Morning Links: Venice Great Streets attacked, Bonin recall leader criticized, and LA cyclist sets Le Mans record

Clearly, the battle over the Venice Great Streets project is far from over.

Despite the recent vote by the Mar Vista Community Council to keep the project in place while requesting more data, opponents of the project are back at it again, demanding that the street be returned to its previous six lane configuration.

The latest attack comes tonight, when the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider two motions to reverse the lane reductions and protected bike lanes, under the false flag of improving safety for bicyclists. Along with motions to require all bike riders to wear a helmet and have “reflective night-lights” installed on their bikes.

Whatever that means.

Maybe someone should tell them that bikes are already required to have lights after dark. And nightlights are what you install in your kids’ bedroom so they won’t be afraid of the dark, or so grandma won’t trip in the bathroom at night.

Then again, they also want to see laws banning people from looking at their “mobile electronic devices” while crossing the street. Because everyone knows distracted pedestrians are the real problem, not all those texting drivers in their multi-ton SUVs.

Right.

Sound more like the leadership of the committee is suffering from a serious case of windshield bias, and can’t wait until they’re free to go zoom zoom down the boulevard once again.

And never mind that the paint used to create the current configuration costs roughly $50,000 a mile, plus the cost of the plastic bollards, while the permanent road reconfiguration and paved off-road bike paths they propose could add up to tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

I suppose they could have a bake sale to pay for it.

And if they think people are pissed off now, just wait until they try to take their parking spaces away.

This email, from someone who requested that her name not be used, sums it up nicely.

I live in Mar Vista & just got this agenda for the neighborhood council meeting tomorrow. It is chock-full of anti-bike motions, from getting rid of the Venice Blvd bike lanes immediately to supporting mandatory helmet & reflector laws and banning texting while crossing the street to discourage obstacles (er, “distracted pedestrians”) from entering the roadway.

They are trying to frame killing the Venice bike lanes as pro-safety by couching it within a seemingly thoughtful proposal to build out a bunch of off-road bikeways through the neighborhood on side streets, which is great except that probably won’t happen anytime soon and will definitely be less convenient/slower than what we have now. As far as I can tell the short term proposal is to restore 3 lanes of traffic on Venice and put the bike lanes next to the cars again.

Super-shady that they announce these things with 24 hours’ notice…. hope some other bikers in the neighborhood have time to make it.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 pm tonight at the Windward School, in room 1030 of Building C (by the baseball diamond), 11350 Palms Blvd.

Note: The meeting agenda says it’s scheduled for 7:30 pm to 9 pm, despite the email to community members linked to above that incorrectly says 6 pm. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks to rob kadota for the heads-up.

Be there if you can make it.

Because they’re counting on the short notice to pack the house with bike lane and road diet opponents tonight, and crowd out any support for the project.

And while you’re at it, contact CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, and tell him you support the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project to improve safety and increase livability in one of LA’s previously neglected neighborhoods.

Because he’s the one who will ultimately make the decision.

And your voice matters.

………

Speaking of Bonin, a writer for Medium outs fellow progressive and self-described Berniecrat Alexis Edelstein as one of the leaders of the NIMBY-led effort to recall him.

Mike Bonin is one of the most progressive members of the council, and he has a track record of leading on the issues that matter most to the progressive movement. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy and I am writing this to call out Alexis’ effort as nothing more than a NIMBY assault on a true progressive. Alexis, like most Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) activists got activated when something happened in his backyard — in this case a street safety measure (reduced lanes/added bike lanes) that the department of transportation installed with Bonin’s support and approval, which caused some additional traffic. Trying to make your community a safer place for pedestrians has never been more vilified than in this situation. Is this really grounds for a recall? Absolutely not!…

As he has sought to raise money for the recall effort, Alexis has started tapping into networks and groups that were established to continue moving forward the progressive agenda that was deeply ingrained within us during the presidential primary, the good ole’ days. I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be address within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.

He goes on to decry a lack of transparency in the campaign, while adding what he sees as the real reason behind Edelstein’s efforts.

