Archive for January 30, 2013

This is what a right hook looks like

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.

Long Beach proves separated bike lanes even work here, despite arguments to the contrary

There’s big news from Long Beach.

We’ve seen a number of studies in recent years showing that separated bike lanes are good for business, as well as cyclists.

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.

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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.

And the demonstrated growth in ridership that can be traced back to new bike lanes (pdf) in cities throughout the world — including this one — would suggest that I’m not alone.

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.

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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.

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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.

The DMV gets it right, a killer hit-and-run driver may get what’s coming, and your Monday morning links

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of publications from the DMV about bicycling and sharing the road with cyclists.

But this is the first one I’ve seen that really gets it right — even if it is a tad light on instructions for motorists.

It even answers the question the LAPD has struggled with for the past year, explaining that bike riders can, in fact, ride in the crosswalk. Although it doesn’t say anything about whether riders have to cross with traffic, or if crosswalks are bi-directional for cyclists just as they are for pedestrians.

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday for Jason Cox, charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death or injury for the death of cyclist Michael Vega in Rancho Cucamonga last August.

Unfortunately, this case will be held in Bernardino County, where the lives of cyclists seem to have little value.

Update: I had originally misplaced Rancho Cucamonga in Riverside County, rather than San Bernardino. Thanks to JG for the correction.

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The London Guardian says you can, in fact, look good on your bike. And they’re right, epecially if you invest in the Pee-Wee Herman skin suit.

Meanwhile, Bicycling offers their sartorial advice on dressing for cold weather.

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L.A. City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander take up the city’s hit-and-run epidemic; Englander calls for impounding vehicles of drivers who flee, maybe he’s been reading my blog? The Times looks at Gil Garcetti, bike-friendly photographer and former DA — and father of current mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti. Long Beach’s biking expats are back in SoCal after returning to the scene of a beautifully challenging ride near Solvang.

There was actually a time when Riverside was a center for cycling. Plans are underway to remake Orange County’s Moulton Parkway to add sidewalks and bike lanes, and unfortunately, widen the roadway, which will undoubtedly increase speeds. Coronado ignores Caltrans and approves bike corrals throughout the city. Oceanside plans to rebuild PCH on a more human scale, making it bike and pedestrian friendly. When a reader asks why Los Gatos is so unfriendly to cyclists, a town official swears it ain’t necessarily so. A popular 90-year old Livermore resident struggles to recover from a December collision with a 70-year old cyclist. San Francisco plans to spend $200 million on bike projects over the next five years.

60 Minutes discovered something fishy was going on in cycling back in 2001; but don’t forget cycling is just people on bikes. Bicycling says now Greg LeMond can be the American hero he always should have been; it didn’t hurt that his name was on the bike ended up buying when I was shopping. Colorado Springs depends on bikes for freaky fast delivery. Memphis officials discuss the benefits of bike lanes. It shouldn’t take the tragic deaths of two teenage cyclists to bring their families together. Bikes are good for business, but how can cyclists make their presence known? Bicycles and Mack Trucks have exactly the same rights to the roads.

A Vancouver cyclist responds to his stolen bike by inventing a new cable lock hidden in the seat post; here’s the link to the Kickstarter page, courtesy of Bill. A UK driver flees the scene on foot after killing a couple riding their recently purchased tandem. A British mother wants to thank the driver who hit her bike-riding son for exposing the tumor that could have killed him. Another Brit hit-and-run driver faces jail for claiming his car was stolen, but not for the cyclist he killed. As usual, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a long list of mostly, but not exclusively, UK-centric bike links. Touring the Loire Valley by bike. Now that’s scary, as an Australian cyclist is critically injured after riding into a downed power line. The internet is killing Aussie bike shops. A Singapore physician is charged with five counts in the hit-and-run death of one cyclist and seriously injuring another; are you starting to notice a theme here? Bangkok cyclists put pressure on candidates for governor to improve the city for bicycling.

Finally, having evidently solved the problem of distracted drivers maiming and killing people with their multi-ton vehicles, the biggest traffic problem in New Zealand is now texting cyclists. And another Kiwi writer politely says these roads are mine, so keep your damn Lycra-clad asses off it.

