Morning Links: Safer streets spread, except in Congress; aliens attack; and a non-dog hero saves a young cyclist

The common theme in today’s news seems to be the movement to make our streets more people friendly.

Or not.

Congress continues to boldly plan for a 1980s transportation system; then again, what do you expect when they call the new transportation bill the DRIVE Act?

Maybe they should start by reading the local paper, as the Washington Post says cycle tracks should be the next great American transit project.

As Calgary rolls out an entire cycle track network all at once, a columnist warns that bicyclists are still subject to liability. And a bike rider says he doesn’t feel safe riding them, blaming his tack-induced flat on bike lane saboteurs.

Meanwhile, Toronto takes action to improve safety, dropping speed limits on residential streets to the equivalent of 18 mph; then again, the city clearly needs help. Of course, enforcement is the key; LA has a 25 mph speed limit on most residential streets, which is almost universally ignored.

Singapore’s chief redevelopment planner says the city needs to emulate New York to improve traffic safety; despite appearances, they may be on to something.

Paris plans to de-emphasize cars on seven iconic squares to make them more inviting to people. Clearly, the mayor gets it:

A city where you’re surrounded by hubbub, abandoned to cars—that isn’t a [real] city.

Let’s hope incoming District 4 city councilmember David Ryu gets it, too; things look promising, but as the Times notes, he has a lot of promises to keep. Then again, his predecessor, the outgoing Tom LaBonge, clearly didn’t get it.

Even formerly auto-centric Malibu is making improvements on the deadly coast highway, as the three-year PCH safety study is finally ready for approval by the city council. The plan calls for bike lanes the full length of PCH through the city — except where that would mean the loss of a parking space, of course.

On the other hand, a Montreal writer says we should stop wasting money and road space on bicycles when we can just get on the damn sidewalks, instead.

………

In racing news, the Amgen Tour of California has parted ways with its long-time organizer.

And former Danish pro cyclist Nikki Sørensen is sorry he doped. Isn’t it time we just accept that just about everyone did and get on with it?

………

Local

CiclaValley offers a preview of Sunday’s upcoming LA River Ride, with a guide to what to see along the way. You are going, right?

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton tries to put LA declining driving rate in perspective; evidently, it ties in nicely with the declining national trend, even if traffic planners and LA city council members haven’t noticed yet.

After a too close call, a texting LA driver gives it up and urges everyone else to put their phones down, too.

Nice to see Bike LA pitch in to help a fellow rider. Less than a day after popular bike commuter and yoga maven Joni Yung reported her bike had been stolen off a Metro bus, a gofundme account had raised over $1,400 to replace it.

Just days before an LA man was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a Pasadena bike rider was punched in the face when he refused to give up his bike to a would-be robber.

 

State

An Anaheim ghost bike was taken down to make way for a bigger and better strip mall.

San Diego officials voice support for a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths within 10 years by focusing on the eight most dangerous traffic corridors. So evidently, it would be Vision+ anywhere else?

San Mateo cyclists and pedestrians could soon get a new bridge over the 101.

The bike-riding COO of Berkley-based GU Energy labs is tired of cleaning up after you. Seriously, shove your trash in a jersey pocket or your seat bag when you ride, and throw it away somewhere besides the side of the road.

Good question. Writing for the Guardian, our own Nate Berg asks if Google’s new bike plan will help riders in the rest of the often bike-unfriendly Silicon Valley.

A 67-year old Sacramento woman is the latest victim of a fatal California hit-and-run.

Nice. The volunteers at a Chico bike camp help get children and adults with disabilities riding.

 

National

Just Another Cyclist, aka Ross Del Duca, looks at paying for the roads and the anti-bike argument that just refuses to die.

A new lighted bicycle lock on Kickstarter aims to keep more than your bike safe. Even if they did name it after a leading porn producer.

A Las Vegas cyclist is calling for safer roads and better drivers after his neck was broken in a hit-and-run.

A Texas driver is under arrest in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist riding in a bike lane; the driver claimed he thought he hit a deer on the city street, which is evidently why he sped away so fast witnesses couldn’t keep up with his car. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

A Minneapolis realtor peddles homes by pedaling.

A Cincinnati resident calls on the city to build out the bike plan when they fix streets. Which is exactly what’s supposed to be happening here, but doesn’t always. Right, Councilman Koretz?

A South Carolina writer says we all have to obey the same rules. Including the bike rider who slammed into a pedestrian after blowing a stop, and left without leaving his contact information. Even if you did stop, it’s still hit-and-run if you leave the scene without exchanging information, regardless of whether you’re on two wheels or four.

An apparently suicidal New York cyclist is blamed for inexplicably swerving into the side of a truck in a fatal collision. Because no truck driver would ever pass too close, right?

A week after a New York cyclist got doored, the driver who did it hit the jackpot, winning a record $38 million Powerball payout after taxes. Needless to say, the lawsuit has already been filed.

 

International

After wealthy New York condo owners fought to have bike share stations moved away from their buildings, a new Montreal study shows they could increase property values. The bike stations, not the clueless condo owners.

The press loves to ridicule Lycra-wearing cyclists. Except when they’re royalty-in-laws who just rode in a 54-mile charity ride.

London suffers its eighth bicycling fatality of the year; seven of those cyclists have been killed in collisions with large trucks. With such an obvious risk, you’d think they’d actually do something about itThanks to Jim Pettipher for the link.

A British drivers’ group offers surprisingly good advice on how to share the road with bike riders — including if one cyclist does something dangerous, don’t assume all cyclists do.

A new study shows riding a bike for an hour will add an extra hour to your life. At least if you live in The Netherlands.

Caught on video: Neo-Nazis stop a Slovokian urban mountain biker mid-course.

An Aussie study says the country’s mandatory helmet law really did reduce head injuries 29%, without noticeably reducing riding rates.

 

Finally…

Let’s end on a rare double caught on video, as an Indiana bike rider captures a series of bizarre lights in the sky on his bike cam, which NASA says is probably just lightening. Because they don’t want us to know about the coming alien invasion, right?

And a Bakersfield cat is named Hero Dog of the Year for rescuing a three-year old tricycle rider from an attack by the neighbor’s dog.

And deserves it, even if he doesn’t exactly fit the description.

One comment

  1. If any of the shots shown in the video had been shown to me as stills I would have dismissed them as “Sun Dogs”, an ice crystal refraction phenomena at high altitudes. But Sun Dogs only move very slowly as the ice crystals drift in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere. I have never seen them “dance” like that, and do not know of any mechanism that would allow them to dance like what was shown in the video.

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