Morning Links: Battle over LA streets, bike events, e-scooter legislation, and new bike lanes in Beverly Hills

The battle for LA’s streets made it into the pages of Los Angeles Magazine.

Writer Andy Hermann examines the fight over road diets, or what traffic safety deniers describe as “lane theft.”

“It’s just created havoc,” says John Russo of KeepLAMoving, an organization that sued the city to remove the Playa del Rey bike lanes. That Venice Boulevard already had a bike lane (albeit an unprotected one) and hadn’t seen a cyclist death since 2010 has only added to the outrage. “I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a good explanation as for why Venice Boulevard needed a road diet,” says Selena Inouye of Restore Venice Blvd., a neighborhood group opposed to what it calls the L.A. Department of Transportation’s “lane theft.”

Which suggest that drivers do, in fact, own the roads. Or at least think they do.

However, there is another side to the argument.

In a region with the world’s worst traffic congestion (for six years running, according to transportation analytics firm INRIX), it’s hard to fault people who would rather drive than bike for being impatient. But it’s also hard to blame people who opt out of driving and choose to pedal. “Our streets are already built out,” says Rogers. “There’s no room to expand them. So the only way to guarantee the failure of our streets is to do nothing. If you keep doing exactly what we’re doing now, we will reach a dystopian future where our streets are so gridlocked that nobody can move at all.”

 

And yes, that’s me he’s quoting there.

It’s worth reading the full piece.

Then maybe get mad, and demand that the lives of human beings start taking priority over the convenience of selfish drivers.

And do something to save our lives, and our city, while we still can.

………

Let’s catch up with a few upcoming events to add to your calendar.

Pure Cycles is hosting a Bike Metro Back to Basics bicycle education class at their Burbank headquarters tomorrow.

Also on Saturday, Metro Bike Share is hosting Pedals and Pitstops — Back to the Beach along the Venice canals and the Artists & Fleas LA on Abbot Kinney.

On Sunday, join with the Street Librarians Ride to replenish little street libraries in Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Metro presents the Pride of the Valley open streets event on September 16th in Baldwin Park and Irwindale.

The ultimate CicLAvia rolls on September 30th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the LA Phil with a massive, eight-mile street party connecting Walt Disney Hall in DTLA with the Hollywood Bowl.

BikeSGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash on December 1st.

………

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature could make it considerably easier to use an e-scooter.

AB 2989 would still require a driver’s license to use a motorized scooter, but it would eliminate the requirement for a helmet for anyone over 18.

It would also allow scooters to be legally used on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph, or on higher limit streets that have bike lanes.

They’re currently limited to streets with bike lanes, or a speed limit of just 25 mph.

………

It’s official. Hell has frozen over.

………

A new study says not so fast on the bike helmets.

According to the study, four times as many drivers and five times as many pedestrians died of head injuries, compared to bike riders.

While head injuries accounted for 46% of bicycle deaths, 25% of drivers killed in traffic collisions died of head injuries, as did 42% of pedestrians.

Yes, studies have shown that bike helmets are effective in reducing the risk of head injuries.

But no one suggests that pedestrians should wear them, let alone people in cars, where they could theoretically save far more lives.

………

Local

The East Side Bike Club is raising funds to provide bicycle safety eduction to kids in South LA.

Former LA pro Phil Gaiman offers his insights on seventeen pieces of awesome summer cycling gear in the latest Men’s Journal.

A 10-year old junior Jonathan Gold reviews Culver City’s new bike themed Super Domestic Coffee.

Pasadena bought new Complete Streets software to identify gaps in the street networks, and design solutions while keeping the public involved, in hopes of avoiding more disastrous meetings like the one that killed plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd.

Long Beach gets nearly $1 million dollars in Caltrans grants to make zoning changes and create complete streets on the city’s north side.

 

State

After this year, you can be charged with hit-and-run if you leave the scene of a crash on an off-road bike path. Governor Brown signed AB 1755 last week, which removes any question of whether hit-and-run laws apply to bike riders on trails; the law takes effect Jan 1st.

CiclaValley explores California’s Central Coast by bike.

A 28-year old woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Crockett on Tuesday.

