Archive for bikinginla

See you on Tuesday

Let’s just call it an early start to the three day weekend.

A number of problems have kept me from being able to write tonight. So rather than keep fighting it, I’m going to throw in the towel and try to get a little rest for a change.

Get out and ride your bike, and enjoy the holiday. Just ride safely.

And I’ll see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning.

Morning Links: Miscreant scooter users, Safe Routes to Schools in Boyle Heights, and Giant bikes in Ventura

It’s a relatively quiet news day, so let’s get right to it.

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Local

The LA Times asks if e-scooter startup Bird can control the behavior of miscreant scooter users.

Los Angeles broke ground on a Safe Routes to Schools project designed to improve safety for people biking and walking to Breed and Sheridan elementary schools, and should eventually include a road diet and bike lanes on Soto Street in Boyle Heights.

 

State

The Ventura County Star applauds Giant Bicycles North American operations, which is headquartered in Newbury Park; the area’s US congresswoman recently toured the plant to promote National Bike Month.

 

National

A writer for Outside says women face sexual harassment on the roads, in addition to the harassment they face just for riding a bike. Meanwhile, the magazine offers eight pieces of bike gear to keep you safe on your commute. And no, pepper spray isn’t one of them, but maybe it should be.

Bicycling considers the annual Remember the Removal ride, with 18 members of the Cherokee nation riding their bikes along the infamous Tail of Tears to honor their ancestors who were forced to march from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A website for engineers and designers asks what all the buzz about ebikes is about. And proceeds to answer their own question.

A Mac website reviews the Apple Watch-controlled Lumos bike helmet, and likes it — if you’re willing to fiddle with it to keep it working properly.

Bend OR bike riders complain the city’s bike lanes have become an obstacle course.

Denver uses inexpensive rubberized curbs to form traffic circles to create a neighborhood bikeway. Which is a reminder that we were promised an actual network of Bicycle Friendly Streets — which everyone interpreted as another name for bike boulevards — in both the 2010 bike plan and the subsequent Mobility Plan 2035. None of which has appeared, by any name.

He gets it. A Colorado writer says safer streets will mean more people on bicycles. And that’s a good thing.

In a rare example of a town pulling together to honor fallen riders, a Kansas town installs a ghost bike to honor a pair of German bike tourists who were killed while riding on the famed Route 66. The police donated the bicycle, while the local convention and visitors bureau worked with the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association to acquire the land and install the bike. Although a better way to honor them might be filing charges against the 23-year old driver who killed them.

A Nebraska bike rider credits his helmet for saving him when he hit a loose chunk of asphalt at 23 mph and went flying, landing on his head and skidding 15 feet. As we’ve said many times before, a bike helmet should always be seen as a last resort when all else fails. But I’ve been very glad I had mine when it did.

Michigan legislators vote to approve a three-foot passing distance, and require at least one hour of bike, motorcycle and vulnerable user instruction in driver education classes. However, that’s a step down from the bill’s original five-foot passing distance.

New York developers are adding bicycling amenities to compete for buyers and residents.

A Philadelphia TV station asks why cyclists keep dying on the city’s streets. Maybe someday an LA station will finally ask that same question.

The war on bikes goes on, as a Baltimore firefighter is charged with lifting a young black man up by the throat in a public bike lane meeting.

Let’s hope a Florida Patch site made a typo in the subhead, saying construction will begin construction on a project “designed to the death of cyclists” at a deadly intersection. More surprising is learning there are still Patch sites lingering around.

 

International

If you want to live longer, ditch the drive to work.

As usual, bike riders won a commuting race in Vancouver, beating people who drive or took transit. And won on commuting costs, too.

The sponsors of a British Columbia Bike to Work Week offer five reasons to ride your bike, including it’s social and ridiculously fun. Which may just be the best reason.

The trucking industry in Halifax, Nova Scotia is fighting proposed regulations to require side guards on trucks to save lives in right hook collisions. Which should be required on every truck, everywhere.

A Halifax paper offers tips on how to become a better bicyclist.

The parents of a fallen Canadian bicyclist urge the coward who fled the scene after killing their son to turn him — or her — self in. Proving that hit-and-run is not just a Los Angeles, or even a California, problem.

No shit. A British judge tells a convicted drunk driver she’s a danger to the public, as he tosses her appeal to have her sentence for killing a teenage bike rider reduced, especially since she had three previous DUI convictions.

A UK campaign calls on the government to teach the Dutch Reach in the face of rising dooring incidents.

An Edinburgh couple wasn’t satisfied with the choices they had for bike jackets, so they designed one that converts to a messenger bag or rolls up under your seat. There’s eight days left to grab one for around $250 on Indiegogo.

