Morning Links: How LA became deadly for bicyclists, LA River bike path closed, and 2nd Forsyth Cup tomorrow

Powerful piece in Outside Magazine examining how Los Angeles became the world’s deadliest city for bicyclists.

Mayor Eric Garcetti seemingly addressed street-safety concerns in his annual budget proposal, setting aside a record-high $38 million for his signature traffic program Vision Zero. Now in its third year, the ambitious plan aims to eliminate all road deaths by 2025. “Fatalities are not a tolerable byproduct of transportation,” Garcetti said when he launched Vision Zero in August 2015. “Loss of life and severe injuries resulting from traffic crashes are unacceptable outcomes that we can address.”

April’s rash of hit-and-runs, however, show how the city’s Vision Zero program has gotten off to a rough start. Despite two years of analyzing data and installing small-scale safety measures like curb extensions and high-visibility crosswalks, last year was the deadliest in more than a decade: 245 people died on L.A. streets, nearly double the year before. More than 60 percent were hit and killed while walking or riding a bike—a 5 percent increase from when Vision Zero began.

The story looks at the power of LA city councilmembers to halt traffic safety projects in their districts, and the bikelash from angry drivers that forced the removal of bike lanes in Playa del Rey. As well as cowing councilmembers into canceling planned bike lanes in their districts.

And how Frederick “Woon” Frazier paid the price, killed by a hit-and-run driver on Manchester Blvd where a bike lane was supposed to be stripped, but wasn’t.

The piece also quotes yours truly and other LA bike advocates. But you’ll have to read it to see what we said.

Meanwhile, Bicycling picks up the story we discussed recently that ranked Los Angeles and New York as the nation’s two most dangerous cities for bike riders.

Never mind that they are also the nation’s two most populous cities, with a relatively high rate of bicycling. And would likely rank significantly lower if the study considered bicycling fatalities on a per capita basis.

Photo of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, killed in a hit-and-run on Manchester Blvd, where plans called for a bike lane as part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network.

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The LA River bike path will be closed until 2 pm tomorrow as a result of Wednesday’s thunderstorms.

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The second race in the Wolfpack Hustle 2018 Forsyth Cup takes place tomorrow at the Encino Velodrome. And once again, BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth will provide free hot dogs and hamburgers until they run out.

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My Figueroa looks at some of the connections the new protected bikeway will make possible.

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Local

A Bogota, Columbia newspaper looks at the spread of the city’s ciclovía to the City of Angels.

LA designers recommend bikes and e-scooters to get around during the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics; one suggests creating a permanent carfree CicLAvia route during the games.

Go Human is hosting a pop-up tomorrowon Glendora Ave in West Covina.

A Santa Clarita public safety campaign tells bike riders and runners to keep their “Heads Up.” Because really, bike riders and runners failing to look up is the primary cause of most crashes, right?

Santa Monica is ready to begin construction on connecting the city’s bike network to the Expo Line.

 

State

Ebikes are currently banned on state and federal trails, though that could change once California issues statewide regulations.

San Clemente commissioners delay a vote to allow ebikes on beach trails, while voting to require bike riders to walk across bridges, and limiting bikes to 6 mph on trails less than 10 feet wide.

California’s famed Highway 1 has re-opened through Big Sur after last year’s mud slide, to the delight of fantasizing bicyclists everywhere.

Uber discovers that San Franciscans would rather rent an ebike than take an Uber.

 

National

A new book by Adonia Lugo says bike advocates need to consider issues of race and class in bicycle planning discussions.

Merriam-Webster defines ten two-wheeled words every cyclist will want to know.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo is in rapid retreat in North America.

Fast Company takes a look at how much space American cities waste on parking.

A pair of academic librarians are taking three months off to bike across the country visiting libraries from DC to Oregon.

Hawaii became the latest state to adopt a three-foot passing law.

Portland bike riders have been slow to accept the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

Seattle considers adding more protected bike lanes in the downtown area, creating a full network of safe bikeways in the city within the next two years.

This is how you invite bike tourism. Arizona unveils a user-friendly, statewide online bike map, showing local bikeways as well as the 573-mile section of US Bicycle Route 90 through the state.

A member of the Moscow city council — no, the one in Idaho — just finished a 4,300 mile ride across the US following the Trans Am Bike Race route; he’s also the owner of the Hog Heaven Sausage Works.

