Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: Hollywood development plan released, and discrimination and LA’s deadly streets

The streets of Hollywood could look at lot different in the next 20 years.

If we can all manage to survive that long.

The city has released the new Hollywood Model Development Report conducted by consultants Fehr + Peers to plan for development in the Hollywood area by 2040, including streets and mobility.

They operated on the assumption that nothing can be done to mitigate Hollywood traffic congestion, so the focus was providing alternatives to driving.

Like riding bikes.

In fact, the study calls for a number of lane reductions to make room for bike lanes, protected and otherwise — including protected bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and Melrose Ave.

Along with bicycle friendly streets as part of the Neighborhood Enhanced Network proposed in the 2010 bike plan.

The bad news is, the plan is based on LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, which is already gathering dust on the shelf.

And predicated on the support of Hollywood councilmembers who haven’t been elected yet.

Then again, that could be a good thing, since the ones we have now appertains to be too risk averse to make the major changes necessary to provide alternatives to driving and improve safety on our streets.

Let alone confront the angry drivers who seem to be setting the city’s transportation policy these days.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

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Great Twitter thread from LA Bike Dad looking at the long-lasting effects of racial discrimination in Los Angeles. And how it lines up perfectly with LA’s most dangerous streets.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the full thread.

And here’s what LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds had to say in response.

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As long as we’re visiting Twitter, Pedal Love discovered what may be the best ever bicycle sidecar.

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Marin Facebook users seem thrilled to see a group of bicyclists stopped and ticketed by sheriff’s deputies.

If you have a strong stomach, it’s worth the click just to read the comments. Like this, for instance.

Funny how people often want to ban bicycles from narrow roads because they think it’s too dangerous for bikes. But it never occurs to them to ban the cars that make them that way, instead.

Never mind people, like the woman below, who think bicycling is too dangerous because of all the dangerous drivers on the roads. And somehow continue to believe the myth that if they innocently hit a lawbreaking bicyclist, they’ll be held responsible.

Most of the time, no one is. And in the rare case when police blame someone, it’s usually the victim.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Now you can be the proud owner of a classic 1989 Eddy Merckx team bike made for the late, great 7-Eleven team for the low, low price of just $6,700 US.

As long as you promise to let me ride it.

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Local

Candidates are lining up to fill the seat of CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, who is walking away from the district he was elected to serve. We’ll have to wait see which of the candidates support safer streets, if any.

LADOT has released the environmental study for the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements project to extend the existing bike lanes on Winnetka Ave.

After the recent disastrous proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd, the city is giving it another shot with a proposal for a lane reduction, bike lanes and improved crosswalks on Cordova Street; a public meeting will be held to discuss it on Tuesday. Rose City NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it, so anyone who lives, rides or works in the area should turn out to voice your support.

State

An op-ed on a San Jose website says the mayor’s recent bike crash was no accident, but blames bad road design instead of the inattentive driver. Only the other hand, the mayor says any head defects he may have were a pre-existing condition.

San Francisco Streetsblog says no, bike commuting rates did not drop 19.9% in San Francisco, and 25.8% in Oakland, as reported in last week’s USA Today article.

Oakland plans to speed up repairs on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, a week after a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was dragged three blocks by a hit-and-run driver.

Washoe County is continuing to build bike paths in the Truckee Meadows, despite a drop in ridership.

National

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of us, after surgery to repair an undisclosed broken bone suffered in an undisclosed bicycling fall and/or crash. Evidently, it’s on a need to know basis. And apparently we don’t.

A bike industry writer says e-scooters don’t appear to threaten the bright future of ebikes.

An ebike maker is used as a model for how to successfully raise prices without losing customers after they get hit with a 25% tariff increase for parts imported from China.

A Utah law firm concludes that downtown Salt Lake City and Provo are the state’s most dangerous places to ride a bike.

A New Mexico State legislator is riding her bike 300 miles to the state capital for the new legislative session.

Who needs employee parking? A Colorado company gave all of its 85 employees new $1,300 ebikes.

