California law requires drivers to merge into a bike lane before making a right turn, after ensuring that the lane is clear.
This is why.
California law requires drivers to merge into a bike lane before making a right turn, after ensuring that the lane is clear.
This is why.
There’s big news from Long Beach.
But now we have solid proof from right here in our own backyard that separated lanes benefit everyone on the streets.
According to a federal study conducted over the last year, the separated bike lanes on Broadway and Third Street in downtown Long Beach resulted in a 33% increase in ridership over the last year, while increasing pedestrian use along the streets by 13%, and cutting vehicle use by 12%.
In other words, not only did they improve the streets for cyclists, but made it more inviting to walk next to them, as well.
At the same time, bike collisions dropped 80%, from five to one, and motor vehicle collisions went down 44%. Average vehicle speeds also dropped to 27 mph on Third and 26 mph on Broadway.
And yes, that’s a good thing.
Meanwhile, the rate of sidewalk riding, the bane of pedestrians everywhere, decreased as much as 42%.
It’s hard to argue that separated bikeways haven’t been proven effective when the results show they benefit everyone on the road.
Even here on the Left Coast, where the hegemony of the automobile has long reigned supreme.
And yet, the father of vehicular cycling says if you prefer bike lanes — even the sort of proven separated bike lanes discussed above — you’re an “incompetent cyclist.”
No, really. That’s what John Forester says.
He goes on to say that, despite the sort of evidence shown in the Long Beach study, there’s no proof that bikeways increase safety.
Well, none if you choose not to believe it, anyway.
Sort of like global warning.
I’ve ridden vehicularly for over 30 years. Not because of Forester’s book, which came out four years after I started riding, but because my own experience taught me it was the safest way to ride in the almost universal absence of effective infrastructure in those days.
But I’ve never, ever considered it better, safer, more enjoyable or effective than riding in a good bikeway.
John Forester created an effective tool for a time when cyclists could not rely on well-designed roads or effective bikeways.
But those bad old days are, thankfully, fading fast.
As the Long Beach study clearly shows, well-designed bicycling infrastructure and a complete streets approach benefits everyone.
And it’s long past time we all demanded it.
Thanks to Christopher Kidd for the link.
I’m told that the LAPD has discussed the dooring-by-cop incident mentioned here last week with the cyclist involved, and that the officer in question has expressed her regrets for her behavior.
Wes says he’s very pleased with the response from the department, and sees no need for formal discipline in the matter.
At least two of the four candidates for mayor of Los Angeles see bikes in the city’s future; oddly, they may not be the ones you’d think. Downtown’s Spring Street should get new parklets next week to go with its semi-green mostly buffered bike lanes. Metro wants your input on the Union Station master plan; a few extra bike votes couldn’t hurt. Highland Park Patch asks if slower traffic is worth it to add bike lanes to North Figueroa and Colorado Blvd; personally, I think slowing traffic in a state where angry drivers honk at anyone who has the audacity to actually drive the speed limit is good thing. LADOT recaps the recent BPIT meeting. CLR Effect’s new cycling cap takes those of us with long memories back to the land of sky blue waters.
The latest update from Calbike, including their 2013 legislative agenda — which includes hit-and-run reform, but not a third opportunity for Governor Jerry Brown to veto a three-foot passing law. Riverside’s mayor rides with local residents; the LACBC asks candidates for mayor if they’ll commit to leading a similar ride. The Classic Gran Fondo San Diego takes place on April 14th; make sure you have your taxes finished first. San Diego cyclists are urged to support bike-friendly changes on the Coast Highway in Encinitas. Great photos of a practice crit from the San Diego Union-Tribune. A Palo Alto woman faces misdemeanor hit-and-run charges after hitting a cyclist and two occupied cars. The story behind Verizon’s romantic new bike ad, courtesy of Cyclelicious. San Francisco lays out big plans — and possibly big money — to improve bicycling and walking. Apple is granted a patent for a new smart bike system.
