Morning Links: Former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl near death; led fight to make LA better for bike riders

Bill Rosendahl addressing the city council to announce an end to cur culture in LA

Bill Rosendahl addressed the city council in 2010 to announce an end to car culture in LA

Heartbreaking news, as Councilmember Mike Bonin reports on his personal Facebook page that his predecessor and mentor, former Westside Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, is near death and receiving hospice care at home.

Rosendahl set the standard for what a city councilmember could and should be here in the City of Angels — caring, responsive and committed to doing the right thing, and serving the whole community. Whether or not it was the popular stand at the time.

As chair of the council’s Transportation Committee, it was Rosendahl, more than anyone else, who set the city on the path to becoming more welcoming to people on bikes, leading to the adoption of the Cyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance and the 2010 bike plan, now part of Mobility Plan 2035. As well as revoking the city’s bike licensing requirement, which was often used by police as an excuse to harass riders.

It was Rosendahl who famously said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” in addressing the full council. And Rosendahl who got then new LAPD Chief Beck to sit down with cyclists and listen to their grievances, leading Beck to promise — and deliver — a new relationship between cops and cyclists on the streets of the city.

It’s hard to believe the bad old days for LA cyclists were just six years ago. And that so much has changed for the better in such a short time.

Admittedly, there were many catalysts for that change. The 2010 Bike Plan. CicLAvia. Mayor Villaraigosa’s road to Damascus conversion. A more assertive LACBC.

But in reality, it all began with Rosendahl, and his impassioned response to a driver who deliberately injured a pair of cyclists on Mandeville Canyon. And a promise to do everything in his power to prevent it from happening again.

And one he kept.

He will be sorely missed. This will be a much poorer city when Bill Rosendahl is gone.

But one he’s leaving much better than he found it.

………

Local

The President of Fix the City calls plans for bike lanes in the city’s Mobility Plan 2035 a game of Three-Card Monte where the rules are constantly changing, and urges Councilmember Ryu to vote against the plan when it comes back before the council for approval. He’s a little late, though; the city council re-approved the Mobility Plan last year; the only thing under consideration now are a handful of amendments to the plan.

In yet another case of a car being used as a weapon, LA sheriff’s deputies arrested a driver on suspicion of murder after he ran down a man jogging in a Walnut bike lane before smashing through a hedge and into a home.

Registration is open to join the LACBC team for this year’s Climate Ride.

 

State

San Diego plans to install a buffered bike lane on a street where a skateboarder was killed recently.

A Santa Barbara social worker remembers a tireless advocate for the homeless who died in a fall while riding his bike earlier this month.

A San Francisco writer says courtesy is the key when cyclists and drivers share narrow hilly roads; otherwise, the legislature will step in to dictate behavior.

A man broke the window of a Fresno bike shop and stole a bicycle; it’s the second time thieves broke into the store in the last two years. Note to KFSN-30 TV: $500 is hardly an expensive bike.

 

National

A Wyoming man uses bicycling to fight back against a genetic lung disease.

Evidently, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use bike emojis, according to a DC writer.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian says bike touring may be the best way of meeting the world on its own terms.

The weekly blog roundup from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain continues to offer a detailed look at bike news from around the world that puts this site to shame.

An Aussie writer says a three-foot passing law is a good start, but drivers should be required to give extra attention to cyclists and pedestrians at all times — especially when crashes are considered mere “bingles.” Although local police don’t seem sold on the new passing distance.

A new #helmetsarecool online campaign is gaining steam in Australia. Should we be suspicious that it’s backed by a helmet maker?

Evidently, NIMBYs are the same everywhere. Residents of Christchurch NZ urge the city council to rescind plans for a pair of bikeways out of fear that a) they will negatively impact safety and b) a loss of parking will be the death knell for local businesses. Never mind that bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to a) improve safety for all road users, and b) increase sales and property values, while bringing greater vitality to the neighborhood.

A Singapore website explains why some people are calling for bike licensing, and why it’s not likely to happen.

 

Finally…

It’s not a flag, it’s 33 years worth of driver repellant. When you’re riding with an old, rusty rifle over your shoulder and a drill in a suitcase you probably stole, remember to put a damn light on your bike.

And if you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle, make sure you know how to ride it first.

 

One comment

  1. David says:

    I am sad to hear about former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl.

    He was not only a strong supporter of cyclists, he also helped me successfully resolve a complex issue with the LADWP utility more than 5 years ago.

    He is one of the few politicians that was dedicated to his constituents first and went to bat for you without hesitation. He sets the example.

    I hope that his last days are peaceful.

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