Archive for bikinginla

An open letter to the LA Planning Commission about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave

Dear Commissioners,

It was a little over five years ago that this commission rejected the city’s first attempt to update it’s bike plan, demanding a more robust network that would protect the safety of people riding bikes and encourage more people to get on their bicycles instead of driving.

That led to the city council’s unanimous adoption of the 2010 bike plan. A well-designed network that established three levels of bikeways to encourage and protect riders of all types, from families and recreational riders to bike commuters on their way to school or work — many of whom have no other viable means of transportation.

One that was again approved by the Planning Commission, and later the full city council, as part of LA’s Mobility Plan 2035.

Now you are being asked to weaken that plan.

The Mobility Plan that was adopted by the city is the result of at least six years of public process, including dozens of public meetings and countless comments and emails. The streets which were selected for bikeways weren’t chosen on whim, but because the public demanded them and city planners and engineers concluded they were the best routes to enable bike riders to travel to and from key locations in the city.

Yet you are being asked to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave without any public process whatsoever. Somehow, the desires of the relative few opposing bike lanes on these two streets are expected to outweigh the needs of all those who participated in developing these plans.

We’re told that the reason for removing these bike lanes from the plan is that the streets are too dangerous for bicycles. But you can’t improve safety by keeping them dangerous.

Numerous studies have shown that bike lanes both increase ridership, and improve safety for all road users — pedestrians and motorists, as well as people riding bicycles. Yet not one single study has been conducted to determine whether bike lanes on these streets would increase the danger to bicyclists or anyone else, as their opponents claim.

In other words, you’re being asked to remove these streets from the plan based on the suppositions and prejudices of a handful of people, with no factual basis to support them.

Studies also show that bike lanes are good for business, which would benefit the many commercial establishments along these corridors.

Westwood Blvd currently carries an average of 800 bike riders a day, a number that will only increase when the Expo Line extension opens in May, and the boulevard forms the first mile/last mile connection between the Westwood Expo Station, and the UCLA campus, VA and job centers along the Wilshire Corridor.

Meanwhile, Central Ave already carries approximately 60 bike riders per hour at peak times, despite a reputation as one of the city’s most dangerous streets. A bike lane there can only improve safety by giving people on bicycles a safe place to ride, while slowing traffic and reducing risk to pedestrians.

While alternate routes may eventually be identified that would be more enjoyable to recreational riders, they would not meet the demands of those who need to get to work or school.

Removing these streets from the Mobility Plan would continue to expose these people to needless risk, and continue the degradation of what should be two of the city’s finest and most livable streets.

I strongly urge you to support the recommendations of your staff, and the desires of the people of Los Angeles who participated in this process, and keep both Westwood Boulevard and Central Avenue in the Mobility Plan 2035.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

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The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

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Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

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Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Describe Your Ride: Nearly run down by a speeding driver — with a twist

Unfortunately, not every ride is a happy one.

Today, an OC rider who prefers to remain anonymous describes a recent ride in which she had a brush with a speeding, overly aggressive driver in a high-powered car. Literally.

With a surprise ending that left her livid.

………

Tuesday afternoon I was nearly swiped by a speeding Charger (Challenger?) whose incompetent driver, immediately behind me, suddenly punched the gas and squeezed between me and the box truck to his left. I had proceeded from a full stop at a red light, and had just cleared an intersection full of kids leaving school. Because of gravel on the gutter pan, I was gutterbunnying it, close enough to worry about pedal strike.

The pass was so sudden and so close that I was less articulate than usual, but managed to bellow WHAT THE F***! while wobbling. No remedial, YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. No accompanying, GET YOUR HOMICIDAL ASS OFF THE ROAD. No PATIENCE IS A F****** VIRTUE, my most frequent high-volume communication. Me, speechless. If that’s at all believable. The passenger side was less than 8 inches from my bullhorns, and the side of the box truck to his left thundered the revving engine back at me. Before I had time to even want to smack the car’s window, I was looking at tail lights. That Charger had passed me in less time than it took for Shaun Eagleson to look over his shoulder. Somehow I stayed mostly upright, and didn’t even hit the concrete bus bench whose acquaintance I was certain I was going to violently make.