An Indian website profiles a 17-year old boy who has overcome cerebral palsy to excel at cycling in the Special Olympics.

Factor Daily looks at leading Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo’s plans for India, the second most populous country after China.

Australian bike riders push for a law that would require a high tech device in all cars that would completely block cellphone use while the car is in motion. We need that here, although there should be an exception for 911 calls.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips offers a great photo essay from the recent Amgen Tour of California. But wasn’t there a women’s race, too?

The same site says Tour of California winner Egan Bernal really is that good.

That big Italian bike race is in its final week.

 

Finally…

Jensie loves Johnny Cash. How to pedal pot.

And when you’re not sure if safety barriers are there to slow riders down or injure them.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in Boyle Heights, defusing a suspicious package, and a little bike satire

The LAPD’s Central Traffic Division reports a bike rider was injured in a collision at Mission and Sichel in Boyle Heights.

However, the comment about bike helmets was not well received on Twitter, as a number of commenters took exception.

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No, seriously. It’s probably not the best idea to break through a police cordon on your bike, and defuse a suspicious package yourself.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s hope this one is satire, as Toronto authorities announce the opening of dooring season to cull the existing cyclist population.

Looks like the Onion has some serious competition.

Thanks to Harv for the link.

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Local

KABC-7 looks at the “controversial” Mar Vista Great Streets road diet on Venice Blvd, where some drivers have no problem finding the supposedly non-existent parking.

LA Street Services has repaired 50,000 square feet of bike lanes on Forrest Lawn Drive. This is great news; more bike riders have complained to me about the condition of the Forrest Lawn bike lanes than any other street in the LA area.

Somehow, Los Angeles manages to fix steep Baxter Street for drivers and homeowners just days after a story appears in the LA Times. But can’t manage to fix the streets where people actually get killed.

Ebike and e-scooter maker GenZe names Los Angeles number five on the list of the top ten ebike cities in the US.

The Arts District just got a little more walkable, if not bikeable.

The Long Beach Post talks with a badass bike courier who’s living her best life on the streets of the city. And highlights the story with some bikie Insta posts.

 

State

Davis gets a new Bicycle Program coordinator for the platinum level bicycle friendly community. Whose main job is probably to just not screw things up.

Speaking of Davis, the UC campus now has dockless e-bikeshare.

 

National

Two Portland bike riders have been injured in right hook collisions at the same intersection in two weeks.

The victim of last weekend’s mountain lion attack in Washington had recently earned a Ph.D in philosophy from Boston College. Personally, I don’t care why the cougar attacked; I’m more concerned with what to do if you run into one.

Colorado’s 46-year old Iron Horse Bicycle Classic covers two high country mountain passes, and draws everyone from serious cyclists to people just out for a little fun.

Congratulations to Kansas for keeping a dangerous drunk on the roads until it was too late, as a 34-year old driver faces charges for critically injuring a woman riding her bike — including a charge for at least his fourth DUI. Seriously, drunk or stoned drivers should face a two strikes and you’re out rule. First DUI conviction and you lose your license for a year; second conviction and you lose it permanently. And every DUI should be a felony.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Iowa, where a Louisiana man has been sentenced to five years for driving over a RAGBRAI participant who was sleeping in his tent.

An allegedly road-raging Wisconsin man is going on trial for knocking two cyclists into a ditch; he claims he was totally innocent and the bike riders hogged the roadway, flipped him off, and then inexplicably swerved into his car. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s not just NASCAR racers who are into bikes, as Bicycling rides the famed Indianapolis Brickyard with three of the top IndyCar drivers.

It takes some major skills to do stunts on a 45-pound New York bikeshare bike.

Medium considers how New York bike lanes actually get made.

A former North Carolina city manager offers advice on how to stay safe on bike, after his own father was killed while bicycling. Although can we please, please, please stop citing that long-discredited figure that bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85%?

An English man is back on his bike, seven months after he was nearly killed while riding in Florida, just 350 miles short of finishing a ride across the US.

 

International

Momentum Magazine profiles the cross-party cycling caucus in the Canadian parliament.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Canadian man is still biking 155 miles to work every week. And yes, I intend to still be working on this site at that age.

A Toronto editorial says the city’s Vision Zero program has has zero impact so far.

An Ottawa columnist says the city needs a full network of connected and segregated bike lanes. Any chance we could get him to move down here and make the same case for LA?

A new British study shows bicycling to work can cut your risk of heart disease by a third.

A writer for the Guardian says it’s time to send the UK government a message about what it would take to get you on your bike.