Bike lawyer Bob Mionske offers advice on what to do if a cop stops you for a bicycling violation. Lance Armstrong offers to help clean up cycling; in other news, John Dillinger has offered to come back and help stop bank robberies. People who commute by car gain more weight than those who commute by bus, bike or train. Fans of Lovely Bicycle will be happy to learn she now has a new weekly column in Bicycling. A Washington driver stops to look at the bike rider she killed and the one she merely injured, then drives off like the heartless coward she— allegedly — is. Perhaps the most bike and alternative transportation-friendly USDOT secretary in our lifetimes sadly says it’s time to go. Maryland considers a mandatory helmet law. A Baton Rouge cyclist is shot three times without warning by a 16-year old thief who wanted his bike. Win the free use of a bike share bike at this year’s Super Bowl. Better bike lanes and crosswalks could help kill fewer pedestrians and cyclists in the country’s second and third most dangerous city for both, respectively.
Simple solutions would help get Great Britain cycling. A British bicyclist is stabbed to death the same day another rider buys him a bottle of brandy to apologize for a bike-on-bike collision. UK police tried to stop a driver just before he killed a couple on a tandem and fled the scene on foot. Potholes cause an estimated 10% to 15% of Brit cycling wrecks. An Aussie cyclist is injured when he hits a man sleeping on a bike path. The excuse a Chinese BMX racer gave for testing positive for steroids couldn’t possibly be true, a sports nutritionist says. Two Singapore brothers sharing a bike are killed when they’re hit by a cement truck; but what kind of sick s.o.b. would circulate photos of their bodies online?
Finally, despite the overwhelming success and popularity of New York’s new bike lanes, separated and otherwise, the city’s Daily News can’t seem to get their collective heads out of their own collective asses.
With all due respect, that is.
An LAPD cop nearly doors L.A. cyclist Weshigh — and seems incapable of saying “sorry,” let alone comprehending CVC 22517:
22517. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
The LACBC teamed with Streetsblog, LA Walks and Bikerowave to host it’s first ever political forum, a Tuesday night debate among the four leading candidates to replace bike-friendly Councilmember Bill Rosendahl in CD 11.
A special thanks to Will Wright, Government and Public Affairs Director for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for moderating the event.
Although it’s pretty clear who’s got the simian vote.
The next LACBC-sponsored debate will take place in Council District 1 for the candidates to replace Councilmember Ed Reyes after the Ride Figueroa on February 10th.
If you want to get involved in bike politics in L.A. County, come to the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meeting at 6:45 pm next Tuesday, January 29th at the Pitfire Pizza on Second and Main Downtown.
It just keeps on coming, as a 44-year old cyclist is seriously injured in a head-on collision in Capistrano Beach; he reportedly drifted onto the wrong side of PCH around 3 pm Wednesday.
In light of l’affaire Lance, the Times dug up this story from 1989 reporting that America’s only remaining Tour de France winner was pressured to dope by his former Dutch team. And speaking of Lance, it looks like no one really buys it; although he may — or may not — have kept one local promise.
Meanwhile, former UCI chief Hein Verbruggen confirms rumors that doping cyclists were tipped off by pro cycling’s governing body; the World Anti-Doping Agency says not so fast. Reports that pro cycling is now clean may have been just a tad premature, even if some claim it’s just an accident, while South Africa plans to retest the country’s 50 top riders.
It looks like the FBI is investigating Floyd Landis for possibly defrauding those who contributed to his defense fund. And two readers file suit against Lance because they didn’t realize his books were fiction.
Revitalizing Boulevards in Northeast L.A. Aaron Paley looks back at the birth of CicLAvia; which is hiring a new marketing manager and director of development. The Source looks at last weekend’s Tweed Ride; so does Flying Pigeon. Spreading the gospel of bikes at the King Day Parade. LADOT wants your bike photos. Here’s one we can all relate to, as Boyonabike gets harassed for riding legally. Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd gets a major makeover, even if some — or maybe just one — of the people who live on it don’t want bike lanes. CLR Effect sees the ghosts of unloved bikes. Long Beach’s Danny Gamboa brings ghost bikes to life. A cyclist is kneed to the ground by a tow truck driver after riding in the slow lane of the 405 in today’s rain.
