Morning Links: El Monte rider victim of vicious attack, hit-and-run rewards passed, and why sharrows don’t work

Not too long ago, it was hard to find enough bike news to post. Now some days. there’s just too much news.

Like today, for instance.

So let’s not waste any time and just get started.

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An El Monte bike rider was critically injured in a frightening attack earlier this month.

Security camera footage shows the April 6th assault, as five men beat and stabbed the 36-year old South El Monte man for a full 45 seconds before getting back in their car; one of the men can’t resist the temptation to turn back for one last kick.

Most disturbingly, there appears to be no reason for the attack.

Police report the victim, who remains hospitalized, was an innocent bystander who was simply riding his bike on Elliot Ave at 12:15 am when a car passed him in the opposite direction, and one of the passengers shouted at him. The driver then made a U-turn, following the rider before stopping alongside his bike to confront him.

He tried to run away, but his attackers caught up and repeatedly hit, kicked and stabbed him.

Anyone with information is urged to call the El Monte Police watch commander at 626/580-2109.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and BikigninLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

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As expected, the proposal to offer standing rewards in hit-and-run cases passed the LA City Council on Wednesday.

Witnesses providing information that leads to a conviction in a hit-and-run case will now be eligible for rewards ranging from $1,000 for a property damage collision up to $50,000 for a hit-and-run resulting in death.

However, as with the city’s anti-harassment ordinance, the new law only applies with the Los Angeles city limits.

So if a driver leaves you lying broken and bleeding on the street in Beverly Hills, East LA or Compton, or anywhere else outside the LA city limits, you’re on your own.

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If you’ve ever wondered why I think most sharrows aren’t worth the paint they’re made from, Michael Schinderling, aka Mykee Steen, provides graphic proof.

The video was taken on Fountain and Avenues in Hollywood and Los Feliz, which is my new bicycling territory. And clearly demonstrates the lack of comfortable riding routes in the area.

Schinderling notes that Hollywood Councilmember that ‪Mitch O’Farrell told him that the sharrows were low-flow and safe, and that bike lanes are unnecessary.

Right.

Actually, I think the real purpose of those arrows with a bike symbol on such busy streets is just to help drivers improve their aim.

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Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a great interview with new LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who explains her focus on equity and social justice.

Nice to see a growing commitment to the whole community from SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group.

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Great ad from Cycling Canada shows bikes riding themselves to urge potential riders to just hop on. An accompanying video explains how it was done.

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Too much sad news today.

BikeSD reports that one of their founding members passed away; Hans Wangbichler was just 54.

The three-year old Kings County boy who was seriously injured when the bike trailer he was riding in was rear-ended by a driver doing at least 50 mph has died; no word on the condition of his father, who was riding the bike.

A 54-year old Pleasanton cyclist died while riding just weeks before he was due to retire; friends who were planning a retirement party will now be attending his memorial.

And a Humboldt County bridge has been renamed as a memorial for a cyclist who was killed in a February collision.

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Local

Bicycling offers a great interview with LA cycling legend Road Block, aka Don Ward. If you ask me what riders and bike advocates I admire most, local or otherwise, he’d be pretty near the top of the list.

CiclaValley attends the mayor’s State of the City speech; evidently, everything is awesome in the city of Angels.

The CSUN Sundial looks at the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd; not all bike riders are in favor.

RadPad’s blog explains how to avoid gridlock with breezy, mostly off-the-street biking in the east end of the SFV.

The South LA bike rider caught on a security camera allegedly being beaten by police claims that LAPD officers are harassing him in retaliation for his lawsuit.

BikeSGV is raising funds for the San Gabriel Valley’s first Bicycle Education Center and Co-op.

Long Beach police bust two bike thieves after they fall for a bait bike; the suspects already had two other suspected stolen bicycles in their possession at the time of their arrest. And yes, LBPD recommends using a U-lock and registering your bike.

 

State

Cyclelicious discovers Calbike has lost sponsors as a result of its successful fight against the proposed mandatory helmet bill. Anyone would pull their support from the state’s leading advocacy group over that needs to seriously rethink their commitment to bicycling.

That triangle curb protruding into a new San Diego protected bike lane is being removed, after a new paint job failed to pass muster.

Paso Robles hosted an Italian mayor last weekend as part of this country’s first L’Eroica. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caltrans installs barbed wire next to a San Mateo County bike path in an apparent effort to keep people and deer off a freeway — or possibly ensure painful injuries to anyone who falls or rides off the path.

A Sausalito councilwoman continues to push for a limit on rental bikes, evidently preferring that all those people drive and take up even more space instead. I guess creating space for those tourists to safely ride and park their bikes is out of the question. 

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets serious about helping local transportation planners count bikes and pedestrians; needless to say, LA is left out of the first round of the pilot program.

Nice to have bike lawyer Bob Mionske back online; today’s advice is to stay out of the door zone. But you knew that already, right?

A Portland paper explains why cyclists are attempting to get the bike-friendly ranking for the former-bicycling paradise downgraded.

Even Boise gets bike share before LA.

Minneapolis votes to keep their 10 mph speed limit for bicycling in parks, even if it’s unenforceable.