A Colorado man put thirteen old kids bikes along his fence for anyone to take. Only to find others continually adding bicycles to the line to replace any that get taken.

A 73-year old Michigan man has now ridden his bike across all seven continents after finishing a leisurely ride across Antarctica.

An Ohio driver pled guilty to aggravated assault for a road rage attack on a man and his wife. But he did write a letter saying he was really, really sorry.

An Irish boxer goes head-over-heels after hitting the skids on the streets of New York.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly DC is going to get three new protected bike lanes in the next three years.

A Florida man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was busted for riding a gas-powered bicycle, despite a suspended license for DUI.

International

Treehugger says drivers should thank bicyclists for modern roads, instead of complaining about us.

Maybe a hot bath doesn’t burn as many calories as riding your bike, after all.

Life is cheap in Calgary, where a bike rider was charged for killing a 75-year old man as he walked in a crosswalk — except he was only charged with failure to stop at a red light. We can’t complain about killer drivers getting off with a slap on the wrist, and not hold deadly bicyclists to the same standard.

A Toronto op-ed calls the modest bicycle one of humanity’s great emancipators.

Police are looking for a British bike rider who smashed a driver over the head with his bike lock after a crash. Seriously, there’s no better way to go from victim to criminal than trying to retaliate against a driver. Or anyone else.

A 20-year old English college student has set a new record for the youngest person to bike across the world, riding 18,000-mile through 14 countries in 159 days.

Bike advocates in the UK accused the country’s Highway Code of victim blaming for tweeting that bike riders should wear helmets and “appropriate clothing for cycling,” rather than calling for safer streets and better driver education.

Britain has been ignoring their own government agency’s advice to prioritize active transportation over driving every year since 2015.

A man in the Netherlands was killed after somehow getting stuck between a fence and the roof of an apartment building bike shed; authorities were unsure what he was doing there. Although considering that he got stuck around 3 am, we can probably make an educated guess.

Sure, let’s go with that. A Zambian man told a divorce court he used the used condoms his wife found in his pants to repair bike tires. No, seriously.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a ten-year old autistic New Zealand boy’s custom-made three-wheeled bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist has been stripped of his title after testing positive for a banned substance. Except this time, the doper is a 90-year old US track cycling champ.

How bicycling became entrenched in Eritrean culture, despite the difficulty obtaining bikes and parts. And led to the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France.

Last year was the most successful year yet for Rwanda’s nascent cycling programs.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike five minutes after you’re released from jail. Nothing like reading a six-mile long poem while you ride.

And seriously, who carries a shotgun on a bicycle — let alone uses it on their riding partner?

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Thanks to Connie L for her generous donation to support this site. The holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Update: 64-year old woman killed in bicycling crash in the Wrigley neighborhood of Long Beach

That didn’t take long, either.

Just one day after the first Southern California bicycling death of the new year, a second rider was killed in a collision in Long Beach’s Wrigley neighborhood.

The victim, identified only as a 64-year old woman, died four hours after she was struck by a driver Thursday evening.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the woman was riding north on Golden Avenue in Long Beach around 6 pm Thursday. She crossed the intersection at Willow Street on the green light, however, the light changed before she cleared the street.

The driver of an SUV accelerated through the intersection as the light turned green on Willow, striking the victim.

She was taken to a local hospital, where she died four hours later.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

The question is why he failed to notice the victim riding her bike in the roadway directly in front of him, regardless of whether he had the green light.

This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the fourth bicycling death in Long Beach in the past year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 64-year old Long Beach resident Rhodora Roldan Bachillar.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rhodora Roldan Bachillar and her loved ones.

Florida man killed, woman loses part of leg in Imperial County bicycle collision; first SoCal bike death of 2019

That didn’t take long.

The Imperial Valley Press is reporting that a bike rider was killed in an Imperial County crash, just two days into the new year.

According to the paper, a 25-year old Florida man, who has not been publicly identified, died after he was struck by a driver while riding in Imperial County’s Slab City Wednesday night.

A 23-year old woman who was being towed in a cart behind his bike was seriously injured, suffering a partial amputation of her leg, as well as a broken arm and facial cuts.