In a problem bike riders nearly everywhere can relate to, a Chicago TV station took a 30-minute ride through the downtown area and ran into 18 blocked bike lanes.

Boston bikeshare companies say please use a seat cover if you’re going to ride sans culottes and/or au natural.

No surprise here, as NYC, which until recently banned all ebikes, has no plans to allows e-scooters.

Life is cheap in New York, where a truck driver who killed a bike rider in a left cross collision walks with just a $1,088 fine and a measly 75-day license suspension.

Philadelphia is the latest city to embrace human protected bike lanes to call attention to the need for safer infrastructure. Which have yet to make an appearance here in Los Angeles, on either count.

DC bicyclists and pedestrians turn out to protest a recent series of traffic death; as one advocate said, Vision Zero is a radical vision that requires a radical shift in how we do things. Meanwhile, a DC advocacy group says the term has lost its meaning, so just demand streets that don’t kill people.

A Virginia letter writer argues against a lane reduction and adding bike lanes when a street is repaved, calling it one of the safest corridors in the city — even though the city says it has one of the highest rates of KSI (killed or seriously injured) crashes.

Apparently, the US Postal Service is totally okay with their trucks blocking New York bike lanes.

Probably not the best idea to rear-end a police cruiser stopped on the shoulder of a Maryland highway.

 

International

You may be able to plug in your next Bianchi. But who says ebikes have to be heavy?

The stupidest advice for beginning cyclists.

Self recommends 12 international bicycling destinations you’ll want to add to your bike bucket list. I can personally attest to the second one, which travels over new trails through some of the most beautiful country in the US.

A Canadian bike rider was charged after crashing into the back of a truck while using his cellphone.

Toronto’s ambitious plan for new bike lanes is already falling behind, just two years after it was adopted. A feeling we in Los Angeles know all too well.

Road.cc looks at the new bike helmets introduced at the recent Eurobike. And considers the laws regarding bike bells in the UK, after a bizarre debate on the subject in the House of Lords.

London’s Telegraph questions whether you can really get fit riding an ebike. Short answer, yes, as long as it’s a ped-assist bike.

A British letter writer says bike racks may be ugly, but it’s better than having trees cut down by bike thieves after riders lock their bikes to them.

A Brit bike rider says go ahead and buzz him. Which is undoubtedly a minority opinion.

Police in the UK use an undercover officer on a bicycle equipped with cameras and distance sensors to catch drivers violating the country’s 1.5-meter safe passing distance, the equivalent of a five foot law here. We’ve repeatedly asked the LAPD to conduct similar operations, pointing out that distance sensors are now readily available. But no luck so far.

An Oslo study shows 45 minutes of bicycling can help ward off Type 2 diabetes, and ebikes could be key to helping people ride enough to protect their health. Although I put in over ten times that much every week for 30 years, and it didn’t do me a damn bit of good.

Another Oslo study has shown yet again that the health benefits of bicycling cancel out the risks of breathing dirty air.

Four members of a Saudi women’s bike team have become the first from that country to participate in the Global Biking Initiative (GBI) European tour.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, Team Sky holds the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. But if you haven’t been following the race, it’s probably not who you think.

Mark Cavendish vows to come back next year after missing the time cut on Wednesday’s stage, Marcel Kittel also missed the cut.

Columbian cyclist Rigoberto Uran withdrew after crashing on the cobbles during Sunday’s stage.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, who finished fourth last year, is also out after falling as a result of a crash between police motos; remarkably, he finished just 13 seconds behind the winner on the legendary Alpe d’Huez despite riding with a fractured vertebrae.

World champ Peter Sagan and his wife are getting divorced, less than four years after their very splashy marriage.

Malaysian cycling team had all ten of their bikes stolen from an Edmonton, Canada velodrome where they were training; kindhearted locals have pitched in to loan them replacements.

 

Finally…

Screw the race, what we really need is a better video game. Just stay the elk out of the forest for a few months, already.

And if you’re going to ride salmon on the freeway, at least wear a helmet. And some clothes.

 

2 comments

  1. Evan B. says:

    Shout out to Moscow, ID! Go Vandals!

  2. When I saw the picture of the nude cyclist on Twitter I thought it was a fake because the only thing not casting a shadow was the cyclist. Given that there was no official verification I’ still not convinced it wasn’t a hoax.

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