A 26-year old Indian man will spend the next three years bicycling around the country to share the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with school children. I want to be like him, too.

A bike group paints murals around Beirut, Lebanon to promote riding over driving.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to be invaded by Chinese dockless bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Your next bike light could help fill potholes. Bike racing comes to Beverly Hills; no, not that Beverly Hills.

And no, hurling it off a seven-story building is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike.

 

Morning Links: Combo passing pole and clothesline, more CicLAvia photos, and close calls here and abroad

Call it bicycle multi-tasking.

David Wolfberg forwards a photo of bike rider with a pole marking a three-foot passing distance. And using it to keep his dress shirt freshly pressed for work.

And before you ask, yes, Wolfberg says took he the shot while he was safely stopped at a traffic light.

………

CicLAvia offers some great photos from Sunday’s Glendale Meets Atwater Village event. Though they somehow appear to have missed the Corgi. And the CicLAvia chicken.

Meanwhile, the Glendale News-Press provides their own photos of the day.

………

Now that’s scary as hell. A British bicyclist barely avoids becoming roadkill when a driver darts out in front on him on a roundabout.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley had a too close call of his own, which seems almost tame in comparison.

………

A new report says the UK’s phenomenally successful cycling program subjected cyclists to a culture of fear and abuse that was tolerated by leadership.

Hein Verbruggen died in the Netherlands at age 75; the longtime head of the International Cycling Union oversaw the growth pro cycling over the past few decades, as well as accused of being complicit in the doping era.

The inaugural Colorado Classic announces the four stages of the circuit-based August race.

An Italian cycling team has become the latest to be banned after two of its riders tested positive for doping on the eve of the Giro d’Italia. Good thing the doping era is over.

………

Local

The Daily News looks at a growing memorial on the Orange Line bike path where a young homeless heroin addict died after hanging himself.

CiclaValley gives a positive review to the recent changes to the Griffith Park Circulation and Traffic Plan.

The NIMBY’s strike back. South Bay drivers have started a crowdfunding campaign to fight the recent road diets on Vista del Mar and Pershing Drive in Playa del Rey, so they can continue to use those beach community roads as their own cut-through commuter highways, safety be damned.

A Whittier man finally receives his high school diploma, 50 years after he shipped off to serve as a medic Vietnam rather than completing high school; in 2004, he joined with seven other cyclists on a ride from Irwindale to DC to successfully call for a designated day to give Vietnam vets the welcome home they never received.

The Long Beach man facing life in prison for throwing his bicycle at a cop who tried to stop him for riding without a license — and was severely beaten as a result — now says he’s a tribal sovereign exempt from American law. Of course he is.

 

State

Cupertino will invest $7 million in six new bicycling infrastructure projects over the next fiscal year.

You’ve got to be kidding. A man sentenced to 35 years in state prison for intentionally crashing into three bicyclists, among other charges, was mistakenly released when an unrelated Sacramento case was dismissed. Which means you might want to hide your bike until they can put him back behind bars where he belongs.

A Sacramento man’s bicycle remains locked to a fence after he was badly beaten while he was sleeping and left for dead on the corner where he worked as a sign twirler.

A man rode his bicycle 1,500 miles from Iowa to Sacramento to be with his sister as she battles cancer.

 

National

A Wyoming writer says yes, mountain bikers can be annoying, but they contribute a lot to the local economy.

Bighearted Omaha NE firefighters give 100 gently used bicycles to local kids, along with new helmets.

Austin TX bicyclists now face an easier commute after the state opens the third in a series of bike bridges over a steep gorge, which also means the shoulder formerly used by cyclists to cross an existing highway bridge can be turned back into a traffic lane. And thus induce additional traffic.

Police in Maine plan an statewide blitz to crack down on dangerous drivers who threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. In other words, what police should be doing everywhere, every day.

A Rhode Island memorial ride is re-envisioned with a new focus on bike safety for everyone.