If you live or ride in the East Bay Area, take a few minutes to sign a petition calling for the Major Taylor Bike Park and Velodrome in Richmond.

 

National

A new study that should surprise absolutely no one shows UberPool and Lyft Line are making traffic congestion worse, and helping to creat a hostile environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Portland’s famed Velo Cult bike shop is closing its doors, six years after moving from San Diego. The shop, which was unable to keep up with requirements to maintain it’s license to serve beer, will now focus exclusively on e-commerce, which does not require a local liquor license. Thanks to brer bear for the heads-up.

Nevada has its first official US Bicycle Route.

A Flagstaff AZ public radio reporter goes for a ride with a pair of experienced women’s mountain bikers who are mentoring the next generation of riders.

Houston PD is the latest big city police department to use an electronic device to measure precisely when drivers come too close to people on bicycles. Meanwhile, the LAPD doesn’t.

A 77-year old Texas man has put together his own guide on how bicyclists and motorists can share the road. Although it would help if you can read upside down if you want to know what it says.

Once again, a state department of transportation does the right thing once it’s too late, as Rhode Island officials study the lack of effective safety measures on a bike path after a six-year old boy was killed in a collision.

A bike path around DC’s National Zoo is closed for the next year after heavy rains cause the pathway to crumble and tumble into a creek.

If you know a diocese that’s looking for a killer bishop with a drinking problem — who apparently still refuses to take responsibility for her actions — former Baltimore Episcopal bishop Heather Cook has applied for work release from her well-deserved sentence for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014.

This month’s Miami Critical Mass will be dedicated to Miami native Patrick Wanninkhof, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on an Oklahoma highway in 2015; his childhood friend Janna Belle says her latest music video was inspired by the crash.

 

International

Police in Hamilton, Ontario are looking for witnesses in a five year old murder case, where someone in a pickup chased down a bike rider before running him over.

Montreal bikeshare bikes will soon come equipped with lasers that project an image of a bicycle on the pavement ahead.

London announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2041, after already reducing fatalities 50% over the past decade.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British rider was clotheslined by a rope strung across a bike path at chest level.

Police in the UK are looking for two young mountain bikers who punched a driver after blocking his car. As usual, no word on what the driver might have done to encourage the assault. Which does not make it right in any way.

British schools are starting to prohibit parents from using motor vehicles to drop their kids off at school in the name of safety. Doing that here would not only improve safety, but the health of the students, while dramatically reducing morning traffic congestion and improving air quality.

An English woman was rescued by four strangers who lifted a car off her after the driver hit her bike.

The UK’s growth in cycling is being driven by experienced bicyclists riding more and further, rather than more people taking it up.

Never mind that ban on bicycles in Prague’s city center; a city court has overturned a law prohibiting bike riding in pedestrian zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling discusses what it’s like to drive a race moto in the Tour de France. Hopefully without putting any more cyclists in the hospital.

What it’s like to have someone grab your arm while leading the Tour.

Pro cyclists debate whether the super tuck position on descents should be banned.

The New York Times considers the Tour de France’s continued insistence on maintaining the sexist and outdated tradition of having podium girls.

 

Finally…

Canadians love separated bike lanes, as long as they’re in someone else’s neighborhood. And Lance wants your love.

 

4 comments

  1. Bobby Peppey says:

    So glad that our Democrat legislators in Sacramento have finally recognized the appalling number of bicyclists hit and runs. As fatalities mount into the hundreds every year in Los Angeles by these reckless bicyclists it is now time for Democrat Los Angeles City CouncilmembersPaul Koretz and Gil Gedillo to go even further in Los Angeles by introducing a dismount at intersections ordinance for all bicyclists in Los Angeles. Remember bicyclists in the words of LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds “safety first”.

  2. Fred Davis says:

    Perhaps Selena missed all the “good explanations” because she and her ilk were to busy shouting and disrupting the Community Council meetings where this was presented and discussed in detail on several occasions.

  3. Ralph says:

    The problem of keeping the public involved. When I was is Sunnyvale there was always that problem. Notices sent out to affected areas, meetings in the affected areas, usually in the evenings to try and maximize the participation. Few people showing up.

    Then at the planning commission meetings and city counsel hoards who hadn’t been told anything because it was just sprung on them before they even knew…..

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