Morning Links: Planning Comm preserves Mobility Plan, PV bike lanes threatened, and register for River Ride

It looks like cooler and wiser heads prevailed.

Despite calls from representatives of three city councilmembers — Koretz, Price and Cedillo — for removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, the city Planning Commission voted against removing them Thursday morning.

Or as LAist put it, bike haters failed to stop bike lanes from coming to Westwood and South LA.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they will actually be built.

As the head of the commission explained, the plan is an “aspirational document,” and there will be many public processes that will have to be completed before anything is painted on the streets. Which means those bike haters will have plenty more opportunities to derail them, starting with a hearing before the city council, on a date to be determined, which will consider the same amendments voted down by the commission.

But it’s a big win. And one that could mean safer streets, and a more complete bike network.

Someday.

Meanwhile, a writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin came out strongly in favor of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, saying ignorance is unsafe, irresponsible and completely inappropriate when forming transportation policy in Los Angeles; the paper also asks students whether the street is safe for cyclists.

However, Councilmember Paul Koretz vowed the day before the meeting to keep on fighting against bike lanes on the boulevard, promising to move them to some other, undetermined safer street. Which, like OJ and the hunt for the real killers, he apparently still hasn’t been able to find, despite years of searching.

Councilmember Curren Price explained his opposition to bike lanes on Central Ave, even though people in South LA demanded he change his mind.

And BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a detailed and insightful letter calling on the Planning Commission to keep the Mobility Plan intact; even though the vote is over, it’s worth taking a few moments to read.

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Next Tuesday, Rancho Palos Verdes will consider a request by the Terranea resort to replace the required bike lanes with sharrows.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Hesse Park Community Building, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, to consider Terranea’s request to amend the Council-adopted Conditions of Approval to:

1) Restripe the entry driveway to create two inbound lanes and one outbound lane by replacing the required bicycle lanes with sharrow lanes (shared vehicle and bicycle lane) with no modification to the required parking spaces along the outbound lane; and,

2) Replace the turf at the Meadow Lawn area (adjacent to the ballroom facilities) with permeable pavers to facilitate the current practice of installing temporary tents in this area in connection with the ballrooms.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

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Registration is now open for this year’s 16th Annual LA River Ride, which remains one of the most popular rides in the LA area. The ride raises funds to support the LACBC, which in turn, benefits everyone who rides in LA County.

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When you’re the stoker on a tandem — or maybe the Rear Admiral, of you prefer — you spend the whole ride staring at the butt ahead of you. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Evidently, that hasn’t been a problem for Melba and Aubrey Provost, though, since they’ve been riding together since 1959.

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Pro riders says more invasive testing is warranted to detect motor-doping.

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Local

An Eastside community activist says we need to know how the demographics of bike riders who commute on North Figueroa compare with the demographics of the neighborhood before making a decision on whether bike lanes belong on the street. Even though I’ve never heard of that being taken into account before any traffic lane gets built, anywhere.

CiclaValley says the Marathon Crash Ride is back once again this year before Sunday’s LA Marathon; a Facebook page says keep the pace at a slow cruise and watch out for cars, people and equipment on the course.

Hermosa Beach plans to install bollards to keep cars off the bike and pedestrian-only Strand, after discovering Google sometimes directs motorists onto it; however, they note the bollards may not be enough to keep drunk drivers off the walkway.

 

State

A father and son severely beat a Huntington Beach cop who tried to stop the younger man on suspicion of biking under the influence, and was ambushed by the father. Fortunately, the officer is okay; both father and son have had previous run-ins with the police.

San Diego police recover the Vietnamese pedicab that was stolen just before the lunar New Year.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against an accused drunk driver four years after he killed a neurosurgeon who was riding his bike in Indian Wells; prosecutors reportedly plan to refile the charges after they had been unable to amend them.

The recent road rage epidemic moves to the Bay Area, as a hit-and-run driver dragged a screaming cyclist down the street with the bike trapped under the car.

Advice on how to bike in the rain in San Francisco works just as well in LA. El Niño is still lurking out there somewhere, and this pseudo-summer weather won’t last forever.

Berkeley advocates call on the city to extend bike lanes another two blocks after a UC professor riding her bike was nearly killed by an allegedly stoned driver.

 

National

Turns out Millennials aren’t the only ones driving less.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles fare in President Obama’s final proposed budget.

Bicycling says you probably don’t have to worry about the degenerative brain condition CTE, even if you’ve had multiple concussions. Which is good news for my beat-up skull and contents.

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske looks at group ride etiquette, admonishing riders to behave lest they give further fuel to the anti-bike forces out there. South Bay bike lawyer Seth Davidson would seem to disagree, though it’s hard to tell with his understated prose.

The Weekly Standard says Oregon’s “bike obsessed” Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to force local governments to consider the effects their transportation projects would have on greenhouse gas emissions; evidently, they think that’s a bad thing.

Speaking of Oregon, the state legislature considers a bill that would allow drivers to be charged with third degree assault if they injure a vulnerable user while negligently operating a motor vehicle.

A Seattle writer asks if it’s time for the city to ditch its helmet requirement for bike riders. Considering it never should have had one, that would probably be yes; see Canadian study below.

A Colorado mountain biker receives a $1 million settlement after she was attacked by two Great Pyrenees sheep dogs during a race.

Topeka KS one ups LA with a two-day ciclovía beginning with a glow ride, pub crawl and concerts the first night.

A New Hampshire driver complains that bicyclists have a disproportionate influence on city government, even though they appear to be on the losing side in this case. Funny how many drivers seem to think they really do own the streets, and that bike riders should have to pay even more than we already do just for the privilege of using them.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Even if it feels more like summer here in SoCal.

A new Canadian study shows mandatory bike helmet laws have no effect on hospitalization rates; if they worked, you would have lower rates in areas with them than those without, which isn’t the case.

A Vancouver realtor finds it’s easier to get around the city to show homes by bike.

Evidently, aluminum frames are nothing new; the first ones appeared in the 1890s, and a British site called it the frame of the future over 70 years ago.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks why drivers get away with attempted murderWhy, indeed? Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A paper from the UK asks who’s at fault when a van left hooks a bicyclist riding in a marked bike lane— the equivalent of a right hook in this country.

A Brit cyclist offers seven things you learn when you ride around the world.

A Singapore writer compares bike riders to litterers and scofflaw gum chewers in calling for licensing cyclists because one might possibly hurt someone someday.

 

Finally…

Who needs hi-viz when your clothes light up? If your bike has been stolen six times in four months, maybe it’s time to buy an alarm. Or a dog.

And if you’ve ever felt like a crash test dummy while riding the streets, Toyota may have an opening for you.

 

2 comments

  1. james says:

    More evidence that Glendale is batshit crazy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwud4HMD6Ig

  2. At the LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday there was a presentation by the director of the LADOT, Seleta Reynolds, on the implementation of bicycle infrastructure in LA. Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin were in attendance.

    The presentation starts at 20:57 in this link:

    http://lacity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=103&clip_id=15545

    At 47:00 I made two minutes of comments hoping to educate some of the councilmembers about the effects on the volume and safety improvements of bicycling from the miles of bike lanes that have been installed in the last few year.

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