L.A. cycling loses its best friend, as Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announces he won’t seek re-election

Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl addresses the City Council in 2010.

In very disappointing news, CD 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announced he won’t seek re-election next year as he continues his battle to overcome urethral cancer.

Rosendahl has probably been the best friend L.A. cyclists have ever had in local government, stepping strongly up after the Mandeville Canyon incident to demand greater safety and acceptance for cyclists on our streets.

He was the council’s prime mover behind the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, as well as shepherding the bike plan through the legislative process. And it was Rosendahl who famously proclaimed an end to car culture in the self-proclaimed car capital of the world.

In a powerful statement before the full council, Rosendahl said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” He reminded his fellow council members about the harassment cyclists face on the road, as well as the lack of support riders have received from the LAPD in the past. “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

“This is my pledge to the cycling community.”

In fact, it was his meeting, as chair of the Transportation Committee, that first brought then new LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger to meet with cyclists in council chambers, beginning the process that has helped make the LAPD one of the most bike-friendly police departments in the country.

Rosendahl has named his chief of staff Mike Bonin as his preferred successor. But whoever wins next year’s election will have massive shoes to fill.

And it’s up to us to ensure his replacement will support bikes as much as he has. Or this will be a huge loss for L.A. cyclists.

And for the city.

You can read his announcement here.

Best wishes to Bill Rosendahl in his fight against cancer, and for a long and healthy return to service once he recovers.

And my personal thanks for all he’s done to make bike riding a safer and more enjoyable means of transportation in the City of Angels.

………

Cal State Northridge’s newspaper looks at Sunday’s CicLAvia, while CLR Effect offers Michael’s usually outstanding photos, and Richard Risemberg provides a great photo collection of his own. The Time’s CicLAvia collection isn’t too shabby, either. Meanwhile, LAist fills a page with photos of Sunday’s event — and has the infinite good taste to quote yours truly — while Will Campbell offers yet another of his great timelapse videos.

………

Tonight’s Westside Mobility meeting will be streamed live online. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles invites you to kickoff the new season with the UCLA Cycling Team. C.I.C.L.E. hosts a Pasadena ArtNight Ride this Friday. Biking Brian says Caltrans has ruined the popular Angeles Crest Highway for bicyclists; that’s what happens when the needs of bike riders aren’t even considered. OC’s cdmCyclist interviews cycling Newport Beach councilwoman Leslie Daigle. As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, maybe mountain bike riding on opening day of deer hunting season isn’t the best idea. A Menifee couple came up with the cool new frame and wheel bike lights used in Paralympic closing ceremonies. This past weekend, at least, a bike was the faster way to get around San Francisco. Two bike riders are injured, one seriously, in a St. Helena collision.

Something about this Schwinn helmet PSA just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe bicycling would be taken more seriously as transportation if it wasn’t so damn much fun. Elly Blue makes the case for equal prize money for men and women in bike racing. A six-year old Las Vegas boy is critically injured after riding out from between two parked cars. Is it an accident when a bike rider hits a strand of barbed wire strung along a bike path, or was it an act of sabotage — update: it was sabotage. If you’re riding with a bag of meth, don’t cross against the Don’t Walk signal in Coon Rapids TN. How to keep your skirt down while you ride; not a problem I normally have. An 83-year old Maine driver seriously injures an 11-year old cyclist months after his license was revoked for a medical condition. Massachusetts police arrest a cyclist for riding in the middle of the road in the middle of the night; the article doesn’t make it clear if he was taking the lane or riding down the center line. The NYPD, which doesn’t exactly share their L.A. counterpart’s reputation for bike-friendliness, is targeting their crackdown on cyclists, but that didn’t stop a bike rider from getting $1,555 in fines from a single stop. Here’s a new one; a Virginia letter writer says cyclists don’t pay for the roads — so we should pay for schools, instead.

A Calgary columnist says clearing snow from bikeways is a misplaced priority. An Ontario writer asks why bike helmets aren’t mandatory. A Brit bike rider complains about cyclists and their — our — “almost constant stupidity;” if the shoe fits, lady. A new TV ad says cyclists should See Track: Think Train; seriously, there’s no excuse for getting hit by a train. A new UK bike safety campaign is called too soft on drivers. An Oxford ethicist says instead of helmet laws, we should make cities bike friendly. Just when you thought bike racing was over for the year, Andy Schleck attempts a comeback in the Tour of Beijing.

Finally, I love this story about Scottish parents who travelled over 4,000 miles to surprise their bike-riding son as he rode across the U.S. And this bike takes single-speed riding to the extreme by attaching the pedals directly to the wheel, unicycle style.

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