Morning Links: LA Times takes MyFig to task, 111-year old indoor cyclist dies, and a look at the Marathon Crash Ride

One quick request before we get started.

My nephew is in the final semester of film school, and in need of a location for his senior project.

If you know of a high-rise building in the LA area that has a long hallway with an elevator and multiple office doors, and might be open to a low budget student shoot, let me know.

You can reach me at the address on the About page.

………

Here’s a must read we missed yesterday.

An op-ed in the Sunday Los Angeles Times makes the case that the troubled MyFigueroa project represents everything that’s wrong with LA’s alternative transportation efforts.

At the project’s launch last August, Mayor Eric Garcetti boasted of a “safer” and “more enjoyable” way to get around Los Angeles — a harbinger of our transit-friendly, less-car-reliant future.

But when I hopped on a bike share and rode the entire south to north length of the project, I discovered the same patchwork approach to safety that governs the rest of L.A.’s infrastructure….

In isolation, and for blocks at a time, MyFig’s enhancements are worthwhile, even exemplary. But benevolently making things safer for a block or two — only moments later leaving anyone without a car inconvenienced at best, in danger at worst — isn’t enough of an improvement.

As a pilot redesign, what MyFig doesn’t do is as instructive as what it does.

Meanwhile, the paper lists what we got for our $20 million. And it ain’t pretty.

For anyone who remembers the long, difficult process getting the MyFig project off the ground, the final result comes as no surprise.

At every step along the way, compromises were made to appease business owners and drivers, from AAA, who have their SoCal headquarters on the street, to Felix Chevrolet, which didn’t want to give up free street parking.

Too many times, bike riders and pedestrians were frozen out of the discussions to resolve any issues.

So what resulted was a project that was, in effect, designed by a committee that didn’t want it there in the first place.

And not surprisingly, ended up as a very incomplete Complete Street.

………

Let’s all wish a heartfelt rest in peace to LA’s own Henry Tseng, who pulled himself out of his wheelchair every day and onto an exercise bike at the gym.

At 111 years old.

We should all want to be like him when we grow up.

………

The Los Angeles Daily News looks back at the short history of the Marathon Crash Ride, crediting “the notorious” Don Ward for its scofflaw beginnings.

………

This is what it looks like when a bike rider barrels onto a British country road without looking, and onto the hood of a car.

Meanwhile, another “shocking” video captures the close calls and near misses that come with riding a bike in Liverpool.

Although it’s only really shocking if you don’t spend much time on a bike yourself, wherever you ride.

………

Local

Interesting work from Kegel.com, teasing out virtually every bike-related LA City Council file for the last six years.

The LACBC reports the Arroyo Seco Bike Path is closed to repair storm damage.

The LA Times says yes, Los Angeles will collect data on every scooter ride you take, but no, Big Brother isn’t watching.

Velo Club LaGrange returns to sponsoring a road race this June after the demise of the popular Brentwood Grand Prix, with closed course race at the Porsche Experience Center.

CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin offers an overview of Westside Fast Forward, a series of projects designed to help reduce congestion and provide alternatives to driving, including Metro bikeshare and dockless e-scooters. Although it’s disappointing that one of LA’s most bike-friendly councilmembers didn’t even mention building out the bike plan.

Community members pitched in, along with Reseda Bicycle, to help a 91-year old woman get a new adult tricycle after her customized trike was stolen from Pierce College.

The LACBC’s April Sunday Funday Ride rolls through historic San Fernando, rescheduling a ride that got washed out last month.

The Santa Monica Daily Press identifies the victim of last week’s fatal scooter crash, recalling him as gentle, kind and helpful.

State

A new bill in the state legislature would transform how projects are funded and managed under California’s Active Transportation Program, allocating 75% of funds to regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

A woman riding a bike in El Cajon suffered undisclosed major injuries when she was struck by the driver of an SUV on Sunday.

Indian Wells continues to be dangerous for people on bicycles, as a bike rider suffered unknown injuries when he was struck by the driver of a minivan. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A new bike co-op has launched to provide free refurbished bikes for kids in East Palo Alto, as well as teaching them wrenching skills.

A Sacramento cyclist is back to racing after discovering a congenital heart defect at age 56.