Sign the petition — or rather, petitions — to maintain bike funding in the California budget. Coronado approves bike corrals, which are also going in across the bay in the North Park neighborhood where I used to live. Thousand Oaks will remake an intersection to improve safety for cyclists. Talk about instant karma, as a Santa Cruz driver hits a cyclist and flees before crashing into a divider and flipping his truck; the rider was hospitalized with serious injuries. A cyclist has filed suit after he was hit by a patrol car driven by an East Palo Alto police officer. Ninety days in jail for intentionally trying to run over a San Mateo bike rider; how much time do you think he would have gotten if he’d used a gun instead? A crime so nice they did it twice, as a couple is arrested for the second time for selling hot BMC bikes. It’s safer than ever to bike commute by the bay. Bike collisions spike in Chico; naturally, police blame the bike riders.
Here’s your chance to spend the summer on the road working for People for Bikes. Register now for a free webinar on strategies to move towards zero traffic deaths; I might sign up for that one myself. Despite the accusations they hurl at cyclists, drivers only pay for 51% of road costs; you and I pick up the rest. A reminder to make sure your bike lawyer really is a bike lawyer. Turns out the bikelash is a fiction of the media, at least in Seattle, where the overwhelming majority of residents support bikes despite what the local press says; the Atlantic Cities says it’s time to declare peace in the fictional war on cars. Boulder CO sets a record for their winter Bike to Work Day. Plans are in the works for bikeways to connect communities in northern Colorado; I rode everywhere on that map when I lived out that way. Ohio police seem to make up the law as they go along, declining to charge a driver who struck a cyclist because — wait for it — he wasn’t wearing a reflective vest; thanks to Rick Risemberg and Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland for the heads-up. So maybe riding a bike to the presidential inauguration wasn’t the best idea; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link. And in yet another city where I used to live, one year after a cyclist was killed and another seriously injured, bike safety is still a concern in Baton Rouge LA; actually, it’s still a concern everywhere.
After a colleague is arrested for protesting the removal of a bike lane, Toronto physicians call for more bike lanes, more quickly. One writer says cyclists present the wrong image when they show up for mass protests in cycling attire, while another says if we focus on making the roads safe it won’t matter what we wear. The UK Parliament debates the future of bicycling, but questions remain whether the country’s leaders have the will to get it done; I can’t imagine Congress caring enough to even discuss the subject. As long as bike theft is ignored, Great Britain will never be a cycling nation; the same could be said on this side of the pond. How to rebuild your bike after someone backs into it. Chinese artist Ai WeiWei creates a tower of bicycles in Italy. Beijing pledges to get tough on blocked bike lanes; something every city should do — including this one.
Finally, most of us want to be seen when we ride; now there’s a bike for those who don’t, as well as a beer carrying bike designed for DUI drivers. This is what happens when a cyclist runs a red light in Shanghai; odd that no one mentions that the car that hit him ran the light, too. And Flying Pigeon demonstrates how to bunny hop a bakfiets.
This does not sound good.
According to the L.A. Times, a 40-year old bike rider was critically injured in a rear-end collision in Costa Mesa Monday evening.
The paper reports that the rider suffered major head trauma when he was struck from behind while riding on the 1200 block of Victoria Street around 6 pm. Both the victim and the 26-year old driver of the 2009 Toyota Corolla are from Costa Mesa; neither one was publicly identified by authorities.
A satellite photo of the location shows bike lanes in both directions. However, there’s no word on whether the rider was hit while riding in the bike lane, which direction he was going or any other details that might help us understand what happened, and no other reports are available at this time.
Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator Rick Cummings at (714) 754-5264.
And prayers might be in order if you’re so inclined; stories like this usually don’t end well.
My apologies for not having anything new up here this morning. I spent last night writing a new post for L.A. Streetsblog about a simple way to correct a needless problem on Santa Monica’s Bay Street near the beach. You can see it here.
Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.
