Save the endangered San Pedro and Spring Street bike lanes; hit-and-runs involving bicyclists up in L.A.

I’m a little battered and bruised tonight.

Riding home from another wildly successful River Ride, I hit an open 8-inch mini-manhole cover somewhere along the transition from Silver Lake to Beverly Blvd. I somehow managed to stay upright, although how I have no idea, finding myself momentarily riding a wobbling and fully ballistic bike veering dangerously towards both the curb and the asphalt.

Falling down there would have meant going down hard and in front of traffic. It would have also meant my second fall of the day, as I misjudged a steep hill on my way there in the morning, and couldn’t clip out from pedals in time after a bad shift.

Which would have made it just my second fall in the past several years, as well.

Even so, I ended up with cuts and bruises where my legs smacked the frame. And everything from butt up feels like I was hit by a Mack truck.

Yes, everything.

Enough said.

Just a reminder that something most drivers wouldn’t even notice can be dangerous if you’re on a bike.

Even if you don’t hit the street.

So with that, let’s catch up on the news we missed as I tried to sleep off my bumps and bruises yesterday.

………

Bad news from Redondo Beach, as a 48-year old triathlete Michael Giardano collapsed and died after the swimming leg of the Redondo Beach Triathlon. My condolences to all his loved ones.

………

Buscaino FlyerIf you’re anywhere near San Pedro tonight, try to make it to the 6 pm meeting with Councilmember Joe Buscaino to defend the recent road diets and bike lanes in the area.

As we’ve discussed before, the primary complaints center on the road diet installed on Westmont Drive, which reportedly results in traffic congestion just 20 minutes each morning and afternoon as parents pick their children up at the local school.

Yet the bike lanes those parents complain about exist primarily to tame traffic and improve safety around that very school. Which means that instead of demanding that they be removed, parents should be thanking city officials for taking tangible steps to protect their children.

The mantra for this meeting should be it’s not about bicyclists, it’s about the safety of your children. And if local residents somehow think the convenience of a few drivers is more important that, something is seriously wrong in San Pedro.

With school ending for the year, they’ve got all summer to find a solution that works for everyone. And returning to the previous status quo ain’t it.

………

Remember that vivid green paint that lasted about a week on Spring Street, which Hollywood location scouts claimed was impossible to avoid filming or remove in post-production and was used nowhere else in the known universe?

Yeah, right.

Mark your calendar for a Battle Royale this Friday when the issue comes before the full City Council. Every bike rider who can make it should be at City Hall at 10 am Friday to refute the lies and demand that the safety of our citizens should take precedence over the convenience of filmmakers — as if there’s not enough money in their bloated budgets to cover-up a little green paint on the street.

Tell you what.

Just give me a couple of hours and a box of gaffers tape, and I guarantee they won’t see an glimpse of green in the dailies.

Fortunately, not all Hollywood types are bike-unfriendly. Or have such small hearts.

………

I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but the long-awaited LAPD report on hit-and-runs has finally been released, and will be presented to the Police Commission at today’s meeting.

At first glance, it suggests that the city’s rate of hit-and-run, while not acceptable, is not out of line for comparable major cities, and hit-and-runs resulting in death or serious injuries to pedestrians is on the decline.

But if you think more drivers fleeing after killing or injuring bicyclists, you’re right.

………

The “new” LADOT issues their annual report, and takes credit for more than doubling the number of bike lanes in the last eight years compared to the previous 32, with 150 miles installed during the eight-year Villaraigosa administration.

………

A bike rider is shot in Santa Monica in an apparent gang driveby, which had absolutely nothing to do with last week’s shooting rampage, despite the Times unfortunate spin on the story. L.A. mayor-elect Eric Garcetti promises bike lanes and walkable communities. The Source names the bikiest guy in L.A. The upcoming Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia should be better for pedestrians; CicLAvia means open streets for everyone, not just bike riders. Another neighborhood council wants your take on bike lanes on North Figueroa; take a few minutes to respond, because the bike haters certainly will. Turns out handlebars aren’t the safest place to ride, but you knew that, right?

Laguna Beach sees an increase in bicycle collisions. If you hit another cyclist or a pedestrian, stick around until you know they’re okay, hit-and-run laws — and common human decency — apply to us, too; thanks to Allan for the heads-up. A Sacramento man faces a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider he’d argued with, then getting out and kicking him repeatedly. An 18-year old Pleasanton driver kills a woman cyclist and injures her husband; since she rear-ended both of them, it doesn’t really matter if one might have been outside the bike lane, does it? In what was clearly a horrible weekend for NorCal cyclists, a 25-year old bike rider is killed in Elk Grove, a San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision with a train and a Modesto man is killed in a hit-and-run. Once again, a San Francisco pedestrian is injured by a cyclist.

Your next bike could be a lot smarter than your last one; on the other hand, I’m not looking forward to a bike that can say “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Especially since my name’s not Dave. IsolateCyclist looks at the people who self-identify as cyclists in order to criticize other cyclists. Bicycling is catching on with the NBA. Members of my college fraternity will be riding cross-country to raise half a million dollars for people with disabilities. Lessons learned by a first-time bike commuter from my hometown. A Kansas man is electrocuted trying to steal copper wire, but props for riding a bike to do it. Chicago’s bike-specific traffic signals increase compliance by 161%. New York’s new bike share program currently reaches just 10% of the city’s population; the NY Times asks why the fuss over bikes in a city that can tolerate anything? Why conservatives should love bike share; then again, no one ever said embracing bike share would be easy. NYC bicyclists offer their wisdom on riding in the city in 10 words or less. A struggling rider finds advice on how to ride uphill. Even when one of their own editors is doored, the NY Daily News blames the victim; however, they agree cyclists aren’t the real danger, despite what the WSJ’s wicked witch says. Boston incorrectly blames bicyclists for most collisions. Bob Mionske relates how a local Tennessee political boss got away with murder — or vehicular homicide by intoxication, in this case — something I suspect occurs far more often than we’d like to admit. The wife of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man fills in during his illness.

A British PSA might just shock a few drivers into sobering up first; thanks to Day One for the heads-up. London’s bike czar says the city needs fewer testosterone-fueled cyclists and more careful female ones; nope, not a hint of reverse sexism there. A UK cyclist suffers a broken arm in a road rage assault. As usual, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a blog roundup that puts this one to shame. Bike safety devices designed to prevent collisions with trucks could make things worse. Guess which country has gone pazzo for bicycling? A South African driver flees the scene after plowing into three cyclists. An Australian woman is killed while riding with her husband the day before an appointment to find out if she was pregnant. Proof that bike riders aren’t always the good guys, as an Aussie cyclist shoots a sleeping transient with an arrow. A special New Zealand inquest rules mandatory hi-viz clothing won’t cut bicycling deaths. Chinese authorities apologize for beating a bike salesman. Well said: “If we meet out on the road or trail, let that be the start, not the totality, of a friendship.”

Finally, it’s seldom a good idea to celebrate your birthday by riding drunk and trying to strangle the cop who stops you. This is why it’s not a good idea to use people instead of traffic cones at bike races, with entirely predictable results. And someone should tell this 10-time loser that just because the sign says Highway 101, that’s not actually the speed limit; seriously, if you lose your license 10 times in four years, you shouldn’t even be on the damn highway. Or any other street, for that matter.

Too easy to get, too hard to lose, indeed.

One comment

  1. […] views on bicycle and pedestrian issues. Buscaino made a video (embedded above) driving near newly installed and highly controversial bike lanes in San Pedro to make the case that the hysteria over the new lanes by the car-driving public were overblown. The […]

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