A 21-year old Mobile AL man faces a number of charges after being arrested for shooting two bicyclists with a pellet gun.

 

International

Bike Radar usually gets it right. And their story on seven practical enhancements to turn your bike into a commuter bike is no exception. Although their use of the term “ultimate” might be debatable.

The Guardian offers five bike commute stories from around the world, ranging from witnessing a killer driver in Nairobi to crossing the border between affluence and poverty in New Orleans. And asks if bicycles and autonomous cars can co-exist by 2035.

Caught on video: A Calgary bike rider captures a rear view of an endo, after he goes over the handlebars when a driver stopped short in front of him.

A British writer says she loves to ride her bike, but drives instead because the roads in Manchester seem designed to wipe cyclists out.

Kindhearted English police repair an abandoned bicycle and give it to a teen when his was stolen after his family struggled to buy it.

A UK website asks if Mallorca, Spain is the ideal cycling location.

Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us; the question is whether he’s just promoting his new movie or his new line of ebikes.

Dreams of making Bangkok the bicycling Copenhagen of the East have been dashed by a new governor with little interest in alternative transportation.

 

Finally…

While settle for patrolling trails on an ebike when you can have a cute little mini cop e-car?

And if you’re going to be in illegal possession of a wild raccoon while riding your bike, at least put a light on it. The bike, not the raccoon.

Although judging by the look on the rider’s mugshot, we can guess where he hid it.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the tip.

Morning Links: Truck driver charged in 2015 death; LA capitulates on green lanes, and ranks low on low stress

About damn time.

After a 20 month delay, the LA County District Attorney’s office has finally charged the driver responsible for the death of Long Beach bike rider Robert Castorena in 2015.

Fifty-year old Utah resident Wesley Phil Blake was charged with vehicular manslaughter for attempting to cross under a railroad bridge in Carson that was too low for the load he was carrying on his flatbed truck. It dislodged the massive shipping container, which fell off and crushed Castorena as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

Blake was reportedly driving as a result of a trucking strike at the Port of Los Angeles, and may have been attempting to cut corners since he was being paid by the load, rather than the hour.

He faces up to six years in prison if he’s convicted.

His victim has already been sentenced to death.

……….

Once again, the LA City Council has chosen the film industry over your safety when it comes to putting green bike lanes on the streets.

A compromise agreement with the city council — which reads more like a capitulation to the industry — commits the city to using a far less noticeable shade of forest green, which pretty much defeats the entire purpose of green bike lanes.

It also establishes a three-year moratorium on any new green paint in popular filming locations, and commits to notifying the city’s FilmLA before installing green paint on other high filming streets.

Yet all this is just the industry forcing the city to bend over to kiss its collective ass to its will, since the green paint can be removed in post production, and can be easily covered before filming.

Maybe we should start a crowdfunding campaign to buy some damn black mats to cover the green lanes during locations shoots, since Hollywood production studios can’t seem to find any money for them in their $100 million budgets.

And maybe remind the council that, as important as the film industry is to LA, this is a city, not a studio backlot.

And people actually live here.

This is the dull color LA’s new green bike lanes will be, as opposed to the bright, highly visible green on Santa Monica’s Main Street at the top of this page. Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the photo.

………

People for Bikes has introduced a new nationwide map to show how 299 cities rate in terms of being able to ride your bike on a low stress network, determined by factors such as how easy it is to ride to school, shopping or a doctor.

Not surprisingly, many small towns rated high for low stress.

And equally unsurprising, Los Angeles scored an extremely low 19, compared to other cities, which scored as high as 80.

The site is still in beta, and looking for feedback through the 14th of next month. But they seem to have gotten our ranking right, anyway.

………

The LACBC will host a ride on the lower portion of the LA River bike path this Saturday.

………

The grueling Race Across America — better known as RAAM — kicked off in Oceanside yesterday; the winners should reach the finish in Annapolis MD in a little over a week.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters are competing to raise funds and awareness for their fellow firefighters with cancer.