A Chicago alderman tries to force the city to move a protected bike lane from a busy street. Unlike LA, he apparently doesn’t have the near-dictatorial power to kill it all by himself.

Once again, a Florida-based gym co-opts the ghost bike movement by placing orange copies around Ann Arbor MI to promote their new location. Maybe they should place orange tombstones, instead; the message to cyclists would be about the same.

A suspected drunk driver is charged with the head-on collision that killed a popular Vermont cyclist after the driver drifted onto the wrong side of the road; in addition to the fatality, he’s charged with his fifth offense for driving with a suspended license. Once again, the system allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road, legally or not, until he killed someone.

A New York councilmember comes out against a proposed ban on texting while bicycling. Gothamist notes that it’s actually already illegal, but rarely enforced; however, they’re wrong about it being illegal in California, where a proposed ban failed to pass.

Writing for the Washington Post, New York’s Bike Snob says they’re trying to turn us into cars. And that mandatory helmet laws and glow-in-the-dark spray paint show who really owns the roads.

The Atlanta Braves encourage bike riding instead of driving to their new stadium, due to open in 2017. Maybe the Dodgers should demand safer cycling routes to encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

 

International

British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up to be the next in a long string of riders to attempt the hour record.

Swiss cyclists will now have to dodge Segways in the bike lane.

Ride recklessly in the UAE, and your bike could be seized by the state; police in one Emirates city took 117 bikes from cyclists in just four days.

An Aussie paper looks at the controversy over Volvo’s reflectorized Life Paint, and why bike riders aren’t rushing to spray themselves before riding.

 

Finally…

Two Arizona teenagers are arrested for trying to smuggle 3.5 pounds of marijuana across the border hidden in their bike tires; but how was the ride? Mazda is the latest car maker to design a bike, which appears to be a disc-wheeled single speed; I look forward to the day when the Cannibal introduces a new car model.

And yes, it is possible to ride a bike with a Corgi in a backpack.

No, I’m not going to try it.

 

8 comments

  1. New York City defines sharrows as a shared bicycle lane as you can see in this chart:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bikeroutedetailsfy07-fy14.pdf

    To this day, Janette Sadik-Khan brags how her administration added 400 miles of bike lanes. That’s not true unless you use the NYC definition of a bike lane–which includes sharrows. Under this NYC reclassification the city could put sharrows on all 6,100 miles of streets and then state that they have more miles of bike lanes than any city in the world.

    That’s not the only major city in the U.S. that has their own definition of bike lanes. Chicago states that a buffered bike lane is a buffer protected bike lane. That’s the only city that I’m aware of that believes putting some additional striping creates protection for the bicycle rider.

    Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel stated his goal was to install 100-miles of protected bike lanes in his first four years in office. His staff probably found that they could not meet that goal, so they evidently decided to redefine what constitutes a protected bike lane in order to make sure that they reached their stated goal.

    Both of these cities probably found it impossible to meet their goals for bike lane miles, so to reach it they decided to redefine what a bike lane or a protected bike lane is.

  2. patrick says:

    Welcome to Hollywood Ted.

  3. Chris says:

    The trip to Dodger Stadium is actually somewhat well-protected! I took it twice this week. On the ride up, I take the “bus only” lane for the Dodger Stadium Express, which gets me to the gate. Then I just have to huff it up and find a path to the gates one way or another through the big maze of parking lots. The only thing about the ride up is that it is HARD.

    The way down is fun though! And both ways, I go faster than car traffic, which is truly gratifying.

  4. Sharrows are the abstinence-only sex-ed of bicycle infrastructure. Totally unproven in the real world, but tossed out there like it actually works and nothing more done after that.

  5. I’ve stuffed my shitzu into a backpack! 🙂

    Thanks as always for the link love.

  6. bikinginla says:

    You’re welcome. But you’ve got it backwards — thanks for keeping up the great work.

    So, are you happy to see me, or is that a shitzu in your backpack?

  7. James says:

    A bicycle boulevard or rather a network of bicycle boulevards can be very helpful in getting people on their bikes and sharrows are a part of that. A minor part. What LA has done instead of creating bicycle boulevards is paint a shitload of sharrows on streets that are not residential streets but high speed arterials or actual commercial streets (highway in ladot think). Instead of creating safer alternative routes on residential streets they’ve given us stencils on major streets that should have bike lanes. Instead of using these stencils to help people learn how to ride a safe distance from parked cars on traffic calmed residential streets these stencils are used to signal the fact that the local councilperson managed to veto real bike lanes on a street that needs real bike lanes.

  8. James says:

    CA traffic engineers overuse double yellow lines on two lane and residential streets. A solid double yellow line may descrease the subjective speed of a car, making driving faster seem safe and may also decrease the perceived risk that oncomming traffic will cross the double line making you feel safer and drive faster. The double yellow line also provides an excuse for failing to pass a cyclist safely. These are highwy markings and should not be used on a residential street. Fountain should have a broken yellow line, with tightly spaced short segments to increase the subjective experience of speed and hopefully make driving slower feel normal.

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