Loosely translated, of course.

Bike harassment caught on video, a small step to fight hit-and-run and a long list of links and events

The state legislature is about to consider its first, small step to halt the epidemic of hit-and-runs.

Burbank state Assembly Member Mike Gatto has introduced a bill to increase the statute of limitations for drivers who flee the scene of a collision.

Currently, the limit expires three years from the date of the collision, after which the driver is free to publicly confess his or her crime without fear of prosecution. Gatto’s bill would allow prosecution within three years of the collision, or one year after the suspect is identified by law enforcement, whichever is later.

It’s a step in the right direction, if only a small one.

It won’t do anything to encourage police to pursue more hit-and-runs where the victim isn’t killed or seriously injured, or for prosecutors to file charges in such cases. And it won’t do much to encourage drivers to resist the impulse to run like cowards to avoid responsibility for their actions.

But it’s a start.

Just like the city council’s fledging attempts to look into the epidemic.

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If this had happened in Los Angeles, it would have been the perfect test case for the city’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance. Instead, it will be up to Santa Monica authorities to determine if a chargeable crime took place.

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The Times looks at L.A.’s unexpected bike friendliness. Three CicLAvias, no waiting — and no space shuttle. LAPD lists the top four bike theft locations in DTLA. Grand theft auto and burglary from cars by bike on Ventura. Here’s your chance to work for LADOT’s bike team, and tell them where the next bike corrals should go. L.A.’s own Ovarian-Psychos introduces their new documentary film and Kickstarter campaign. Bike riders and pedestrians sign the pledge to keep the peace on the L.A. River bike path. A cyclist is beaten unconscious on a Long Beach Blue Line platform defending his bike from thieves.

Costa Mesa has a $2.5 million surplus; maybe they could work with neighboring Newport Beach to improve bike safety. While Newport Beach has gotten friendlier for cyclists, Anaheim hasn’t. A San Diego cyclist rides home after being stabbed in an apparent gang attack. A San Diego writer looks at what it would take to get more people on their bikes. So if a Santa Maria cyclist is hospitalized with a leg injury following a collision, why does it matter that she wasn’t wearing a helmet? The Path Less Pedaled discovers an undiscovered cycling paradise on the Central Coast. A San Francisco columnist says biking is for grown-ups, and it’s time everyone acted like it. A cyclist asks what the f*** is wrong with Bay Area drivers. Dressing for the drizzle. San Francisco drivers don’t like the city’s separated bike lanes, and apparently, neither do cyclists.

Forget road diets, we need to right size our streets. The country’s three leading bike advocacy groups struggle to work out the terms of their failed engagement. Laws banning dooring don’t mean much if police don’t enforce them. A new electric kids bike trailer is looking for you to give it a boost. Great new police bike training video from Portland. A Spokane thief cuts down a tree to steal a bike. The mayor of OKC says his city should be rebuilt for people; that’s exactly what we’ve been saying about Los Angeles. It’s now against the law to ride sans skidlid in Jackson MS. Turns out New York bike lanes and pedestrians plazas are good for business. Commuting 40 miles by bike in the middle of a New York winter. Bikeyface discovers a superpower we all share. A team of 26 cyclists will ride from Newtown CT to Washington DC to press for common sense gun safety legislation. Denis McDonough gives up bike commuting to become White House chief of staff.

Toronto doctors say bike lanes save lives. Ottawa hikes bike use by 40% over the last six years. Call it a getaway bike share. When you have snow tires on your bike, winter doesn’t have to be the off-season — even in Scotland. An Irish teen funds his invitation to a debutant ball by stealing bike parts. A Kiwi writer offers advice on how to stay safe on your bike; though I might argue with the hi-viz, and my black helmet seems quite visible during the day, thank you. An interesting look at sharing the roads through the eyes of Aussie cyclists and drivers.

Finally, an Ottawa man gets 60 days for shooting a cyclist after mistaking his helmet for a skunk. And if I ever dope, I’m going straight for the wild boar dung boiled in vinegar.

Yum.

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Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

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.