Though the lane ahead narrowed, the car continued to accelerate and then, despite its speed, took the corner like it was on rails.. The Charger was already out of sight by the time I made the corner by the hospital. But I stopped to ask a pair of orderlies at the ambulance bay if they’d seen a speeding car, and they confirmed it had turned left at the next street. As I approached the intersection, the westward gazes of some animated warehouse workers on the sidewalk indicated that the orderlies were correct. The next intersection was a T-intersection, and a group of workers had abandoned a steam shovel to walk south for a peek around the corner. When I turned right, there sat the Charger, crosswise in the middle of the intersection. Its driver had just stepped out, and stood next to it.

DSCN3354

Los Alamitos CopYes, A F****** COP IN AN UNMARKED F****** CAR. An extremely fast, extremely heavy car. Grey, camouflaged amid the asphalt and overcast sky. I’m going to assume that although it did have the blue and red in the back window (engaged eventually), it is not equipped with a siren that would have alerted me to pull over, because certainly a law enforcement officer traveling at that speed is required to alert road users of his presence, right?

 

A couple miles later, on the river path, I realized I was bleeding. I think my knuckle scraped the bus bench that I nearly landed on, but I can’t be sure. Frankly, I was kind of disappointed at how hilariously tiny the scrape is, considering all the dripping blood.

I’m not riding without my GoPro again. And I might get all FOIA on that Charger’s (possible) dashcam.

The Los Alamitos Police Department owes me an apology and some new bar tape.

 

Morning Links: A moving look at Dave Mirra and the need to succeed, and bike racers get blown and disinvited

Let’s just jump right in today.

Triathlete Jordan Rapp writes movingly about the suicide of BMX legend Dave Mirra, and the emptiness that comes with a constant need to excel at the highest level.

Rapp himself was nearly killed in a collision with a Camarillo hit-and-run driver in 2010, and survived only because a passing stranger saved his life. Yet came back just eight months later to nearly podium in the Ironman Arizona triathlon.

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Even in the off season, it’s hard to get away from racing news.

Let’s start with word that motor doping may have been going on a lot longer than anyone realized, as a video surfaces of an electric motor hidden in a 1970’s era road bike.

American cycling great Evelyn Stevens will attempt to set a new women’s hour record at the Olympic training center velodrome in Colorado Springs CO at the end of this month.

Russia, which appears to have returned to its Soviet-era state-sponsored doping, takes a page from the Lance/Lloyd playbook by denying any problems in its cycling program.

The world’s number one ranked cycling team gets treated like number two, as they’re disinvited from the Tour of Qatar for demonstrating a lack of respect — by taking too long to get dressed and walk to the podium.

And sometimes bike racing blows, as wind knocks cyclists competing in a Spanish race off their bikes. Thanks to joninsocal for the link

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Local

Here’s a warning for anyone riding Mulholland Highway, as a motorcycle site reports someone may be sabotaging the roadway by pouring oil on curves. That could pose a real danger for bicyclists as well, especially on fast descents.

Glendale residents discuss what changes they want for local parks; one calls for a bikeway along the Verdugo Wash.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses Pasadena parklets and Complete Streets on Las Tunas Drive in Temple City.

Metro suggests 16 places you’ll be able to explore once the Gold Line extension opens, including the Duarte Bike Path and Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area. Or spice up your ride with a visit to the Sriracha factory.

 

State

You only have until end of business day today to offer comments on Caltrans plans to close eight miles of Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County to bicyclists, cutting off a key route for bike tourists without providing any alternative.

When paving engineers work in a different department from city planners, the result can be dangerous for cyclists, as a recent Berkeley collision shows.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was killed by a driver heading back to a Super Bowl party; somehow, the victim “came out of nowhere” despite being in the roadway. Seriously, no one, ever, comes out of nowhere; the question is why the driver failed to see him.

 

National

A Seattle writer tries to connect the dots to say there’s a vast bikeshare conspiracy in the city.

A Las Vegas paper looks at the city’s coming bikeshare program in the downtown area.

Tres shock! An El Paso TV station catches a pair of cyclists running a red light to catch up to their riding partner, who made it through on the green. Although you have to wonder how many scofflaw drivers they might have caught by leaving their camera running at the same location.