The recall has already allowed Alexis to frequent alt-right radio programs to promote and solicit funds for the recall, and every time he has gone on these shows to cozy up to racist shock jocks, he has made sure to use the social media accounts he set up for the recall to share his media appearances and promote himself. The voters of CD 11 made their voices heard loud and clear during March’s Election, but Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.

………

Somehow, this one slipped under the radar.

So let’s all offer a belated congratulations to Evens Stievenart of LA’s Big Orange Cycling for successfully defending his championship in the solo category of the 24 Hours of LeMans Cycling last month.

A former race car driver, Stievenart set a new record by riding a whopping 593 miles in the 24 hour period.

You can read the original news story in French, or settle for a bad Google translation.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

………

It’s more of the same in the Vuelta following Tuesday’s individual time trial; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights.

Andrew Talansky, one of America’s top cyclists for the past several years, has announced his retirement at the ripe old age of 28.

Nothing like having Jens Voigt show up to compete in your local club time trial. Twice.

Pro cycling’s infamous dope doctor gets a whole nine months behind bars after being convicted as the kingpin of a doping network that incited amateur athletes to cheat.

……….

Local

Self-described transportation justice advocate Monique López, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the LACBC, describes what she thinks about when she rides her bike through the mean streets of LA.

A cyclist riding in Malibu’s Latigo Canyon was run down by a hit-and-run motorcyclist over the Labor Day Weekend (scroll down), suffering a shattered wrist and elbow; the moto rider stopped briefly to give a possibly fake name, and explain that he was trying to pass the bike rider on the right after hitting some gravel. Then again, it’s not the first time something like that has happened.

CiclaValley writes how the weekend’s massive La Tuna fire hit close to home in more ways than one.

 

State

San Diego’s struggling DecoBike bikeshare system will remove 16 popular docking stations from the boardwalks in beach communities at the urging of local residents and business owners. Which will make it more difficult for bikeshare users to ride to San Diego’s popular beaches, defeating the whole purpose of trying to get people out of their cars.

The pedestrian critically injured when a Hemet driver had a sneezing fit was a 16-year old girl walking with her bike-riding boyfriend; she remains in critical condition with major injuries following two emergency surgeries.

Riverside authorities are still looking for the hit-and-run van driver who killed Forrest Holmes as he rode his bike on Limonite Ave in Jurupa Valley one year ago today.

A 40-year Hollister cyclist says things have gotten a lot better for bicyclists in the area in recent years.

Mountain View parents say a road diet has made it nearly impossible to drop their kids off at school. Never mind that the project is still under construction. Or that maybe they could bike or walk to school with their kids once it’s finished.

 

National

Forbes says Oregon’s new $15 tax on bikes over $200 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package could represent the future of infrastructure funding.

A pair for researchers are urging Seattle to force private bikeshare companies to provide helmets for riders, in an apparent attempt to kill bikeshare in the city a second time.

A section of a bike path through the University of Idaho will be renamed after three-time Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong.

A Philadelphia writer says the city’s first parking-protected bike lane isn’t good enough.

Kindhearted Orlando FL cops pitch in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen off his porch.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump evidently prefer to do their cycling inside their DC home.

 

International

A Canadian father complains about parents who park in a bike lane to drop their kids off at school. More proof that bike riders everywhere face the same problems.

An arrest has finally been made in the hit-and-run death of the mother of British cycling legend Chris Boardman last year; a man and a woman have been charged in the death and subsequent cover-up. Meanwhile, Guardian readers react to his recent claim that Britain’s streets are too dangerous to ride.

Bicycle Dutch explains why there’s no such thing as jaywalking in the Netherlands.

A group of Malaysian endurance athletes have become the first to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Nepal’s 26,545 Annapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.

 

Finally…

Bicycles, the choice of supermarket meat thieves everywhere. No, refusing to give your name after getting busted for bike rustling won’t keep you out of the slammer.

And once you start down the stairs, don’t hit the brakes.

3 comments

  1. rob kadota says:

    MVCC T&I meeting starts at 7:30 not 6pm

  2. riffic says:

    Small nitpick: Medium is a self-publishing platform in much the same way that WordPress.com is.

    https://about.medium.com

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