Morning Links: LA’s DPW goes forward to the past, the Bike Week beat goes on, we’re #8, and a pretty bike painting

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

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LA’s Department of Public Works continues to plan for the city’s auto-centric past.

Evidently thinking the word Public refers only to the motoring public, the department is recommending that the reconstructed Glendale-Hyperion Bridge should have even fewer crosswalks than the current unsafe crossing.

But hey, we will get a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, using existing structures left over from the old Red Car trains, right?

The City Council’s Public Works Committee will consider the DPW’s recommendation for the much-hated Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Friday morning. CiclaValley offers a good look at why that’s a bad thing.

The speedy hearing looks like an attempt to rush the plan to approval before the new CD4 representative has a chance to oppose it; both candidates in next week’s election prefer the third option, which would remove a lane to create space for pedestrians and bike riders, resulting in a projected 10 second delay for motorists.

Yes, 10 seconds.

Seriously, how much more harm can Tom LaBonge do before he finally leaves office?

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Tuesday's non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

Tuesday’s non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

More Bike Week news, as Monday’s kickoff press conference makes self-professed cynic Joe Linton smile.

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, along with Monday’s panel discussion on the future of bicycling. And a reporter for KABC-7 bikes to work, partly on the LA River bike path.

WeHo will host a pit stop on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, while Burbank will have four stops. You can find other pit stops on Metro’s jumbled one-size-fits-all Bike Week map. Is it just me, or is 50-plus pit stops kind of pathetic for a county this size? Seriously, any business that does business with bike riders and doesn’t host a pit stop needs to take Marketing 101 over again.

While you’re at it, bike to the library; the Central Library in DTLA is hosting a free class in bike maintenance Thursday evening.

Bike Snob says the problem with Bike Week is it encourages inexperienced riders to take to their bikes for a few days before they get back in their cars.

On the other hand, people who bike or walk to work are 40% less likely to be tense in the first hour at work.

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Washington leads the list in the Bike League’s latest ranking of bike-friendly states, while ‘Bama checks in dead last; California moves up a notch to number eight.

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Cav makes it two in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, but Latvian rider Toms Skujins takes the leader’s jersey in stage three. And no, I never heard of either of him, either.

The only rider to compete in every Tour of California unfortunately exits his 10th and last one in an ambulance after a crash. The Lodi paper is impressed with how fast pro cycling is.

And you have one more chance to see the world’s top women riders in action at Friday’s Big Bear time trial. You’ll have to be there in person, though, since women’s racing isn’t deemed worthy of TV coverage.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Simon Clarke takes the pink jersey after a “tempestuous” stage in the Giro. That massive crash caused by a fixie-riding fan in stage two is caught on video, as is a vicious face plant during a descent by Italian rider Domenico Pozzovivo.

And Giro officials are on the lookout for bike doping, inspecting pro riders bikes for hidden motors.

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Local

Bike theft continues to soar in Los Angeles, up nearly 60% in DTLA; a police spokesperson says there’s no real consequences for property crimes since the passage of Prop 47, which reclassified some crimes as misdemeanors to reduce jail overcrowding. As my friend Eric W. pointed out, rising rates of bike theft could also be a result of rising riding rates; more bikes on the road means more poorly protected bikes and more bikes to steal.

The first Finish the Ride hit-and-run billboard goes up in Pasadena. Let’s hope we soon see these everywhere.

UCLA will paint new bike lanes in Westwood Plaza in less than two weeks.

The Malibu Surfside News reports on Friday’s Bike Rodeo and unveiling of the new PCH safety video.

 

State

Outside rides Eroica California.

The U-T San Diego says hopping on a bike can start a lifetime of fitness, and the best place to ride is your own neighborhood.

Runners and cyclists feed abandoned kitties in Ocean Beach.

Rancho Mirage rejects participating in the planned 50-mile CV Link through the Coachella Valley, preferring to keep bike riders on a dangerous highway.

A 72-year old Saratoga cyclist passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack; he was found on the side of the road with no evidence of a hit-and-run.

Sacramento’s Department of Public Works recommends a goal of converting all the roadways in the city to complete streets — including bike lanes — within 20 years. Hello, LA? Hello?

NorCal’s AAA offers Watch For Bikes mirror stickers to encourage motorists to do just that.

 

National

Six reasons why bicycling is the fastest growing form of transportation. The seventh is because driving is already maxed out.

Biking and waking studies get barely more Fed funding than chicken trucks.

The new biopic about Lance Armstrong could be released in the US later this year.

A new Portland app will automatically count bike riders as they pass through select intersections, while a cyclist in the city catches a confrontation with a car prowler on his helmet cam.

An Alaska cyclist says bike lanes will just be a myth until everyone believes in them.

Someone is sabotaging Arizona mountain bike trails by placing rocks in the path of riders. Whoever is doing it should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; anyone hitting those rocks without warning could be seriously injured. Or worse.

Proof there are good people in the world. After two Missouri boys steal a bike from a special needs girl, an anonymous Good Samaritan buys her a new one.

 

International

The Mounties offer advice on how to keep your bike safe from thieves, including the suggestion that secure condo bike parking usually isn’t. They also recommend registering your bike so it can be identified if it’s stolen. I’m just saying.

A Brit hit-and-run driver gets seven years for killing a cyclist after claiming he thought he’d hit a wheeled trash bin. So what kind of idiot hits anything without stopping to check?

The Netherland’s 230-foot long solar cell bike path has already generated enough electricity to power a single home for an entire year. Now if we can just build them into every highway and surface street, we might be onto something.

 

Finally…

When bicycles die, their wheels live on as a host to cucumbers and rap battles. A fake water bottle converts your ride to an e-assist bike.

And a new bike ID won’t just identify you if anything happens, it can also open a beer bottle.

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One last note.

In one of those only in LA things, I found myself talking with the woman next to me as we waited for a our laptops to be repaired the other day.

Yes, my little Macbook Pro — not a Powerbook, as the folks at ReaniMac in Hollywood repeatedly corrected me — will be fine, thanks to a new hard drive. In fact, it runs better than ever, which seems like a fair exchange for leaving me a little poorer.

But as we chatted, it turned out that in addition to a successful acting career, Tessie Santiago is also an artist who recently had her first showing.

She started out showing me her paintings of dogs, since I was there with a very bored Corgi. But as she flipped through the images on her phone, she quickly became one of my favorite undiscovered LA artists.

So if you’re feeling artistically inclined, take a look at her work. And if you know someone who owns a gallery, tell ‘em to give her a call, already.

Tessie-Santiago-Bike-Painting

Unfortunately, this is her only painting of a bicycle. And she doesn’t have any paintings of Corgis.

We’ll have to work on her on both counts.

 

3 comments

  1. One question: Who in the DPW is going to jail when someone gets killed walking or cycling the Hyperion because that was the only way to get from A-B and the infrastructure was not up to snuff? Name the person who gets to sit in prison for that preventable death. Because this is just as premeditated as the Boston Marathon bombing, someone is going to get killed, they know someone is going to get killed because of what they are doing, and they are doing it anyway.

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