Catching up — UCLA’s new Bike Library, photos from the Agoura Road crash site, lots of links

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While L.A. and other local cities are talking about bike share programs, UCLA is actually doing something about it through an innovative Bike Library program.

Rather than the typical short term rental programs found in a typical bike share, students can rent a bike on a daily, weekend or weekly basis — or for an entire quarter.

UCLA Transportation and UCLA Recreation, through funding provided for by The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), recently launched a campus bicycle library. The UCLA Bike Library provides bicycles for rent to UCLA students for only $35 for the entire quarter. The bicycle rentals are available through the UCLA Bike Shop, located in the John Wooden Center’s Office of Outdoor Adventures. The bicycles available for rent are Felt Café Series hybrid city-style, 8-speed cruisers, which come equipped with front and rear fenders, front and rear lights, a rear rack, and even a cup holder mounted on the handlebar. Students also have the option of renting a combination cable and u-lock, and a helmet to go along with their bicycle.

At $35 a quarter, the Bike Library may be the last affordable aspect of a UC education. And one of the smartest.

Speaking of UCLA, UCLA Transportation’s short film Bike-U-Mentary was named Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.

.………

The Daily News talks to the wife of James Laing, the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver in Agoura Hills on Saturday; don’t read it if you don’t want to wipe away a tear when you’re finished.

Former LACBC board member Chris Willig sends along photos of the spot on Agoura Hills where Laing was killed. Clearly, the roadway was not a contributing factor, although a better design would place the bike lane along the curb with a wide buffer between it and the traffic lane.

He also notes the presence of a wine tasting club in the area as a possible explanation for why the driver may have been drunk behind the wheel at 3:45 in the afternoon.

A view of Agoura Road where James Laing was killed on Saturday.

Chalk marks faded by recent rains show the scene of the collision.

On a related subject, Chris reports that the cyclist in the previous Agoura Hills collision at Cornell Road and Mulholland Highway was injured, rather than killed. I had been told by a back-channel source with access to police reports that still-unidentified rider had died several days after the collision; I’ll reach out to the authorities once again to try and get the accurate information.

Nothing would make me happier than to know I was wrong about something like that.

.………

I had to leave early, but by all reports, Tour de Fat was a huge hit and I had fun while I was there. I got some good photos, but an usually busy week has kept me from putting them online yet. In the meantime, Ohai Joe has some great videos of the event to keep you entertained — and for those of you who didn’t go, let you know what you missed so you won’t make the same mistake next year.

And Madeline Brozen notes that the entire event ran on solar power and resulted in only eight pounds of trash, while raising $13,000 for LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and Bicycle Kitchen.

.………

The father of Rabobank rider Robert Gesink died Saturday, two weeks after crashing in a mountain bike race. BMX cyclist and MTV host TJ Lavin is showing signs of improvement after being critically injured as a result of missing a landing. Lance isn’t quite done racing yet. Just one month after having a baby, Olympic gold medalist Kristin “No Relation to Lance” Armstrong announces her comeback.

.………

Stephen Box looks at the planned Hollywood Bike Hub nearing approval from the Metro Board. West Hollywood may be on the verge of becoming more walkable and bikeable. Damien Newton reminds the press that “crash” and “accident” are not interchangeable; I try to avoid using “accident” on here since so few of them actually are. The architecture critic for the Times calls for a better-connected L.A., from better bike lanes and sidewalks to buses and subways. Claremont Cyclist offers a meditation on the biking derriere. LADOT Bike Blog looks at the traffic diverters that make a Bicycle Friendly Street bike friendly. An OC bike advocate says every issue in bike safety has already been solved; you just have to match the problems to the solutions in recent bike plans from Portland and, yes, Los Angeles.

Tucson forms a new Living Streets group. Arizona’s biking congresswoman doesn’t hesitate to yell at drivers. Why is it that no one ever says we won’t build any more highways if some drivers refuse to obey the speed limit — or that there are too many cars driven by out-of-control motorists? Three questions to ask your congressional candidates before you cast your vote. Slap a $5 sticker on your helmet, and get a discount at participating businesses. Advice on winter riding for those in more cold-weather climes. A Chicago cyclist is doored and run over by a bus, but will survive; needless to say, the driver who doored him left the scene. The NYC cyclist killed in a dooring last week had moved to the city to help the disadvantaged. A New York limo driver comes to the rescue of an L.A. tourist attacked by a cyclist with a long rap sheet. Yes, there are scofflaws in New York bike lanes, and no, they’re not the cyclists; thanks to Stanley for the heads up. Charleston police search for a hit-and-run driver who hit a pedestrian riding a bicycle; is it just me, or is there something wrong with that description?

