Morning Links: Bikes banned from Burbank bridge; defaced signs led San Diego cyclists astray

It’s official.

Burbank has now banned bikes from the Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River — whether riding, walking with one, carrying it or standing perfectly still — after speakers in favor of the ban referred to bike riders as “arrogant scofflaws and jerks,” who are apparently incapable of following the rules.

A Burbank councilwoman voted in favor of the ban, apparently because a bike rider advocating for continued access to what was originally intended as a bicycle, equestrian and pedestrian bridge looked like someone who flipped her off once.

No, seriously.

Meanwhile, horse riders arguing in favor of the ban misrepresented LA municipal codes by saying bikes are banned entirely from Griffith Park trails, when the codes actually allow people to walk their bikes like any other pedestrians.

Calls for a compromise that would allow riders to walk their bikes across the bridge, or cross when no horses were on it, were dismissed by the council.

What’s sad is that the city council not only allowed their residents and others who ride bikes to be unfairly disparaged, they seem to have agreed with them.

Which does not bode well for Burbank bicyclists.

………

In case you’ve wondered why so many mountain bikers have had their bikes confiscated for straying onto military property in San Diego, this defaced sign should give you a pretty good idea.

And give the riders a pretty good defense.

………

Just weeks after calling the technology highly implausible, Cycling Weekly profiles an e-bike prototype from Lightweight that uses an electromagnetic wheel, based on maglev technology, that can reportedly generate 500 watts and reach speeds up to 62 mph.

Which should greatly enhance sprinting speeds once the pros figure out how to get their hands on it.

………

Michael Eisenberg forwards video of a horrifying crash in which a rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he was sideswiped by a merging truck.

Looking at the video, the cyclists were clearly in the through lane, riding to the left of an exit lane, rather than in the middle lane as the headline suggests; they appear to be positioned exactly where they needed to be in order to continue straight on the roadway.

It’s the driver who broke the law by continuing straight instead of exiting, and merging on the painted shoulder without apparently noticing the cyclists to his left.

Or perhaps, not caring.

And trust me, you really don’t want to read the comments.

………

Local

Police at LAX give a regular Tuesday/Thursday group ride an official police escort, complete with a 3-Feet Please sign; Cycling in the South Bay thanks the officers for giving the riders protection instead of tickets.

Work is scheduled to begin this week on a road diet and bike lanes on Alamitos Ave in Long Beach.

Downey will host a four hour, 5.5 mile ciclovía on May 1st.

 

State

Tustin’s 22-year old Coryn Rivera is riding her way to Rio after winning 71 national championships.

A Sonoma County writer says the Amgen Tour of California helped make the area bike country.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, as a four-year old boy is killed while riding in bike in an apartment building parking lot. There is something seriously wrong when children don’t have safe places to play and ride their bikes.

 

National

The suspension of Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge will mean the loss of $130 million for the state’s economy.

If you’re looking to challenge yourself, you could do a lot worse than this September’s West Elk Bicycle Challenge, a 134-mile timed Western Colorado road tour — 29 miles of that on dirt — offering 9,300 feet of climbing through some of the most beautiful country on earth.

A Maine editor remembers one of her favorite weddings, when the bride and groom rode in on bikes, along with all the guests.

Homeless people in South Carolina build their own BMX park.

After trying to jack a car, a Miami man hit a bike rider as he made his getaway in another vehicle. And somehow, the local press still calls it an accident.

 

International

London’s assembly votes to urge the next mayor to support bicycling, and vetoes a plan to let local residents veto bikeways.

A UK parish official was fined the equivalent of just $203 for forcing four cyclists off the road on a blind curve, then flipping them off on camera afterwards.

After riding his bike across six continents in the last six years, a British doctor finds the world is a friendlier and more welcoming place than he thought. But did he do it dressed as a super hero?

Britain missed the opportunity to become a Dutch-style bicycling nation in the ‘70s by dismissing bicycles as a form of recreation; now it will take the county decades to catch up. If ever.

Spend part of your summer studying Planning the Cycling City in Amsterdam. In English.

Germany is called a nation of cyclists, as 82% of people in the country ride a bike at least infrequently, though bikes trail cars and motorcycles in popularity.

A bike rider was swept away by massive floods in Portugal.

Aussie advocates fear new restrictions on cyclists and greater enforcement of helmet laws will cut down on beachfront bicycling in Sydney. Meanwhile, riders in Canberra may soon be allowed to ride sans helmet as long as they promise to go slow.

Ride your bike to visit the best temples in Cambodia.

In today’s history lesson, Japan used 6,000 bikes in a bicycle blitzkrieg to capture Singapore in WWII.