A $9,000 investment in enclosed showers and a camping area for cyclists helped save a Montana town at the crossroads of two major bike touring routes.

A Cincinnati protected bike lane comes under attack before it can even be finished, despite support from neighborhood councils.

Wisconsin legislators nix a plan for a contraflow bike lane through the Capital Square in Madison; instead, bike riders have to keeping going all the way around the square and up a hill.

Over 20% of residents in three DC districts commute by bike, pointing the out the need for better bikeways through the city.

A Virginia epilepsy foundation wants to eliminate bicycle collisions resulting in death or serious brain injury. So naturally, they tell kids to wear helmets, rather than urging people to drive safely.

Just weeks after a man rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the US, a former Spice Girl evidently rode one all the way to Miami Beach. Or maybe the Daily Mail just has no idea what city they’re actually in.

 

International

London businesses overwhelmingly support a proposed new cycle superhighway through the city. Meanwhile, a London cop is caught on video taking advantage of one of the city’s cycle superhighways to bypass traffic with his emergency lights flashing. Which could be an argument for bikeways, since people often raise imaginary fears of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic to argue against them.

A British bicycling website sings the praises of bananas, calling them a superfood that proves God is a cyclist.

Not even the mayor of London can bike past security at a top secret high-end fundraiser ball for Britain’s Conservative Party.

Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt when a speeding Irish driver tried to pass a group of cyclists on a training ride, only to realize too late there was an island in the middle of the road and cut back in, hitting several riders; one rider was reportedly thrown 75 feet through the air.

South African police stress that bikes are not allowed on a freeway after a drunk driver plows into a group of 30 cyclists on a training ride, killing two.

Australian police issue 806 tickets in a three-week bicycle safety crackdown, only 89 of which went to motorists. And even then, mostly for driving or parking in a bike lane. If half of all safety violations involve riding without a helmet, maybe it’s the law, not the behavior, that has to change.

More proof bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a cyclist in the Philippines regrets her reaction but refuses to apologize to the driver who harassed her for riding in the traffic lane.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t go off on someone in a wheelchair when she asks you to move into the street so she can get by. If you really want to see that video of a Brit cab driver whacking off while he reads a porn magazine, feel free. Or you can just read about it, which seems like a much better alternative.

And for the equivalent of just $56,000, you can own a 92-year old British bike shop once bombed by the Luftwaffe.

 

Morning Links: Close encounter with a sidewalk cyclist, football players ride among us, and some bikes used for evil

My wife got hit by a bike rider yesterday.

We were walking back from brunch on a Sunset Blvd sidewalk, when we heard a bike bell from behind.

I quickly moved off to the side with our dog. But before my wife could figure out just where the rider was and which way to go, he zoomed past, brushing against her as he blew by.

And never looked back to see if she was okay.

Fortunately, she kept her balance and wasn’t hurt; it could have been much worse.

This is why I’m not a fan of bike bells. They tell you a bike is present, but the listener has to figure out first where the sound is coming from, and then what to do in response.

Make that mental calculation too slowly with the wrong rider, and you could end up on your ass.

Meanwhile, every bicyclist is equipped with a simple, yet effective means of letting people know where you are and what you intend to do.

Your voice.

It’s easy enough to politely say “excuse me,” and tell them you’re passing on their left or right. Politely being the key word.

Which brings up the question of courtesy, which is where this rider failed badly.

While he did the right thing by ringing his bell, he should have slowed down and waited for us to get out of the way. With the understanding that moving out of the way is a courtesy, not an obligation.

Sidewalks may be shared turf in LA, where riding on the sidewalk is legal, unlike many other cities in the area. But people on bikes have an obligation to ride safely and courteously around pedestrians, leaving plenty of room for the people on foot.

In other words, show the same courtesy to pedestrians you’d want drivers to show you on the street.

Another inch or two, and my wife could have been hurt badly. And we’d likely be looking for a hit-and-run cyclist, instead of just complaining about some jerk on a bike.

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A key member of the newly minted Super Bowl champs is one of us, even though he had to sit out the game. So is former Pro Bowl tight end and San Diego resident Kellen Winslow II.

