Morning Links: Good news on East LA bike boulevard, wasted bike racks, and a relaxing Dutch bike ride

There’s surprisingly good news about that badly worn East LA bike boulevard we mentioned last week.

As you’ll recall, Aurelio Jose Barrera submitted a photo showing the markings on the one-year old bike boulevard at Hubbard and Simmons were so badly worn that there was virtually nothing to indicate it was a bikeway of any kind.

Let alone a vital link in the Safe Routes to Schools program. Or one of the few decent pieces of bike infrastructure in a long-neglected part of the community.

But late Friday, I received the following statement from the office of County Supervisor Hilda Solis and LA County Public Works.

Wheels of progress turning in East LA 

The streets of iconic East Los Angeles are under construction with miles of roadway improvements underway, including new bike routes and traffic safety features.

At Hubbard Street and Simmons Avenue, where bikeway pavement markings had begun to show excessive wear, LA County Public Works crews have scoured the roadway to make way for a smoother road surface for motorists and cyclists. Once road reconstruction is complete, new thermoplastic street markings will be reapplied to clearly indicate East LA’s rapidly growing bike network.

“Biking is a win/win that provides tremendous physical and benefits for the rider while improving neighborhood air quality and reducing traffic congestion,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said. “I am committed to installing, expanding, and maintaining high-quality and safe bike lanes where appropriate. Currently, our neighborhood streets in East Los Angeles are under construction with roadway improvements that include maintenance and new bike routes that improve safety for all commuters. These enhancements include smoother riding surfaces and clear sustainable markings. When complete, I’m excited to see even more East LA residents take advantage of these new bike paths!”

Among the many other projects underway to promote connectivity to mass transit for pedestrians and cyclists is the Eastside Light Rail Bike Interface, which broke ground in January and will yield an additional six miles of new bikeway. The Gold Line Eastside Access Phase II project will bring another three miles of bikeway improvements along 1st Street, Ford Boulevard 4th Street and Via Corona Street. The $4.7 million project is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

It’s nice to know someone in local government is actually listening.

And more importantly, doing something about it.

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This is what it looks like when you have to install bike racks, but don’t want anyone to actually use them.

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This is what a morning bike ride to the doctor’s office looks like in the Netherlands.

Unlike the mad frenzy of American streets, just watching this is nearly as calming as watching a fish tank.

Except for the burning envy of wishing we could have streets and bikeways like that here.

Thanks to William Robinson for the heads-up.

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Local

There was an unconfirmed report of a robbery attempt on the Ballona Creek bike path yesterday. Please contact me if anyone has additional information.

Metro is sponsoring another bike safety class in the Altadena/Pasadena area on July 1st.

 

State

Snow Valley Mountain Resort has opened its ski lifts and downhill trails to mountain bikers.

A Stockton deacon has erected the city’s first ghost bike, in honor of a man killed by a hit-and-run driver last year; four bike riders have been killed in the city already this year.

Streetsblog says Sacramento is warming up to bicycles, as state legislators discover the joys of dockless ebikes.

 

National

Now you can have your very own classic 1917 Harley-Davidson, as long as you’re willing to pedal it. And pay for it.

Sad news from Chicago, where a 76-year old Elizabeth Brackett died in an apparent fall from her bike while training for a triathlon; the former PBS journalist was a world champion triathlete in her age group.

Talking in Louisville KY, former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan warns about making the same mistakes with autonomous cars that we just recovered from, with car-oriented development instead of people-oriented development. Except too many cities are still caught up in the former and hoping to make the leap directly into self-driving cars — Los Angeles included.

Worst excuse ever. A Kentucky driver says he killed one bicyclist — the golf coach at Western Kentucky University — and injured three other riders, because he rear-ended them before he could check his mirrors to go around them. Evidently, he was driving the automotive equivalent of a brakeless fixie, and had no idea how to stop his car without crashing into something. Or someone.

Even in Akron, Ohio, bike riders are complaining that drivers are getting more aggressive and careless.

