Morning Links: Temple City shoots down safe streets on Las Tunas; ridiculous and sublime new bike offerings

Temple City voted last week to shoot itself in the foot.

The city council threw away four years of public meetings — and $6 million in funding — devoted to revitalizing Las Tunas Drive through the city.

The council had been presented with three plans to remake the roadway into a Complete Street that would serve the needs of all road users, as well as the greater community — two involving road diets and bike lanes, and one which would accommodate bike lanes by narrowing the existing traffic lanes.

But even though the third option would have had no effect on traffic flow, other than improving safety, the council voted to do nothing in the face of opposition from some mostly older residents.

Here’s just part of what Boyonabike’s John Lloyd had to say on the subject:

It was a setback for the region, and leaves Las Tunas a dangerous commuter arterial instead of a vibrant center for local people and businesses.  I have no doubt that the people of Temple City will eventually see the light, but in the meantime the design of Las Tunas remains stuck in the past, serving only a part of the community’s needs, forcing everyone else into a steel box….

When we create a transportation system that only works for cars, we create a partial system that excludes and marginalizes people who can’t afford cars, don’t want a car, or who are unable to drive.  We essentially force all but the most experienced and confident (or desperate) to buy into the car system.  Once people buy into that system they expect cities to design infrastructure for their convenience, which further reinforces the incompleteness of this unsafe, inequitable, unsustainable, people-unfriendly system.

Meanwhile, Andrew Yip forwards a letter from a Realtor organization that set out to rile up opponents of the plan in advance of last week’s meeting.

Let’s see how many obvious errors you can spot in it.

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Never mind that bike lanes like the ones proposed for Las Tunas have been repeatedly shown to not just improve safety, but boost sales for local businesses, reduce business vacancy rates and increase property values for homeowners in the surrounding area.

Maybe those property owners would have liked to know some of that before they were roused into voicing their opposition and cowing the council.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the city as Rosemead, rather than Temple City. Thanks to John Lloyd and Andrew Yip for the correction.

………

Let’s catch up on a little new bike news.

Why bother putting fenders on your bike when you can just buy a $3,570 bike with front and rear mud guards built into the carbon fiber frame?

Just what every kid needs. A $2,775 carbon fiber mountain bike designed for children from four to seven; at least the frame is adjustable as they grow. Did I mention it costs nearly three grand?

And here’s the perfect bike for your next CicLAvia.

Meanwhile, a nice essay by Anna Schwinn in Bicycle Times suggests the reason fewer women ride bikes starts with the bike itself, in an industry that caters to men and offers few models in women’s sizes. And even then, usually lower quality at a higher price. Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

………

Local

The new documentary about East LA’s Ovarian Psycho’s scheduled to premier at South by Southwest has just 15 days to raise another $15,000 to get funded.

KPCC reports on the battle over the Mariposa Street Bridge, where Burbank officials recently voted to ban the mere presence of bicycles lest they frighten the horses.

LADOT Bike Blog celebrates the 20th anniversary of the city’s successful sidewalk bike rack program; you can request a bike rack at your favorite location by filling out this form. I’m requesting racks at a couple of medical buildings I visit far too often; it’s absurd that offices dedicated to health force their patients and staff to drive because there’s no safe bike parking for blocks around.

Burbank is planning an “epic day of celebration” at this year’s Burbank on Parade on April 23rd, including a mini-CicLAvia sponsored by Walk Bike Burbank.

Hawthorne plans to upgrade Hawthorne Blvd, including extending bike lanes through the once-thriving area.

 

State

Calbike is asking the state Air Resources Board to extend their Clean Vehicle Rebate Program to cover up to half the cost of a bicycle, since bikes are cleaner than the greenest car.

The father and son team of Darryl and Bryce Headrick were officially charged with felony aggravated assault on a peace officer on Tuesday, after allegedly attacking a cop who tried to stop Headrick the Younger on suspicion of biking under the influence last week.

Another case of a hit-and-run driver running down a jogger in a bike lane, this time in San Diego. And this time, with her 3-year old daughter in the car; she also hit two parked cars for good measure.

Duel doctorates in aeronautics and astronautics, cyclocross racer and a top 20 finisher in the collegiate national road cycling championships. Not a bad resume for this San Benito County woman.

A UC Berkeley student says common sense on the part of drivers and pedestrians can help prevent collisions with cyclists. Common sense on the part of bike riders can go a long way, too.

 

National

The Verge looks at Portland’s new bikeshare program, financed with $10 million from Nike.

A Seattle man bought a bike off a man carrying bolt cutters for $20, assuming it was stolen. Then put an ad on Craigslist offering to return it to the owner for free.

Iowa moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider.

Nice piece from NBC Sports on a Minnesota pro cyclist who gave up his career so his Olympic triathlete wife could be the best in the world at hers.

Yet another case of a car being used as a weapon, as a Massachusetts man faces charges for intentionally running down a 15-year old bike rider before fleeing the scene. Maybe we should require background checks and waiting periods before being allowed to buy a car.

Many LA cyclists stay home when the temperature dips below 70 degrees; these Pittsburgh bike messengers ride with a chill factor of 11 below.

Philadelphia plans to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes by 2021, while my platinum-level bike friendly hometown intends to join them by building protected lanes on most arterials streets.

The parents of a Delaware student who was knocked down by a bike rider has sued the university for failing to ban bikes from sidewalks; the victim is still in a coma four months later.

Virginia legislators kill a bill that would have required children under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bike. Meanwhile, this is what it looks like when a driver violates Virginia’s three-foot passing law.

 

International

An Alaska man would have finished third in the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest sled dog race if he had been mushing instead of riding a bike. Even though he was nearly deported by Canadian border officials for not having the right paperwork.

A 12-year old British boy will be “strongly advised” in front of his parents after police catch him riding his bike anticlockwise on a busy freeway.

 

Finally…

Nothing like taking your songbirds out for a bike ride. The next Tesla driver who runs you off the road may be more pint sized than usual.

And if you can’t afford a railroad ticket, just build your own one-seat pedal-powered train.

 

4 comments

  1. Calbike is asking the state Air Resources Board to extend their Clean Vehicle Rebate Program to cover up to half the cost of a bicycle…

    Unfortunately, the petition just proposes rebates for “…cargo bikes, electric bikes, folding bikes, bike share, and other utilitarian bicycles used for everyday transportation.”

    This shortchanges the many bicylist (like myself) who use other types of bikes for everyday transportation. For example, I ride my road bike to doctor appointments, the grocery store and my office. My wife and I ride our tandem in much the same way. We’re just as “green” as other bicyclists, but the type of bike we ride would not be covered.

    In addition to discouraging bicyclist like my wife and me, the restrictions make the proposed rebate program more complicated. Instead, the rebate should cover BICYCLES, not specific types of bikes.

  2. John Lloyd says:

    Excellent post, as usual, Ted. Just one correction: the Las Tunas redesign was voted down by the Temple City city council, not Rosemead.

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