Archive for September 30, 2013

LA Times confesses to being pro bike, possible Caltrans chip seal solution, and news of the Worlds

The LA Times launches their examination of biking in the City of Angels in the Opinion pages with a trio of editorials.

The main one manages to raise a lot of questions, both from a bike rider’s perspective and from those who love to hate us, while confessing to a pro-bike bias. Hopefully, they’ll answer at least some of those questions as the series moves forward.

Meanwhile, a cyclist questions just what the rules of the road are, as training for bike riders remains virtually non-existent.

No, seriously.

I got an email recently from a rider who was surprised to learn that cyclists have to stop at stop signs, even when there’s no one else around. Except for the cop who wrote him up for it, that is.

Because no one ever told him he had to.

Clearly, we have a long way to go in educating cyclists when something that seems so obvious isn’t. Although this is a good place to start.

And a foot commuter says it’s not just about bikes versus cars, but rather, a broader discussion about public space and decision making.

Clearly, they get it. Although there’s no guarantee that they’ll get everything right, or that we will agree with everything they have to say.

But one day and three opinion pieces in, the series already feels far more honest than the Los Angeles News Groups’ much — and deservedly — maligned bike-baiting Summer of Cycling Series.

Besides, one of the writers had the infinite good taste to link back to me.

So seriously, how bad could it be?

………

Caltrans develops a possible solution to the disastrous chip sealing of the coast highway north of Cambria. Now maybe they can try the same approach on Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Baldy, where the same anti-bike road treatment was applied, to exactly the same reception.

Thanks to Stephen Villavaso for the link.

………

After the big names bail due to heavy rain, Rui Costa edges Rodriguez to win the Worlds. While he didn’t win, at least it was educational for Peter Sagan, while Russian learned the hard way to lock their bikes better.

And as usual, Marianne Vos is unbeatable on the women’s side, though American Evelyn Stevens gave it her best shot.

Meanwhile, bike racing’s new head honcho promises a new era — with the help of a certain disgraced cyclist.

……..

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton calls the new plans for a high-speed Hyperion-Glendale bridge project a looming disaster; as far as I’m concerned, a 1970’s style 55 mph mini-highway in the heart of the city is dead in the water. A new gateway greets visitors to the LA River Bike Path. New buffered bike lanes besmirch Colorado Blvd in Northeast LA. The Eastside access project continues to move forward. The ArtNight Pasadena Bike Ride rolls on Friday, October 11th. CICLE leads a ride to the CalPoly Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, October 20th; whether the patch is sincere enough remains to be seen.

Good news for CA cyclists, as bikes get a 30% boost in the state budget. A Riverside hit-and-run leaves a cyclist in critical condition; 32-year old Alvin Lennon Johnson of Riverside was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. UC Riverside wants to curb reckless bike riders. Bike count volunteers are needed in Newport Beach. A San Diego writer says he intends to keep crossing the centerline to pass bike riders regardless of what our esteemed governor thinks; may I be the first to say thank you. Fresno is tearing out one of the nation’s first pedestrian malls. A new Kickstarter project promises to block wind noise from your helmet straps. A Chico letter writer says bike riders have to obey the same laws drivers and pedestrians don’t obey. A San Francisco cyclist pedals across the Bay; no, not on a bridge.

Now there’s a Blue Book to set prices for used bikes. A potential partner who doesn’t ride a bike doesn’t have to be an impediment to love. How to avoid being the victim of a right hook. Security video captures a Michigan bike rider repeatedly robbed after being knocked unconscious. For once, police are taking the deaths of bike riders seriously, as a third arrest has been made in the DUI death of two New Hampshire cyclists. A thug bashes a Boston bike rider while pretending to be a cop and runs off with her bike. The Department of DIY opens an NYC bureau. Bike Snob is bummed out because yet another child has been killed in New York and the police don’t care. The Wall Street Journal says bike share is blossoming in Gotham, despite the rantings of the paper’s Wicked Witch. A Delaware driver loses control and kills a passenger in his car, so naturally, it’s the bike rider’s fault. North Carolina names a trailhead after the Bicycle Man, who gave refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

A Toronto cyclist is chastised by the city’s police chief after she taps his SUV when it repeatedly drifts into the bike lane, nearly hitting her. Bookmark this one, as the London Times explains why non-bike riders should support increased spending for bicycling. Remarkably, two Brit bike riders survive a 70 mph crash with just relatively minor injuries. Police apologize after a law breaking British cop stops a bike-cam wearing rider who didn’t; break the law, that is. Nothing is more exhausting, and few things more enjoyable, than biking with kids. Scot cycling legend Graeme Obree retires after failing to set the land speed record he was after. Alpha Romeo is the latest high-end automaker to roll out a high-end concept bike; no offense, but I’m not impressed with overpriced vanity projects. Bikes are making a comeback in Nigeria. Champion Australian cyclist Alex Simmons gets a $1 million settlement after losing a leg when caretakers neglected to open a gate on a cycling route. Aussie cyclist credits $30 helmet with saving her life. Brit expat works to make Hong Kong a better place to ride a bike.