Her dog, who was apparently in the cart with her, was also killed.

The crash occurred around 7:52 pm Wednesday on Beal Road, near The Range dance club in Slab City.

The victim was apparently riding on the wrong side of the road when his bike was struck head on by a car traveling at 50 mph; there’s no word on whether he had lights on his bike in the desert darkness.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

This is the first bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Imperial County in the nearly two years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

Morning Links: Bike commuting down in US, PA man faces jail for riding a bike, and $500,000 bike shop thefts

USA Today examines the recent Bike League report showing bike commuting is down in cities across the US, and the reasons behind it.

Although the story also notes that ridership is up in some cities, particularly where they’ve invested in safe bike networks.

Around the country, city transportation officials wish there were more bicyclists like Dandino as they seek to cut traffic congestion, promote health and identify alternatives to cars. After rising for several years, the percentage of commuters turning to bikes declined for the third year straight, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.

Nationally, the percentage of people who say they use a bike to get to work fell by 3.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, to an average of 836,569 commuters,  according to the bureau’s latest American Community Survey, which regularly asks a group of Americans about their habits. That’s down from a high of 904,463  in 2014, when it peaked after four straight years of increases.

Census Bureau figures are notoriously unreliable, however, since they only count people biking to work, and not commuting or riding for other purposes.

And if someone uses a bicycle as part of a multimodal commute, it’s usually not categorized as a bike commute.

Meanwhile, the news was mixed in Long Beach.

Long Beach, California, saw a 23.1 percent increase in the number of bike commuters from 2016 to 2017, though it was down 19 percent from 2011 to 2017, the league’s report says. Over the past decade, Long Beach added bike lanes throughout the city and dedicated routes separated from traffic, including some that recently opened. Its bike-sharing program continues to grow, having 11,000 members.

“I think we are getting a lot of commuters coming into the downtown,” Public Works Director Craig Beck said. “A separated bike lane that goes four blocks doesn’t really do anything. It’s about point-to-point safety.”

And as usual, the view from Los Angeles was far less rosy.

In a push to make the city more bike-friendly, Los Angeles started installing miles of protected bike lanes and embracing “road diets,” or slowing streets to make them safer for bikers and pedestrians. In a city where the car is king, a backlash from motorists drastically cut back those efforts.

As a result, Bicycling magazine named Los Angeles the worst biking city in America in October.

Something LA city leaders still haven’t addressed. Or even seem to care about.

The story goes on to quote the author of a certain humble LA bike blog.

“The City Council and the mayor’s office are only listening to angry drivers who don’t want their commute to be slowed down by anyone,” said Ted Rogers, a veteran bike rider who writes the BikingInLA blog.

“I hear from countless people who say they quit” biking, he said. “They just don’t feel safe on the streets anymore.”

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger.

After spending nearly two years behind bars for the crime of taking the lane — or rather, violating a judge’s order to stop doing it — a Pennsylvania bike rider could be going back to jail for violating his probation.

By riding a bicycle.

Authorities had accused David Smith of repeatedly riding in the traffic lane on narrow country roads, causing major traffic backups and — allegedly —  posing a danger to motorists by not allowing them to pass.

His defense had been that his bicycle is his only form of transportation, and that he was only riding where he was supposed to by taking the center of the lane.

Evidently, though, the local authorities weren’t fans of vehicular cycling. Smith was sentenced in 2017 to up to two years in jail, but released on probation after having already served a total of 20 months because he refused to accept a mental health evaluation that could have led to his release.

One condition of his probation was that he not ride a bicycle until his probationary period ended in 2020.

A condition he allegedly broke by riding this past October.

Still, there’s something very wrong when what a simple traffic violation — if that — can lead to serious jail time.

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Either something is a little fishy, or a Colorado bike shop owner may be the world’s unluckiest pedal peddler.

Because he’s now lost half a million dollars worth of bicycles in two separate break-ins less than three years apart.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that thieves stole up to $300,000 worth of bikes, tools and other merchandise from the Boulder bike store in a carefully planned New Years Day break-in.

That follows an unsolved 2016 break-in at the store’s Miami location, where thieves smashed their van into the storefront and made off with $200,000 worth of bikes.

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The perfect solution for those leisurely afternoon bike rides across the lake.

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Local

Enough with the bleak news already. Curbed offers 19 things to look forward to in 2019, including a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, ebike dockless bikeshare, and half-hearted improvements to six LA streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Westside traffic safety deniers cynically rushed to blame the Venice Blvd Great Streets project for the death of a pedestrian on Centinela Ave over the holidays, even though the crash occurred four full blocks away. And even though the tragedy makes a better argument for implementing similar safety improvements on Centinela.

Bicycles have been banned from westbound 1st Street in DTLA through 2021 for work on Metro’s Regional Connector Transit Project; a detour is in place to get around the construction zone.

A Playa del Rey scooter rider was collateral damage in a wild police chase through three counties Thursday afternoon; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

The new Spectrum news channel looks at the efforts of Watts-based East Side Riders to use bikes to keep kids on the right track.

CicLAvia is hiring an Event Production Assistant and a Social Media Manager. If they ever need an anti-social media manager, I’m all in.

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is back from the dead, thanks in part to Oprah’s favorite LA-based ebike maker.

State

California announced the winners in the latest round of funding for active transportation projects, including several in SoCal and the LA area.

Arraignment was postponed for the allegedly stoned driver who killed Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last November. That’s nothing unusual; preliminary hearings and arraignments are often postponed several times before anything actually gets done.

A Cardiff railroad crossing will be closed for three weeks to install new crossing guards and build new bike and pedestrian paths.

No surprise here. San Diego’s docked bikeshare provider Discover Bikes says it’s being negatively impacted by dockless bikeshare. Which will inevitably be the case for most docked providers unless they make major changes.

The family of fallen Riverside County mountain biker Andres Marin is suing over a delay in searching for him after he called home to say he had been injured, which may have contributed to his death.

A Minnesota man visiting San Diego suffered nine broken ribs and a punctured lung when the crank snapped on his fixie as he stood on the pedals to beat a traffic light.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was released from the hospital just one day after he slammed his bike into the side of an SUV whose driver cut him off, despite suffering a broken vertebrae and sternum. Apparently, when you’re the mayor, they actually ticket the guy behind the wheel for a change.

A 14-year old Oakland boy was critically injured in a hit-and-run that’s equal parts horrifying and infuriating; the fleeing driver dragged him for three blocks after smashing into his bike before the poor kid was able to roll free. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

Now you can take Alexa everywhere you ride. Why you’d want to is another question.

A Seattle man lost 50 pounds by taking up bicycling after his car died.

Ride Uber’s electric JUMP bikes too far in Seattle, and it will cost you a cool $25.

A Seattle bicyclist’s conscience gets the better of him, or possibly her, for yelling at an older couple to hurry up crossing the street.

Trump’s tariffs are taking a toll on little kids in Denver, because a non-profit bike shop can’t afford parts to recycle bicycles as part of an earn-a-bike program.

Clever piece from a Dallas man who rode 1,617 miles to work over the past two years; he started riding after leaving his car at the office Christmas party, then riding his bike back to get it the next day after he sobered up.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was lucky to escape unharmed when he hid behind a bus after a man started shooting at him, apparently at random; the gunman was shot and killed by police.

An Austin TX bike rider leads police to the body of a woman who had been murdered and dumped in the woods.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, riding his Australian-made single speed around the streets of New York. Apparently, fellow actor Bruce Campbell is, too. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The NYPD finally instructed its officers to ticket business owners who use banned ebikes, rather than the low-wage delivery workers who ride them.

International

A 64-year old London woman uses her bicycle to get around after suffering a stroke. But bikes are only for the young and fit, right?

A British health institute calls for improving public health by remaking the country’s streets to give bicyclists and pedestrians priority over motor vehicles.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an unlicensed, road raging driver got just five months behind bars for using his van as a weapon to ram a rider off his bicycle. It’s questionable whether he would have gotten the same light sentence if he’d used a gun instead of a motor vehicle.

