Yesterday, I received the latest in a series of reminders that there is, as my doctor puts it, a chemistry experiment going on in my body with the many medications I take for diabetes, allergies and neuropathy. Not to mention the diabetes itself.
Usually they play together well. But every now and then they combine to knock me flat on my ass; I can go from feeling fine to sick as a dog in a matter of minutes. Which is what happened yesterday.
Fortunately, Mike Wilkinson was ready to step into the breach with a report on Saturday’s Re:Imagine Garden Grove open streets event, complete with photos by his wife Argelia.
You’ll find his story below, followed by a handful of items to keep you abreast of the day’s most important news.
And barring anything unexpected, we’ll be back with a full report tomorrow.
The city wasn’t fooling on April 1st when Re:Imagine Garden Grove closed 2.5 miles of downtown streets to motorized traffic and opened them to bikers, skaters, walkers and other people on hard-to-describe conveyances. My wife and I couldn’t resist an event so close to home, so we put the pups in the trailer and enjoyed a pleasant three mile tandem ride to the event.
The starting point for most attendees was historic Main Street, where there were bands, booths and local businesses doing a brisk business. That was also the location for the planned “after party”. When we were there it looked like things were just getting started… even Elvis was in the house!
The route east from Main Street began on quiet side streets. It passed through the civic center and had a pleasant block party atmosphere. The pace was slow, so there was plenty of time to check the Vans skating demo and the many displays staffed by a variety of businesses and public agencies. Then a left turn took us onto Garden Grove Boulevard, where one side of the street remained closed to motorized traffic while the other side was open. The block party vibe was gone, but there were more booths and even some large, county-fair-style rides.
The quiet streets and turns at the start of the route were more relaxed but less impressive than the massive, straight line location of the Long Beach event we attended in November. Relaxed vs. impressive is a personal preference, but riding on one side of Garden Grove Boulevard while cars whizzed by on the other side probably diminished the open streets magic for almost everyone. On the plus side, Garden Grove had a distinct party central location that was an attraction for many and appeared to be good for business. Overall, we thought it was a sign of progress that a local city was hosting such an event, and we were glad to go.
One year into the city’s Vision Zero program, traffic fatalities are up sharply in Los Angeles, and increasing so far this year, as well, putting the called-for 20% reduction by the end of 2017 at risk. That was never a realistic goal. It took all of last year just to identify the high-risk streets and develop an action plan; so far, the city has taken no real action to reduce deaths.
LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds discusses the increase in traffic fatalities on KPCC’s AirTalk.
The NoHo Arts District looks at efforts to reimagine Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood as a Great Street, including a calendar of public meetings; CiclaValley encourages you to make your voice heard.
If you want a fast and hassle-free way to get to Dodger stadium, ride a bike.
A new study shows providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants has cut the rate of hit-and-runs in California.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition comes out against a bike lane, after the city removes plans for a protected lane.
A new study shows one in four drivers were using their phones just before they crashed.
Talk about driving distracted. A Florida driver was blinded by the sun, using an inhaler and possibly nodding off due to sleep apnea when he ran down a local bike advocate. But he walked with no charges or citation because he didn’t do it on purpose.
An English cycling legal group is bringing a private prosecution against a killer driver after the state declines to do it. In the UK, private citizens or groups can pay to bring legal charges against someone the state won’t prosecute, for whatever reason. Too bad we don’t have that option here.
I don’t think they’re supposed to do that. A British bus driver is caught on video wrestling a bike rider to the pavement after getting out of his vehicle, for reasons apparently only they know.
An Aussie driver gets six years for the meth-fueled crash that left a bicyclist critically injured. She was reportedly on her way to beg her father for money to buy more drugs when she ran down the rider and fled the scene, claiming her car was damaged by hitting a kangaroo.
And even Mary Poppins is one of us.