A British father will bike 300 miles to raise funds for a charity, two years after he was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down in a bicycling collision.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like when a masked man jumps out at you swinging a weapon as you ride on an English pathway, then changes his mind and simply walks away.

Less than 30% of the rush hour trips in Dublin, Ireland are made by car, as most people now commute by public transport, bike or walking. Seriously, if they can do it, Los Angeles can — if we have the political will.

Bengaluru’s first bicycle mayor has been leading the fight for sustainable transport for six years in the city also known as Bangalore.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real, as a Kiwi bicyclist suffered a broken hip when he was repeatedly brake-checked by an angry driver.

Two New Zealand bicyclists have been killed on the same deadly roadway just five weeks apart, as bike riders say the road should have been fixed years ago. Unfortunately, dangerous situations like this and the one in Portland usually get fixed only after it’s too late. If then.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former pro Tyler Hamilton says he may have been a doper, but motor doping is going too far, even if he thinks some in the pro peloton are doing it.

Speaking of motors, the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at the coming grudge match between LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara. Which sadly won’t be available on TV, even though I’d gladly pay to see that one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride salmon on a freeway. Introducing cross-bikes you ride along, not on.

And first it was cougars, now we have to deal with road raging moose.

 

Morning Links: More Venice Blvd disinformation, study says road diets save lives, and East Side Riders video

Sometimes I don’t even know where to start.

In his latest column, the Mar Vista Community Council’s self-appointed traffic planner/dermatologist Kenneth Alpern says it’s time to stop all the lies and abuse on Venice Blvd.

Which I assume means he won’t be writing anymore.

Especially since he doesn’t seem to have a problem co-opting the #TimesUp movement for something that has nothing to do with sexual harassment.

Never mind that he’s the one who’s been dishing out abuse towards anyone who disagrees with him, particularly Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Then again, that comes with their jobs.

But it doesn’t — or at least shouldn’t — be part of the job description for LADOT Principal Project Coordinator Nat Gale, who has been subjected to repeated accusations and character assassination at Alpern’s hands.

Simply because, like the other traffic safety deniers who’ve been fighting the Mar Vista Great Streets project for the past year, Alpern chooses not to accept the established science behind road diets and protected bike lanes.

They also reject out-of-hand any stats that come from LADOT. Not because they have any credible evidence to refute them, but simply because the facts don’t align with their pre-established biases.

So let’s look at just a few of the inaccuracies in his latest screed.

Because it would be rude to call them lies, even though that’s what they are.

So …TIME’S UP! Enough of listening to the hundreds of taxpaying citizens, and overwhelming majority of the community, have their good will and patience and collective voice snuffed out because of a few activists who believe in crushing the voices, safety, and quality of life of that overwhelming majority (which includes the overwhelming number of bicyclists who do NOT support this project).

Seriously, show me one survey that supports his argument that the overwhelming majority of the community opposes the road diet on Venice Blvd. Especially since public opinion at his own community council meetings has been evenly split on the subject.

And never mind that he has absolutely zero basis to claim that most bicyclists, let alone an overwhelming majority, don’t support the project. I’ve personally heard from a few bike riders who oppose the project, compared to dozens who support it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the false LIE that half of the community wants the Venice Blvd. Road Diet, when at best only 10-20% want it and everyone else hates it, and wants it reversed NOW.

To the best of my knowledge, there has been no survey of the general public to determine how many support or oppose the project. If he has any valid stats to back up his claim, let him produce it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the constant and daily accidents and near-accidents that endanger motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, including and especially children!

Again, if he has valid stats to back up his claim, let’s see them. Otherwise, let’s wait until LADOT releases the actual, factual stats at the end of the full year of the pilot project, which concludes this week.

And I have to wonder just how many people have been killed or injured as a result of those constant near-accidents.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that was not done in compliance with ADA/disability community laws and legal requirements!

If any of that is true, the city would be required to make any necessary changes to bring the project into compliance. And probably subject to numerous lawsuits already.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that shredded over a decade of community input for what was supposed to be a beautification effort on Mar Vista, and which was (despite the LIES to the contrary) imposed in the dead of night without ANY true input or debate!

We’ll let Streetsblog’s Damien Newton refute that.

Bonin and a band of neighborhood and business advocates have used the Great Streets Plan for Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista (roughly between the 405 and Lincoln Boulevard) as a sort of Livable Streets master class to educate people about what a street can be if it is reimagined as something new. The presentation of the image boards showing the various Great Street options at both the “usual suspect” locations (Farmers’ Markets, the Mar Vista Community Council, and Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce) and high schools, libraries, coffee shops, and markets allowed a wider range of stakeholders to weigh in on the proposed changes.

That was written nearly three years ago. And a full 21 months before the road diet was installed.

