Morning Links: Jamming on North Fig, Bike the Vote endorses in Culver City, and selling butts instead of e-bikes

North Figueroa will be jamming tomorrow.

The free Fig Jam Great Streets event will transform the dangerous street, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has blocked long planned, fully funded and shovel-ready safety improvements in the name of (ahem) safety.

But for one day, at least, the street will be filled with people, parklets and protected bike lanes, in celebration of Highland Park’s rich cultural heritage. And a demonstration of what the street could be.

An email from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition explains why it matters.

FIG JAM is an important turning point in the conversation about making Figueroa a safer street for everyone. Over the past year, the community has come together too frequently to mourn in times of loss. FIG JAM is an opportunity to celebrate what the community could gain: a complete street that is safe for everyone that walks, bikes, and drives on it…

FIG JAM will help the community envision what is possible by making temporary changes right on the street itself. For many community members that haven’t been engaged so far, this event is a first impression of a new Figueroa, and we hope that they’ll like what they see. While you’re at the event, be sure to talk with your neighbors and ask them what they think. Let’s get the conversation going on Saturday and use the day to propel our advocacy throughout 2016.

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In less than a month, Culver City will hold its municipal elections.

Despite its less-than-bike friendly past, the city has been making efforts to become safer and more welcoming for bicyclists and pedestrians. Yet they continue to rank among the worst California cities their size for injuries to both.

With three of the five council seats up for election this year, Bike the Vote LA recently rated the candidates, all but one receiving an A or B score.

Now the group has officially endorsed incumbent Meghan Sahli-Wells for one of those seats.

The only incumbent Councilmember in the race as well as the City’s immediate past Mayor, Sahli-Wells is familiar to livable streets advocates as a co-founder of the Culver City Bicycle Coalition and out on the road as a daily bike commuter. On the Council, she’s been a strong ally for residents who care about healthy, sustainable mobility. She worked to bring CicLAvia to the City in 2013 and 2015; voted against the removal of crosswalks on Jefferson Blvd; worked to implement Safe Routes to School improvements to reduce speeding and enhance safety near Culver City schools; and supported implementation of the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan, which she helped to craft prior to her election to the Council. She’s taken on leadership roles that touch transportation issues beyond the City’s borders, serving on the Expo Line Construction Authority Board and on the Energy and Environment Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments.

In her response to our questionnaire, Sahli-Wells put forward a compelling vision of Culver City’s transportation future, from modest improvements like signage and bicycle loop detectors, to more ambitious undertakings like protected bike lanes and a Vision Zero initiative to work toward the elimination of all traffic deaths. She reminded us of her role in advancing the City’s participation in the coming Westside bike share system, which is now in the feasibility planning stage. Perhaps most importantly, she showed a commitment to prioritizing the safety of vulnerable street users in her willingness to dedicate street space to install protected bike lanes and in her focus on lowering vehicle speeds on neighborhood streets.

On a personal note, I’ve met Sahli-Wells on a number of occasions, and always found her welcoming and well-informed on bike issues, and willing to listen to suggestions or concerns from anyone who rides in the city, resident or not.

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An ad from e-bike maker Flux Bike seems far more interested in the rider’s derriere than selling their bikes.

Especially if they hope to sell any to women.

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Local

Former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan talks with KPCC’s Larry Mantle about how to make LA’s streets work for everyone, and discusses with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis whether New York’s urban revolution could work in LA. Meanwhile, Boyonabike gives a favorable review to her talk at the Hammer Museum on Wednesday.

The LACBC provides highlights from the recent National Bike Summit in Washington DC.

The Times offers more details on the guilty plea from Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson to a charge of selling imported performance enhancing drugs online; prosecutors are recommending three years probation, 300 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. And Cycling in the South Bay offers his two cents.

CiclaValley offers advice on using bike cams. And yes, you should have one. Or two.

Long Beach residents are complaining about losing parking spaces during Saturday’s Beach Streets open streets event. Which seems to be today’s theme of the day.

 

State

Business leaders in San Diego’s Little Italy district protest plans for a bike lane that would result in the loss of 50 parking spaces; a local radio personality with a bad case of windshield bias says if she can’t park, she’s not going. Why is it that the only time most community groups say they’re worried about the safety of bicyclists is when they’re fighting a bike lane?

Santa Barbara backpedals on its recent approval of bike lanes on Micheltorena Street in the face of a threatened lawsuit over the loss of up to 100 parking spaces.

Fresno police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a popular surgeon as he was riding home from work; the driver’s car sped off dragging the victim’s bike, which is still missing.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a bike, while the Guardian discusses all the extras you should get to go with it.

A Chicago woman left her tech job to found a company dedicated to changing the world one bike at a time.

A Boston man pushes for side guards on large trucks after his brother was fatally right hooked by one. Thanks to Long Beach bike lawyer John McBrearty for the heads-up.

When the New York Fire Department complained about a street being too narrow for emergency vehicles, the city responded by tearing out the bike lane rather than removing the parking.

A DC writer offers advice on how to bike safely and confidently in the city. Most of which applies wherever you ride.

After a Florida special needs man had his bike stolen for the second time, members of the local neighborhood watch group pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eleven reasons to date a cyclist.

No surprise here. A Canadian study shows building bike infrastructure really does encourage bicycling; a ten point increase in bike score results in a 0.5% boost in ridership.

London’s Cycling Commissioner says if you want cycling improvements, you’ve got to keep fighting for them in the face of opposition from a vocal minority.

Caught on video: A British truck driver barely misses a bike rider who starts crossing the road on a bike path directly in front of him. It looks like the real problem is crappy bikeway design.

Italy gets tough on killer drivers, as a government minister says a drivers license is not a license to kill.

Bollywood actress Karuna Pandey is one of us, riding a bike to zoom through Mubai traffic between shoots.

Interesting piece from an Aussie university lecturer on why bike riders so often make drivers see red, and why they’re so often wrong.

Good intentions for this road warning sign Down Under, just misplaced execution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call secure bike parking. When you’re a known gang member carrying a gun on your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re going to practice bicycle stunts, be sure to protect your penis. Assuming you have one.

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One last note: I’m going to be tied up with out of town guests over the weekend. So unless there’s breaking news, I’m not planning to have a new post tomorrow or Monday. Go out and get a few good bike rides in, and we’ll see you bright and early on Tuesday.

 

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