Morning Links: Surprise LA win for scooters, dockless bikeshare and ebikes, and bizarre concept bikes

One quick note on yesterday’s announcement, before we get on to the big news about scooters.

If you want to join the Militant Angeleno and me for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour, RSVP by emailing [email protected] 

We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

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Now, on to the day’s big news, as cooler heads finally prevailed in the great e-scooter debate at LA City Hall on Tuesday.

Rather than remove scooters from the mean streets of Los Angeles, as a handful of councilmembers had threatened to do, the council followed the example of Santa Monica and Long Beach by establishing a pilot program while the city works out a final set of rules.

Under the program, both dockless scooters and bikeshare bikes, which had previously been largely prohibited, will be allowed back on the streets.

According to the LA Times,

The companies will be limited to 3,000 scooters or bikes anywhere in the city, but can deploy up to 2,500 more in low-income areas, and an additional 5,000 vehicles in low-income neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley.

That 3,000 figure represents a significant decrease from the roughly 15,000 scooters Bird alone has already deployed on the streets.

In addition, scooters will be limited to the current top speed of 15 mph, and both bikes and scooters must be parked upright near street furniture, such as benches, bike racks and parking meters, on the other edge of the sidewalk.

Never mind that it is currently illegal to lock a bike to a parking meter in most of the city to avoid blocking handicapped access.

Any offending devices must be removed by the provider within two hours, or the city will charge them to do it.

Or people could just, you know, pick them up and move them out of the way, like I’ve done on a number of occasions.

Providers will also be required to make half of their bicycles ebikes to assist older or handicapped riders, or ensure that at least 1% of their fleet is handicapped accessible.

The process to grant licenses could take up to four months; however, both Bird and Lime are being grandfathered in, and will be allowed to keep up to 3,000 bikes and scooters on the streets in the meantime.

Those limits won’t apply to CD15 and CD4, in the Harbor and Westside areas, respectively, where pilot programs are already in place. So the actual total could be significantly higher.

A quote from the Times piece sums the day’s somewhat messy debate up nicely.

“Some folks see the dawn of scooters as a great opportunity,” said Westside Councilman Mike Bonin. “There are some who consider them to be a tremendous nuisance, blocking our sidewalks, and causing problems for seniors, children and people with disabilities.”

He added: “I happen to agree that both perspectives are true.”

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Just say no to these bizarre attempts to reinvent the bicycle.

Although that forkless bike is kind of cool.

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Forget the post Labor Day stress, and take a couple minutes to follow along on a killer singletrack ride.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

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Local

The LA Times examines the failure of the Metro Bike bikeshare in Pasadena due to low ridership, and the program’s continued failure to land a sponsor.

 

State

Tres shock! After a San Luis Obispo news site runs an expose informing the public that sometimes the city’s bike-friendly environmentalist mayor sometimes accepts rides in a car, the city’s newspaper says, “so what?

Davis is marking the 50th anniversary of its first-in-the-nation bike lane network, while serving as a model for its Korean sister city.

A Marin columnist says work is continuing to add a bikeway to the upper deck of the Richmond bridge, and says if the county won’t spring for a bike count to ensure people are actually using it, the paper will do it themselves.

 

National

Outside’s gear editor says it’s the smallest companies that will be hurt most by Trump’s tariffs on bikes and other outdoor equipment, and calls on readers to comment on the program by tomorrow.

NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson is stock car racing’s evangelist for bicycling.

Great idea. A middle school program available in Idaho, and 16 other states, helps students with behavioral or attention issues sharpen their focus and burn off excess energy by riding mountain bikes before school three days a week.

An Arkansas man has been sentenced to life without parole for the murder and robbery of a well-known world-traveling cyclist.

A Michigan TV station explains what bike boxes are and why. And how to use them.

A Michigan Navy vet with PTSD credits bicycling with helping him lose 280 pounds, and saving his own life.

Bighearted Michigan volunteers fix bicycles for homeless people in a church parking lot every month.

New York’s mayor has halted unprecedented plans to rip out a protected bike lane to satisfy a disgruntled congressman.

The Tennessee driver caught on video fleeing the scene after running down a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been sentenced to ten months in federal prison following his guilty plea; he had originally claimed someone had thrown a bike at his car. Seriously.

A 70-year old Alabama man was killed in a collision with a police officer; needless to say, the local mayor says it was just a tragic accident.

 

International

Bike Radar asks if riding easier gears is a sign of weakness.

The Department of DIY strikes in Toronto, where self-described safety vigilantes take traffic safety improvements into their own hands.

The BBC throws cold water on rumors of a serial killer stalking the canals of Manchester, England, after someone pushed a bike rider into one.

An 81-year old woman donates the Flying Scot bike she used to set a record for the 230-mile crossing of Scotland in 1967 to a local museum, after it was refurbished by her 71-year old friend.

Yesterday, we linked to the youngest bicyclist to ride the full length of Britain; today, it’s an 87-year old man who may be the oldest.

It will take the famed Paris Velib’ bikeshare system at least another year to get back to normal operation after a disastrous change in management companies last year. The question is whether it can get back on it’s feet in time to survive the competition from dockless bikeshare.

Travel & Leisure says the one thing every visitor to Copenhagen has to do is tour the city by bike.

A Croatian inventer has developed an $11,500 ebike favored by Lionel Messi and other top soccer stars. Even if it looks like an offroad motorcycle. Or maybe because it does.

A South African man has developed a prosthetic leg designed to “withstand the intense rigours of mountain bike competitions,” after losing his own leg in 2016.

Bike advocates in Perth, Australia show city councilors why they need to preserve bike paths by taking them for a ride on them. Which once again brings up the question of why no one has never done that with LA city leaders, when most agreed to meet and ride with bicyclists when they completed the LACBC’s candidate surveys.

In a move so rational it’s head spinning, traffic speeds in Aukland, New Zealand are set to drop in the city centers due to an increase in traffic deaths. Unlike California, where speeding drivers set the speed limits, safety be damned.

Singapore cuts the speed limit for bicycles and personal mobility devices used on sidewalks to less than 7 mph; the city-state will also require bike riders to wear helmets.

China has opened a nearly eight-mile long bicycle highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews calls 22-year old Marin County cross-country mountain biker Kate Courtney “perhaps the most talented young American cyclist racing today.”

Rouleur trumps that, calling Vincenzo Nibali “Arguably the finest, most complete racer of the current generation.” Even if he doesn’t always race like it.

Cycling Tips offers a photographic look back at the first week of the Vuelta; after a double blowout on Tuesday, only one second separates the leaders.

Go ahead and hit the CBD; the weed-derived product is no longer banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

 

Finally…

You can do anything by bike — even conduct a religious pilgrimage. Credit a bicycle and cycling maps for the first cross-county car trip.

And it takes a real schmuck to rearrange a giant bicycle display into one.

 

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