Finally, a Saudi cleric says driving a car could cause irreversible damage to women’s ovaries; just another reason to ride a bike. Except women aren’t allowed to do that there, either, except in parks and accompanied by a male relative.

Breaking news: OC DUI hit-and-run driver Juli Ann Brown gets serious jail time

It looks like a dangerous driver may be off the streets for awhile.

And for once, she didn’t have to kill someone to get the court’s attention. Just nearly kill three people in an allegedly intoxicated state.

I’m told that Juli Ann Brown, the driver who ran down three members of the Long Beach Lightening Velo bike club in a drunken hit-and-run on PCH last year, was sentenced on Friday to a total of one year in county jail, 15 years in state prison, plus fines, restitution and an 18-month alcohol offender program.

Yes, you read that right.

A total of 16 years, though what that will mean in real life remains to be seen, as she was convicted of multiple counts, and some or all of those terms may end up being served concurrently.

Brown was convicted of plowing into a group of cyclists riding in the bike lane on PCH in Seal Beach in February 2012, then fleeing the scene. Three of the riders were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries.

Brown was arrested shortly afterwards when Huntington Beach police officers observed her damaged car swerving repeatedly, and booked on suspicion of hit-and-run, driving under the influence and possession of narcotics.

All before 10 am on a Saturday.

This is her second conviction for a DUI offense. Brown was convicted on two separate DUI counts in 2003, one for drug use and another for a blood alcohol level greater than .08. Amazingly, she was sentenced to just 10 days in jail — which as then stayed — and just 90 days of driving restriction, as well as a nine month alcohol treatment program.

This time, at least, she should do some serious jail time.

Whether it will be enough to keep her sober and off the streets once she gets out, only time will tell.

Road raging driver mows down cyclist in Palos Verdes

The bike is dead. Fortunately, its rider isn’t.

The Daily Breeze is reporting that a road raging driver deliberately ran down a bicyclist before slamming into a series of cars.

According to the paper, Palos Verdes Estates resident Doug Castile was riding on Via Pacheco around 6:30 pm when he was Jerry Browned by a driver who sideswiped him, then backed up and hit him again when he complained.

Castile said he yelled, “Hey, you just hit me!” The driver of the black car then put it in reverse, backed up behind the bicyclist, pulled forward and pushed the bicyclist into the plants.

“The guy put it in reverse again, backed up, and ran over my bike,” Castile said. “At that point, my feet are clipped in the pedals on my bike. I unclipped my feet and jumped off the bike into the plants and he’s running over my bicycle back and forth.”

The driver, who wasn’t identified in the story, reacted bizarrely when Castile reached reached into his pocket for his cell phone.

“He says, ‘What are you reaching for, a gun?’ It just was so odd to hear that statement. I took my hand out of my pocket. I thought this guy is capable of anything,” Castile said.

At that point, the driver sped off, slamming into an unknown number of parked and moving vehicle before his car finally became disabled on Ganado Drive and Sheriff’s deputies made an arrest.

Castile was able to escape with scrapes, while his $3,000 to $4,000 bike was destroyed.

The paper says police were unsure whether the driver was suffering from a mental condition or committed a deliberate assault.

Unfortunately, anyone can buy a car and get a license, regardless of mental or emotional stability. And in the wrong hands, it can become a weapon.

As we have seen too many times before.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: The Daily Breeze identifies the driver as 65-year old William Thomas Kelly of Torrance. He’s being held on $30,000 bond on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; hopefully, more charges — and a much higher bail — will follow soon. 

It’s also worth noting that deputies found Kelly unconscious in his car after it rammed the gates to an FAA facility, which could lead to federal charges. According to the paper, officer’s smelled alcohol on his breath when he was taken into custody — which could make this the fourth time he’s charged with DUI since 1991.

And yet he was still allowed behind the wheel to threaten the lives and safety of others.

