Morning Links: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index, LA bike safety sucks less, and new tax bill screws bikes

Another stolen bike has been returned to its owner thanks to Bike Index and the LAPD.

How the bike was recovered: A Good Samaritan searching for a used road bike saw a Craigslist posting for my bike for a suspiciously low price and thought to check for stolen postings online. He came across my posting on Bike Index, contacted me to confirm it was mine, and set up a meeting with the seller. I approached seller with the Los Angeles Police Department and had my bike returned! It was a very good day.

Let this be a reminder to register your bike. It doesn’t cost a dime, but could be the best investment you could make if your bike is ever stolen.

Although it never hurts to make a tax-deductible donation to Bike Index to help support their efforts to bring bikes back home to their owners.

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Good news for LA bike riders, as Forbes Magazine reveals we’re only the tenth most dangerous city in America for people on bikes.

So we may suck, but not as much as San Jose and San Francisco, which came in fifth and seventh, respectively, or Albuquerque, which claimed the prize for the most dangerous city in the US for bicyclists.

And who knows, the way the city’s Vision Zero plan is going, one day we may move all the way down to eleven. Or maybe even twelve.

That’s something to celebrate, right?

Right?

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People for Bikes wonders what the US Senate could have been thinking, as the new tax bill eliminates a small monthly benefit for biking to work, while maintaining much larger tax breaks for driving and using transit.

Here’s what they had to say.

Today, the Senate voted to eliminate the $20 per-month tax benefit available for those who bike to work while maintaining both the $255 per-month parking and transit benefit.

“What is the Senate thinking? Why single out a modest incentive that encourages people to bike to work, increasing community health and reducing congestion, while maintaining a significantly larger and more expensive incentive for people to drive?” said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes. “We encourage the conference committee to include this popular and common sense bike tax benefit as the House did in its version of the bill.”

PeopleForBikes spearheaded a letter from bike industry leaders calling on both the Senate and House to maintain the bike tax benefit. You can read the full letter here.

PeopleForBikes also joined a coalition 20 national organizations in support of the tax benefit. You can see the full text of the letter here.

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‘Tis the season.

Four hundred Portland kids got their first bicycles, thanks to an organization that has given away over 10,000 bikes to lower income families since 1995.

Another 400 kids are expected to get new bicycles from a Boise ID nonprofit.

Employees of a New Jersey insurance company built 26 bicycles for a local toy drive.

On the other hand, the Salvation Army in Akron, Ohio turned Scrooge for the holidays, refusing to accept bikes as gifts for their Angel Tree program because they don’t have any room to store them.

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This is day twelve of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Christopher M, Tyrone C and Robert K for their generous donations to help support this site.

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Local

LA Magazine suggests the best ways to experience LA without a car, including taking a bike tour.

CiclaValley celebrates a new, if somewhat bee barricaded, drinking fountain in Griffith Park.

 

State

San Diego may be left behind when it comes to dockless bikeshare, thanks to the city’s exclusive contract with docked bikeshare provider DecoBike. Although a little inconvenience like may not stop some of the dockless providers from flooding the city’s streets with their bikes, by following the Uber model of coming in first and asking for permission later.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the winners of their 2017 Golden Gear Awards.

Caught on video: San Francisco advocates once again form a human protected bike lane to call for protected lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Oakland, where a West Oakland bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run collision.

Chico police are looking for a bike-riding transient who may have started a fire that destroyed a local business.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid injuries common to people over 40. And no, staying 39 is not one of the options.

Honolulu joins Orange County and San Francisco in evicting homeless encampments from a separated bike path.

The upscale Robb Report looks at how Denver’s Alchemy Bicycle Company hand builds their bespoke carbon, steel and titanium bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Colorado man faces charges of DUI, vehicular assault, hit-and-run, careless driving causing bodily injury and driving without a valid license for fleeing the scene after hitting a bike rider.

A Michigan man will spend somewhere between 18 months and 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a popular nun as she was riding her bike; he tried to claim he’d hit a deer instead. So he could end up with a slap on the wrist, or some serious time. Or anything in between.

A New York cruiser bike rider complains that he can’t obey the requirement to ride to the right when the bike lanes are on the left side of a service road.

 

International

Treehugger says almost all successful cities are clamping down on private cars and promoting bikes. Which would suggest — or maybe confirm — that Los Angeles isn’t one.

Ontario, Canada is investing $93 million to expand bike infrastructure across the province.

A new report delivered to London’s mayor says the way to improve safety is to reduce speeds to 20 mph, fix potholes and give bike riders priority at intersections.

A London bike rider describes what it was like to be attacked by three muggers who punched him in the face and stole his Brompton, part of a trend of violent bike-jackings in the city.

Maybe there is a war on cars after all. Someone left large bricks and rocks on a UK highway, damaging dozens of cars.

A report from the British transportation agency says meeting the country’s goals for bicycling and walking could prevent 13,000 pollution deaths over the next ten years, and save the equivalent of over $12 billion.

Relatives of a fallen Belfast bike rider were angry that someone stole a bicycle painted in his club colors, which had been installed as a memorial; the bike was recovered after they made an appeal on Facebook.

Speaking of stolen Belfast bikes, a student who posted a noted asking the person who “borrowed” her bicycle to please return it didn’t get it back, but she did get a used bike from a kindhearted stranger.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist barely avoids sliding out into traffic after slipping on a wet sidewalk.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A new Australian campaign examines the ripple effect roadway trauma has on the victim’s families and communities.

Who needs a bike car on a train, when you can have an entire Japanese bike train?

 

Finally…

This is why you don’t blow through red lights. Please don’t throw dockless bikeshare bike in front of an oncoming train.

And how can drivers to avoid bike riders when they can’t even avoid a rock?

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Norm Bradwell for the last link.

 

One comment

  1. keith says:

    Great to hear that teaming up with Bike Index & LAPD worked out so well for the bike recovery. I know others who’ve gotten stolen bikes back after finding them posted Craigslist. One was bold enough to ask for a “test ride” on her stolen bike and she didn’t return.

    I hear some police dept’s work directly with Bike Index, perhaps using their data base to find the owners of recovered stolen bikes. Santa Monica & West LAPD are on board. Not sure how to get the other divisions on board. I know Hollywood PD posted a really nice e-bike they recovered but had no way of finding the owner.

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