 

Finally…

You could do worse than looking for love on two wheels. Every bike rider gets flats; not every rider gets the Manx Missile fix them — and on Valentines Day, no less.

And evidently, driving a Zamboni is good training for working with a cargo bike moving company.

 

16 comments

  1. Craig Cramer says:

    Thank you for let me know that the city I have lived in, bicycled in for the past 20 years hates bicyclist. I joined LACBC, I am going to be move vigilant. I am also going to ride across that bridge when I figure out where the F*** it is!

    • bikinginla says:

      Sometimes, I really wish there was a Like button on this thing.

      • doug weiskopf says:

        Below is a YouTube link to a newly made documentary movie directed by German film director Alexander Gall about the Los Angeles River Bike Path, Naked Bike Ride LA, Burbank politics, and the long-simmering controversy between local bicyclists and horseback riders.
        It includes some beautiful aerial-drone video of the entire area, including a stunning fly-by of our world-famous Hollywood sign. If you like the film please share it with friends.

        https://youtu.be/LdVz_JBDfrw

    • Mike Kim says:

      This is the bridge.
      http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6801182

      I highly doubt anyone is going to police this. I still plan on walking my bike across it. It is not ride-able due to the deep sand but it’s a nice short cut into Griffith.

      • A. Krywicki says:

        I will. And whenever I see a bicyclist on the bridle trails, I call it in. I do the same for dogs off leash or vehicles off road. Whenever a law is being broken, I report it.

      • Doug Weiskopf says:

        You and every bicycle rider in Burbank who believes in fairness will be pleased to know that in more than a year since the ban on walking or carrying bikes across the Mariposa Bridge was passed by the council there has been no enforcement of this unjust law by either the Burbank Police or Griffith Park Rangers, nor will there be, according to both of those departments.

    • A. Krywicki says:

      Whenever I see someone breaking the law, either in Burbank or Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, I report it. And btw, even using the *** is really poor taste and just as bad as using the word it refers to.

      • bikinginla says:

        So what else do you do with the five minutes you have left of the day after reporting every minor infraction you see? If I did that, I’d spend my entire day just reporting all the drivers who go through the stop sign on my block.

  2. yawfle says:

    Not a Burbank resident, but I was actually kind of impressed with the Burbank council after watching the first meeting where this proposal was discussed. With the exception of the one obvious shill for the equestrian interests, they asked all the right questions, and seemed quite reasonably puzzled about how a single interest group could be asking for the complete barring of another portion of the population from using a public right-of-way… the fact that this was somehow reversed is just plain depressing, and undoes (and then some) the small boost that my faith in civic processes had gained. This is just dirty and smells bad, period.

  3. Ralph says:

    I know that the bike infrastructure is better in Munich. It isn’t Holland, but what is. It really helps to have a large number of people commuting by bike. This puts more weight behind any push for better conditions. Now Munich is very dense and has a great transit system. That really helps with transit. It is quite flat but it does rain and snow. Having other options makes the city work. Also parking is hard to come by and can be expensive.

  4. doug weiskopf says:

    Thanks for reporting the outrage done against Burbank bike riders by banning them from even walking or carrying a bicycle across the Mariposa St. Bridge over the LA River to Griffith Park.

    What’s even more infuriating is that the Burbank City Council voted last Dec. 14 to allow bikes to cross, as long as they were not ridden and gave the right of way to horses. The council reneged on this compromise agreement on Jan. 26 after the politically powerful horseback riding community pressured the second vote not even 6 weeks later and reversed their earlier vote, both times unanimously.

    The latest and third vote on the Mariposa Bridge came this week and confirmed the ban. To throw bike riders a bone they voted to start considering a new bridge for bikes to be open in 2020, but with the council’s record of reversing themselves and betraying bike riders who knows?

    Meanwhile, legal action is being planned against the Mariposa Bridge ban on bikes, as well as some organized protests, This ain’t over!

  5. A. Krywicki says:

    What most of the bicyclists forget about crossing the bridge at Mariposa into Griffith Park is that the only trails on the south side of the bridge are bridle trails and that bicycles are not allowed on bridle trails in Griffith Park. The see a “paved” road and think it’s theirs. Maps.google says it’s the LA River Bike Path and they think it’s theirs. It is a bridle path and only “paved” in the late 80s so maintenance trucks could more easily access the utility lines. It is not a public road. Maps.google has been notified numerous time to remove the LA River Bike Path words from their maps. They’re only going to cause bicyclists to be ticketed, if they’re caught. It is true that for bicyclists, the bridge at Mariposa is a bridge to nowhere.