For a change, the New York Times recommends five relatively affordable add-ons to make your bike commute more enjoyable.

A writer for the NY Times apparently attempts to prove it’s possible to write 1,000 words without saying anything, other than insulting lycra-clad bike riders and complaining about concrete barriers on a bike path.

A British travel writer says a bike is the best way to visit New York’s hippest borough, suggesting five of the best Brooklyn bike routes.

 

International

Now this is how you encourage bike commuting. The Great-West Life Assurance Company has built an 1,800-square foot bicycle pavilion for their Canada headquarters, complete with two-tiered parking for 162 bicycles, a tune-up station and repair tools.

Ottawa, Canada residents decide they’d rather preserve parking than give kids a safe route to school while a bike and pedestrian bridge is rebuilt; the local paper calls it the opposite of Vision Zero.

Quebec is still struggling to figure out whether to classify mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs as pedestrians or bicycles, or something else altogether.

A Toronto newspaper examines the four elements that make up a bike-friendly protected intersection, while calling for a boost in the city’s Vision Zero budget.

A competing Toronto paper complains that the fight to save lives on the city streets amounts to a war on cars, and that while any deaths are regrettable, it’s a price they seem willing to pay to avoid making any significant concessions to traffic safety.

No surprise here. A new survey of Londoners has found that bike riders are the happiest commuters.

Sixteen thousand British riders took part in a 54-mile London to Brighton charity ride to fight heart disease.

A UK automotive website looks at the best cars for bike riders, most of which aren’t available in the US. Actually, the best cars for bike riders would combine automatic braking systems with foam hoods and bumpers for when the former fails.

A new British ebike lets you mine cryptocurrency with every pedal stroke.

A 37-mile Irish singles ride gives speed dating a whole new meaning.

Good idea. Finnish speeding tickets are linked to your income, so a wealthy driver pays more than someone just scraping by.

A pair of Brits made it to Volgograd, Russia just in time for yesterday’s World Cup match between England and Tunisia, traveling 2,400 miles through six countries in just over three weeks.

Trek is promoting randonneuring in India.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rwanda claims to be taking the next step towards becoming a cycling powerhouse by waiving a 25% import tax on racing bicycles, assuming a lower cost will encourage more people to take up the sport.

Bike racing still has a drug problem, as nearly five percent of pro riders tested positive for Tramadol, which is still legal for reasons no one can seem to explain.

Twenty cyclists were injured when a mother with three kids in her car suddenly made a U-turn during a Belgian bike race, on an apparently open course; after the crash, her partner went back to their home and returned with a baseball bat to threaten the victims.

Rouleur looks at Ryan Eastman’s transition from rising pro cyclist to paramedic, after his racing career was ended by a crash with a deer  while descending at 55 mph on a training ride.

 

Finally…

If you want to get away with hit-and-run, remember to remove the bicycle from under your car. Now you can ride your bike without missing a moment of the World Cup.

And don’t ride your ‘bent on the autobahn.

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Thanks to David E for his generous contribution to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

 

5 comments

  1. keith says:

    what it looks like when you have to install bike racks….

    Now that new apartment building construction requires bike racks one building on my block did something similar – the rack is too close to a wall so that its abit challenging to use.

  2. Ralph says:

    Had that problem with incorrect installations of bike racks in my former town. Evidently the people who approve the plans don’t check the requirements and the people doing the sign off for the city don’t know any better or care.

    I have called city enforcement on a big box store that blocked off the poorly installed bike racks with special sales items so you couldn’t even get to them…

    My blood donation center has 2 racks that should hold 4 bikes but are placed so that they can only hold 2. They have a post with a circle, the circles of each should be parallel but they are in a line.

    • keith says:

      That reminds me when I went to Big 5 the city bike racks on the sidewalk were unusable because the store was using all the racks to display their new bikes for sale. Which left their cycling customers to fend for themselves.

  3. Sergio says:

    This is what a morning bike ride to the doctor’s office looks like in the Netherlands…

    I want to move there… Awesome…

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