A new support group is forming for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group will meet Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
C.I.C.L.E. holds their annual Tweed, Moxie and Moustaches Ride from 10 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, January 19th, starting at 200 Westpark Drive in North Hollywood; the popular event has already seen over 200 people promise to attend on Facebook.
This Sunday, January 20th, Flying Pigeon will host the monthly Get Sum Dim Sum ride, meeting at 10 am at 3404 N. Figueroa St, and rolling for a leisurely ride and dim sum brunch at 10:30 am; bring cash and a functioning bike. The monthly Brewery Ride rolls on Saturday, February 2nd.
Cyclists up in the Lancaster area can take part in the NO-ONE-LEFT-BEHIND Bicycle Ride on Sunday the 20th; the beginner’s ride will depart from the Starbucks a 2062 West Avenue K in Lancaster at 9:30 am.
Also this Sunday, you can attend a rare adults-only event offering a unique combination of bikes and porn when Bike Smut 6: Turning Trixxx screens at WE Labs, 105 West Broadway in Long Beach. Buy your tickets in advance; doors open at 8 pm, show starts at 9, decrepit overcoat not required.
SCAG invites you to participate in a Bicycle Planning and Facilities Implementation training session as part of their Toolbox Tuesdays, from 10 am to 1 pm on Tuesday, January 22nd at multiple locations throughout the Southern California area.
Also on the 22nd, the LACBC teams with LA Streetsblog, Los Angeles Walks and the Bikerowave to host a forum for the candidates for L.A City Council District 11, to replace retiring Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. So far, three of the four candidates on the ballot have agreed to participate; the event takes place at St. Andrews West LA Church’s Nolte Hall, 11555 National Blvd, starting at 7 pm, with light refreshments to follow. This election really matters, as Rosendahl has been the bicycling community’s biggest friend at City Hall for the past several years, and will be very missed — especially if we don’t elect a bike supporter to replace him.
Caltech Bike Lab teams with C.I.C.L.E. to offer a series of free defensive cycling classes; the first takes place on Saturday, January 26th from 11 am to 12:30 pm at Caltech Y, 505 S. Wilson Ave in Pasadena. Subsequent classes will take place on Sunday, April 7th and Saturday, June 8th; RSVP to email@example.com with the date you want to attend.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. This month’s meeting will take place at the Pitfire Pizza on Second and Main in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday, January 29th, focusing on the upcoming March elections. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.
On February 10th, the LACBC invites you to join in on the Ride Figueroa to explore and promote planned bike lanes on Figueroa and Colorado in North East L.A. The ride meets at 10:30 am, rolling at 11 am, at Greayer’s Oak Part at Figueroa and Marmion Way; followed by a candidate forum for Council District 1 to replace bike-friendly Councilmember Ed Reyes at 1 pm at Herrick Memorial Chapel Lower Herrick Room at Occidental College.
LACBC will host the city’s first Bike Prom from 8 pm to one minute before midnight on Saturday, February 23rd, at the American legion Hall Post 206, 227 N. Ave 55 in Los Angeles. Similar events have been very popular in other cities, so this could be the bike social event of the year — get your tickets early.
Also on Saturday the 23rd, the annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride will offer a 20-mile route along the LA River for families and casual riders, and a more challenging 30-mile on city streets for more advanced riders. The LACBC will provide a free bike valet.
Make your plans for the Malibu 7-Canyon Ride on Saturday, March 23rd with rides of 100 mile, 100 kilometers and 50 miles. The fully supported ride will begin at Zuma Beach, and pass through Latigo, Encinal, Decker, Mulholland, Little Sycamore, Yerba Buena and Deer Creek Canyons, with over 9,000 feet of climbing on the century ride. The first 200 riders and teams can save 30% on registration through January 23rd, just enter the discount code 7CYNXMAS.
The next CicLAvia rolls out on Sunday, April 21st from 10 am to 3 pm, following a new route from Downtown to Venice Beach — or as Yo! Venice! puts it, from Dogtown to Downtown — along Venice Blvd. Future events will follow Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to Fairfax on Sunday, June 23rd, before returning to an extended Downtown route on Sunday, October 6th.