Designed to kill — LA throws out Complete Streets to plan high-speed Hyperion Bridge complex

Call it a big step backward for livability — and survivability — on LA streets.

Despite a state Complete Streets policy to accommodate all road users, plans to rehabilitate the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex currently calls for a high-speed viaduct focused strictly on moving motor vehicles as quickly as possible, at the expense of all other road users.

Bike lanes included in the current bike plan have been left out. As have safely usable sidewalks. And apparently common sense, as the plans reflect a big step backward to the failed policies of the past, similar to the killer roadways currently found in Orange County and San Diego.

Not exactly what you’d expect from our new progressive mayor, who seemed to get it when completing a questionnaire for the LACBC prior to this year’s election. Or new bike-friendly City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who replaced Garcetti in CD13.

On the other hand, it’s exactly what we might expect from Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who professes his support for bicycling while opposing bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and was the driving force behind the removal of the green bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown LA.

With friends like that, we don’t need enemies.

I’ll let the latest Action Alert from the LACBC take it from here.

The LA Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and Caltrans are currently studying rehabilitating the Hyperion-Glendale complex of bridges over the 5 Freeway and LA River connecting Silver Lake to Atwater Village. Despite being designated for bike lanes in the 2010 Bicycle Plan, the proposed project does not include these planned lanes. Why? LACBC and LA Walks (and many of you) attended a community workshop last night to find out.

What we discovered is plain old car-centric engineering from start to finish. Caltrans and BOE are designing Hyperion Ave. to freeway standards with a design speed of 55 miles per hour. Based on that design speed, they are pursuing a median crash barrier, banked turns, and supersized car lanes. Those decisions leave no room for bike lanes and just a narrow sidewalk on only one side of the street.  Simply designing the street to normal city street standards would leave enough room for everyone.

Your voice is needed to make Hyperion Ave. safe for all. Tell Caltrans and BOE that freeway speeds have no place on city streets and that walking and biking are just as important as moving traffic. Comments can be emailed to Tami Podesta by October 11th at Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov. Please cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, and mayor.garcetti@lacity.org.

To: Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov
cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, mayor.garcetti@lacity.org
bcc: info@la-bike.org

Subject: No Hyperion Freeway – Build a Safe Viaduct for All

As someone who bikes or walks between Silver Lake and Atwater Village, it is absolutely critical that Hyperion Ave. be made safe for people like me. Everyone’s needs can be met if the project is designed for appropriate speeds through an urban community. Specifically, I would like the project to include:

  • Bike lanes on Hyperion Ave.
  • Wider sidewalks and well-marked crosswalks with wayfinding signs
  • Narrower traffic lanes to provide more space for bicyclists and pedestrians and discourage speeding
  • No crash barrier and banked turns that will make people drive even faster
  • A complete crosswalk on the Atwater end of the viaduct to let people access the sidewalk from both sides of Glendale Blvd. and give bicyclists an alternative through the dangerous merge

There is no reason for this project to not be consistent with the bike plan and Caltrans complete streets policy. The viaduct is currently the greatest barrier to safe bicycle access across the 5 Freeway and the LA River. This project can change that and make all travelers benefit.

Sincerely,

your name
your address

………

A new petition calls on Caltrans to stop chip sealing popular cycling routes, following the disastrous resurfacing of Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Baldy Road.

The surfacing treatment, which combines a layer of asphalt over gravel or other aggregate material, results in a rough roadway that is, at best, unpleasant to ride. And at worst can create dangerous conditions that make it difficult to maintain control of a bike.

Considering the outcry from bike riders when Caltrans chip sealed PCH north of Cambria earlier this year, it’s nearly incomprehensible that they would use the same technique on some of Southern California’s most popular riding routes.

Which begs the question — is Caltrans merely incompetent and tone-deaf to the needs of cyclists, or is the agency actively trying to discourage riding on these roadways?

………

Santa Monica sends a shot over the bow of LA’s long-delayed Bike Nation bike share program, as they vote to move forward with their own plan, in what the city hopes will grow to be a regional program developed in conjunction with Metro.

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Times readers weigh in on the new three-foot law, as the writer gently corrects a negative commenter. West LA’s Martin Cadillac could become a bike-friendly mixed-use housing, office and retail development; an apparently less bike-friendly car dealer in DTLA says he’s not trying to kill the MyFigueroa project. The aforementioned CMs LaBonge and O’Farrell belatedly celebrate the city’s first Bicycle Friendly Street. Celebrate the new and improved Colorado Boulevard this Sunday. Malibu gets a $900,000 Caltrans grant to improve the existing bike route on PCH through the west side of town. Boyonabike looks at how Monrovia could become more bike friendly in advance of the coming Gold Line station. Old Pasadena gets bike racks.