You would think that a community council member like Alpern would know what’s going on in his own community. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Then again, you’d also think Alpern would know what the hell is going on with his own community council, since LADOT lists 12 community events where the project was discussed prior to installation — including two years of attending the Mar Vista Community Council’s Great Streets Ad Hoc Committee meetings.

TIME’S UP! The number of bicyclists using the “protected” (but with lots of blind intersections) bike lane is very small, while both commuters and bicyclists avoiding Venice Blvd. in Downtown Mar Vista is very high, and stop pretending it’s otherwise!

So show us the bike counts. Or any other factual basis for this claim.

Then again, if commuters are avoiding the street, why do traffic safety deniers continue to claim it suffers from soul crushing congestion?

As Yogi Berra famously said, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

Of course, the question is why Alpern and Restore Venice Blvd’s Selena Inouye are using such false and unsupported claims to demand the removal of the road diet before the official stats for the project have even been released.

For some reason, they seem to be unable to wait a few more weeks for the stats to be compiled.

Possibly because they suspect the real statistics won’t support their claims. And want to poison the waters before LADOT can tell us what’s really going on.

So let me be clear.

If the facts back them up, and the road diet has actually made the street less safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, I will be the first to demand changes.

Even if that means acceding to their wishes, and restoring the boulevard to its original dangerous and destructive configuration.

But I suspect they won’t.

And I suspect they suspect that, too.

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A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examines the rapid increase in pedestrian deaths in the US, which have gone up 40% more than other traffic deaths in recent years.

However, it’s unlikely that Ken Alpern or the rest of the Restore Venice Blvd/Keep LA Moving crowd will like their conclusions.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased precipitously since reaching their lowest point in 2009. To have the largest effect in halting the escalation in pedestrian fatalities, countermeasures should be implemented where the rise in fatalities has been greatest. Specifically, transportation agencies can concentrate efforts on improving urban arterials, which represented nearly two thirds of the increase in fatalities during 2009–2016 and on which about half of pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016.

And…

Transportation agencies can improve urban arterials by investing in proven countermeasures, such as road diets, median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and automated speed enforcement. Better road lighting and vehicle headlights could improve pedestrian visibility at night.

Of course, that will only work if our council members have the courage to ignore the traffic safety deniers to make those changes.

And automated speed enforcement, aka speed cameras, are currently illegal in California. Which is something that has to change.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the heads-up.

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Great new video about how South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club is using bikes to make a positive difference in the community, and maybe even break the color barrier in Olympic and pro cycling.

And about founder John Jones III, who pays most of the expenses out of his own pocket.

Seriously, take a few minutes to watch it. It may be the best four minutes of your day.

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CiclaValley informs us that the new 7th Street semi-protected bike lanes are proving popular as parking spots for Uber drivers.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Parody Twitter account @realJohnBoehner forwards video of a British woman calmly removing a barricade, then driving through hundreds of runners taking part in a half marathon.

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Local

A Hispanic man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in South LA early yesterday morning; police said there was no initial indication the killing was gang related.

CicLAvia is hosting a community meeting in Panorama City tomorrow to discuss plans for the June 24th open streets event in the north San Fernando Valley.

Pasadena police will be cracking down on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians this Friday and Saturday, even if they only endanger themselves. You know the drill, ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction. Thanks to Megan Lynch and The Preven Report for the tip.

Bike friendly Santa Monica continues to show Los Angeles how it’s done, as the city planning commission approves plans for a protected bike lane on 17th Street; their only complaint was that federal funding requirements mean it won’t be completed until 2021.

Now the Santa Clarita Cycling Bear sculpture makes a little more sense, as the local paper explains more about it. Although I’m very disappointed that the bear isn’t actually riding a bike.

 

State

San Diego is attempting to put a permanent stop to a DIY pump track in Ocean Beach by building housing on property that was originally deeded as a park for the children of San Diego.

San Luis Obispo County bicyclists celebrate the completion of a road safety project that began in 1974.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who crashed into a four-year old girl as she rode her bicycle in Stockton last week, then drove off and left her bleeding in the street.

A Redding driver complains about closing a little-used street to improve safety for a bike path because it will inconvenience him personally, and because he seldom sees a bike rider using it. Remarkable how many drivers take the time to perform bike counts while they zoom by. And how rarely bike riders happen to go by at that exact moment.

 

National

Marketplace discusses whether Uber is disrupting itself by moving into bikeshare.

A governing website explains why Seattle paid $3.8 million to build a one-mile bike lane, while the city’s protected bike lanes will cost $12 million per mile — four times the national average. And it ain’t because they paid too much for paint.