Registration has opened for this year’s LA River Ride, to be held Sunday, June 9th, starting and ending in Griffith Park. If you haven’t done the River Ride, I highly recommend it; if you have, then what are you waiting for?
Give Yo! Venice! credit for reporting this one.
The popular website broke the news yesterday that a bike rider on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path was ticketed by a cop for a made-up violation — simply because he pointed out the LAPD officer’s motorcycle was blocking the pathway last Thanksgiving weekend.
According to the site — and backed up by a helmet cam video of the interaction — Venice resident Chris J. was slowly riding north on the pathway when he encountered the officer blocking the entire southbound section of the bikeway, at the same time a girl on a tricycle was blocking the north side of the path.
So after going around, he — politely, evidently — informed the officer his motorcycle was blocking the path, to which the officer responded “I can give you a ticket for that.”
Next thing he knew, the cop was following behind his slow moving beach cruiser with lights flashing.
And that’s when it gets interesting.
The cyclist turned on his helmet cam and recorded the officer fumbling for something, anything, he could ticket him for. And admitting on camera that the only reason he was writing up the rider was because he had argued with him.
Politely asking a cop not to block the bikeway may not be smart, but it sure as hell isn’t arguing.
Kind of violates the meaning of “To Protect and Serve,” doesn’t it?
First the officer threatens to write up the cyclist for riding on the wrong side of the bike path. Which, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t illegal; if the same traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles also apply to an off-road, Class I bikeway — a multi-use pathway in places — this is the first I’ve heard of it.
If so, the department could make up the state’s entire budget deficit just by writing tickets on the bike path. Starting with pedestrians walking on the bike-only sections, since people generally aren’t allowed to walk in the street, either.
Of course, it would also require cyclists to signal their lane change every time they pass someone. Along with a host of equally absurd requirements never before enforced on this bike path, or any other that I’m aware of.
So Chris argues that there’s a dotted yellow line dividing the two sides of the path in that section, rather than a solid yellow line, legally allowing him to cross over it in order to pass someone.
When the officer can’t argue that point, the cop switches gears. And instead, writes a ticket for violating the state’s Basic Speed Law, for — wait for it — riding 5 mph in a 10 mph zone.
Never mind the fact that the officer appears to have made up the 10 mph speed limit, which is not posted anywhere along the bikeway. Or anywhere else that I can find, for that matter.
Instead, let’s consider that the Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350, refers only to a speed greater than is reasonable under the circumstances. It says absolutely nothing about going too slowly.
Basic Speed Law
22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
And to the best of my knowledge, a bike path is not a highway.
But I could be wrong about that; I’ll let you know if I see a semi-truck and a few speeding SUVs rolling down it when I’m out that way this afternoon.
Maybe the officer meant to write a ticket for CVC 22400, the Minimum Speed Law. Except that pertains only to highways, as well.
Not bike paths.
And part of which only applies to vehicles subject to registration.
In other words, not bikes.
Of course, had the officer written a ticket for that, he likely would have been laughed out of court when the case comes up before a judge on Friday. As he should be for attempting to make up traffic laws on the spot in order to cite a bike rider simply because the rider pissed him off.
Which is not exactly what we should expect from a trained officer sworn to uphold the law, who should have known better.
Or at least, known enough not to admit it on camera.
And I should also point out that it’s not against the law to argue with a cop. Although it’s seldom a good idea.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, take the ticket. Then take it up with the officer’s superiors, or fight it in court.
I’ve reached out to the LAPD’s bike liaisons for the West Traffic Division to see what they have to say on the subject. So far, I haven’t gotten a response; I’ll let you know if I do.
Update: According to KNBC-4, Detective Gus Villanueva of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section says the ticket was canceled “in the interest of justice,” and that the department was conducting an investigation into the officer involved.
Yo! Venice!, which has done a great job keeping on top of this story, reports that the officer involved works out of the West Traffic Division; still no response from the bike liaison from that Division.