Morning Links: Fix the City sues to keep it broken, Seleta Reynolds talks Vision Zero, and still more kind people

As promised — or maybe threatened — the ironically named Fix the City has filed suit against the City of Los Angeles to keep it from doing exactly that.

The NIMBY non-profit is fighting the newly adopted Mobility Plan, which was created to improve safety and traffic flow by providing Angelenos with alternatives to using their cars.

Yet the group’s actions promise to keep the city’s streets just as dangerous and congested as they are now; apparently, making the city more bikeable, walkable and livable city isn’t their idea of fixing it if drivers can’t continue to careen carelessly through LA’s already congested streets.

According to the LA Times, the suit alleges the plan will increase tailpipe emissions as drivers spend more time idling in traffic due to reduced road capacity, a supposition based on the outdated worst-case projections contained in the plan.

And which the plan clearly identifies as such, despite the repeated failure of the press to press the group on their repeated misrepresentation of those projections.

The assumptions contained within the Mobility Plan make it clear that the predicted doubling of congested intersections will only occur if no one switches to alternative forms of transportation. Yet it also predicts that once the plan is built out in 2035, we’ll see a 170% increase in bicycling, a 38% increase in walking and a 56% boost in transit use, with a corresponding decrease in motor vehicles on the road.

Again, those are very conservative estimates; more likely, those numbers will be significantly higher as safer streets, more trains serving more areas, and faster bus routes induce more people to leave their cars at home.

The group also claims that safety will be sacrificed as emergency responders find themselves stuck in traffic. Even though the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, which is contained within the plan, means they should have significantly fewer emergencies to respond to.

It’s ironic that a spokeswoman for the group says that if this plan were put to a vote, the people of LA would toss it out in a New York second. Particularly since New York has already begun a similar transformation of their streets, and the sky has yet to fall.

In fact, an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers approve of the changes to the city’s streets, even though some groups had fought them tooth-and-nail, just as Fix the City is trying to do.

The best way to look at this suit is as the last desperate gasp of LA’s auto-centric past, pursued by people unable to envision a future in which cars no longer hold hegemony over the earth.

Hopefully, the courts will see it for what it is, and toss it in the dustbin of history along with the car culture that has so damaged so much of our city.

And give LA back to the people who live here, and not the cars they drive.

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Sad news from Santa Monica, as a homeless man was found dead, apparently from natural causes, after riding his bike off the bike path and into the sand, before collapsing near Shutters on the Beach.

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LADOT General Manger Seleta Reynolds and Leah Shahum of the Vision Zero Network will discuss what Vision Zero means for Los Angeles from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on September 24th in the City Council chambers at LA City Hall.

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Still more news about kindhearted people this week, as a stranger donates a new bike to a Dallas girl, after her mother had put up a handwritten poster shaming the thief who stole hers.

And an Indiana woman saves the life of a young boy who got snagged on a moving train after he tried to go under it with his bike while the train was stopped.

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Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin stormed through Wednesday’s time trial to move into the lead in the Vuelta, while American rider Larry Warbasse feels pretty f—ed entering the race’s final week.

A 28-year old Brooklyn preschool teacher could be the first African American woman to go pro, after just two years of racing.

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Local

Don’t hold your breath for that long-promised continuous bikeway along the newly extended Expo Line. BAC member Jonathon Weiss points the finger at understaffed city departments and old-fashioned CYA for delaying it, along with equally long-promised wayfinding signage and a Westwood Greenway on the Expo corridor.

Streetsblog puts last weekend’s opening of the East Side Riders Bike Club’s new bike co-op into perspective, as bicycling continues to flourish in long neglected parts of the city.

The Hollywood Reporter talks with Stephen Frears prior to the premier of his Lance Armstrong film The Program, which premiers in Toronto later this month.

The Daily News looks at the return of CicLAvia to the San Fernando Valley, as we mentioned earlier this week. Apparently CiclaValley likes the idea, though he may be surprised to learn he’s now a community organization.

Bike Walk Glendale offers a free bike-safety and skills workshop for kids this Saturday.

Northeast Los Angeles will host a Kidical Mass on the 19th, as part of a worldwide Kidical MASSive celebration of kids and bikes.

