Morning Links: Study shows drivers benefit from bike lanes, NC meeting on North Figueroa, and Burning Man bikes

Once again, science backs up common sense.

For years, bicycle advocates have argued that bike lanes improve traffic flow by giving people on bicycles their own space away from traffic, eliminating the need for drivers to slow down or go around them.

And reducing the risk that angry drivers will take their frustrations out on the two-wheeled person directly ahead of them.

Now a new study of how bicycle facilities affect traffic from a driver’s perspective has reached that same conclusion.

Results show that on shared roadways without clearly marked bicycle facilities, drivers are more inclined to pass bicyclists, encroach on other traffic lanes or line up behind bicyclists than on roadways with clearly striped or buffered facilities…

“The solid line makes the absolute difference in bicycle facilities— something that we haven’t seen in any other study. We found that the presence of a clearly marked or buffered bicycle lane makes a large difference in the way drivers behave around bicyclists,” said John Hourdos, Director, Minnesota Traffic Observatory, University of Minnesota.

Which means the best way to sell bike lanes to a suspicious driving public is to make it clear they’re the ones who will benefit.

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The Land Use and Public Safety Committees of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council will hold a joint session on Thursday to “address the future of safety and lane configuration of N. Figueroa St.”

Anyone concerned about improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on the deadly street, where six people have been killed in the last six years, is urged to attend.

And yes, there will be snacks.

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The Californian Report examines how bicycles abandoned at Burning Man benefit kids hundreds of miles away. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Racing resumed in the Vuelta after Monday’s rest day, with a rain-soaked 10th stage.

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Local

Good read from Mar Vista Neighborhood Council member and former Los Angeles Streetsblog editor Damian Newton, as he wonders how we arrived at the current battle over road diets, and what we can all do “as advocates for safe streets and healthy communities, to move towards a more civil debate.”

 

State

A new bill would require the California Department of General Services to provide bikeshare for state employees at offices around the state; legislators rode bikes around the capitol to show their support.

A 26-year old Mission Viejo woman rode 4,205 miles across the US to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes.

A Coronado woman suffered a broken nose and three fractured vertebrae when a participant in Sunday’s Bike the Bay crashed into her head-on as she rode on a Coronado bike path.

A new study shows people who bike to and from transit in San Diego have twice the job opportunities as people who walk — but still 15 times less than people who drive.

Construction is scheduled to begin next week in National City on a segment of the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway along San Diego Bay.

The driver accused of murder in the death of an off-duty, bike-riding Modesto cop had a blood alcohol content over four times the legal limit; he had a previous conviction for driving with BAC of .37 — over 4.5 times the legal limit — as well as an arrest for driving with a BAC of .26. And yet he still found a way to get behind the wheel, with or without a license.

A man riding a motorized bicycle faces DUI and hit-and-run charges after crashing into two pedestrians in a South Lake Tahoe crosswalk; no word on how serious their injuries are. It’s questionable whether DUI would actually apply in this case, depending on the maximum speed of the bicycle; below 28 mph, the statute for bicycling under the influence should apply.

 

National

The Spokane WA city council approves a road diet featuring the city’s first separated bike lanes, though construction remains several years away.

A Wisconsin man was arrested for riding a motorized bicycle while drunk, even though he was already out on bail following his seventh — yes, 7th — DUI arrest, presumably while driving.

A new Illinois law will allow bikes to legally be ridden on the shoulder of a roadway, which was previously a gray area, and permit drivers to briefly cross a solid center line to pass someone on a bike by at least three feet. That last part would have part of California’s three-foot passing law if it weren’t for Jerry Brown’s veto pen.

That’s more like it. A Tennessee driver got eight years behind bars and another eight years supervised probation for the drunken death of a bike rider in 2014 and possession of meth.

A New York HuffPo writer says white people who complain about ebikes are ruining the lives of low-income and immigrant workers.

Philadelphia opened its first one-way protected bike lane; naturally, not everyone is happy about it.

 

International

A Canadian man has his faith in humanity restored after people crowdfund a new bicycle for him after his was stolen in Winnipeg while riding across the country.

Montreal bike cops accidently bust one of the United States’ most wanted criminals.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker questions whether the UK is really menaced by reckless cyclists, noting that the conflict on our streets is just a question of differing modes of transportation, not warring tribes.

Brit bike riders respond to Sir Chris Hoy’s ill-advised comments shaming fat riders for wearing Lycra, while a writer for the Guardian justifies benefits of bikewear. Although Hoy’s larger point that people don’t have to dress like pro cyclists just to ride a bicycle seems to have gotten lost in the controversy.

An English writer says we have to ensure that bicycling can remain a social activity.

A British lecturer looks at the strain that ultra endurance sports takes on the body.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider goes over his handlebars when a driver inches out of a driveway in front of him; commenters are quick to blame one side or the other.

 

Finally…

Just call them the pre-teen Mont Ventoux Two. Seriously, there are better ways to present an homage to the late Tobe Hooper than chasing a bike rider with a chainsaw.

And proof that the “unenforceable” three-foot passing law actually can be.

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