Morning Links: LA Vision Zero back from dead, Oakland hit-and-run driver caught, and lack of barriers on PCH

Maybe Los Angeles is finally ready to do something about Vision Zero.

Or maybe not.

After angry drivers protested the initial scoring system that gave priority to underserved communities and deaths involving vulnerable road users, the city council told the Vision Zero program to go back to the drawing board and base the results on unweighted data.

And the results are exactly what you’d expect.

According to LA Curbed, they identified 23 streets and 60 intersections in need of immediate improvement.

They could have saved time and just asked the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians, and probably come up with the pretty much the same list.

The most deadly corridor identified by transportation officials is a stretch of Imperial Highway between Athens Way and Vermont Avenue in South LA. Here, between 2013 and 2017, more than 21 people were killed or injured per mile of roadway.

The deadliest intersection is where Pacific Coast Highway meets Temescal Canyon Road, at the entrance to Will Rogers State Beach. Nine people were killed or seriously injured there during the same time frame…

The deadliest corridors are overwhelmingly concentrated in central Los Angeles, and they include segments of well-known and well-traveled thoroughfares like Hollywood, Sunset, Beverly, and Pico boulevards. Safety improvements are needed at multiple sections of some major streets, including Western, Normandie, and Vermont avenues.

But you already knew that, right?

Then again, most people could probably name at least 20 of the worst streets off the top of their heads.

Surprising, the story says road diets aren’t off the table, despite our weak-kneed mayor and councilmembers pulling the plug on virtually all of the ones implemented or under consideration over the past year.

See Playa del Rey, Temple St, et al.

Whether they’ll finally find the courage to stand up to impatient, traffic safety denying drivers remains to be seen.

But at least one member of the council gets it.

Talking about the minimal funding LA’s Vision Zero has received to date, with just $37 million allotted in the current budget, CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez had this to say.

“We at some point need to be very, very serious about this program and committed to funding it—and committed to getting to the communities that have been historically plagued with these accidents,” said Martinez at a committee hearing last month. “If we’re not going to be serious about that, then let’s not kid ourselves.”

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that left a 14-year old Oakland boy critically injured after the alleged asshole behind the wheel allegedly dragged the boy under his car for three blocks.

Video from the scene reportedly shows a man and a woman standing over the victim, watching him writhe in pain, before getting back in their car and driving away.

If they’re convicted, let’s hope they lock them both up in a deep hole for a very long time.

………

Longtime community advocate George Wolfberg points out that the section of southbound PCH above the parking lot for Will Rogers State Beach is largely unprotected by guard rails or other traffic barriers.

Which was undoubtedly a factor in Tuesday’s crash, where a bicyclist was critically injured by a car that flew off the highway and landed on its roof.

He reports that Caltrans will look into making a fix.

Let’s hope they do it before someone else gets hurt.

Meanwhile, a Reddit comment from someone who came on the scene shortly after the crash says that the victim was either riding in the parking lot or on the beach bike path when he or she was injured, rather than on PCH.

And suggests that the driver may have been under the influence, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

Unfortunately, there’s no update on the condition of the victim.

Thanks to Brian for the link.

………

Local

Time Out suggests taking time out to explore the LA-area’s best bike trails.

A proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Cordova Street received a surprisingly positive response at Tuesday’s public meeting. Pasadena Star-News columnist and occasional bicyclist Larry Wilson says he’s glad to see the failed fight over Orange Grove Blvd hasn’t killed road diets in the city.

Good thread from Megan Lynch on the benefits of an ebike conversion kit for a handicapped ‘bent rider.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is hosting a pair of rides on roads less traveled this month, with a gravel ride on January 20th, and a Specialized mountain bike demo ride on the 26th

Everyone hoping for the death of e-scooters may be disappointed, as Santa Monica-based bird raised yet another $300 million.

State

The California branch of the American Council of Engineering Companies has honored the state’s top engineering projects, including Long Beach’s Daisy-Myrtle Bike Boulevard and the Georgia Street Bridge in San Diego; the newly bike-friendly Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills got an honorable mention.

Sad news from the Fresno area, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run.

An Oakland man is suing a San Francisco driver, claiming he rear-ended the plaintiff’s bike at a red light, then got out, hit him and threw his bicycle.

National

You’ve got two more days to comment on a proposal to exclude ebikes from Trump’s crippling 25% Chinese tariffs.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says bicycling is only as dangerous as you make it. While I get the point, I’d say it’s more like bicycling is as dangerous as the roads you ride and the people around you make it, because there’s only so much you can control.

Strong Towns demonstrates the benefits of road design in slowing traffic with two simple photos. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

A cross-country bike ride to honor an Oregon man’s late father has morphed into an annual long-distance ride.

Seattle’s bike-hating shock jock says the city’s reasoning for why bike commuting rates are down is embarrassing, and that the argument that more people will ride if they have a connected network it ludicrous. Maybe he should try driving his car sometime when most of the streets are under construction, making it impossible to find a safe, connected route to his destination, and see how ludicrous that is.

If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle in Stow, Ohio, you’ve probably broken the law; a councilmember is proposing repealing an ordinance requiring a license to ride a bike in the city that no one seems to even know about.

Bike New York, the group behind the annual Five Boro Bike Tour, is finally entering the world of advocacy 18 years after its founding, hiring long time New York bike advocate and former NYDOT Policy Director Jon Orcutt to lead the effort. Thanks to Michael MacDonald for explaining to me why that matters.

Bike advocates call for Gotham to appoint the city’s first bike mayor.

More evidence that bike-friendly community status doesn’t mean much, as the Bike League bestows a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community award on the Florida county the New York Times calls the most dangerous place in the nation to ride a bike.

International

Thermal imaging may help make autonomous cars safer, but you may have to keep driving your own car for awhile.

Road.cc ranks their top ten road bikes of the year — two of which actually sell for the equivalent of under $1000.

Winnipeg considers a proposal to mandate bicycle registration at the point of purchase to combat what they describe as meth-fueled bike thefts.

The bicycling death of the Queen’s homeopathic physician in London show’s the need to prioritize people over motor vehicles, according to his sister; witnesses say he swerved in front of a truck traveling at just eight mph.

A bike-riding British truck driver says no, large trucks don’t have bicyclist-obscuring blind spots, too many drivers just don’t look.

An English driver got a measly three years for killing a bike rider while high on coke and cannabis.

Cellphone video shows an Irish man throwing a bicycle at a food delivery rider in an apparent road rage attack, then bravely running away when the rider confronts him.

Competitive Cycling

They get it. A New Zealand website says shaming a 91-year old US cycling champ for inadvertently failing a drug test is another black eye for anti-doping authorities.

Finally…

Why wait until after work to ride your bike — or pedal, anyway. And it takes a major schmuck to steal an award-winning bikemaker’s custom “Rat Rod” bikes after his unexpected death.

3 comments

  1. Allen Marin says:

    Thanks for the daily rundown. And glad you’re feeling better.

  2. Back in the ’80s when I was driving a conventional cab delivery truck I checked and you could lose a ’78 CVCC in the blind spot on the right front of the truck. I know this because it was my ’78 CVCC I almost hit in the parking lot. The CVCC was the step-up vehicle from the base Civic in 1978.

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