Ireland’s attorney general has scuttled a proposal to establish a minimum safe passing distance in the country.

Two Chinese boys were lucky to survive with minor injuries when they were run over by a large truck and dragged 30 feet in a crash caught on security cam. As usual, be sure you really want to see it before clicking the link; even though the boys weren’t seriously injured, the image is horrifying.

Evidently, those step-through bikes are stronger than they look. After a Chinese salmon cyclist was hit head-on by a driver, the car suffered major damage to its bumper, while the bike and rider were relatively unscathed.

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Bike racing’s governing body has finally banned the use of the opioid painkiller Tramadol during competition, even though the World Anti-Doping Agency is still allowing it.

Finally…

If you’re trying to lose weight, forget the bike ride and just take a bath. More proof you can steal anything by bike.

And seriously, if you’re riding a bike with coke hidden under your hat, put a damn light on it (scroll down).

The bike, not the hat.

Move along, nothing to see here, 2019 edition

Okay, I’m throwing in the towel.

Between last night’s bad news, and a bout of high sugar caused by a minor medical procedure, I haven’t been able write a word of today’s Morning Links.

And at 1:30 in the morning, it’s a little late to start. Especially on something that usually takes me four to five hours to finish.

As much as I hate to do it — especially this early in the year and just one day removed from taking the holidays off — I’m going to have to give up on getting anything done tonight.

We’ll be back as usual tomorrow, and catch up on anything you might have missed today.

So get out and ride your bike. And take a few minutes to read yesterday’s epic post-holiday post if you haven’t already.

I’ll see you back here bright and early on Friday.

Santa Margarita BMX rider dies two weeks after he was struck by a car

It may be a new year, but last year’s bad news isn’t done with us yet.

According to the Orange County Register, 25-year old Chandler Espinoza died on New Year’s Day, 17 days after he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

The Trabuco Canyon man had spent the last two weeks in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo before succumbing to his injuries.

There’s no word on exactly where the crash occurred, or why the driver wasn’t able to see Espinoza or stop for his bike while he rode in the crosswalk.

He was riding his BMX bike to work in Rancho Santa Margarita on December 15th when he was struck by the driver’s car shortly after entering a crosswalk just before 3:45 pm.

However, a Caring Bridge post apparently written by Espinoza’s mother says “There appears to have been no reckless behavior on behalf of the driver, who stayed at the scene.” She goes on to describe it as “just a tragic accident.”

His mother describes him as an adventurous risk taker since early childhood.

Photo from Chandler Espinoza Caring Bridge Page

Chandler engages life with his body, mind, and spirit. He is loyal, funny, a great dancer, athletic, a deep thinker, adventurous, protective, generous, and never meets a stranger. 

I knew he had a lot of friends, but I never understood the impact Chandler had on those friends and what he meant to them until this week. Chandler makes everyone feel special. I have a whole new perspective on my son now. 

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Chandler Espinoza and all his loved ones and friends.

Morning Links: Recapping the biking year that was, New Year’s bike resolutions, and one last ’tis the season

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

We have a lot of ground to catch up on after taking the holidays off, so grab your coffee and strap yourself in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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‘Tis the season for a long list of annual recaps.

People for Bikes lists their ten best ebike stories of the last year.

Bicycling offers the year’s most viral bike moments, while Pink Bike contents itself with the best mountain bike fails.

Bicycling also lists the 101 best products they tested over the past year. If you have time to click through all 100-plus pages, that is. Once you finish reading this, of course.

Road.cc remembers the ten most bizarre bicycling stories of 2018, from a hero Romanian dog to a hero British actor. And Kanye.

A Minnesota paper says goodbye to the year in labored verse.

CiclaValley looks back on his favorite Instagram moments of 2018.

And LA Bike Dad remembers 2018 as the year his bike got run over by a bus.

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‘Tis the season for resolutions, too.

Vancouver’s former chief planner offers some timely suggestions on how you can resolve to make your city better this year.