………

Yesterday we linked to the Go Fund Me page for track cyclist John Walsh, who was seriously injured in a fall while competing on Sunday. Now Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests it wasn’t an accident.

………

Local

Maybe he got the message. CD1’s Gil Cedillo is co-hosting a discussion with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council next Tuesday to draft an action plan to improve pedestrian, bike and traffic safety. Show up and tell him to approve the North Figueroa road diet if he’s serious about saving lives; if not, it’s just more talk and political posturing. Thanks to Harv for the heads-up.

KABC-7 professes to offer tips to keep you safe while bicycling, but doesn’t get any further than helmets and lights. Note to KABC — bike lights are required in California, and every other state in the US. Not just Santa Monica.

A San Marino jewelry store owner has set out on a 3,000 mile ride across the US to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), after his riding partner died of the disease four years ago.

LA County has issued a $10,000 reward for the capture and conviction of a bike-riding man who attempted to rape a woman on a South El Monte bike trail. Let’s hope they find this creep and lock him up for a long time.

 

State

A new UC Irvine study shows safe passing laws don’t appear to have had any effect on fatalities.

Go Human and Orange County Parks hosted a pop-up event to show how cycle tracks could connect a gap in the county’s 66-mile OC Loop bike trail network.

The Daily Pilot discovers the South African cyclist towing a replica rhino down the left coast as he pauses in Huntington Beach to raise awareness of the risks to the endangered species.

A Central California public radio station looks into whether mountain bikes should be allowed in US wilderness areas.

San Francisco’s BART rail system is testing a new smart bike lock system in their stations; the Estonian maker of the lock says not a single bike has been stolen from one of their locks in over a million uses in Europe.

An Oakland resident maps out a two-wheeled pub crawl.

A Marin columnist says separate but equal is the solution to the county’s conflict over allowing mountain bikes on the local trails.

 

National

Bicycling looks at where you can legally ride your ebike, which isn’t as simple a question as it seems. In California, ebikes capable of up to 20 mph are allowed on bike paths, and bikes capable of up to 28 mph can ride in bike lanes. Anything faster than that is legally considered a motorcycle, and requires a license and helmet.

An Austin TX bike group says the minor charges against the driver who ran down four bicyclists, claiming he fell asleep at the wheel, aren’t serious enough to fit the crime.

Nice story, as a seven-year old Louisiana girl stops in Chicago to meet with bike cops on a nationwide tour to hug police officers in every state across the US.

Police in a Chicago suburb are ticketing bike riders for good behavior by giving them coupons for free ice cream for riding safely.

After someone stole a custom tricycle from an adult man with Down syndrome, Chicago-area residents crowdfund money to buy a replacement within days.

A Massachusetts bill would establish a three-foot passing distance for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as equestrians and road workers, increasing by one foot for each 10 miles per hour over 30 mph.

The Department of DIY wins one for a change, as Providence RI replaces toilet plungers installed by a bike rider with actual plastic flex poles to mark a protected bike lane.

A Baltimore judge issues a restraining order to keep the city’s mayor from ripping out a partially installed protected bike lane in response to complaints from NIMBYs.

 

International

A Canadian consultant argues that better bike lanes don’t just improve safety, they boost the local economy.

Traffic speeds are being cut to 20 mph on streets throughout the UK through 2020 as part of a Scottish study to determine if lower speed limits really do reduce injuries and fatalities.

Why settle for one world record, when you can set four in a single day?

Yes, France’s new president really is one of us, and so is his wife and security detail.

An Aussie newspaper says cyclists can’t stay at the bottom of the street food chain.

 

Finally…

Nothing like trying to do a good deed, and going for an unexpected swim; thanks to David Wolfberg for the link. If you’re investigating a hit-and-run involving a bike rider, it might help to release a photo of the truck that hit him instead of the bike that got hit.

And when your first sentence starts “”The time of the year when middle aged morons take to the highways with their bicycles and block traffic…”, it’s smart to hide behind a paywall.

 

%d bloggers like this: