Weekend Links: South Bay 3-foot enforcement, bike safety is actually up not down, and more ‘Tis the season

Guess how many tickets have been written in LA’s South Bay cities for violating the state’s three-foot passing law in its first year.

No, seriously, take a guess.

That suggests drivers aren’t even being ticketed for driving too close if they actually hit someone.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Despite an incredibly misleading headline, more pedestrians and cyclists aren’t actually being killed on US streets.

According to a recent GAO study, the rate of bicycling fatalities has increased only slightly, while ridership has gone up; in fact, bike commuting is up over 60% since 2005. As a result, the actual risk to riders has decreased significantly.

The same report adds that bad street design may explain why bike and pedestrian deaths haven’t dropped, even though motor vehicle deaths have.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Sacramento charity is raising funds to give homeless people patch kits, tools and air pumps to keep their bikes on the road.

An Illinois group raises funds and collects bicycles for a rescue mission. Although they probably don’t have much competition as “North America’s premiere professional fur-covered bicycle cycling team.”

Alabama third and fourth graders get bikes as a reward for being responsible, respectful and/or safe.

Belfast police dig into their own pockets to replace a bike stolen from a boy with Asperger’s syndrome.

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Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

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A top amateur cyclocross racer was banned for one year for using coke, although presumably there’s no way to tell if was recreational or performance enhancing.

Speaking of ‘cross, a transgender racer who was born male has been barred from competing with the men this year because she identifies as female, even though she has been one of the top men’s finishers in previous years.

Forty-five-year old American cyclist Chris Horner has contracted an antibiotic-resistant superbug that could end his unusually long racing career.

And Ivan Basso looks back on a great career that ended with his successful treatment for testicular cancer

………

Local

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The LA Weekly lists the city’s most dangerous intersections, all but one of which are in the Valley or the Southside, and mostly in low-income areas. Not surprisingly, two of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians are just a block apart on Hollywood Blvd; nothing like inviting tourists to visit LA, then throwing them to the wolves on our deadly streets.

Culver City installed bike Fixit stations along the “bike path” at Sepulveda and Culver Blvds and adjacent to Syd Kronenthal Park near Jefferson and National Blvds. It would be nice if they said which bike path, though; presumably, the first is on the bike path along Culver, while the other appears to be at the east end of the Ballona Creek path.

If you read this early, there may still be time to clean up trash on Mulholland with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, and get a free cookie.

 

State

The OC Register talks with San Clemente bike/ped advocate Brenda Miller, who says things are looking up.

A San Diego cyclist suffered a serious leg injury when he was the victim of a hit-and-run; he allegedly ran a red light while riding downhill.

The madness continues in Coronado, where a letter writer complains about bikes and skateboards on the sidewalks. A problem that could have be solved if residents hadn’t risen up with torches and pitchforks to fight proposed “vertigo inducing” bike lanes.

The Santa Barbara planning commission approves a plan for bike lanes that will require the removal of 85 parking spaces on a busy street , over the vociferous objections of local residents.

Something’s seriously wrong in Mountain View, where bike collisions spiked 480% over the summer.

Caught on video: A driver appears to deliberately attack a San Francisco cyclist. Unfortunately, the beginning of the incident is cut off, so it’s hard to determine exactly what happened.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the history of what may be cycling’s hardest and coldest competition. Which runs along the same route where my soon-to-be formerly Alaska-based brother used to race sled dogs.

Seattle police are looking for a bike rider who left an 85-year old man with serious injuries in an October collision as he was walking for a flu shot. Like the recent case in Echo Park, the rider stayed to talk to paramedics, but left without giving her contact information; and despite the tone of the article, it’s entirely possible that it may not have been her fault.

Atlanta kills plans for bike lanes on the city’s iconic Peachtree Road in the face of heavy opposition, even though the planned road diet will go forward.

Now that’s more like it. DC dramatically increases fines for traffic offenses, including a ten-fold boost in the penalty for hitting a bicyclist; naturally, AAA calls the increases draconian and promises to fight them. Then again, it was only a fifty buck fine to hit a cyclist before, which some drivers probably considered worth it.

 

International

An Aussie cyclist plans to ride non-stop across Cuba in less than 55 hours. Lengthwise, I assume; crossing the width of the island would be little more than a century, at best.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Vancouver approves another 12 new bike lanes, mostly in the downtown area, even though that will mean the loss of up to 50% of parking spaces on some streets. However, Vancouver bike lanes aren’t just for bikes anymore.

Just five months after opening, ridership has doubled on Calgary’s network of protected bike lanes.

Evidently, bike riders are under attack in the UK. Welsh police are looking for the jerks who grabbed a teenage bike rider from a moving car and pulled him off his bike, while another rider crashed into a tree after being pushed from behind.

A 20-year old Indian track cyclist is the first woman from her country to be ranked fourth in the world, just eleven years after she survived the Indonesian tsunami by hiding in a tree.

 

Finally…

Make your own DIY bike-powered menorah, just in time for the last few days of Hanukkah. Challenge an auto-centric writer to bike commute for a week, and he may actually enjoy it.

And kids, don’t try this at home; it’s probably not the best idea to hold onto a truck with one hand with a full-size dog slung over your shoulder.

 

4 comments

  1. JD says:

    My guess was zero, am surprised that two were actually written. Wonder how many tickets were issued to cyclists during the same period.

  2. Peter says:

    the rider stayed to talk to paramedics, but left without giving her contact information; and despite the tone of the article, it’s entirely possible that it may not have been her fault.

    Again, this is what offends me.

    Substitute “driver” for “cyclist” in this sentence and you’d be screaming for the driver’s head. But since it’s a bicyclist, “Gosh, maybe it wasn’t her fault and the pedestrian just stepped out in front of her.” “Maybe she didn’t know she should wait for authorities.”

    I’ll be the first to agree that drivers do equally bad and worse things and we should be offended when a driver does this. But hit-and-run is hit-and-run, whether it’s done by a cyclist or a driver.

    • I agree. Studies show that motorists and bicyclists break laws at approximately the same rates. Of course, the consequences are usually more severe when drivers do it, but…wire wheels are not halos.

      And speculative statements should be avoided. Ted is a friend of mine whom I like and respect greatly, but he does have a tendency towards apologetic speculation. I’ve many times almost been hit by cyclists while I was walking, and on occasion while cycling. (And one of the latter occasions was my fault, for pulling into the traffic stream without checking for fellow cyclists as well as cars.)

      • bikinginla says:

        You’re right Peter, it is hit-and-run. Just as I have repeatedly stated in the search for the Echo Park cyclist, which is where you evidently got the quote about not knowing she should wait for authorities, since I didn’t say that here.

        In both cases, the rider stayed until help arrived, just as any feeling human being, cyclist or driver, would do.

        She should have given her card or some other contact information to the victim, or contacted the police department on her own. Failure to do that is, in fact, hit-and-run, though highly unlikely to be prosecuted given the circumstances.

        However, I suspect most people are unaware that people on bikes, on foot or other non-motorized means of transport are required to stay until police arrive, if they ever do, or exchange contact information, just as they would if they were driving. In such cases, my role is to educate and encourage the rider to come forward, as I have done on several occasions in the Echo Park case.

        But you tell me. Would calling for the rider’s head, as you would seem to prefer, make the Echo Park rider more or less likely to contact the authorities? Especially since the investigating officer has said he is unlikely to face charges?

        As for blame, I suppose you’ve never had a pedestrian step in front of you without looking? I’ve had countless near misses where I’ve almost hit someone who turned suddenly while running or walking, stepped off a curb, crossed against a light, exited a vehicle or stepped out from between parked cars.

        Unfortunately, the story doesn’t give any details other than the cyclist was riding at a safe speed, and the victim was in a crosswalk. It does not say who had the right-of-way or who was at fault.

        And yet the tone of the piece placed all the blame on the cyclist.

        I never said she wasn’t at fault; it’s entirely possible she was. It’s also entirely possible she wasn’t, or that blame was shared. What is not true is the biased slant of the piece that I linked to, which is what my comment was addressing.

        Stating that it’s possible that the rider was not at fault is not speculation, despite what my friend Richard suggests; it is a simple statement of fact. Nor is it an attempt to shift the blame away from the rider.

        It is possible. Period.

        I assumed that would be understood, and apologize if I didn’t not make that clear.

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