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Bikes aren’t always used for good.

Bike-riding, mask-wearing German extremists torched or trashed 48 luxury cars to protest gentrification in Berlin.

And a suicide bomber on a bicycle killed eight people in Pakistan.

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Local

A pair of community groups help beautify a stretch of Jefferson Blvd near USC before bike lanes will be painted on the street in the coming weeks.

Pasadena proposes a road diet, wider sidewalks, parklets and reverse angled parking, but no bike lanes, on a stretch of Colorado Blvd east of Old Town.

The San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center operated by Bike SGV has new extended hours.

 

State

A non-profit group is building a home for a San Diego Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan, just months after he rode 3,000 miles across the US to raise funds to support wounded Marines and their families.

A century ride through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park east of San Diego had 26 volunteers this year. And just three participants. Correction: There were actually 225 riders who rolled across the start line. Blame a misleading lede, cut off too soon by a paywall. Thanks to Bill Clare for the correction. 

Fontana receives $3 million for a north-south bike and pedestrian trail due to be completed in 2018.

Sad news from Santa Barbara, as a long-time advocate for the homeless was killed in an apparent solo fall, possibly brought on by a stroke; tragically, he had purchased the bike just hours before.

In a twist on the usual complaints from business owners about the loss of car traffic, merchants on a San Francisco street are urging the city to make a ban on cars permanent.

The beloved founder of a one-man Sacramento bicycle food delivery service is battling leukemia; local restaurants are stepping up to raise funds for his medical expenses.

 

National

The author who outed Lance says motor doping could spell the end of pro cycling.

Utah is making a successful effort to get federal funds for bicycling enhancements; Idaho, not so much. Speaking of Utah, a bike builder builds a new business model by offering their own customized bikes over the Internet for up to 40% less than comparable bikes.

A Minnesota woman finished third in a frozen fat-tire endurance race — despite pausing to breast feed at each stop.

New York considers letting bicyclists join pedestrians in getting a head start over motor vehicles at some key intersections.

Uber is taking over Gotham’s bike messenger business, accused of undercutting traditional courier services by not paying worker’s comp for its riders.

Opponents to a proposed DC bike lane say it’s an attempt to run black churches out of town, and tell bike riders to take their “pastime” to a park.

The Daily Mail reports BMX legend Dave Mirra was making plans for the future before he took his own life; the mayor of his North Carolina hometown suggests multiple brain injuries may have led to his depression.

 

International

A newly minted Newfoundland roadie discovers the joy of winter fat bike riding.

Bike Radar talks with the developer of the Laserlight that projects an image of a bicycle on the pavement in front of your bike.

Nice piece from a former London bike courier, who appreciates the boom in bicycling but misses having the streets to herself.

Evidently, British royalty-in-law Pippa Middleton is one hell of a cyclist if she can complete a 54-mile bike ride “in a matter of minutes.”

A Brit writer relives his childhood by teaching his six-year old son to ride a bike, with both calling it the best day of their lives.

No, really. A Pakistani paper says keep riding because it makes your skin glow. So does riding through a nuclear plant.

Aussie merchants lament the effects construction of a new protected bikeway on their business, as well as the switch from diagonal to parallel parking.

 

Finally…

If you’re planning to steal a quarter ton of beef, always send a kid on a bike to scope it out first. When you’re riding with dope and a stolen Miley Cyrus sex doll in your backpack, remember to ride with traffic.

And evidently, things get boring when you’re driving a cab.

 

Mountain biker dies of apparent heart attack in Crystal Cove State Beach

The Orange County Register is reporting that a mountain bike rider has died of natural causes in Crystal Cove State Beach.

The victim was riding in the park with a group of cyclists when he collapsed around 9 am Sunday.

His companions began CPR, and both paramedics, and a fire department flight medic lowered onto the trail attempted to resuscitate him from full cardiac arrest. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene after a prolonged effort to save his life.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; two of those have been the result of natural causes.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

And condolences to his companions who tried to save his life.

Woman killed by drunk driver while walking bike across Sepulveda Blvd in Manhattan Beach

There’s something seriously wrong when a woman can’t even walk her bike across a street without getting killed by an underage drunk driver.