Sonoma and Marin County bike riders feel like they’re getting the short end of the bike path, as a promised 54-mile bikeway paralleling a new train line is only one-third complete.

They get it. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat calls for making hit-and-run a felony for everyone.

National

The Bike League has released their benchmarking report for bicycling and walking in the US.

People for Bikes is in the market for a marketing director.

Good advice for Los Angeles. The Brooking’s Institute says stop trying to solve unsolvable traffic problem, and start building great places.

A bike parking and bollard maker lists twelve outstanding Twitter accounts for followers of active transportation. No, really. I’m sure BikinginLA was number 13, right?

Writing for Outside, Joe Lindsey calls for a truce in the bike helmet wars.

Fast Company says the scooter wars are really a hundred years old.

Talk about burying the lede. An Alaskan drunk driver drove onto a sidewalk and plowed into two kids riding their bikes, seriously injuring them. But the local paper oddly leads off with traffic news.

A Manhattan, Kansas volunteer group provides a free, privately funded 160-bike bikeshare system that rolls out every year when the weather warms up.

The Chicago Tribune looks at Black Girls Do Bike, saying it brings the physical and emotional benefits of bicycling to women of all levels.

How to write a bad headline. A Kentucky TV station appears to suggest that a man was somehow killed after a self-riding bicycle and a self-driving car collided.

Sad news from Boston, where a 71-year old man died in a collision with another rider on a bike path.

Good op-ed from the New York Times looking at how cities around the world are getting the message that streets are for people, not cars. And LOS has got to go.

Philly bike riders wisely conclude that if you’re going to ride naked to call for better bike safety, you should at least do it in a warmer month.

Turns out placing bicycles around the city as a guerrilla ad campaign for a liquor maker is perfectly legal in Philadelphia.

International

Fast Company examines eight cities around the world that are taking bod steps to get rid of cars. Hint: Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Outside lists their take on the world’s 25 best bike rides right now, including May’s Belgian Waffle Ride in San Marcos.

Your next bike could be a ped-assist, reverse tricycle ebike that leans into corners to improve performance.

An Ontario, Canada bike lane becomes an instant challenger for the world’s scariest green bike lane.

A British bike club composed of porn stars vows to continue riding and raising funds for charity, despite losing official recognition.

This is who we share the sidewalks with. A woman in the UK faces charges for punching a grandmother for walking too slowly.

Amsterdam’s nine-year old junior bike mayor explains what it takes to make the city safe for kids. Needless to say, Los Angeles doesn’t have a bike mayor, junior or otherwise.

Belgium attempts to boost bike sales and increase ridership by cutting the Value Added Tax on bicycles by over 70%.

You’ve got to hand it to German officials, who somehow thought using skimpily clad models saying “Looks like shit. But saves my life.” was the best way to promote bike helmet use. And then stand by their decision in the face of well-deserved criticism.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list. Rome has announced plans for a 155-mile bike path leading from the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Basilica of St. Frances of Assisi.

An Indian hit man put that line about “if you want to get away with murder, use a car” into practice, getting away with a hit-and-run that killed a bike rider for five years before police realized it was a contract killing.

Competitive Cycling

Now that’s impressive. A South African mountain bike race fielded its first all-handicapped team competing against able-bodied riders.

Six current and former pro cyclists open up about their own depression, including LA’s Phil Gaimon.

Finally…

Who says you can’t move a sofa across town on a Lime scooter? Let’s hope they start making these in bike shorts.

And the message here seems to be that autonomous cars will knock your legs off.

2 comments

  1. Alan Coovert says:

    In national news, the 71 year old cyclist that was killed in Boston was my brother, Cary Coovert. He was riding on the Minute Man Bike Path, Sunday March 24th. Somehow when my brother and the other cyclist collided they clipped handlebars head-on and they were both thrown to the ground. My brother was wearing a helmet but he landed on his head with such force that the helmet broke in half. My brother died of a massive brain injury. The other cyclist was also hospitalize in critical condition. My brother was an experienced bike commuter, cycling to work for many years in Boston. Sunday he was out on a recreational ride to enjoy a crisp Spring day. I’m also an experience bike commuter so I understand that bad things can happen to anybody at any time. I know he was killed doing something that he loved but I am so sad and will miss him every day the rest of my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: