Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

………

Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

………

Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

………

Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

5 comments

  1. Charles Hudak says:

    The cyclist in North Park was not right hooked. He was riding on the sidewalk and rode out in front of the car in the crosswalk. The driver probably looked right, didn’t see anything and then proceeded.

    This is why you don’t ride on the sidewalk. Motorists aren’t looking for cyclists entering the crosswalk.

  2. Terry Eckhart says:

    About sharrows : Unfortunately some sharrows I’ve seen are painted on the far right of the lane, which seems to tell us that cyclists are required to ride to the far right.

  3. That’s good news about improvements in already bike friendly Carlsbad, they are trying. I love riding south down the San Diego coast from Oceanside, having lunch, and taking the Coaster train back. The next town after Carlsbad, Leucadia (part of Encinitas), is the one that really needs to do something about making the ride through its town safer. We’ve had so many close calls on its “sharrowed” coast highway that we now ride up the hill and cycle the wrong way (if heading south) along the right shoulder of one-way Neptune through town. (In Encinitas proper beyond there is a good option, ie 3rd St). If not along Coast Hwy they could at least make parallel Vulcan more bike friendly, there’s just no good options through there IMHO. Solana Beach has a nifty rail trail through its town. Solana Beach is the last train stop along the coast.

  4. flehnerz says:

    Like another commenter said, the bicyclist involved in the hit and run in San Diego was not right hooked. But that’s beside the point – SDPD did nothing, and it’s not a surprise at all. The driver of the car sure as heck shouldn’t have left the scene of the crash.
    I’ve gotten zero traction getting these so called protectors of our safety to help me out when I’ve been the victim of crimes riding my bicycle so it’s not shocking to see they won’t do a thing with anybody else.
    SDPD needs to be held accountable for their institutional incompetence when it comes to traffic safety.
    https://bikinginthemiddle.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/support-our-police/

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