This will be a sad week for Westside cyclists.
Even if they don’t know it yet.
As I was out on Sunday, I discovered a freshly repaved Westwood Blvd from Santa Monica Blvd south to at least Pico.
Normally that would be good news, as bike riders benefit from smooth pavement as much as drivers do. If not more, since cars are at little risk from the pits and cracks in the roadway that can throw riders dangerously to the street.
But the problem comes when the traffic lanes on Westwood are restriped. Because they won’t include the bike lanes promised in the 2010 bike plan, thanks to the apparent whim of CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz.
In an email recently forwarded to me, dated November 11, 2013, Koretz announces to bike lane opponents that he is on their side, and that no amount of information will ever convince him to support bike lanes on the boulevard. And so he is killing the project, rather than wait on the results of an LADOT feasibility study of the proposed floating bike lanes.
And even though I’m told the nearly completed study would have showed no negative impact on traffic or local businesses.
After all, why wait for the facts if they might conflict with his already made-up mind?
The self-proclaimed “big fan of bike lanes” and strong supporter of bicycling somehow seems to think bike riders traveling between the new Westwood Expo Line Station and the UCLA campus will go blocks, if not miles, out of their way for bike lanes on Sepulveda Blvd — which currently exist only in sporadic pieces — or in Century City far to the east, which don’t exist at all.
Let alone Westwood-area side streets, which have yet to be proposed by anyone.
His reasoning in killing the bike lanes is that he didn’t want them to be included in the city’s new Mobility Plan, where they might take on a life of their own. Even though his own words cite the need to include bicycling in the Mobility Plan as a way to travel to and from the Expo Line.
After all, why allow the lives and safety of cyclists to take precedence over the convenience of motorists and the preferences of overly entitled local home and business owners?
It’s one of the great flaws of LA city government that a single elected official has veto power over a project contained in a plan that was unanimously approved by the city council — including Koretz himself — in 2011.
Just as CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo has taken it upon himself to delay, if not kill, the shovel-ready road diet and bike lanes previously approved for North Figueroa.
This email isn’t quite the smoking gun bike lane supporters have been looking for.
But it makes it clear that Koretz’ talk about listening to all sides and trying to find a workable solution for Westwood was exactly that.
The LA Police Commission hosts a series of three meetings to gather input on the re-appointment of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. In the five years he’s been chief, relations between cyclists and the LAPD have improved dramatically over the dark days of the relatively recent past.
The LACBC reports that a public records request confirms the road diet and bike lanes planned for North Figueroa will have no impact on emergency response times.
Malibu and other cities surrounding the Malibu/Agoura Hills seek input on their proposed bike plan, including possible routes through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Eastside Bike Club founder Carlos Morales organizes a Riff Raff Ride into exclusive — and bike unfriendly — San Marino next month.
Pedal Love’s Melissa Balmer hosts an upcoming webinar on developing effective media strategies for bike advocacy.
Newport Beach bike cops go ebike.
Pedacabs come to downtown Bakersfield.
San Francisco attempts to crack down on bicycle chop shops.
I want to be like her when I grow up. Ninety-year old bike-riding founder of a Utah charity ride encourages others to take up bicycling.
A Colorado teenager with cystic fibrosis — and a huge heart — is riding 1,000 miles to raise funds for the state’s Children’s Hospital.
Chicago is halfway to the mayor’s goal of installing 100 miles of protected bikeways, though not all are finding approval from riders.
Florida continues to be a dangerous place for cyclists and pedestrians.
An 86-year old Saskatoon competitive cyclist calls for a more bike-friendly city after a groove in the pavement throws him off his bike, most likely ending his riding career.
A UK study shows texting behind the wheel is even more dangerous than drunk driving.
Road raging Brit driver attempts to run over a cyclist, and misses. And crashes into a hair salon instead.
A Yorkshire farmer plans to watch the local stage of the Tour de France somewhere else after catching a naked cyclist pooping in his field.
Bicycling magazine patiently explains why you’re not riding in the Tour de France. And a letter writer explains how local planners can ensure cyclists continue to ride dangerously in highway traffic; vetoing planned bike lanes is a good way to start.