Meanwhile, a Seattle website says the war on pedestrians is already underway, because ebikes are now allowed on sidewalks. Maybe they could cite the number of pedestrians killed by bicycles, electric or otherwise, and contrast that with the number killed by motor vehicles each year, and determine which one really poses a problem.

Streetsblog Denver wonders why the local alternative weekly is pedaling anti-bike propaganda.

A Houston sports writer offers ten tips for bicyclists and motorists on how to share the roads with each other, and pathways with pedestrians. Bizarrely, it’s apparently legal to park on a dedicated bike path in the Texas city.

A Texas writer says safer streets will result in more people on bikes.

Work on Detroit’s rapidly expanding bike lane network could go on hold as bike riders complain about poor design and a lack of maintenance on the city’s first protected bike lane.

The road raging driver caught on video deliberately running down a cyclist on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway has copped a plea to significantly reduced charges that will result in just 10 months behind bars and three years probation. The conviction is credited to the crash being caught on bike cam, which put the lie to the driver’s ever-changing excuses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

Delaware bike riders complain about a lack of safety, even on back roads.

A Miami commissioner holds a “Dead Serious” meeting to reduce bicycling deaths.

 

International

Toronto residents are still waiting after a newspaper declared it the Year of the Bicycle. In 1975.

A study of 13 European cities reveals London is next to last in air quality, behind only Moscow, and is one of the most dangerous cities to walk or bike. The former may have a lot to do with the latter.

Sad news from the UK, where a bike rider who was killed in a collision with a truck was still setting records at 86 years old, and belonged to the same bike club he founded just after after WWII.

Horrifying story from Australia, where one of the country’s top masters racers died of ovarian cancer after falling under the influence of a self-described healer, who claimed to have cured cancer in hundreds of others.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist captures a bus driver, who didn’t know the law, nearly merging into him. Followed by another doing the same thing.

In a story that could have been written nearly anywhere, an Aussie writer bemoans the rise of the entitled motorist.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s split results for Britain’s Yates brothers, as Adam Yates missed the Amgen Tour of California podium by two seconds, while his twin brother Simon continues to lead the Giro. And no, that’s not a spoiler, since the Giro had a rest day on Monday.

Bicycling looks at a day in the life of a bike mechanic.

Outside profiles the incredible Marianne Vos, calling her the greatest cyclist you’ve never heard of. Unless of course you have, in which case she may just be a greatest cyclist, period.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could cost less than 2,000 rupees, which works out to around 30 bucks. Co-existance on the roads is easier when bicyclists follow the rules they’d follow as drivers, if only drivers actually followed them.

And this is why dogs should always wear helmets when they mountain bike.

Thanks to LA bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners for the link.

 

Another open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

There wasn’t time to get all the #CrashCityHall letters online last week.

So we’re going to post the remaining letters over the next few days — starting with this powerful post from registered dietician and endurance cyclist Matt Ruscigno, founder of LA’s iconic Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb. 

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Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles,

I’m writing to you today as a long-time resident of our wonderful city, a public health expert, and a recent victim of an inattentive automobile driver. That collision left me with 16 broken bones requiring 6 nights in the hospital, a chest tube, and a surgery to install metal plates in my shoulder and collarbone. If I weren’t a skilled cyclist, I would probably be dead.

It’s easy to dismiss this as an ‘accident,’ but the statistics on the number of people injured and killed by automobile drivers in Los Angeles paint a different picture. This is a public health crisis. Yet we know how to fix it:

  • Reduce automobile speed limits
  • Invest in infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Reimagine public space to focus on people, not automobiles

Los Angeles and California are leading the way in reducing automobile emissions but are falling behind (see London, Bogota, New York, Copenhagen for examples) when it comes to the public health issue of people dying in the streets because automobile speed and convenience is prioritized over human safety.

Los Angeles is a beautiful city with near perfect weather for cycling and walking year round. And we are simply running out of space to store and transport personal automobiles. The benefits of building infrastructure that makes human-powered transportation more accessible are well established:

  • Improved air quality and lower rates of asthma, especially among children
  • Increased physical activity that lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Fewer automobile collisions that result in injury or death of our most vulnerable road users

The potential to transform our city is awesome, in the true sense of the word, but it won’t be easy. Copenhagen didn’t become a place where 24% of city trips are taken by bike overnight. It took strong leadership and knowledge to re-imagine how city space is used. This isn’t about cyclists versus drivers; it’s about making it easier for more people to walk and bike more often.