The Orange County Register finally drops its draconian paywall, but only to complain about Long Beach bike riders. Homebuyers along OC’s new Great Park will get a new bright orange bike. A San Diego driver says he’s going to keep crossing over the centerline to pass bike riders safely, regardless of whether permission to do that was removed from the new three-foot passing law; thank you. Somehow, Modesto police don’t know which way a bus was travelling, but know a cyclist rode in front of it. A 17-year old Redding-area driver is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 61-year old bike rider. A 19-year old man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a Chico cyclist, as well as possession of marijuana for sale — the day he was supposed to get off probation for a previous drug conviction.

Forbes says bicycling is badly in need of good PR, as London’s formerly bike-friendly Daily Telegraph cries out against the false god of cycling. Forbes also presents 10 cities where bicycles rule the streets; I think riders in many of those cities might disagree. Are America’s planners making Americans fat? A good looking new video from Adventure Cycling highlight’s the US Bicycle Route System — and inadvertently, bicycling’s white problem. While LA’s city leaders are busy ripping them out, Las Vegas installs new green bike lanes downtown. Nevada cyclists can now run red lights that fail to detect their presence. Instead of telling cyclists where not to park, why not install enough bike racks for everyone? A second person has been arrested in the death of two New Hampshire cyclists last weekend; the suspect allegedly provided drugs and a car to the unlicensed driver who killed them. Bikeyface says you too could ride to work on a cloud, even if you’re not athletic. New York’s Daily News rides a bike share bike with the city’s Republican candidate for mayor. A New York cabbie is really sorry and has trouble sleeping after he severed the leg of a British tourist following a dispute with a bicyclist; imagine how his victim must feel. Arlington VA cyclists get a new bike repair vending machine. Georgia considers a slate of anti-bike legislation.

A cyclist is critical of Vancouver’s GranFondo after suffering life-changing injuries when he hit a storm grate. A UK cyclist is dead because a race track failed to let drivers know there was a bike path on their property. A Brit couple time their wedding photos to include the Tour of Britain. British bike scribe Carlton Reid attempts to defend bike riding before a hostile TV audience. The successful Paris Velib bike share system may shrink because people won’t stop stealing their bikes. Bike racing’s governing body could have a new president Friday. Garmin-Sharp rider Peter Stetina prepares to compete at the world championships, despite his father’s recent near-fatal fall and flooding at the family’s Boulder CO home.

Finally, when you call the police to report a 5’9″, 90-pound man broke into your trailer, knocked you over the head and stole your bike, maybe you shouldn’t mention he stole your meth, too.

Justice delayed — OC driver faces charges for killing cyclist last March while on prescription drugs

Six months later, an OC cyclist may finally see justice for the driver who killed him.

According to Rancho Santa Margarita Patch, 39-year old Irvine resident Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti was arrested Tuesday on a charge of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the death of cyclist Eric Billings last March.

Billings was riding a cruiser bike in the southbound bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway, between El Toro Road and Los Alisos Blvd in Mission Viejo around 6:45 pm on Friday, March 15th. Fakhrai-Bayrooti, who goes by the name Hayley, was headed north on Santa Margarita when she missed her turn onto Los Alisos, and made a U-turn at El Toro Road.

Her car drifted into the bike lane, striking Billings from behind and killing him instantly.

Blood tests revealed that she was under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the collision, which she described to Patch last July as an anti-depressant.

“I’ve had illnesses; I was diagnosed with PTSD, OCD,” she said. “I was diagnosed with manic depression and for those I have to take medication or else (I’m) not going to function.” 

And yet, she claims her ability to drive was not impaired by the medication — even though her own description of what happened after her U-turn suggests otherwise.

Next, ”something came into contact with me or I came into contact with something. I don’t know,” she said outside the fountains near Selma’s in RSM.

Her car wouldn’t stop, she said.

“I tried so hard to stop that car,” she said, gesturing as if she were holding a steering wheel and slamming on the brakes. ”The wheel was out of my control. The brake was out of my control.”

Apparently, the car developed a mind of its own, seizing control and running down an innocent victim while she sat helpless behind the wheel.

Yeah, that could happen.