That’s exactly what happened in Manhattan Beach last night, according to the Daily Breeze.

Thirty-one year old Manhattan Beach resident Amory Borgens was crossing on the 400 block of S. Sepulveda Blvd about 12:20 this morning when she was hit by a speeding car. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene, and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

However, it’s unclear exactly where the collision occurred, since the story places it near Tennyson Street, which would be the 600 block of South Sepulveda.

satellite view shows no crosswalks in a four block stretch of the busy six-lane street between Artesia Blvd and Longfellow Drive. Regardless, a crosswalk is presumed to exist at every intersection not marked by a No Crossing sign, whether or not one has been painted on the street.

Intentionally or not, the article, which was written by the City News Service, indulges in a remarkable degree of victim blaming, stating it was a “crash between Borgens and a speeding 2003 Toyota Corolla,” and “Borgens was in the roadway when she was struck.”

It’s hard to cross any street without being in it. And she didn’t crash into anything, she was run down by a speeding car.

It should also be noted that the legal alcohol allowed for anyone under the age of 21 is zero.

This is the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County already this year. And it’s the first bicycling fatality in Manhattan Beach in at least the last five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amory Borgens and all her loved ones.

Weekend Links: Support bicycling on your neighborhood council, stupid insurance tricks, and more bike events

There’s one sure way to make a difference on our streets.

Run for your neighborhood council.

LA’s neighborhood councils are where decisions are made on whether or not to support bike lanes, road diets and other bike-friendly improvements and livability issues. And they can have a big influence on elected officials, who are reluctant to do the right thing without public support behind them.

Yet while some councils get it, others are too often dominated by auto-centric nay-sayers who find it easier to just say no than to take the time to understand how bikeways can provide an alternative to driving and improve safety and livability for everyone.

You could change that by signing up to give a voice for bicyclists right where you live, work or study, as online registration is open now for 35 of the city’s 96 councils.

Naturally, mine is not among them. Nor is the Westwood council, which desperately needs some help.

Those you still have to register for the old fashioned way.

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LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss forwards news of a lawsuit that really should have been settled out of court.

According to a notice in the LA Daily Journal, a cyclist asked for $25,000 in damages after he was injured in a right hook while riding on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica; the insurance company countered with an offer of just $6,300, before doubling that to $13,000 just before trial.

The jury, on the other hand, awarded the cyclist over $78,000 — over three times what the rider was asking for — after a three day trial.

That’s what the insurance company gets for being cheap.

And that’s a good example of why you need to talk to a good lawyer if you get hurt while riding.

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Even after last week’s massive listing of bike events, there are still more coming up in the next few weeks.

Streetsblog looks at the coming Great Streets Challenge Grant Events for February and March, starting today in Reseda.

CiclaValley reminds us he’s leading the LACBC’S Sunday Funday CicLAvia Preview Ride through the Valley tomorrow.

The LA Planning Commission considers amendments to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the recently approved Mobility Plan this Thursday; if you can’t be there, email your support for keeping the plan intact.

Santa Monica hosts a Valentines Day Kidical Mass Ride on the 13th.

A free screening of the acclaimed documentary Bikes vs Cars will be held at Debs Park in Northeast LA on the 17th; you can see a trailer for the film here. Thanks to Alice Strong and Harv for the heads-up.

On the 20th, Culver City Biking Buddies invites you to join in on the Family Ride: The Sustainability Tour.

There will be a Lunar New Year Bike Train celebrating the Tet Festival in El Monte on the 21st.

BikeSGV will Bike the Gold Line in celebration of the opening of the Gold Line extension on March 27th.

BikeSD is hosting a 20-mile Bikes & Beers SD ride through the streets of San Diego on March 26th.

And start training now for the eighth annual Pablove Across America ride from San Francisco’s East Bay to LA to raise funds to fight childhood cancer; October 2nd through 8th.

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The LA Times says BMX legend Dave Mirra was the “reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground” while riding their bikes, as athletes and celebrities respond to his death.

Bicycling notes Mirra won the 2014 RAAM team competition with former pro Dave Zabriskie and two other riders, while gossip blogger Perez Hilton is unusually kind in posting a statement from Mirra’s wife.

