Morning Links: New website seeks to undo Rowena road diet, and more news about kindhearted people

The new Safe Streets for Silver Lake website calls for removal of the Rowena road diet. Even though it has cut injury collisions by half since it was installed, and brought average speeds down to the speed limit.

Which, sadly, is a rarity in Los Angeles.

The site blames the road diet for creating cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, However, that same video could have been shot on virtually any other street in LA, especially now that Waze directs drivers onto backstreets they might never have discovered otherwise, let alone driven.

And while cyclists have a reputation for blowing through stop signs, deserved or otherwise, most drivers do little more than genuflect in their general direction.

If that.

The solution isn’t to rip out proven safety measures. The answer is better traffic calming to slow drivers down and make it less convenient to cut through neighborhoods, along with better enforcement.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is hosting town hall meeting to discuss the matter next Monday at the Ivanhoe Elementary School auditorium.

There will be plenty of voices calling for an end to the road diet. Let hope there are others to urge a more rational approach.

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More good news about kindhearted people this week.

After someone stole the therapy bike an autistic Long Beach boy used to ride with his parents, a Huntington Beach volleyball team pitched in to buy him a new one.

And an Idaho boy with cerebral palsy gave away the $4,300 bike he’d outgrown to a special needs girl who couldn’t afford one. And he donated his hair to Locks of Love. Just a reminder that no matter what problems you face in your own life, there’s always someone who could use your help.

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Cycling officials check bikes for signs of motor doping at the Vuelta, in response to a video showing a Movistar mechanic trying to hide a broken bike.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome will miss the worlds with a broken foot suffered in the Vuelta.

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Local

Great analysis of why there are so many dangerous intersections around USC, and what can be done to improve the situation. Thanks to Ikawe for the heads-up.

WeHoVille profiles the city’s young feminist mayor, who worked to improve bicycling in her first term on the city council.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for a part-time wrench.

A Redondo Beach man is building custom beach bikes complete with a steering wheel instead of handlebars.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art ride rolls this Saturday. Which just happens to be the eighth anniversary of the infamous beachfront bee incident.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority is holding a roundtable meeting on Thursday on how to improve bicycling in the County’s foothill communities.

Specialized apologizes for the lack of road etiquette displayed by their employees on their lunch ride through Morgan Hill.

There’s something seriously wrong when fire officials would rather keep a street dangerous than improve safety, as they’re doing in Menlo Park.

The East Bay Express says Oakland is still stuck in the 20th Century when it comes to the city’s longstanding love affair with cars.

Just Another Cyclist says the supposedly non-violent bike rider arrested for bashing a car with his U-lock is the perfect stereotype for the Critical Mass cyclist gone amuck.

Sacramento officials debate where sidewalk cycling should be banned.

A Yuba City driver basically confesses to not paying attention after running down a bike rider he’d spotted some distance away.

 

National

A new taillight from Garmin detects the presence of cars coming from behind and flashes faster as they get closer; an optional head unit warns you of relative risk as cars approach. Although its $200 – $300 price tag will put it out of the reach of many riders.

The US Department of Transportation studies how to improve safety for cyclists in Seattle’s seaport area, concluding bikes and pedestrians should be separated from traffic whenever possible, and that signage and infrastructure should be improved to increase predictability.

An Ohio woman plans to bike to Corpus Christi TX to see her four-year old daughter. Maybe she should sign up for Ohio Valley AAA bicycle service before she goes. Ignore the damn zip code window and scroll down to the benefits; thanks to Steve Herbert for the link.

Someone finally said it. A Texas writer says there’s nothing cute about a college student driving a toy Barbie car to class after she was busted for DUI. Drunk driving is no accident, and it’s not a laughing matter. Period.

A Louisiana driver gets three years for the DUI death of a bike rider; the victim’s wife has forgiven him, saying her husband was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although that might not have mattered if the driver had been sober.

A Memphis bicyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked, but not hit, by a driver. Just because the car didn’t actually make contact doesn’t mean the driver didn’t cause his injuries.

Four cyclists have died on Vermont roads in the last six months; before this April, no bike rider had killed in the state since 2010.

A New York bike messenger faces a manslaughter charge after fighting with a building tenant; he rode off even though the man was clutching his chest and died of a heart attack.

Now that’s more like it. The Baltimore Episcopal bishop who fled the scene after a drunken collision that killed a bike rider accepts a plea bargain that will keep her behind bars for the next 10 years.

 

International

The mayor of car-crazed Caracas, Venezuela is attempting to carve out a little space for cyclists. Although the first attempt is just a short, three mile bike path that bypasses areas where most people live, and crosses a park that closes at 5 pm.

A new separated bike lane in Calgary is getting rave reviews from cyclists.

Britain’s Near Miss Project shows that bicycling must get safer, since commuter cyclists in the country have up to 60 “very scary” incidents a year. Especially since British cities of the future will be teeming with bicycles.

Someone sabotaged a Scottish bike ride by scattering nails and tacks on the roadway; at least 50 riders suffered flats. That sort of thing is not just a prank, and could result in serious injuries if riders lost control when their tires went flat.

A Swiss driver faces a voluntary homicide charge for the death of a cyclist, in addition to being charged with DUI and hit-and-run.

Sadly, the bicycle a Turkish soldier sent home to his son arrived the same day his family learned he’d been killed in a bombing.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get busted for a series of burglaries, try not to get caught riding a bike belonging to the judge scheduled to arraign you. It’s a sure sign you don’t ride enough when nature tries to reclaim your bike.

And screw the health benefits; a Rhode Island doctor says older men shouldn’t ride their bikes fast because they’re annoying.

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Speaking of kindhearted people, let me offer a special thanks to James Lyle, Robs Muir, Harvey Woien, Bryan Jones, Margaret W, Glen Schmuetz, and Mark Jones for opening their hearts and wallets to help support this site. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

And I’ll repeat what I said yesterday. If everyone who visits here today donated just $10, it would fund the operation of this site for a full year.

 

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