A British website offers 15 suggestions to improve bicycling in the country in the year to come.

If your New Year’s resolution was to ride your bike more, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has 45 good reasons to back that up — including a longer, healthier life.

And not only is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis one of us, she’s resolving to ride her bike more.

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‘Twas the season, too.

A North Carolina program gave away 773 bikes to kids on Christmas morning, for their 22nd straight year of bike donations.

Volunteers pitched in to build 200 bicycles donated by Trek for victims of November’s Woolsey Fire in the Malibu Hills, courtesy of the Westlake Village Trek store.

San Diego, uh, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon worked with Rally Cycling to give 100 inner city Gardena kids new bikes, helmets and locks.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson continued his annual tradition by giving away over 1,000 bicycles to kids in South LA.

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Lots of healthy bike news to report, as well.

A new study shows bicycling can help you live longer, even if you can only ride of weekends.

A writer for Bike Biz says bicycling could provide the antidote to childhood obesity.

Just six months of bicycling can improve thinking stills in older adults with cognitive impairments.

Egypt’s president gets on his bike to set an example after calling his countrymen and women fat. And gets ridiculed in response.

And forget the energy drinks, have a chocolate bar.

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Phil Gaimon continues to ruin a good retirement, this time going for KOMs on a pair of the South Bay’s favorite rides.

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Local

Get ready for the next round in Pasadena’s battle over unsafe streets, as the city holds a meeting next Tuesday to discuss a lane reduction and Complete Streets proposal for Cordova Street. If previous meetings are any indication, the city’s traffic safety deniers are likely to turn out in force to halt any hint of progress.

State

As of yesterday, you can legally leave your helmet at home when you ride a scooter. And you can be charged with hit-and-run if you ride off following a crash with another person on a bike path.

The good news is, a new law will require California drunk drivers to install interlock devices on their cars after a DUI conviction. The bad news is, they’ll be able to keep their licenses as a result. And don’t forget that Breathalyzers only detect alcohol use, and do nothing to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

Santa Ana builds Orange County’s first curb-protected, separated bike lane.

San Diego has started work on a 9.3 mile cycle track connecting the city’s downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. But those protected bike lanes aren’t protected yet, so needless to say, they’re being used as parking and traffic lanes.

A San Diego firefighter is riding across the US to honor his friend, who was killed fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in 2017.

It’s a San Diego trifecta, as letter writers respond to a letter in the Union-Tribune to insist that roads were built for us, too.

San Jose’s mayor is recovering from being hit by a driver on New Years Day, suffering a broken collarbone and chest bone, as well as injuries to his back and neck. Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

San Francisco struggles to find answers after hit-and-run deaths spike in 2018; Vision Zero deaths blamed on fleeing drivers more than doubled over the previous two years. Actually, finding solutions isn’t the problem; finding the political will to actually do something is.

So what did you do to celebrate your high school graduation? Chances are, it wasn’t a 4,200-mile ride across the US like this 18-year old Santa Rosa man.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

The New York Times says the West Coast is kicking the East Coast’s collective butt when it comes to transportation. And yes, they include Los Angeles in that.

Heidi Klum is one of us. So are her fiancé and kids.

The top bike city in Oregon probably isn’t the one you think.

To prevent doorings, Illinois residents will now be required to learn the Dutch reach to get a driver’s license.

Great story. After a Massachusetts man is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he dedicates whatever time he has left to putting underprivileged kids on bikes.

No bias here. A conservative Boston newspaper says the state’s new bike plan should take a hike, calling bikes a Victorian-era solution to 21st century problems.

It’s a New York trifecta, too, as Streetsblog says it should come as news that cars are the problem with our cities. And always were.

Vision Zero is working in New York, with traffic fatalities down for the fifth straight year, to the lowest level in 100 years.

Tragic news from the city, however, as a New York ebike rider was killed when he was doored by a cab driver, knocking him into the path of a car headed in the opposite direction. Doorings are among the most common types of bicycle crashes, but are seldom fatal.