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 aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

If you read this early, you may still be able to catch the inaugural Monthly Community Ride with the LACBC’s newest affiliate chapter in Downey. The ride meets at 8 am, rolling at 8:30, from the Southwest parking lot of Apollo Park, 12544 Rives Avenue.

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 bike@cicle.org with the date you want to attend.

Bicycle Kitchen is holding a fix-a-flat workshop from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 27th, 4429 Fountain Ave; RSVP to bkworshops@gmail.com.

Bike SGV celebrates their first anniversary with the first Bike Train of the new year on Sunday the 27th starting at 9 am. The ride meets near the docks on the southernmost section of Legg Lake for a ride along the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel River.

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 discussion list.

You won’t want to miss the official opening of Pasadena’s new bicycle boulevard along a three-quarter mile stretch of Marengo Avenue at 3 pm on Thursday, January 31st, at the corner of Marengo and Orange Grove Blvd.

Friday, February 1st marks Move LA’s 5th Annual Transportation Conversation from 8 am to 3:30 pm in the old ticketing area at Union Station, 800 N. Alameda Street in Downtown L.A.

Flying Pigeon will host their monthly Brewery Ride at 3 pm on Saturday, February 2nd, starting at 3404 N. Figueroa St and rolling to a local microbrewery or watering hole.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride rolls on Sunday, February 3rd with the aptly named Pigskins and Pedals: A Sunday Funday Tour of L.A.’s Historic Football sites. Meet at the world famous peristyle entrance to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3939 S. Figueroa Street, at 9:30 am, rolling at 10 am for a tour of the city’s pervious — and possibly forthcoming — Super Bowl sites. The ride is free for LACBC members and a guest; discount memberships are available at the start of the ride.

The UCLA Bike Coalition and the LA County Bicycle Coalition invite you to join in the West Area Community Ride – Ride Westwood! On Saturday, February 9th at 10 am for a fun community ride to showcase existing and future bike facilities in the Westwood area. Did I mention a light breakfast and lunch will be provided?

On Sunday, 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.

Flying Pigeon isn’t the only group hosting brewery rides these days, as Brewcyclers provides a beer doubleheader with a ride to Brew-Ligion Brewhouse and Aftershock Brewing Co on Sunday, February 17th. The 30 mile loop kicks off at Brew-Ligion, 39809 Avenida Acacias in Murrieta at 8:30 am, rolling at 9 am.

If you’re as tired of cyclists and pedestrians being left to bleed in the streets as I am, mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 19th when the LAPD reports back to the Police Commission on hit-and-run stats requested by the city council; the meetings usually take place at 9:30 am at the new, officially unnamed police headquarters across from City Hall at 1st and Main.

Stand up for bike lanes on the Westside as L.A. Planning and LADOT host the West Area Bike Lanes Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 19th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Medina Parking Enforcement Office, 11214 W. Exposition Blvd at Sepulveda Blvd.

LACBC will host the city’s first Bike Prom from 8 pm to 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.

Registration is open for the 2013 UCLA Complete Streets Conference on Thursday, February 28th at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 120 South Los Angeles Street Downtown.

This should be a major party, as the infamous semi-official Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race takes place on St. Paddy’s Day, Sunday, March 17th, starting at 3:30 am at Tang’s Donuts, 4341 West Sunset Boulevard. Be sure to wear green — or better yet, ride a kelly green bike festooned with shamrocks and leprechauns.

Make your plans for the Malibu 7-Canyon Ride on Saturday, March 23rd with rides of 100 miles, 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 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?

LAPD doors a cyclist, CD11 candidates talk bikes and raft load of soggy bike links for a rainy few days

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.

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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.

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

From left: Wright, Bonin, Hess, Bostick and Sutton

You can view post debate interviews with the four participating candidates — Mike Bonin, Tina Hess, Fred Sutton and Odysseus Bostick — prepared by Strteetsblog’s Damien Newton.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

40-year old cyclist critically injured in Costa Mesa collision

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.

Nothing to see hear — visit LA Streetsblog for my latest post

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.

Your big, bold list of King/Inauguration Day bike links

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

Something to remember as we confront the irrational anger in today’s America.

And on our streets.

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L.A. cyclists finally have some real reasons to get excited as plans are unveiled for the city’s first cycle tracks and raised bike lanes. Meanwhile, the city speeds up key projects by opting out of environmental review; hearings for first year projects will be held next month.