And despite having just made a U-turn, she somehow hit the 54-year old father of four with enough force to kill him instantly; Billings was pronounced dead as soon as rescuers arrived at 6:48 pm.

It wasn’t her first driving infraction; she had previously been charged with speeding over 65 mph and using a hand-held cell phone while driving; no word on whether her car was responsible for those infractions, as well.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti describes herself as devastated by the collision, dropping her legal practice and leaving her car in the police impound lot. She also reports being so depressed that she attempted suicide the week after the collision by taking “everything in the medicine cabinet.”

On the other hand, I doubt her victim’s family took it very well, either. Although, as a devout Mormon, Billings probably would have forgiven her if he could.

Fortunately, the Orange County District Attorney’s office doesn’t seem to be so willing to turn the other cheek.

She has been released after posting $100,000 bail.

One last note.

This comment was left on the Patch story of Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s arrest:

…I feel bad for this woman. She had a need for a prescription, and it didn’t impair her or cause her to hit the cyclist. I take thyroid medication; if I get into a car accident, will I be arrested for the same thing? And after reading her blog about the accident, poor thing seemed like she had suffered enough for what she did.

So let’s be absolutely clear.

If your medication affects your ability to drive, then don’t. If you even think you might be impaired, you have both a legal and moral obligation to stay the hell off the road.

Despite the excuses we give ourselves, no one has to drive. And no one has a God given right to be on the roads — especially not when medications or other health factors may make them a danger to others.

If you make a decision to keep driving despite the effects of your medication, you can and should be held accountable for whatever happens as a result. And just because someone denies being impaired, that doesn’t mean they weren’t, as Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s description of the collision suggests.

She may have needed her prescription to function, but should have known it could affect her ability to operate a motor vehicle; there is a reason for those warnings that accompany prescription medicines.

Now a man is dead, and a family forever shattered.

And a woman faces charges for a fatal collision that has left her depressed.

But for which, by her own description, she still hasn’t taken responsibility.

Update: The LA Daily News reports Fakhrai-Bayrooti had two drugs in her system at the time of the collision — anti-anxiety drug Alprazolan, and Buprenorphine, which the paper says is used to treat opiate addictions.

Both medications contain warnings that they can cause drowsiness and dizziness, and not to drive until you know how they affect you. According to the Drugs.com link above, combining the two medications can cause severe drowsiness, as well as severe breathing problems and increased risk of seizures.

Nothing to see here — find today’s post on Streetsblog, instead

Sorry for the late update.

I’ve spent my day filling in for Damien Newton on Streetsblog once again. And writing a detailed report on last night’s meeting to discuss the Northvale section of the planned Expo Line bike path extension through Cheviot Hills in West LA.

You can see my story here.

Bottom line, there are a lot of questions still to be answered before we can offer any serious reaction to the plans, which haven’t been developed yet.

Last night’s meeting was to gather input and ensure everyone had their say before city engineers begin the hard work of designing a bike path some don’t want behind their homes. And others just don’t want, period.

The city will come back with a proposal for the bike path in January.

And we’ll probably see a lot more fireworks then.

For once, California cyclists don’t get Jerry Browned. And finally get a three-foot passing law.

Yes, we won.

But just what did we win?

Monday afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown announced that he’d signed AB 1371, the Three Feet for Safety Act, after vetoing similar three-foot passing laws in each of the last two years.

So we should be happy, right?

Yes.

Sort of.

For the first time, California drivers will have a clearly defined passing distance, rather than the current requirement that they pass at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the bicycle being overtaken. Which in the real world, too often passes for anything that doesn’t actually result in contact with the rider.

No, really.

More than once I’ve caught up with a driver who buzzed me at a dangerously close distance. And the response has been a sarcastic “Well, I didn’t hit you, did I?”

Well, no.

Just scared the crap out of me, taking all my self-control not to overreact and swerve into the passing car or some other object. Not to mention risking getting sucked into the side of a larger vehicle by its slipstream.

Sort of like the school bus that passed me at speed at less than an arm’s length distance on San Vicente Monday afternoon. Or maybe this pass by a Big Blue Bus that barely did.

Pass, that is.

And I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, at the Santa Monica bus company to give enough of a damn to call me back.

Now drivers will know anything less than three feet is too damn close.

Though some would question that.

Some lawmakers who opposed the bill, such as Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said it would be difficult to estimate a 3-foot distance while driving, especially when cyclists also might be swerving to avoid road hazards.

That’s kind of the point, though. We need that three feet of space so we can swerve to avoid road hazards without plowing into the vehicle next to us.

