Weekend Links: Lawsuit madness in Playa del Rey, walking a bike through G20 riots, and Saturday bike videos

Amidst all the madness, we’re starting to see a few glimmers of sanity.

And more madness.

Wealthy Playa del Rey townhouse owners have filed the first of what may be the first of many lawsuits over the safety improvements in the area, claiming the city failed to file an Environmental Impact Report because they knew it would be unpopular.

Although their lawyer seems a tad confused, claiming the changes on Vista del Mar were made to benefit a handful recreational bike riders. Even though there are no bike lanes on Vista del Mar.

And the changes have made it worse, not better, for cyclists using the roadway.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Beach continues to threaten to sue, while apparently laboring under the same misconception that a bike lane was added on Vista del Mar.

The irony is that the city alleges the lack of advance notice before implementing the road reconfigurations violated the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But no one seems to consider the environmental damage done by the unsustainable commutes of countless solo drivers who insist on living in the wealthy beach community while working miles away in LA and Santa Monica.

And expect the people of Los Angeles to put up with it without complaint. Or concerns for their own safety.

Surprisingly, the sanity comes in two pieces written for City Watch, which is more often a home for the bike-hating trolls, or just the very strange.

A member of the Mar Vista Community Council says, despite his personal opposition to the Venice Great Streets Project, the uproar means they have to do their jobs, and find a solution that works for everyone.

And the former president of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council says it’s time for everyone to just calm down, and if you can’t abide the presence of another human being on the roadway, move to South Dakota already.

Although I suspect the people in South Dakota might just send them back.

Meanwhile, a Santa Monica writer belatedly discovers the Venice Great Streets project while somehow blaming CicLAvia for it, and suggests that its members can show up for meetings because they don’t have jobs.

Never mind that CicLAvia had absolutely nothing to do with the project other than hosting a pop-up demonstration, and bike riders who supported the project have jobs, too. Just like real people.

Seriously, though, you have to admire someone who’s not afraid to show he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s writing about.

Do you see a bike lane here? Both photos by Joni Yung.

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Megan Lynch forwards an extraordinary series of photos taken by photographer Thomas Lohnes, which appear to show 60-year old historian Martin Bühler calmly walking his bike through the recent G20 protests in Hamburg, Germany as police fire water canons around him.

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CiclaValley shares a look at a driver who insisted on passing, even after being warned there was no room to do it safely. Which is something most of us have experienced far too often.

Although his choice of language is much milder than mine has been in similar situations.

However, no such language is needed in this video depicting a day in the life of an LA Brompton rider. My apologies are in order, though, since I’ve lost track of who sent this one to me. But thank you, anyway.

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The Tour de France is starting to get interesting, as Chris Froome is no longer looking invincible. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says all is not well at Team Sky.

Alberto Contador overcame injuries to attack on Friday.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, was awarded the 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award for its Go Human campaign.

The next Draft: LA Meetup, sponsored by People For Bikes, will be held this Thursday at Pure Cycles in Burbank. But no, it will not last for 27 hours.

A Burbank letter writer says he always rides his bike as far to the right as safely possible, and gets irritated at bike riders who don’t when he’s behind the wheel. In other words, he turns into an angry driver when he sees bicyclists riding safely in the center of the lane, just like they’re supposed to, because that’s not the way he does it.

You can now use your Metro Bike membership in the Rose City, as Metro’s bikeshare system officially opens in Pasadena. Boyonabike welcomes the program to his hometown.

Santa Monica is now considering installing more physical barriers to create protected bike lanes.

This Sunday marks the Whittier Walk & Roll Open Streets event, a four hour, six mile carfree festival.

 

State

Irvine plans to close a 1.2 mile gap in the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, including a new bridge over the 5 Freeway.

An Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s bike commuting plan faces a bumpy road from reluctant commuters, and people who prefer parking to bike lanes. And seemingly expect bike traffic to somehow appear overnight when lanes are built.

A San Diego judge orders a competency hearing for a homeless man accused of striking several people in the back of the head while riding his bike, killing an 83-year old woman.

San Francisco is installing parking-protected bike lanes on two streets to provide a quick safety fix.

Oakland will celebrate bikes this weekend with the Jack London Square Pedalfest, including amphibious bike races.

Bad news from Vallejo, where a father and son were run down from behind by the driver of a pickup, leaving the teenager fighting for his life.