Personally, I’ll be happy when the 7th Street bike lanes don’t stop at Figueroa, throwing me head first into the madness of barely organized traffic every time I ride Downtown.

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Evidently, you can ride slowly in L.A. traffic and still get where you’re going in one piece. Orange 20 Bikes reports on Saturday’s Tweed Ride. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Marathon Crash Race 2013 on March 17th. The Venice Neighborhood Council discusses road diets, bikes lanes and back-in angled parking on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Operation Firefly brings bike lights to Boyle Heights. The LACBC offers Pigskins & Pedals: A Sunday Funday Tour of LA’s Historic Football Stadiums on Sunday, Feb 3rd, while new LACBC-affiliate chapter Downey Bicycle Coalition kicks off a series of monthly community bike rides next weekend. Cycling in the South Bay promises to stop for stop signs — well, that one, at least. CLR Effect looks at a cloudless Sunday on two wheels, meanwhile, Michael writes movingly about the loss of his father last week; let’s all offer a prayer or some good thoughts for a good man.

Where to ride if you’re visiting Disneyland. A 47-year old San Marcos cyclist is seriously injured in an early morning hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane. Some cities ticket cyclists for riding on the sidewalk; in El Cajon they shoot them repeatedly. The San Luis Obispo paper calls on a “well-meaning” Caltrans to fix the mess they created on Hwy 1.

American Katie Compton wins the world overall cyclocross championship without a single pedal stroke, while a Kiwi rider makes his mark with his moustache. A People for Bikes survey shows the need for better infrastructure. Your next bike lock could be a kickstand, and vice versa. L’affaire Lance — which we’re otherwise ignoring here — elevates America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, while the other former Tour de France winner who swore he didn’t dope but didn’t go on Oprah sues Armstrong’s confederates; Dave Moulton wishes Lance would just go away and take his dope with him. Riding fat tire bikes through the Alaskan winter. In a tragic irony, a postal worker is killed at the same dangerous intersection where a mail truck killed a cyclist in 2011. Can America survive a White House Chief of Staff who bikes while distracted?

London Mayor BoJo appoints a writer for the Daily Telegraph as the city’s first bicycling commissioner; I suppose it’s only Americans who’d be bothered that his name is Gilligan, right li’l buddy? Britain’s Parliament commits to getting the country on their bikes; don’t hold your breath for Congress to pick up the torch. The same UK court that fined a driver £35 for killing a cyclist fines another £110 for hitting a parked car. An Irish cyclist says it’s time to make helmet use mandatory. Scot cyclists prepare to Pedal on Parliament again. Soccer-playing 2006 Tour de France champ Oscar Pereiro says cyclists aren’t the only ones who dope, pointing the finger at his fellow footballers. Speaking of the TdF, the 2014 edition kicks off in the home of the Damned United. Even in Copenhagen, NIMBYs fight bike lanes. American tourists in Taiwan want to share a photo with two Aussie cyclists they met on the road. An Australian cyclist loans his own front wheel to a racer in need. A New Zealand writer says bicycles could save the world.

Finally, if you’re going to ride, ride by the rules — all 91 of them. Soar high above traffic in your own bicycle habitrail. And if this isn’t enough links for your MLKing/Inauguration Day reading, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a big bunch more.

………

Congratulations to April Economides, Kevin Hopps and Trent Strong, the newest members of the LACBC board of directors; if you’re not a member of the LACBC, you’re missing out on the county’s largest and most effective bike advocacy organization.

A tweed ride, dim sum ride, no rider left behind ride and CD11 council candidate transportation forum

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

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.

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 aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

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 bike@cicle.org with the date you want to attend.

Bicycle Kitchen is holding a fix-a-flat workshop from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Sunday, January 27th, 4429 Fountain Ave; RSVP to bkworshops@gmail.com.

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.

Registration is open for the 2013 UCLA Complete Streets Conference on Thursday, February 28th at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 120 South Los Angeles Street Downtown.

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?

Update: Bike rider illegally ticketed by pissed-off cop for non-infractions on Venice bike path

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. 

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