 

State

When I was a kid, I was happy to ride my bike around the neighborhood. Three brothers ranging from just nine to eleven years old will ride 100 miles from Irvine to San Diego in Saturday’s Amtrak Century, sponsored by the Orange County Wheelmen. Note to the OC Register: It’s a ride, not a race.

A San Diego cyclist was seriously injured Tuesday night when he apparently made a left turn in front of an oncoming car near Balboa Park.

Maybe Fix the City could change their name to Fix the State, and sue to undo the successful makeover of an Encinitas street.

A Thousand Oaks bike rider was injured when he was broadsided by a truck after reportedly running a red light. Police say alcohol played a part, but this time, it wasn’t the driver who was drunk. As the story points out, bicycling under the influence is a misdemeanor in California, with a fine up to $250.

A San Jose cyclist is suing city police for allegedly holding him at gunpoint and beating him senseless for no apparent reason after they stopped him for riding without a headlight. Something tells me there may be another side to this story.

The road-raging Marin County cyclist who beat up a driver after allegedly being clipped by his mirror gets off easy, with a sentence of just 90 days in county lockup along with another 90 days of possible home detention.

 

National

The popular Fly6 rear-facing bike cam and taillight combo is about to be joined by the Fly12 headlight and bike cam; at $349 it’s priced in the midrange of bike cameras that come sans lights.

Bikeshare is coming to Portland after a four year delay. Meanwhile, Baltimore cyclists hope the third time is the charm, as the city takes it’s third stab at a bikeshare system.

Police say a well-known Minnesota cyclist was doing nothing wrong when he was killed by a little old lady from Pasadena who veered onto the shoulder of the roadway.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a three-wheeled bike from a 16-year old Minnesota kid with hydrocephalus and epilepsy; he only got to ride the bike twice before it was stolen. Update: police recovered the bike on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the jerk who stole it is still out there.

Completing our Minnesota triptych is a nice story of a successful bike shop born of a man’s attempt to keep busy while recovering from an addiction to painkillers.

A Michigan man faces up to 15 years for the hit-and-run death of a nurse who was participating in a group ride across the state.

An Ohio driver was over the legal alcohol limit when he killed a cyclist three years ago; then again, so was his victim.

Here’s your chance to hear that anti-bike Boston columnist explain in his own words why bikes don’t belong on the city’s streets.

Someone has been booby trapping a Maryland trail with spike boards and fishing line strung across the trail since 2013; this week a mountain biker found razor blades sticking out of boards buried in the trail. Acts like this should be considered domestic terrorism cases, since it’s a deliberate attempt to cause harm and incite fear in order to run cyclists off the trail.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, as a cyclist used planters and orange cones to convert a buffered bike lane into a long-promised protected bike lane.

A Virginia driver wasn’t wearing his much-needed glasses when he rammed a cyclist from behind; he was already scheduled for arraignment on a previous hit-and-run next month.

A Florida weekly says the state is a cyclist’s worst nightmare.

 

International

Buses and bikes could save billions worldwide.

An Oregon man spent eight years traversing the world on a solo tandem ride; he met his wife when she hopped on the back in Argentina and never got off.

A British woman is charged with deliberately driving up on the sidewalk to ram a bike rider, apparently because she objected to a sign asking drivers to slow down. But bikes are the problem, right?

An Irish cyclist leaves a large dent in the back of a car when he slammed into it after the car stopped in front of him. Apparently, the driver wasn’t too concerned; then again, he didn’t get out to see the dent.

Four Philippine scouts plan to ride over 600 miles to distribute flashlights and promote disaster awareness.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A cyclist takes a vertigo-inducing ride straight down the face of a 200-foot dam, complete with splashdown at the end. A Czech woman performs a beautiful bike ballet on a brakeless fixie.

And a Portland woman makes the unlikely journey from bike mechanic to Jewish songstress.

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I hope you’ll join me in thanking Mike Wilkinson, Christopher Meszler, Erik Griswold, Lois Rubin, and David Aretsky for the kindness and generosity they’ve shown in donating to support BikinginLA. It’s people like them who help make this site possible.

 

2 comments

  1. Brent says:

    Any interesting plan is subject to lawsuit. I hope the city has violated no laws and done everything by the book so the plan survives such attacks. All the judge can do is decide whether the city has failed to meet some law or another.

  2. The link to the UK woman driving on the sidewalk to hit a cyclist has been removed at the source.

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