Morning Links: Fight over road diets goes national, flooding closes GMR, and Emperor Norton was one of us

Let’s start with an important piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton about the efforts of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving to take their crackpot anti-road diet fight national.

Advocates, alert: “Keep L.A. Moving,” a small, vindictive group of well-heeled westsiders with little regard for the safety of L.A.’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents, is now pushing its disinformation to a national audience – or, at least, attempting to – by rebranding itself as “Keep The U.S. Moving…”

As bicycle advocate Peter Flax has noted, KLAM’s work seems to thrive best in closed-door conservative echo chambers, like Nextdoor and closed Facebook groups. From there, they work to seed aligned broadcast media, including right-wing radio, where their claims are not questioned. When their dubious assertions, for example “[road diets cause] more accidents, more pollution, more gridlock, heavy traffic,” are actually aired in public debate, or studied using actual real world data, they just don’t hold up.

Like climate change deniers, these “Keep Moving” groups deny data-based studies showing that speed kills and that road diets work

Behind all their crackpot assertions is the empowerment of drivers in well-to-do communities. These ideologues push for unfettered driver access at the expense of safety for all road users, particularly those who have the fewest mobility choices available to them and who are most at-risk to harm. The “right” of this handful of disgruntled drivers to speed is costing the lives of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, this is a double whammy to low-income communities of color, whose residents continue to die at higher rates. And as Rutgers’ Charles Brown points out, minority communities overlooked for road diet safety improvements “receive enforcement” instead.

It’s well worth clicking the link to read all of Linton’s hard-hitting story.

Because these are the people who, so far at least, have succeeded in halting road diets and other vital safety measures in Los Angeles, keeping our streets dangerous and deadly so people like them can continue to drive unimpeded.

At least until LA’s inevitable encroaching gridlock forces them to a full stop.

And if they have their way, everywhere.

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Popular riding route Glendora Mountain Road is closed until further notice due to flooding.

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Robs Muir sends us photographic proof that San Francisco’s beloved Emperor Norton was one of us, too.

Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

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Anyone planning to ride to work this Friday for International Winter Bike to Work Day?

If you want to discuss it with a reporter for the new Spectrum News 1 channel, email Jada Montemarano at jada.montemarano[email protected].

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Local

Speaking of Spectrum News 1, they offer a nice piece on South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, which isn’t just for kids. Or African-Americans.

UCLA is offering a week-long, 550-mile bike tour along the California coast to learn firsthand about the impacts of climate change, and possible solutions. Solution #1 — ditch the car, and ride a bike. Thanks to Audrey Kopp for the heads-up.

A Pasadena neighborhood association says the city’s proposed Cordova Street traffic calming project has a lot to like, even if it doesn’t connect with the Gold Line.

The Signal takes a look at Santa Clarita’s new Pace docked bikeshare system.

State

Can you say, duh? A San Diego TV station reports a sharp increase in traffic tickets issued to scooter riders last year — which makes sense, since it was the first full year they were in operation.

Work is almost finished on San Francisco’s newest protected bike lane.

Sonoma officials identify the homeless man who was beaten to death by two other men in a dispute over bicycle; he had served as a mentor to other people who were new to the streets.

Sacramento is the next California city to get e-scooters.

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says chill out about that scary sounding medical study on e-scooter injuries, noting that only 15 of the 249 victims were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.

Outside examines how energy bars became America’s favorite snack food.

A writer for Fast Company takes a spin in a 300-pound e-trike, and pronounces it the future of urban deliveries.

A driving website calls the micromobility movement part revolution and part gold rush, naming 2018 the Year of the Scooter.

No surprise here. Denver’s docked bikeshare system is losing riders to the convenience of e-scooters.

The mayor of a Chicago suburb threatens to ticket every member of a group ride if they don’t stop for every stop sign. Yes, they are legally required to stop. Even though it would piss off every driver on the street street when they proceed through every intersection one at a time.

Chicago Streetsblog looks back on the life of a bike courier in the 1990s. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

A Massachusetts town wants to become a bicycling city, building on a bike heritage that goes back over 100 years. Although honestly, just about every city and town can say that; it’s what happened in the past 50 or 60 years that matters.

David Drexler forwards a Bloomberg piece about the reasons for a sudden uptick in New York Uber and taxi fares, which ends with “Have you considered biking?”

Great idea. Bike riders in Athens, Georgia can get discounts at participating businesses by attaching a $5 sticker to their helmets.

No bias here. A Georgia college student gets the blame in the local media for hitting a bus with his bike, when he was actually right-hooked as he came off the sidewalk. Yes, he should have slowed or stopped before riding out into the crosswalk, and probably shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk in the first place. But the driver bears responsibility for apparently not noticing him on the sidewalk and pausing to let him cross the street.

International

Cycling Weekly offers 13 inspirational cycling quotes to live your life by. Personally, I like the one from South African Bishop Desmond Tutu.

A British Columbia high school student returned home from an international environmental engineering competition with a bronze medal for her solar-powered e-trike.

A Hamilton, Ontario safety advocate says the city’s Vision Zero plan is a lot of fluff. Not that Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians can relate that or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. A London motorist suffered serious injuries when a road raging driver intentionally plowed into him as he stood next to his car following a minor collision; no word on whether the other driver was arrested.

A British food delivery rider faces a charge of willful misconduct for a bike crash that left an eight-year old girl with a fractured skull.

Scraping the bottom of the ethical barrel, a driver in the UK faked brain damage to avoid doing jail time for killing a man on a bike while driving at twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road; he’s now doing six and a half well-deserved years.

London’s Telegraph recommends Dubai’s “surprisingly mountainous” bicycling routes.

Some drivers continue to say bike riders are hard to see. Apparently, so are Australian garbage trucks.

Aussie medical professionals are sounding the alarm about dangerous aggression from motorists directed towards people on bicycles. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day, for that matter.

Competitive Cycling

British pro cyclist Scott Auld was lucky to escape with a broken collarbone and various other injuries when he was the victim of a car crash while training in Spain; he was riding on the inside of a double pace line when the rider next to him was clipped by a driver on the wrong side of the road, crashing into him and sending him flying down a ravine.

Finally…

Who needs wheels when you’ve got skis? When you’re semi-royal, love dogs and the press has no idea what a cargo bike is.

And if you’re on parole with outstanding warrants, carrying an illegal weapon and ghost riding another bike along with yours, put a damn light on it — 

Your bike, not the other one.

Or maybe both.

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