Campagnolo unveils a new electronic gruppo. Toronto cyclists have to live with a new bike-hating mayor who said it’s your own fault if you get killed. The Guardian looks at the Bike Snob’s guide to cycling tribes. Town Mouse gives London’s Boris Bikes a go. Cyclists may have a persecution complex, but we really could use segregated bikeways. The 2011 Giro will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. A year in jail and no driving for three years after a road raging motorist viscously beats a cyclist who flipped him off. An Indonesian cycling group calls for bike lanes in every city throughout the country and life insurance for cyclists.

Finally, you don’t have to know the language to get this bloody cartoon about bike helmets. But if you really want to know, Copenhagenize is happy to translate it for you.

And thank goodness we don’t have to worry about Trek’s advanced technology falling into the hands of terrorists.

8 comments

  1. Herbie Huff says:

    A bunch of reactions to the Agoura crash, which I’m grateful you cover, because like we talked about last time, no one else does.

    First, a minor thing: Are you sure that putting the bike lane along the curb would have been a better design?

    What about cars parked on the curb? If someone parks on the curb in the current design, the bike lane remains unobstructed. In your proposed design, the parked car forces the cyclist to change their riding line. Agoura is a suburban and even semirural area where there may not be many enforcement resources to ensure no one parks in the bike lanes.

    What about cars driving in the bike lane? What if a wide bike lane inside of a painted buffer encourages turning cars, or cars who are lost, to drive in it? This has happened.

    What about cyclist visibility? Cyclists further out from the curb are more visible to opposing traffic, and less likely to hit pedestrians who step off the curb.

    What about debris? Debris naturally collects in the gutters and closer to the curb. If cyclists are going to ride away from this debris, why not put the lane there?

    I’m not saying painted buffers are always bad, but I think the design issue is too complicated to say that putting the lane on the curb and a buffer around it is always a better design. There are a lot of context-specific issues to address in any bike lane design and there’s no way to tell from the photo what those issues might be in this particular spot in Agoura.

    More importantly, don’t say the roadway wasn’t a contributing factor! This looks like a high-speed local highway with few lights or limits on speed. If this had been a traffic-calmed local street where even a drunk driver couldn’t pick up speed, this collision could have been much less severe for the cyclist. Even if it was a major boulevard in Los Angeles there would have been traffic lights, buses, crosswalks, and other things slowing the cars down. This road does not look like a cyclists’ friend, in the overall schema of roads.

    And that doesn’t even begin to touch on how roadway design that optimizes car speeds spreads things apart and makes it harder to bike, which in turn makes it less likely drivers are used to seeing cyclists and a whole host of other systematic issues. Roadway design is linked – inextricably – to sprawl and suburban development, both as cause and effect. None of these things are good for cyclists.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for the comments, Herbie — your insights are always appreciated.

      While you offer legitimate concerns, my personal bias would alway be for a buffered lane, rather than trust drivers to respect the few inches of paint separating a bike lane from the traffic lane. I’m not saying it’s always better, just that if I had to look at what could be done to improve that section, based strictly on the photo, that would be my suggestion.

      You may be right about the roadway itself. All I can say is that roads that look like that are the kind I’ve always sought out as a rider, and been most comfortable riding on long, fast-paced rides. And judging by the narrow traffic lane and wide divider, it looks like they’ve already put some traffic calming measures in place to slow speeds.

  2. Bike rentals: Stanford’s Campus Bike Shop also does long term rentals, though the price is substantially more than $35 / quarter.

    UC Santa Cruz follows the “library” model a little more faithfully with their free bikes. Students are required to take a bike care class before they can check the bikes out; the bikes are available for long term use.

    I’m sure there are other similar programs but those are the ones I know about in my area.

  3. Evan says:

    UCLA also has a Bruin Bike program for departments who expressed an interest and were selected by the Transportation department–they receive a bike to use on and around campus.

    http://today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/bruin-bike-brings-loaner-bicycles-69252.aspx

    I took a photo of what I think is one of the bikes in this program:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/evang/5118475222/

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SBBikeCoalition, Ted Rogers. Ted Rogers said: UCLA announces new Bike Library program, photos from Agoura Road site where James Laing was killed: http://bit.ly/b3pB9K [...]

  5. [...] AZ Congress Woman Yells at Bad Drivers from Her Bike (The Hill via Biking in L.A.) [...]

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