Anyone convicted of violating the law will face a $35 base fine, plus fees that will take it up to $233, or a $220 base fine if a collision resulting in injuries to the rider occurs.

The problem is, unless a driver actually does make contact with a cyclist, the law is virtually unenforceable.

The bill includes a provision allowing drivers to pass at less than three-feet if they slow down and pass only when it won’t endanger a cyclist’s safety.

In other words, the same sort of vague, virtually unenforceable standard we have now.

Still, it’s worth celebrating simply because we’ve joined the other 22 states and the District of Columbia with a clearly defined standard. And unlike last year’s bill, this one applies whether you’re in the same lane as the vehicle passing you or in a separate bike lane or parking lane.

Which should help stop those drivers who buzz you with two wheels on, or in, the bike lane while you’re riding in it.

Key word being should.

So let’s give credit to former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for pushing for a third attempt to pass this bill. And Gardena Assemblymember Steven Bradford for shepherding this law through the legislature, even if it was severely watered down from the brilliantly written bill he originally proposed.

Including removal of the much-needed provision allowing drivers to briefly cross the center line in order to safely pass cyclists with a minimum three-foot distance. In other words, legalizing exactly what many drivers already do, despite the fears our governor expressed in vetoing last year’s bill.

Like Glendale’s Mike Gatto, who took on the successful fight to extend the statute of limitations in hit-and-run cases, Bradford has shown himself as a skilled legislator willing to go to the mat for bicyclists. Both deserve our support, and will be worth watching — and working with — as we go forward.

We should also thank the strange mix of supporters who backed the bill, from Calbike and CABO, to traditionally bike-unfriendly AAA, which helped kill the last two bills.

And we owe a begrudging round of thanks to Jerry Brown for not going down in history as the only governor to strike out when it comes to bike safety legislation; it’s enough that he’ll be remembered by bike riders for being the only governor, besides Rick Perry of Texas, to veto a three-foot passing law once, let alone twice.

As the bill’s author put it,

“I sincerely thank the Governor for signing this commonsense measure to protect cyclists on our roads,” Bradford said. “When cars and bikes collide, it often turns to tragedy. This bill is a great reminder that we all have to work together to keep our roads safe for all users.”

Which begs the question, do we now stop referring to dangerously close passes as being Jerry Browned? Or is a single signature not enough to overcome the harm he’s already done?

The law takes effect a year from now, on September 16, 2014.

Which means things should start to get a little better then. If we can all survive that long.

And once Brown leaves office, we can work on strengthening the law and giving it some real teeth.

A brief list of must reads for a perfect LA day

Just a quick note on a quiet news day in the bike world, as only a handful of stories stand out as must-reads this gorgeous Monday morning.

Over the weekend, London’s Telegraph newspaper offered an exceptionally one-sided newspaper report of people in the UK countryside complaining about those damn Wiggo-wannabe Lycra Louts ruining their peaceful roadways — without bothering to speak to a single cyclist, suggesting there is only one side worth considering in this multi-sided story. Fortunately, their competition at the Guardian skillfully deconstructs the anti-bike bias in the story, in typically polite English fashion.

There have been countless stories in recent years looking at why and how the Dutch have set the world standard for designing streets around the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. The Boston Globe offers one of the best examinations I’ve yet seen, with an eye on how we can do it here. And throws in a look at laws holding drivers automatically at fault in a collision with a vulnerable road user; the only way we’ll ever stop the careless carnage on our roads is to adopt a modified of that here.

The Times discovers LA’s ovary gang sign flashing, fem bike centric Ovarian Psycho Cycles Brigade. But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton points out, can’t bring itself to use the word “clitoral,” as in the recent Clitoral Mass ride.

After months of saying there was nothing they could do to improve safety on campus following the death of bike riding student Ivan Aguilar, Cal Poly Pomona breaks down and does the right thing, re-striping a major campus artery to restrict the use of cars on campus.

Finally, in case you missed it, DTLA’s Spring Street green bike lane ceased to exist over the weekend, with predictable results, even though the now-colorless, rough-riding buffered bike lane remains. LADOT promises the new, less garish — and presumably, less noticeable — treatment will be down in time for CicLAvia in two weeks.

Two century riders killed in New Hampshire, be an LA ped superhero, and a little Sunday linkafying

In yet another horrifying case, a two New Hampshire bike riders are killed when a car crosses over the centerline during an annual century ride.