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The chips keep falling in pro cycling, as Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov becomes the latest rider to be banned for doping; his Katusha team could face sanctions since he’s the second rider from the team to be banned in the past year.

A medical website says bike racing is rapidly reaching the point of no repair when it comes to doping and other forms of cheating, and asks where’s the outrage within the sport? Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian says don’t judge the beautiful, brutal sport of cyclocross based on the motor doping scandal.

Cycling Weekly says motor doping comes out of the Wile E. Coyote section of the cycling rule book, along with painting tunnels on brick walls and dropping anvils on your competition.

And America’s only remaining Tour de France winner offers a six-point plan to eradicate motor doping. Which will undoubtedly be ignored by those in charge, just like his warnings about doping were.

………

Local

Don’t count on the LA River bike path through Silverlake and Atwater Village reopening anytime soon.

KPCC says not so fast on that report that LA is the most dangerous place in the US for pedestrians; the county ranks just 10th when ranked on a per capita basis. On the other hand, 10th may suck a little less, but it still sucks.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for experienced part time tour guides. Or you could be an organizing rep for the Sierra Club, or maybe manage the new PUBLIC Bikes store in SaMo.

Support is growing for a bike ferry linking the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path across the Marina del Rey inlet.

Family and friends remember Long Beach bike courier Daniel Nguyen, who fell to his death while rescuing a fellow hiker on Mt. Baldy this week.

Long Beach’s Pacific Avenue bike corridor is being extended into Los Cerritos.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency recommends riding the San Diego Creek Trail, calling it an inviting escape from the urban environment.

San Diego moves to improve safety on a one-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous streets; as usual, local residents prefer keeping their parking to saving lives.

Three young Fresno-area men were shot while riding their bikes; fortunately, only one was seriously injured.

A Modesto bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was struck by a big rig truck.

Good news from Berkeley, as a research scientist who was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike is expected to pull through. The driver, an actor who lists cycling as a skill on his resume, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

 

National

City Lab says it’s time to put sharrows to rest, and maybe get rid of centerlines while we’re at it.

Six-foot ten-inch Denver Nuggets basketball star Danilo Gallinari is one of us.

Bicycling looks at the unofficial Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte CO.

A Kentucky man has been charged with murder for running down a teenage bike rider while under the influence. Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously there.

Residents of New York’s Upper East Side rise up against plans to install painted bike lanes on six streets to calm traffic, even though they wouldn’t remove any parking or traffic lanes.

They take traffic crimes seriously in Florida, too, as a driver gets 12 years for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

I want one. A British man has developed a $37 DIY device to measure how close cars come when they pass you. Maybe we can combine it with a sign to show their score as they zoom by.

The company behind that solar power-generating bike path in the Netherlands will apply the technology to 600 miles of French roadways.

Maybe you want to spend your next vacation sampling the local cuisine on a bike tour of Macedonia. Or discovering why cycling in the Middle East is so attractive.

 

Finally…

Memorize this list for the next time you need a good excuse for failing your urine test; then again, none of them worked, so maybe not. We can all be grateful for bike commuters, especially if they’re riding to make beer every morning.

And this may be the greenest Super Bowl ever, but don’t try to bike there.

 

Morning Links: Bike beats car in race to beach, Calbike wants your take on bike politics, and BMX legend dies

No surprise, really.

KPCC challenged three staffers to race from Union Station to the Santa Monica Pier in Monday morning rush hour traffic, travelling by bike, bus and car. Or rather, a funky three-wheeled motorcycle equivalent.

But whatever.

And just as has happened in other cities that have run similar races, the bike came out on top. Even though the rider failed to plan out his route, and dropped down to pothole-ridden Venice Blvd for his journey to the pier.

Had he planned it better, he could have cut a big chunk of time off his commute by taking Wilshire Blvd, which runs directly to the coast, and where bikes are allowed in the Bus Only lanes that operate during morning and evening rush hours. Even though the lanes skip Beverly Hills and the condo corridor in Westwood.

A simple jump over to the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Century City, then cut over to the Broadway bike lanes in Santa Monica and coast down to the coast.

He might have even been able to slow down a little.

And wear something other than spandex.