In an editorial that could have been written in any city in the US — and most cities out of it — the Washington Post says too many people died in DC traffic collisions last year.

We may have problems getting bike lanes built in LA, but at least we don’t have to deal with Congress.

Writing in the Washington Post, a self-described occasional bike rider says he knows bicyclists don’t have all the answers on bike safety, because he was hit by one while he was walking in a park. And he wants bike riders to be required to have insurance and a license — or at least turn signals on their bikes, which wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest since he was hit from behind.

Normally it’s just drivers who are a pain in the ass. A South Carolina man may be riding his bike gingerly for awhile after a passing bicyclist shot him in the butt for no apparent reason.

International

The BBC explains how not to die on a bike.

An engineering website challenges any takers to improve on the design of the traditional diamond bike frame.

Bike Biz asks if ebikes could save the bicycling industry.

Bike culture is growing in Sonora, Mexico.

Fifteen years after breaking three ribs while working as a bike messenger, a Toronto woman is working to make sure other messengers have the financial help she didn’t.

Toronto’s mayor says the city’s Vision Zero program just isn’t working, despite investing $100 million in making changes over the past five years; advocates says it’s because the city hasn’t made the right changes. Los Angeles tried the opposite approach; don’t fund Vision Zero and don’t make any major changes, and just hope deaths go down.

It’s a Toronto trifecta, as well, as a driver writes that society is over governed, so people on bicycles should be, too. And drivers should be required to learn all those silly little traffic laws that they’re already required to know.

If you want to be invisible, ride a bike. A drone-flying couple disrupted thousands of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas, making their getaway in plain sight on bicycles. And while wearing hi-viz.

With the city’s transportation systems shut down for Christmas Day, Londoner’s take to bikeshare.

London-based Simon Cowell is one of us now. Whether we want him or not.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a reckless bike rider was fined the equivalent of less than $560 for crashing into a pedestrian, leaving the victim with life-changing brain injuries.

Business Insider takes a video look at how Copenhagen got its 7,500 miles of cycle tracks.

Oslo, Norway says it’s time to stop planning cities for cars and start planning for people, by banning cars from the city center.

An Indian entrepreneur says a little reflective tape could have prevented over 20,000 bicycling deaths in the country. Um, probably not.

A month after a married Indian man went missing on a solo cross-country bike tour and was presumed drowned, he was found safe and sound in a Mumbai motel. With his girlfriend.

NPR goes for a bike ride with a group of Pakistani women to see firsthand the abuse they suffer just trying to ride their bikes through a conservative Karachi slum.

Two new Aussie studies confirm what you already know — some drivers just don’t like people on bicycles, and won’t move over or slow down, regardless of what the law says.

In a desperate attempt to go viral, a Singaporean teen turns himself into a human crash test dummy, jumping off at the last second as he deliberately crashes a dockless bikeshare bike into a wall. If he really wanted to go viral, he should have stayed on the bike.

A foreign policy website considers the rise and fall of China’s dockless bikeshare companies. And asks what the hell happened.

Competitive Cycling

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Cycling Weekly ranks the ten best performances of the 2018 road cycling season, while Road.cc lists the ten biggest stories in the pro peloton, and Cycling News offers the ten biggest stories in pro cycling last year.

Chris Froome is planning to skip the Giro this year to focus on the Tour de France in an effort to tie the record for most victories. As long as you don’t count Lance, that is.

Finally…

If you’re going to build a track bike to honor one of history’s greatest cyclists of any color, try to get the date of his first championship right. If you’re going to steal a bike, maybe you should pick one that isn’t locked up in front of the police station.

And if you’re going to get drunk on the job, try not to ride your delivery bike into a cop.

Seriously.

………

Thanks to Passion Beauty Inc and Terence H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

With your help, we raised nearly $2,100 to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And let’s all give a special thanks to Todd Rowell for his exceptionally generous donation of a new laptop keep BikinginLA online and, at long last, put an end to nearly a year of dead and dying laptop misery.  

Happy holidays to all — and thank you for your support!

