Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

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Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

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Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

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Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

3 comments

  1. Momskid says:

    Walking does not come with full instructions. Mom THANKS me for what I a master at URBAN foot mobility have shared- maybe ‘you’ won’t resent it. I carry all cargo in limbs. EVEN a moment wearing backpack on back can do real damage despite speedcut of two thirds as I recently approached a crowded storefront where no dirt or grass was present learned.

    So two carriers not one if not wheels are needed when hauling and NEVER USE CONCRETE WHEN GRASS CAN BE ENJOYED!

    HUGE bribing in Santa Monica I know and desert wide to put plastic carpet that looks like cusioning ever renewing nirvana to our drivetrain if no damage and cardio MATTER is mad. Laws requiring grass carpet have ample padding can save our ass, WORLD, back… Keep on the grass or look back before smashing balls nto stone again next time son please.

  2. That bike shuttle shares many problems with poorly-thought-out transit, to wit lack of headway. Three times a day is not going to get people using the shuttle except in rare cases where an all-day trip is planned and there is no critical return time aside from the transit schedule.

  3. David says:

    That’s ridiculous that someone just crashed into you on a scooter on the sidewalk. There has to be some liability for that behavior!

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