Morning Links: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

………

File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

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

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

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Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

………

I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

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