The riders were taking part in the Granite State Wheelmen’s 40th annual Tri-State Seacoast Century ride when they were hit head-on by a car driven by a 20-year old motorist. The car hit four cyclists, killing two and leaving the others with non-life-threatening injuries.

No word on why the car strayed onto the wrong side of the road, but I think we could all take a pretty good guess.

Note to drivers: Could you all just sober up, put the phone down and stop killing us now?

Please?

Thanks to Dan Weinberg for the heads-up.

Update: According to the husband of one of the victims, police are treating the collision as a criminal investigation and have seized the driver’s cell phone, as well as taking a blood sample. 

Update 2: The driver was stopped by police the night before for speeding. And even though police determined she was an unlicensed driver — not suspended or revoked — she was not arrested, nor was her car impounded. Now two innocent people are dead as a result. Something to think about now that the LAPD is no longer impounding cars belonging to unlicensed drivers.  Thanks to GVDub for the link. 

………

Our bipedalist peers invite you to the Walking Day of Action on October 1st to help take back the streets in emulation of Mexico City’s masked defender of pedestrians.

I honestly don’t know what LA drivers would make of a bike riding superhero.

Road kill, maybe.

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Santa Monica may get bike share before Los Angeles does. LA had a bikeway to the sea 113 years ago; hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 100 or so years before the Expo bikeway finally gives us another one. Then again, Downtown LA once had a bright green bike lane, or so the story is told. KPCC is mapping the most dangerous intersections in LA for cyclists and pedestrians. Eleven questions with, and more importantly, answers from, the president of the Loyola Marymount bike club. Bikes give Santa Monica paramedics greater flexibility while speeding response times.

No irony here, as the maker of banned bike doping supplement EPO re-ups for another three years sponsoring the Tour of California. A newly bike and pedestrian friendly coast highway reopens in Solana Beach. Riding with the coyotes in OC. A Thousand Oaks writer says no group has ever been more pampered in the city than bicyclists; I suspect most bicyclists would say drivers are just a tad more pampered, what with all those traffic lanes and parking spaces. San Francisco plans to cut bike theft by 50% within five years; let’s see a similar commitment from the LAPD. The SFPD cites a cyclist for driving without a license, or maybe not.

A North Seattle neighborhood says no way to bike lanes. Colorado driver kills a cyclist while under the influence of prescription drugs — while she was on her way to a court hearing on a previous DUI arrest, no less. Gang members as young as 10-years old are behind a string of Houston bike trail attacks. A motorcycle group fights Wisconsin’s proposed vulnerable user law, while the state’s cyclists are riding without protection. Political maneuvering results in Green Bay bike riders getting sharrows instead of promised bike lanes on a busy street. A Boston study shows relieving just 1% of traffic from just 15 census tracts would reduce traffic congestion 18% for everyone; bikes, anyone? An upstate New York letter writer complains about the rude cyclist who ran over their dog leashes, failing to consider that maybe a trio of women letting their dogs roam while they chat on a bike path may not be the best idea. Nine safety tips for bike riders. Tragic news from Florida, as the second tandem cyclist critically injured in a Labor day collision has died; her boyfriend died the day of the collision. Fort Lauderdale police have apparently been using the city’s bike registration law to stop riders for Biking While Black.

A look behind Twitter’s CycleHated account; if you think this site is depressing sometimes, try following that one for awhile. A British cyclist is charged in a bike-on-bike road rage assault that left a 70-year old deaf cyclist with a fractured cheekbone. Surrey residents are fed up with Lycra louts; funny how the press can write about bicyclists behaving badly without ever talking to one, not like there might be two sides to the story or anything. A local businessman calls a new UK contraflow bike lane a deathtrap; maybe he just wants his handicapped parking space back. A Scotsman gets his bike back after shaming the thief on Facebook. A leading Scottish cyclist fights for his life after being hit by a car. Welsh parents protest after a school bans bicycling and removes a student bike shed to expand teacher parking; God forbid they should encourage teachers to ride to work, instead. European cyclists can now protect their wheels with combination lock wheel skewers. A Norwegian bike rider faces charges after he knocked another cyclist off the sidewalk and into the street, where she was killed by a bus. After an Arab triathlete is killed, Dubai’s traffic police chief warns cyclists not to ride on the country’s roads because they weren’t designed for bikes; wait, where have we heard that before?

Finally, if you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a semi-automatic weapon, put a damn light on your bike, already. Or better yet, don’t. And a new world human-powered vehicle speed record was set after all, just not by the guy we thought would do it.