………

Calbike wants your input on candidates and issues that affect bicyclists, to help develop their endorsement strategy for the coming year; you can take the survey here.

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Sad news from Greenville NC, as BMX legend and X Games star Dave Mirra died of an apparent suicide on Thursday.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, talk to someone. Anyone. There are people who care and want to help, no matter how bad things may seem now.

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Local

Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches, depicting CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo as the carpetbagger-in-chief while calling for a movement to draft Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali to run against him. Somehow I missed this one when it was originally posted. And yes, Councilmember Bray-Ali does have a certain ring to it.

The Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights areas receive nearly $18 million in Complete Streets funding, including bike and pedestrian improvements.

Great piece from LAist, as they talk to the guy who rode a New York bikeshare bike across the US, ending in Santa Monica last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the Ride Report app for iOS has gone national; the app is designed to run in the background, allowing riders to track and rate their trips while crowdsourcing riding data.

 

State

San Diego’s KPBS discusses women’s professional bike racing, saying women riders are making progress, but there’s still a way to go.

Last year, we discussed the mobile bike repair shops from Beeline Bikes; now one is rolling into the Conejo Valley to serve cyclists in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills.

A Salinas writer observes our streets are safe for everyone but people.

A writer from Modesto is up in arms that the city is paying $75,000 to house and feed riders in the Amgen Tour of California for one night. Never mind that the race will likely bring in a lot more that to local businesses.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is barring bikes — and trees — from a proposed public park in Mountain View, apparently because other parks elsewhere have had problems with connectivity. Which is sort of like blaming all bike riders because you saw one run a red light once.

 

National

Horrible story of road rage from Portland. As usual, the police refuse to do anything about it unless the rider ends up bleeding in the street.

The Chicago Trib says riding a bike on the Las Vegas strip is just too damn scary. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been there.

Why does my Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly hometown have to keep making bicycling improvements decades after I left? What, they couldn’t have done any of this while I was still there?

Forget three feet, an Iowa legislator proposes a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider. Thanks to Cyclelicious for the link.

Caught on video: A Michigan bike rider beats a ticket for obstructing traffic when a state trooper gets the law wrong, using the cop’s own dash cam video to make his case.

Not all DC churches think bike lanes infringe upon their freedom of religion; an African American church in the same neighborhood as the one fighting tooth and nail against a bike lane says protected bike lanes make the streets safer for everyone.

 

International

The owner of the UK’s Vulpine bikewear company says the great helmet debate only serves to put people off bicycling, while concluding: “Cycling is not a major killer. Putting people off cycling is.”

A British website says more needs to be done to make bicycling a safe and normal activity.

Let’s hope it was a damn good bike. A Brit entrepreneur traded his stake in the Swiftkey mobile phone app for a bike, only to watch his former partners sell it to Microsoft for $252 million.

Russian women’s track cycling champ Elena Brezhniva gets a four-year ban for an unspecified doping offense; her coach naturally writes it off as a case of mere negligence. Because no cyclist would ever intentionally cheat, right?

A Philippine bicyclist takes a thrilling and scary ride through Manilla’s Quezon City.

An Aussie driver talks to the mother of a teenage boy who rode out in front of her car.

 

Finally…

Someday, every bike with come with its own mushroom knife and fire pit. Now you can get a pedal-assist motor doping bike of your very own; meanwhile, Dutch researchers will pay you to dope as you climb Mr. Ventoux.

And how to discover if anyone on your club ride is motor doping.

It’s easy to tell if I have a hidden motor on my bike. Just watch to see if I pass someone. Anyone.

No, really.

Morning Links: Long Beach cyclist killed in Mt. Baldy hiking fall, and bike safety classes in Orange County

Sad news from the IE, as a Long Beach bike courier fell to his death while hiking on Mt. Baldy.

According to the Long Beach Post, Daniel Nguyen, a former CSU Long Beach cycling team member, fell 1,500 feet off the steep mountainside while trying to rescue a fellow hiker.

A gofundme account has been set up to help his family pay funeral costs; it’s raised over $12,000 in less than 24 hours.

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My apologies for the late notice on this one.

The Orange County Wheelmen are hosting a two-day League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling class tonight and Saturday; dinner and coffee are included in the Thursday session.