A Sacramento athlete is overcoming his cerebral palsy to compete in a triathlon this weekend.

 

National

NASCAR’s Ryan Newman doesn’t get the whole race driver cycling craze, preferring to work on his farm when he’s not driving.

Milwaukee moves forward with its first bike boulevards. Too bad you can’t say the same about Los Angeles.

Police are looking for a bike raging Chicago rider who put a rock through the window of a BMW after the driver accused him of scratching his car. As tempting as it can be sometimes, just don’t. Period.

A New York man makes his escape on a Citi Bike bikeshare bike after fatally shooting a man.

Residents of an Atlanta neighborhood are angry after the city ripped up a one-year old bike path for no apparent reason, after they’d fought for it for eight years.

A Florida letter writer gets it, telling drivers to calm down, put their phones down and pay attention when they see someone on a bike.

 

International

You think? Gizmodo says maybe dockless bikeshare isn’t a good idea, as abandoned bikes turn up everywhere.

Modacity looks at the insanity of licensing bicyclists, especially when it comes to kids.

Spend your next bike vacation touring Cuba.

The Calgary mountain biker who claimed to have been clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail says people have turned on him, questioning the legitimacy of his story — and his now-closed crowdfunding campaign.

Probably wasn’t the best idea. A British headmaster is looking for a new job after calling in sick so he could go on a charity bike ride in Cuba.

A Welsh cyclist got a medal for finishing a charity ride, despite getting lost and ending up riding with the pro cyclists. And so did his dog.

A South African cyclist is on trial for an alleged bike rage attack on two motorists; he claims the driver had “been impatient” with other bicyclists and made him fall off his bike. This is what happens when you can’t control your temper; instead of holding an impatient driver accountable, it’s the guy on the bike who’s facing jail time.

The New York Times examines why people on bicycles inspire such animosity in Australia. And pretty much anywhere else. Thanks to Victor Bank for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a fire truck. Or maybe a $10,000 eco-friendly wooden bike made with no-so-eco-friendly carbon fiber. Or just effing weird.

And new anti-lock bike brakes could promise an end to the endo.

 

20 comments

  1. ….anti-lock bike brakes could promise an end to the endo.

    The author writes that “Most bicycle riders experience the dreaded endo at some point.”, but I really wonder if that’s true. I’m just one data point, but I’ve never had a braking-induced endo, and I don’t even know anyone who has.

    The potential for quickly stopping a heavy 20 mph ebike on a rain-slicked street makes more sense to me, but that still seems like a situation faced by just a tiny fraction of the market.

    Is this a solution in search of a problem?

  2. bikinginla says:

    Count me in that minority, then. I’ve done two from hitting objects in the road, and one from a panic stop when some jerk brake checked me.

  3. GD says:

    “A Burbank letter writer says he always rides his bike as far to the right as safely possible, and gets irritated at bike riders who don’t when he’s behind the wheel. In other words, he turns into an angry driver when he sees bicyclists riding safely in the center of the lane, just like they’re supposed to, because that’s not the way he does it.”

    Probably this is the best LA cycling blog in terms of amount of content, but the editorial position is exasperatingly dogmatic and entitled. Truly you’re a believer, thick or thin, and I’m sure there’s an audience for that. Just not this lifetime rider of LA streets.

    • bikinginla says:

      Oh, come on now.

      I write about riding in the center of the lane because that’s what both the League of American Bicyclists and Cycling Savvy teach. And what the state DMV recommends when riding on unsharable lanes, which is most right lanes in the LA area. If that’s entitled and dogmatic, take it up with them.

      Personally, I couldn’t care less where you chose to ride, as long as you obey the law. If you’re comfortable riding in the door zone, ride there (though I wouldn’t recommend it). If you prefer to ride next to the curb, do so. If you’d rather be on the sidewalk, go ahead and ride there — as long as it’s legal where you are, and you do so safely and courteously.

      My position is that you should ride wherever and however you feel safest and most comfortable, which is exactly what I do. If that’s dogmatic, then so be it.

      When I take offense is when someone sees a person riding a bicycle in what appears to be a safe and legal manner, and takes offense because a) he apparently doesn’t understand that’s what the law allows, and b) that’s not what he would do.

      As for being a true believer, I will always stand up for the rights of bicyclists — including lifelong riders like you and me — without apologies. And I will do my best to clarify when someone doesn’t understand those rights, or fails to observe them.

      That’s what this site is about.