The statistics are there: something needs to be done, and soon. We can build on what other cities have done and apply it uniquely in our wonderful city. There are thousands of us here to help, but we need leadership from our elected leaders. There simply isn’t enough space in the city to keep prioritizing automobiles, so the question is, how many more people have to be injured or killed before we start taking concrete steps? I hope we can do this soon as I’d hate to see a single person go through the pain I’ve experienced over the last 5 weeks.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD

 

Morning Links: Mountain lion kills WA trail rider, DIY Westwood bike lane, and Venice bicyclist stops car thief

In the big bike news of the weekend, a Washington mountain biker was killed, and another rider seriously injured, in an attack by a mountain lion.

Reports are the victims tried to scare the mountain lion off, doing “everything they were supposed to do,” according to the local sheriff.

However, the emaciated cat attacked anyway.

The surviving victim had to ride two miles after the attack to get a cell signal and call for help. When searchers arrived, they found the mountain lion standing over the body of the other victim.

Attacks on humans by mountain lions are rare, but they do happen; USA today says less than 100 have been reported since 1890. Like most animals, a mountain lion is more likely to attack if it is starving.

A woman in Orange County was seriously injured when a mountain lion attacked her and another woman as they were riding their bikes in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Parkin 2004.

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The Department of DIY struck in Westwood last week, as Westwood Blvd briefly had the much-needed bike lane Councilmember Paul Koretz has blocked at the behest of wealthy homeowners.

The president of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, which has successfully fought to halt bike lanes on Westwood, called the stunt “childish.” And blamed the group behind Westwood Forward, a breakaway neighborhood council attempting to separate from the larger NC.

Although blaming a rival group without any evidence whatsoever seems pretty childish to me.

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A Venice bike rider stopped a suspected car thief when he noticed his wife’s stolen car being driven by another woman, and used his bike to halt her.

I’m not sure who sent this one to me, but thank you.

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Malibu will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement day on Wednesday.

By now, you know the drill — ride to the letter of the law until you leave the Malibu area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

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Local

Bike SGV is staying in the open streets business, following the hugely successful 626 Golden Streets event with a new ciclovía through Baldwin Park and Irwindale in September.

A government website says road diets have proven divisive for cities, using Los Angeles as a case in point.

Upscale Echo Park bike and cycling apparel shop Banker Supply is shutting its doors, possibly as a result of rising rents in the area.

Santa Clarita now has a bicycling California bear sculpture.

 

State

A local entertainment website suggests the best bike trails in San Diego.

When the fires were burning in Sonoma and Ventura counties last year, one of the firefighters was a member of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame and a former member of the famed 7-11 cycling team.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed in a collision after allegedly riding against traffic.

 

National

A Korean-American writer says our streets are haunted by the victims of traffic violence, their ghosts fed by the false divide between drivers and non-drivers in a world where we are all dependent on motor vehicles in some way.

Fast Company says sustainable transportation won’t work if city’s don’t build bridges that work for cleaner transportation. Something Los Angeles is finally getting around to.

A new documentary tells the story of Colorado Rockies broadcaster Jerry Schemmel competing in the RAAM, aka Race Across America.

A Montana town has put out the welcome mat for bike tourists, making riders and the money they bring to the town feel at home.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver pleads down the drunken hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, and ends up with probation rather than serving his one-year sentence. So let’s get that straight — a driver won’t spend a single day in jail after getting drunk, running down another human being, and leaving him to die in the street.

Detroit is adding recumbents and adaptive bikes to the city’s docked bikeshare so the system can be more inclusive for people with disabilities and other health problems.

The governor of Maine credits his bike helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a car while riding in Florida last fall.

Vermont bicyclists will have to find a detour as a damage from recent storm has knocked out a bike ferry across a section of Lake Champlain for the rest of the year.

A Massachusetts writer says he hates bike shorts, but can’t find a viable alternative. Maybe he should try some of these pants.

A writer for the New York Daily News says it’s dangerous out there for bicyclists, but it doesn’t have to be. And the problem isn’t the people on two wheels.

A Philadelphia writer says the city should steal Macon GA’s idea of installing an entire network of temporary bike lanes, then making them permanent when they prove successful, as they inevitably do.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer offers some reasonable tips on how to change the city’s deadly car-oriented culture. Most of which could come in handy here in Los Angeles.

DC bicyclists celebrate Bike Week by forming a human-protected bike lane.

A new report from Baton Rouge LA shows every mile biked instead of driven adds $2.12 to the local economy.

 

International

Road.cc offers eight reasons you should ride your bike, seven of which apply in the US as well. Unfortunately, we don’t get the tax break UK riders do, especially since a modest bike commuting benefit was removed from the tax code to help pay for the recent tax cuts.

Vancouver’s pubic library now has a wi-fi equipped e-asist book bike.

