Morning Links: Mar Vista votes to keep road diet, and Manhattan Beach still not happy with Playa del Rey changes

Two up, two down.

Following the lead of the Venice Neighborhood Council, the Mar Vista Community Council voted Tuesday night to keep the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in place.

The board also called for continued study of the project, which removed one traffic lane in each direction on Venice Blvd, while adding parking-protected bike lanes on either side.

And as Rabi Abonour pointed out, even the opponents of the project professed their love for bikes, if not the people on them, before spouting their vehement opposition.

According to Councilmember Mike Bonin, the first round of data for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project will be presented in a public meeting on Saturday the 22nd.

Evidently, some of the media attended a different meeting, though.

Even though reports were that comments were evenly divided between supporters and opponents of the Great Streets project, KABC-7 apparently only heard — or cared — about the people up in arms over it, falsely reporting that Mar Vista residents strongly opposed it.

Fox-11 was a little more balanced in their reporting, however.

Meanwhile, KCBS-2 got the whole concept of Great Streets wrong, insisting that the plan was to conduct a road diet and add bike lanes and parking on one major thoroughfare in every council district throughout the city.

While there will be a Great Streets project in each district, it’s a community-driven process, and up to local residents to decide just what changes to make.

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Needless to say, Manhattan Beach isn’t satisfied with the change to the Play del Rey lane reconfigurations to reduce traffic congestion, preferring that LA rip out exactly the kind of road diets they use in their own city.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

The driver charged in the Tennessee hit-and-run caught on video over the weekend claims he never saw the victim, and didn’t even know he’d hit anyone until he got home and started receiving death threats.

Although given the force of that impact, you’d have to question whether the driver would have to have been in some sort of altered state to not even notice the crash.

Meanwhile, cyclists aren’t letting the incident stop them from riding the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, where the wreck occurred.

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A great new British TV spot tries to encourage grown ups to get back on their bikes.

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A pair of British publications remember fallen cyclist Tom Simpson on the 50th anniversary of his death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says the hell with unwritten rules, cyclists should attack if anything happens to the race leader during a stage, or sponsors should demand their money back.

Peter Sagan got booted from the Tour de France for what may have been an inadvertent elbow thrown at Mark Cavendish, but France’s Nacer Bouhanni just got a lousy $216 fine for actually punching Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer.

Afghan sisters Masouma and Zahra Alizada have joined a French cycling team. Not were bought, as the headline says; slavery remains illegal, even in cycling.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won the 2,800-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Race in 14 days, 23 hours.

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Local

KCET reports the recently approved $100 million in state funds completes a trifecta of funding for LA River improvements, much of which will go towards parks and completing the bike path.

Santa Clarita installs new wayfinding signs on local bike and pedestrian trails.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Santa Monica is spending nearly $500,000 to improve bike and pedestrian access on the main road leading through the Santa Monica airport, including new sidewalks and a two-way cycle track.

A Redondo Beach woman has taken it on herself to throw away the ghost bike and memorials to 13-year old fallen bike rider Ciara Smith, forcing friends to replace it twice — apparently because it was blocking a sign designating PCH as the Vietnam Memorial Highway.

 

State

California commute times are the longest in the nation. Which may be the best argument yet for riding a bike.

Parking in bike lanes poses a danger to more than just people on bikes. A San Diego man is dead after crashing his car into the back of a semi illegally parked in a bike lane and extending out into the traffic lane.

San Francisco votes to move forward with bike lanes on upper Market Street over the objections of a citizen watchdog who tried to halt them, citing concerns over fire safety.

San Francisco approves rules for dockless bikeshare systems.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss and adventurer Brendan Leonard will begin writing weekly columns for Outside Magazine.

Hawaii’s visually impaired Bike Man costumed superhero rides to the top of the 4,200-foot Mauna Kea volcano.

An Oregon bike shop owner says the state’s new bicycle tax will be bad for business, even if it only adds $15 to the cost of any bike over $200.

A South Korean bike tourist feels showered with support when Portland residents pitch in to help after his bike and all his gear was stolen in the city.

Seattle residents debate a hypothetical and highly impractical bicyclist licensing scheme.

A bike-riding Las Vegas thief wins the ingenuity award for using a pole to steal a woman’s purse off the kitchen counter through the doggie door.

Denver puts its money where its mouth is, announcing a $2 billion — with a B — Mobility Action Plan designed to get people out of their cars.

A Milwaukee report concludes poorer neighborhoods provide less access to bike trails. Pretty much like virtually every other large city. Including Los Angeles.

A St. Louis nonprofit is nearing 30 years of helping kids earn a free bike.

A Vermont bakery peddles — and pedals — its wares, towing fresh baked goods in bike trailers to hawk on the streets.

A Savannah GA writer says it’s important to remember that safe streets aren’t a luxury, and being able to ride a bike safely is a necessity for many people.

Nice story from Florida, where a group of cyclists pitch in to buy a new bike for a special needs man after his was stolen, even though he frequently clashed with them.

 

International

The Calgary mountain biker who was clotheslined by barbed wire strung at neck level over a riding trail has started a crowdfunding campaign to pay his medical expenses, as well as buy security cameras for the park he was riding in.

London’s Mirror gets it, writing that “using a phone behind the wheel is like doing a Rubik’s cube while juggling shotguns.” And adds that we forget cars are dangerous because we drive them all the time without incident.

Proving that it is in fact possible to enforce a three-foot passing law, a British truck driver was fined the equivalent of over $1,300 after being ticketed for a too-close pass.

A Glasgow mother used social media to track down the teen who stole her son’s bike, and gave him a life lecture and a hug when she posed as a buyer to reclaim it.

The Department of DIY strikes in Dublin, Ireland, where 17 people formed a human chain to keep drivers from parking in a bike lane.

A woman with Type 1 diabetes rode her bike over 11,000 miles from Italy to Singapore to encourage other diabetics to live their dreams.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to be attacked by a road raging driver, at least request the salted caramel. You could one day race a bike in space.

And yes, bicycling can enlarge your labia, for those of you who have one.

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Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing you SoCal’s best bike news every morning.

 

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