    • tyler says:

      Respect incites respect. You only want to ride in the middle of the lane because you can. You’re just being selfish. If a car hits you and you’re in the right, enjoy your body cast. Hope it was worth it.

      • bikinginla says:

        Thank you for demonstrating your lack of knowledge and respect for others on the road. Bike riders are told to ride in the center of any lane that’s too narrow to safely share with a bike and a motor vehicle.

        That’s the law. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.

        And I certainly hope it’s worth it to you if you’re the one who hits them.

        • tyler says:

          Respect incites respect. Give room and you will get room. You know what you’re doing. Hope it works out for you, otherwise, again, enjoy your body cast. Or death. Hope it was worth it to put somebody in a rage because you can. It’s like freedom of speech. Say whatever you want, but laws don’t protect you from everything.

  4. jennifer josephs says:

    You bicyclists kill me!

    You want to ride a bicycle move to Montana or Death Valley or somewhere where it’s not the car capital of the world and is the most traffic congested area in the United States.

    No one here except you brain dead morons wants you to impede traffic and make all our lives more miserable because you refuse to accept the fact that we live in an urban mechanized society in the 21st Century. If you want to use technology that has been around since the 18th Century to get around then may I suggest that you move to Pennsylvania and live with the Amish. In the meantime keep your pie holes shut and your assess off our roads.

    You want to ride a bike in LA go to the bike path along the beach or get a stationary bike and put it in your mother’s basement and ride like one of those jackasses in the Tour De France. When I go to France I travel by taxi, plane, or train, only a jackass would continue to ride a bicycle after they turn 16 and get a car and drivers license.

    Now get your ass off the road.

    • bikinginla says:

      Just curious. How would you know what people do when they turn 16, since you clearly still years from that milestone? Don’t let your mom see this, or she may ground you.

      Oh, and when you leave a hate-filled comment like this, probably not smart to use your real email address.

    • sarah says:

      Paris is a wonderfully bicycle-friendly city, Jennifer! The next time you go, you should take a Velib’ for a spin. You sound like you could use the endorphins!

    • leyna lightman says:

      Hi Jennifer!
      As a witness of a traffic death on Sunset Boulevard last August, I can assure you that fatalities slow things down too. The whole shebang has to be cordoned off with police tape for hours and the forensic photographer has to drive out there and shoot everything……measurements are taken, sometimes it’s necessary to clean-up leaking oil, and even blood! It’s a proper drag!

  5. jennifer josephs says:

    Blow it out your ass jackass. And don’t get in front of me with your ass in the air riding like a clown on your bike in that silly multicolored bull crap that you clowns wear.

    • bikinginla says:

      One more comment like that, and I will publish your email. I’ll also report it to the police, since this constitutes a threat, and could be used in a court of law if you ever get in a collision with a bicyclist, or harass anyone.

      Now go read the law, discover that bike riders have as much right to the road as you do, and get a fucking life.

  6. jennifer josephs says:

    Bro, we outnumber you 1,000,000 to 1. They should take every single one of your bicycles and lay them on top of each other from Culver Boulevard and the Marina Freeway to Vista Del Mar down to Imperial Highway and run over all of them with four giant steamrollers and take the scrap metal and turn it into something useful like SUVs and pick up trucks.

  7. bikinginla says:

    So let’s see… That email is [email protected]…. Do you really want me to publish the rest? Go troll somewhere else.

  8. jennifer josephs says:

    Go ahead. Make my day, punk!

    • bikinginla says:

      No thanks, I’d rather make mine. I’m tempted to remove these comments, but I’d rather keep them online as a permanent record lawyers and law enforcement can use to prove your next incident with a bike rider was intentional. I’ll look forward to seeing you in stripes.

  9. Joshua Cohen says:

    Hi Jennifer! What a delight it is to get your statements in print, online, permanently, and with your name attached. Now we will know what you were thinking when the inevitable happens! I can’t wait to take your deposition!

  10. Erik says:

    Jennier Josephs,

    I do hope you will understand that VdM and the Lane reductions on Culver, Jefferson and Pershing are not bicycle projects. They are speed reduction projects created by the need to slow cars down. The state speed trap law does not allow the City of Los Angeles to reduce the posted speed limit, and so the lanes must be reduced and narrowed. It sucks, yes, but it is the only way to remove the situation that has killed people who then sued the city. Your anger at bicycle users is really impressive, but totally misdirected.

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