    And while crossing Victory Bridge is not a fun thing, bicyclists do have to follow the same laws as automobiles and they have many advocates pushing for the safety of bicyclists on the public roads. As a horseback rider, having to cross Victory Bridge on a horse is pure hell – and I have a very well trained horse. The only access I have to Griffith Park is the bridge at Mariposa. The only place I have to ride is Griffith Park. Unlike a bicyclist, I can’t put my horse in my back seat, in my trunk, attache to the back or top of my car. There are bike trails all over the city that are reachable in 20 to 30 minutes. All I have it Griffith Park.

    Have you ever had a bicyclist come at you at 10, 15, 20 miles an hour? I was within 5 feet of that happening and the 2 bicyclists had no idea they almost hit me. Losing a horse is devastating. My horse is a living breathing friend who’s been with me for years. Over the years, I’ve lost several companions and it hurts – still hurts to this day. Losing a bicycle is a monetary setback.

    Addressing the walking of bikes on bridle trails in Griffith Park, I ask why would you do that? You would walk your bike from Travel Town to the Crystal Springs on the bridle trail rather than on the public road? You’d walk your bike on the Skyline trail? Why? There are miles and miles of bike trails why walk a bike on a bridle trail that is the only place horseback riders have to ride?

    We can co-exist but not in tight spaces (7 feet wide bridges), not dealing with objects going 25, 15 or even 10 miles an hour and not on winding, steep trails with cliffs.

    • yawfle says:

      Losing a child because they were hit by a car while on a bicycle is probably almost as bad as losing a horse… almost. Would you honestly take your child on a bike ride down Forest Lawn Drive? The fact is that the bridge is an access bottleneck, and there are legitimate places for bikes within a few hundred feet (or less, depending on which official source you ask) of the south side of the bridge. The whole “bridge to nowhere” campaign was actively cultivated for the purpose of the bridge battle. Claiming that the old asphalt access rode is “bridle trail” is twisted, selfish, and absurd. I suspect the equestrian community, or some portion of it, is deeply lacking in perspective on just how ugly some of this behavior is in the view of people outside of their group… just as is probably the case with the poorly behaved cyclists that you keep citing as a reason for alienating the entire population of people who ride bikes.

    • Chris says:

      There is obviously a lot of passion on both sides of this. It’s not worth anyone’s time to continue to regurgitate the same tired arguments. However, you made a point that I feel needs to be addressed.

      NO CYCLIST IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE LOSS OF A BICYCLE.

      If you truly believe that the issue at hand is a cyclist concerned about losing a bike, you need to seek psychiatric help. The cyclists who are fighting for access to this bridge are doing so out of concern for their own lives, not for preventing damage to their bikes.

      These people are sons and daughters and wives and husbands and mothers and fathers. Their lives are equally as, or I would dare say more, important to others, than your horse is to you. Many of these people are trying to get to and from work, safely. The solution exists—there is a way to safely share the bridge for everyone.

      Your insistence that your cause is important while a cyclist’s isn’t is disappointing. As humans, we should all be better than this.

      • yawfle says:

        Yes, it’s the precisely those out-of-touch assumptions being displayed that point to these particular members of the equestrian community (not everybody on a horse) as being extremely entitled and insular in their general outlook. Here’s another one that’s probably worth spelling out:

        SOMETIMES PEOPLE USE BIKES TO GET TO A PARTICULAR PLACE.

        Not always, no, but way more often than is the case with people riding horses in Los Angeles here in the 21st century. The tired argument that people on bikes “have other places to ride and should just go somewhere else” can only be uttered with a straight face when you’ve made it a mantra like “Bridge to Nowhere”. Miles and miles of bike trails? The only nearby bike trail is closed as I write this, and has been for months… just in case that needs pointing out, too.

        Honestly, another bridge should have been built a long time ago, funded by the parties who are so interested in having one to themselves, if horses are as dangerous to themselves and their riders as is being claimed. This is most often the view I’ve heard expressed by uninvolved people who’ve become aware of the situation in spite of not being horse or bike riders. I think most reasonable people would agree.

  6. doug weiskopf says:

    Below is a YouTube link to a newly made documentary movie directed by German film director Alexander Gall about the Los Angeles River Bike Path, Naked Bike Ride LA, Burbank politics, and the long-simmering controversy between local bicyclists and horseback riders.
    It includes some beautiful aerial-drone video of the entire area, including a stunning fly-by of our world-famous Hollywood sign. If you like the film please share it with friends.
    https://youtu.be/LdVz_JBDfrw

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