When a bike raging UK bicyclist screams profanities at a truck driver for no apparent reason, the press somehow assumes that driver didn’t do anything to deserve it. Even though it’s always possible the driver did something stupid before the video starts.

A Welsh bicyclist was collateral damage when a driver swerved across the road in an attempt to frighten his girlfriend during a fight, and ran down the innocent rider.

An Irish writer breaks the omertà, and spills the beans about bicycling through Sicily.

Swedish bike riders are rushing to take advantage of a 25% subsidy on ebikes. Which is exactly what California should be doing with its cap-and-trade funds to get more cars off the roads.

German auto parts and electronics maker Bosch is encouraging its 1 million workers to ride bikes instead of driving, and will deduct the cost of leasing an ebike from the workers’ salaries.

An Indian website asks if bicycle mayors could help tame deadly traffic in the country’s cities.

After moving to the Netherlands, a Kiwi writer says bicycling changed his life and he never wants to own a car again.

Australia’s Road Safety Minister apparently approved a series of controversial ads that depicted bike riders as losers, despite initially denying that she’d ever seen them before they aired.

An Aussie driver faces drug and alcohol charges after plowing into a group of cyclists, injuring two riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal discovers what many of us have — just riding a bike can be more fun than racing.

In your relatively spoiler-free report on the Amgen Tour of California, since the race has been over for two days now, we can tell you the men’s race was won by a Columbian rider, with riders from the country maling a major impact on the race.

On the other hand, American riders did better on the women’s side, though two-time world pursuit champ Dygert Owen suffered a concussion in a crash.

Evidently, you can take a dive in pro cycling. Which is probably better that shoving a competitor off his bike as you near the finish line.

The LA Times looks at the life of a cycling domestique.

And yes, there’s still a bike race going on in Italy, which is not being dominated by Columbians.

The Air Force has named endurance cyclist Major Ian Holt their male athlete of the year after he bounced back from life-threatening injuries in las year’s Tour of Gila to win two Masters track medals. In his day job, Holt serves as a combat operations division space control branch chief at Vandenberg.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to clothesline a bike rider, take off your Strava-enabled FitBit first. Forget a helmet, strap on a mouthguard.

And get your custom 3D printed carbon bike frames, courtesy of the CIA.

 

Bike-riding father killed in late night Compton hit-and-run; yet another victim of a cowardly driver

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a hit-and-run driver — just days after bike riders went to City Hall to demand safer streets in South LA.

This time the death came a little further south in Compton.

Making it clear that hit-and-run is a problem throughout the LA area.

According to KTLA-5, 59-year old Compton resident Darnell Parker was struck with a vehicle at Alondra Blvd at Bradfield Ave around 12:05 am.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Almost needless to say, the driver fled following the crash.

KBCS-2 reports he was attempting to cross Alondra when he was run down. Although someone should tell them that hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

Parker was reportedly riding to a relative’s home when he was killed, leaving his children without a father.

Yes, this is the cost of traffic violence. And what happens when cowardly drivers leave their victims to die in the street.

Sheriff’s deputies are looking for video from nearby surveillance cameras, as well as possible witnesses. Anyone with information is urged to call the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Compton station at 310/605-6500.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in LA County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Darnell Parker and all his family. 

 

 

Bicyclist dies after Palm Desert collision; both victim and driver worked for Marriott Resort

This past Tuesday, we mentioned that a bike rider had been seriously injured in a collision with a driver while riding in Palm Desert.

As often happens with reports from the Inland Empire, there was no information available.

For once, however, there was a follow-up report. Sadly, the news isn’t good.

Palm Spring’s KESQ-TV reports that the victim, identified as Diana Lynn Young, has died as a result of the crash.

According to the story, Young was a seven-year employee of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. While it’s not mentioned, I’m told that the driver also worked for the resort.

The collision occurred around 6:10 Monday morning on eastbound Country Club Drive, between Cook Street and Portola Avenue, which is directly in front of the resort.

While there is a painted curbside bike lane, it’s on a street with a 50 mph speed limit, meaning any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian is likely to be fatal.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Diana Lynn Young and her loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

An open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

No Morning Links today, as we get ready to #CrashCityHall Friday morning. Hopefully we’ll see you there; if not, I’ll see you back here on Monday.

What follows is my letter the mayor and city council. And we’ll feature some of the late arriving letters next week.

………

May 18, 2018

Dear Mayor Garcetti and the City Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles,

Howard Beale may have been a fictional character, but he might as well be a citizen of Los Angeles trying to survive on our deadly streets.

Because like many other residents of this great city, I’m tired of living in fear for my own life and the safety of others on the streets and sidewalks of L.A.