And next week the Orange County Bicycle Coalition is offering its Cycling Savvy course from the American Bicycling Education Association on Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th.

They describe the course this way:

Cycling Savvy classes are incredible, intensely empowering classes, that are geared toward all bicyclists, not just “roadies”. Everyone can learn how to be a bicycle driver, and we really show folks how to do it.

………

Cycling Tips says creating an electromagnetic bike wheel is theoretically possible, but unlikely in practice. But I have faith; if pro cycling can find a way to cheat, it will.

Meanwhile, a writer says go ahead and let cyclists use motors when they race, but only at certain times and places. Or better yet, just put pedals on motorcycles and get it over with.

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Local

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that LA County is the most dangerous place in America for pedestrians.

CiclaValley challenges you to recognize a pair of iconic climbs from above.

At least the Santa Monica section of the beach bike path is clear of sand, despite 15 miles of county-controlled pathway being closed; SaMo sweeps their limited section of the path five to seven days a week, depending on the season, while the county sweeps just twice a week.

The LACBC discusses setting priorities for Southeast LA County in a proposed future transportation ballot measure.

 

State

The San Diego State newspaper says everyone is at fault for problems with a new bike lane, which invites collisions with distracted pedestrians and didn’t solve problems with bikes on campus.

Los Altos Hills cites Strava data showing cyclists speeding along off-road trails as it moves to ban bikes from a popular preserve.

This is what happens when you try to shoehorn in a bikeway after a bridge is built, instead of incorporating it into the original design for San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Although that circular ramp could be a blast to ride down; riding up, not so much. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the links.

Evidently Milbrae didn’t get the Complete Streets memo.

Community members in Eureka raised three grand to replace a bike stolen from a legally blind military vet.

 

National

A tri website says nothing good can come from confronting others in traffic, after a motorcycle rider records a road raging truck driver pulling a gun on him after flipping him off. I’ve had some interactions that ended well after I explained why I was riding the way I was. And others that didn’t.

Santa Fe considers a bikeshare program despite concerns over equity; the lack of a credit card or smartphone could keep low income people from using the system.

Outside says Crested Butte CO’s Fat Bike World Championships look like the most fun you can have on two wheels.

A documentary about LA’s Ovarian Psychos Bicycle Brigade will premier at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin TX, date TBD.

A Cincinnati proposal would link four major bike trails to create a 42-mile loop connecting over half of the city’s neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh cyclists wonder why streets and sidewalks were cleared of snow, but bike lanes weren’t. Which is one problem we’re not likely to have in LA anytime soon.

A jury awarded an unarmed Florida man $23.1 million after he was shot four times and paralyzed by a Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy, who stopped him for the crime of riding his bike into traffic. Or maybe just biking while black. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

 

International

Good advice on how to stop thieves and protect your bike.

The BBC says cyclists will soon outnumber cars in central London.

A 77-year old UK man escapes jail for killing a cyclist because a judge decided he was too old to send to jail.

A British paper says increasing numbers of women are having labia surgery to make it more comfortable to ride a bike.

Caught on video: A kindhearted Brit rider consoles the driver who nearly hit him seconds earlier.

The Danish Crown Princess goes Viking biking with her kids in a cargo bike on their way to school, as her husband and dog tag along for good measure.

Sarah Jessica Parker is one of us, as she rents a bike and rides through Rome to hear the Pope speak.

Where have we heard this before? An Indian traffic expert says cycling lanes won’t work because the streets are too narrow, traffic volume is too high, and drivers too undisciplined.

Bicycling fatalities in Australia have dropped to their lowest level since 2009 while the number of riders has increased. With 32 cycling deaths last year, the country had just three more fatalities than LA County, despite having over twice the population.

 

Finally…

Now that’s one very cool 3D printed steel frame bike. Evidently, even owning two bikes isn’t enough to overcome a windshield perspective and stop complaining about “bike nuts” stealing precious territory from drivers.

And seriously, don’t be a jackass and make a right turn on your bike without slowing when there’s someone in the crosswalk.

Although it’s odd that someone who describes herself as a road cyclist would say it’s time for “them” to stop whining.

 

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