Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

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In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

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‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

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It’s Day 14 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 Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

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Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

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On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

One comment

  1. Sean says:

    So much to be angry about. 🙁

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