Pop-Up MANGO, Made in LA Ride, Streetsblog fundraiser and important Expo Bikeway meeting

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.

Santa Monica will host a four hour Pop-Up MANGO street festival between 11 am and 3 pm on Saturday, September 21st to preview the planned Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway.

Metro is sponsoring a series of monthly bike rides in conjunction with CICLE. First up is the Made in LA III: LA River Edition on Saturday, September 21st. Meet at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, 570 W Avenue 26, at 10:30am (near Metro Gold Line Lincoln/Cypress Station).

Here’s your chance to bike the famed Las Vegas strip and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley, with the 6th Annual RTC Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Pinarello on Saturday, September 21st. The event will offer routes for riders of all levels, from a 17-mile ride to 60-mile Metric Century and a 103-mile Gran Fondo; the longer rides will visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead.

Streetsblog is hosting a fundraiser to celebrate their new SaMo edition, Santa Monica Next, on Sunday, September 22nd, from 11 am to 3 pm. The party, including food, drink and a raffle, takes place on the rooftop at 11th and Wilshire in Santa Monica; $35 donation, $15 for students.

The LADOT Bicycle Program invites you to a community meeting to discuss the design and development of the Exposition Boulevard Bicycle Path’s Northvale Segment, at 7 PM on Tuesday, September 24th, at the Palms Rancho Park Community Library, 2920 Overland Avenue. Local homeowners have fought the bikeway tooth and nail, so supporters are strongly urged to attend.

The SoCalCross Prestige Series kicks off the cyclocross racing season on Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th at Los Angeles Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street in Downtown LA.

Bike SGV invites you to join them for their 2013 Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser on Saturday, September 28th from 5 pm to 11 pm at the San Gabriel Mission Grapevine Arbor, 320 South Mission Drive in San Gabriel.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat will bypass Los Angeles this year; the nearest stop will be at San Diego’s Golden Hill Park on Saturday, September 28th, from 10 am to 5 pm. Join or renew your membership with the LACBC by September 12th and you could win a free two night trip to our neighbor to the south for Tour de Fat.

Sunday, September 29th, the Eastside Bike Club is holding a Dodgertown Bike Ride to watch the division champion L.A. Dodgers vs the Colorado Rockies. The ride is a fundraiser for founding member Erica Cornejo, who is battling cancer. Tickets are available through Carlos Morales at 323/572-8211 or at Stans Bike Shop, 880 Myrtle Ave in Monrovia.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 7 pm on the first Tuesday of each even-numbered month; the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

Simi Valley hosts their annual Share the Road ride on Saturday, October 5th with rides of 25 and 50 miles, as well as your choice of challenging or easier Century rides. The ride began as a memorial for Phil Hernandez, killed while riding in the city in 2005; it has since morphed into a remembrance for all fallen riders and a reminder to everyone to share the road safely.

CicLAvia returns with an expanded version of the original Heart of LA route on Sunday, October 6th. Here’s how you can participate.

The Pablove Foundation hosts the Ride Pablove Across America in LA, a 22-mile fundraising ride from Sylmar to Silver Lake on Saturday, October 12th. The ride will accompany cyclists on the final stage of the Pablove Across America Bay to LA ride, starting at approximately 11 am at the intersection of San Fernando Road and Bleeker Street.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Rides usually take place on the first Sunday of the month; however, the October edition will be held on Sunday, October 13th to avoid a conflict with CicLAvia, ride details to be determined.

It’s not a bike ride, but the Loco Motion 10K Los Angeles run will benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in honor of fallen cyclist Marisela Echeverria, killed while riding on PCH last year. It takes place on Sunday, October 20th.

The second in Metro’s series of monthly bike rides in conjunction with CICLE takes place on Sunday, October 20th with The Pomona Pumpkin Patch Pedal. Meet at Thomas Plaza, 201 W 2nd Street in Pomona at 10:30am.

The 2013 edition of the Beverly Hills Gran Fondo rolls through Rodeo Drive and the Malibu Hills on Sunday, November 3rd, with rides of 47.6 and 90 miles; register online by Saturday, November 2nd. A two-day expo will be held next to the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel; which two days they don’t say, but we’ll assume it’s Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd and 3rd.

Metro’s series of monthly bike rides in conjunction with CICLE concludes on Sunday, November 16th with The Northridge Diners & Delis Ride; meet at the Northridge Metrolink Station, 8775 Wilbur Ave, at 10:30am.

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