Last chance to influence the bike plan, Karabian pleads no contest, cyclecross comes to Griffith Park

Your final chance to comment on the latest draft of the 2010 bike plan comes at 8:30 am on Thursday, when the Los Angeles City Planning Commission meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

However, you may not want to rush, since it’s item 10 on a very crowded agenda. You may want to pack a lunch.

LADOT Bike Blog says the long process is finally coming to an end, while Joe Linton examines what a long, strange trip its been.

Damien Newton says TranspoComm chair Bill Rosendahl promises that he won’t let the plan leave committee until the cycling community is happy with it, but it’s better to fix it now — and notes there are still problems to fix.

The ultimate local cycling odd couple of CicLAvia meister and LACBC founder Joe Linton and Bikeside President Alex Thompson join with Bikeside’s Rach Stevenson to say cyclists will be worse off if the bike plan is adopted, and offer a detailed evaluation to back it up.

Stephen Box says when it comes to the bike plan, the city Planning staff is guilty of embellishing reality. And Josef Bray-Ali had previously called it the best looking pile of horseshit he’s seen in ages.

The LACBC contends no plan is ever perfect, and this one includes a number of hard-fought recommendations — including giving priority to projects that will benefit low-income riders and provisions for accountability — and deserves our support.

My take is that, as it stands now, the plan provides a decent framework to move forward, but could still stand significant improvement. Whether or not it will make a difference on our streets depends entirely on what kind of support it gets at City Hall, and how it’s interpreted by the next head of LADOT.

If Mayor Villaraigosa can somehow entice New York’s Janet Sadik-Khan or Long Beach’s Charlie Gandy to come to Los Angeles, this plan could make L.A. a cyclist’s paradise. But if the city promotes or hires someone with the same old auto-centric focus that has destroyed the livability of so many parts of our city, it will be a roadmap to failure.

But the real question is, what do you think?

If you can’t make it Downtown on Thursday, you may want to drop into room 280-A of Beverly Hills City Hall to hear an update from that city’s new Bicycle Ad Hoc Committee; the meeting begins at 9 am.

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Walter Karabian, the former State Assembly leader who drove his car into a parking lot attendant at a USC game — apparently intentionally, since he hit her several times — pled no contest to a lesser charge on Tuesday. He was sentenced to a paltry 40 hours of community service and three years probation.

So the next time a parking attendant won’t let you into a full lot, feel free to run her/him over; evidently, it’s really not that big a deal.

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The Long Beach Post interviews Ronnie Sandler, one of the organizers behind Friday’s failed Long Beach Critical Mass, who details their many attempts to get a permit for the ride — the lack of which was cited as a primary reason for the heavy-handed police crackdown.

The article also states that Long Beach courts have already ruled that fixed-gear bikes don’t need a separate brake, since they are able to comply with the requirement that a bike be able to leave a skid mark on clean, dry pavement — which seems to be one of the key issues here.

It will be interesting to see how the city attempts to rebuild the bike-friendly image that has been shattered virtually overnight, or if they simply ignore it and hope we’ll all forget.

And there were problems with the Los Angeles Critical Mass, too, as bike cops reportedly waived cyclists through red lights while motorcycle cops ticketed the riders for following their instructions.

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USA Cycling considers a ban on helmet cams, and carbon bikes for junior riders. UCI president Pat McQuaid says the ban for doping cyclists should be doubled to four years. Disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis and his coach face charges for hacking into the French anti-doping lab. The Los Angeles grand jury not officially investigating Lance Armstrong will hear from long-time teammate Yaroslav Popovych today. The first-ever champions of the new Colorado High School Mountain Bike League.

And clear your schedule for the weekend, as cyclecross racing comes to Griffith Park this Saturday.

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LACBC joins with LADOT and other city officials to examine the proposed 4th Street Bike Boulevard, while Stephen Box points out the city’s failure to fix the roads extends even there. LACBC introduces their new and improved bike valet. LA Streetsblog has a new Facebook page. The Daily Bruin says riding to campus just got easier, thanks to UCLA’s new bike library. Will timelapses his ride through the Arroyo Seco, parts of which seem more mojado than seco. Flying Pigeon offers a new online store. A view from Canada at the Wilbur Ave road diet dispute doesn’t bode well for that country’s cyclists. If you’re looking for work, Felt needs a Demo Driver Sales/Tech Rep in Irvine/Ontario. In yet another case in which cyclist discourtesy has nothing to do with Orange County collisions, a Placentia rider is hit by a red light running driver. Momentum offers a look at cycling in San Diego, from one of my favorite writers at Bike San Diego. A new bike advocacy group takes root in El Dorado Hills.

More than $1 billion in federal funding for bike and ped projects this year; don’t count on that next year with the GOP in control of the House. The 50,000 mile interstate bike route may become a reality. How to safely use a bike lane. Daily exercise such as cycling can improve your immune system, cutting the risk and severity of colds. The country’s most bike-friendly city still doesn’t have a single singletrack trail. Mas macho advice on urban commuting.  A Kansas lawyer warns drivers that some cyclists know the law. A Carolina cyclist hit while riding on her birthday dies 10 days later. The hard part of vehicular cycling is feeling guilty because you’re in someone’s way. An American set a new world record by riding a stationary bike 222 hours, 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

Bell’s newest helmets feature built-in headlights, but is that enough to overcome the geek factor? The Guardian looks at the race to improve nighttime visibility. Great Britain’s transportation department wants children to play a game where they get run over if they aren’t wearing bright colored clothes — even if they do everything else right. A 10-year old cerebral palsy victim has a life-changing operation that may allow him to fulfill his dream of riding a bike. An Aussie police chief says cyclists who ride without headlights are just as dangerous as drivers who don’t use them; as the Witch on a Bicycle points out, he could use a refresher course in physics. Cyclelicious looks at Japan’s mamachari blog focusing on that country’s Mama bikes.

Finally, Dan Maes, the tinfoil hat-wearing candidate for Colorado governor who suggested that Denver’s bike share program was a UN plot, may not have been the night’s biggest loser, but with just over 10% of the vote, he was close. And the bike-friendly Denver mayor behind the program was elected as the state’s new leader.

3 comments

  1. Sam says:

    Thank you for such kind words. I really appreciate it and share the same sentiment about your writing.

  2. Opus the Poet says:

    Dangit!! had Maes only pulled a little less there would have been no GOP candidate for President on the ballot in the next Federal elections in CO.

  3. What Opus said — he beat me to it :-)

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