And like Beale, we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

We live in a city where for too long, the movement of motor vehicles has been prioritized over the safety and movement of human beings. To the point that too many people who drive feel they own the streets, and everyone else has an obligation to get out of their way.

Unfortunately, too many members of our city council seem to agree. If not in their words, then by their actions.

The elected leaders of this city have voted to adopt Vision Zero, but failed to adequately fund it. You’ve adopted the 2010 Bike Plan and Mobility Plan 2035, but failed to build it. You’ve adopted Complete Streets policies, but failed to support them when it came time to put paint on the street.

And you hired one of the leading traffic planners in the United States, but you listen instead to the complaining voices of untrained motorists who don’t want to be delayed for a few moments on their commute. Even if it means saving the life of another human being. Or their own, for that matter.

As Stevie Wonder put it, “If you really want to hear our views, you haven’t done nothing.”

So let’s be perfectly clear.

Many, if not most, of the people you were elected to represent may drive cars. But we are all human beings, some of whom bike, some of whom take transit, and all of whom walk.

And none of whom want to bury a loved one or feel threatened on the streets. Yet too many of us do, every day.

As a human being, I don’t want to see one more needless death or injury on the streets of Los Angeles. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my city to waste one more penny on the needless lawsuits that result.

And as an Angeleno, I want safer and more livable streets for all of us.

When you side with the traffic safety deniers, who like climate change deniers, reject the proven science of traffic safety and urban planning, and insist on their right to drive with the pedal to the metal, you are choosing their convenience over the safety of literally everyone else.

And failing the people who voted you into office, and who you were elected to serve.

The people who have written the letters in this packet, and those who will speak before the council today, are not activists. We are the citizens of Los Angeles, who are sick to death of being treated like second class ones at the expense of motor vehicles.

We know that failure to take action now to build Complete Streets and provide safe, viable alternatives to driving that allow Angelenos to choose to leave their cars at home will inevitably lead to a dystopian, smog-choked and gridlocked future.

Because right now, traffic in Los Angeles is as good as it will ever be, as more and more cars are added to an already built-out traffic grid.

Only you can prevent the inevitable failure of a once-great city by taking action right now to ensure the safe, livable and prosperous Los Angeles we all want.

We understand that takes courage to do the right thing in the face of public opposition. But you weren’t elected to blindly follow the voices of those who scream loudest.

Anyone could do that.

You were elected to lead this city. To carefully examine the issues and make the tough decisions that will benefit your district, and all of L.A.. And make this the city that it can and should be, for all of us.

We are your constituents. We don’t want to be the victims of your inaction.

And we’re not willing to wait one more day for safer streets for our children, parents, families and friends.

So we ask you, today and every day, to have the courage to do the right thing.

We’ll have your back when you do.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Council District 4

………

One more brief note.

This may be the best letter we received for #CrashCityHall, even if it is the shortest.

Dear Los Angeles,

Please be so kind as to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.

NOW.

Sincerely,
Marvin D
San Diego, CA

Guest Post: The fourth open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of LA,

In an effort to “be the change you want to see in the world,” I sold my car ten years ago and have since used my own feet, a bicycle, or the transit system to get around.  While the results of this have brought the most rewarding experiences of my life, it has also been a struggle to live without a car in a car’s world.

Drivers are becoming increasingly more distracted, careless, unsympathetic and enraged.  These behaviors cause not only car accidents but the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, who travel without the protection of metal armor.  Why do drivers feel so entitled to the roads?  Why is this set of traits common in the majority of car owners?  It’s easy to see the answer on the streets – they’re designed specifically for cars.  With lanes designated for driving, turning and parking, there’s often no space left for a bicycle to squeeze through.  And pedestrians must be defensive even when walking through a crosswalk with a walk signal.  Drivers are impatient to share the road when they believe it belongs to them.

Every time you see a cyclist in the streets of LA, please understand the fear we’ve overcome to be there.  Please know that we have been spit at, screamed at, sworn at, had objects thrown at us, been told to “get off the road,”  have had way too many “close calls,” or have lost a fellow cyclist to careless driving or road rage.  And yet we’re still out there.  As pedestrians and cyclists we’ll continue to defend our space on the streets, but we would truly appreciate some help from our representatives.  Please take some steps to create streets that belong to everyone.   A city’s priorities are evident in it’s infrastructure and use of public space.  If you, dear City Council Members, were to add more bike lanes, create some road diets, invest in green spaces instead of parking lots – think of the message you’d send.

Sincerely,

Amanda Gohl

Pico-Union, Los Angeles, CA 90015

………

Join us tomorrow as we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and urge city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles City Hall
  • 200 N. Spring Street
  • 10 am
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