Thanks to Eric L, Michael D, Hamid V, Don E’s Store, Penny S, Gregory S and Brian N for their generous donations to support this site. And to everyone who gave to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive this year.

As usual, we’ll be taking off between the holidays to spend time with family and do a little work behind the scenes. But as always, we’ll be available to bring you any breaking news in the meantime.

Please accept my best wishes for joyful Christmas, and a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

And ride safely. I want to see you back here bright and early on January 2nd.

Last chance to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy

Okay, that’s not true.

You’re more than welcome to make a donation to this site anytime.

But it’s the final weekend of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

The last two days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy during our one and only fundraising campaign of the year.

And the only time we’ll come right out and ask for your support.

Or beg, even.

It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small, to help keep this site coming your way every day. And ensure the Corgi has a little kibble under her tree Christmas morning.

So what are you waiting for, already?

Thanks to Evan B, Robert H and Karen K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: Bonin declares Mar Vista a Great Streets success, and LAPD gets it wrong with hi-viz for jaywalkers

It’s the last three days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

We’ll even take the change under your sofa cushions. Or whatever you have left once your holiday shopping is over.

So what are you waiting for, already?

………

It looks like the traffic safety deniers were wrong. And the Mar Vista Great Streets project is here to stay.

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin released a four-minute video yesterday touting the success of the lane reductions and bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Despite the claims of opponents, who seemed to be operating from their own set of alternative facts, the newly configured road has resulted in far fewer serious crashes, while carrying just as much traffic, just as quickly, as it did prior to the new design.

In fact, peak travel times are only 30 seconds slower than before.

But while bicycle counts dropped 16 percent, the number of people walking on the street jumped by a full third over the year before. And Mar Vista business is booming.

So much for the specious claim that no one goes there anymore.

This is what one reader, who forwarded the video to me, had to say.

I’m sure you saw this, but Bonin just sent out a pretty encouraging video on Mar Vista Great Streets.

The 1-year LADOT report is apparently favorable on safety, bike/ped/scooter volumes, and (even) car travel times. (Not sure if the report is out yet.) Seleta Reynolds is recommending that the street configuration (i.e., bike lanes, I think) be made permanent, with Bonin recommending that as well.

They had some big numbers about business activity & business openings being *way* up year-on-year. (My take is this probably has more to do with the macroeconomy than the bike lanes, but it at least proves that bike lanes haven’t “killed” Mar Vista)…

Bonin also announced a bunch of traffic changes to reduce cut-through traffic on the side streets around Venice/Centinela, including some protected left turns and longer right-turn pockets on the arterials, as well as more stop signs on Victoria & Charnock.

I was hoping it’d be an announcement about more protected bike lanes, but after the last couple years, anything that’s not moving backward feels (alas) like a victory.

Unfortunately, the report hasn’t been released, and no word yet on when it will come out. Correction: The report was released the same day as the video; you can read it here. Thanks to Eric B for the heads-up.

And I’m sure whenever it does, opponents will once again deny virtually everything in it, just as they’ve done for the last year since the project was installed. Note: The traffic safety deniers are already hard at work in the comments to the YouTube video.

But maybe, just maybe, we can finally get city officials to start making decisions based on actual facts and real world experience, instead of just listening to whoever screams the loudest.

………

An op-ed in the LA Times ridicules the LAPD’s program to give jaywalkers a reflective vest and clip-on lights in lieu of a ticket.

And justifiably so.

It goes on to say defensive walking is not the antidote for the city’s high rate of pedestrian deaths.

Or bike deaths, for that matter. 

Because, while we all need to take practical steps to protect ourselves, the real problem is cars, and the distracted and overly aggressive people in them.

And dressing up like a glow-in-the-dark clown isn’t the answer.

It should also be pointed out that every corner has crosswalk in every direction, painted or not, unless crossing is specifically prohibited with posted signage.

And jaywalking isn’t against the law unless there’s a signalized intersection on both ends of the block.

Too bad the LAPD doesn’t seem to think any of that is worth mentioning.

………

Don’t make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today.

Local

Mashable promotes sale prices on a pair of bikes from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

The LA Times examines the practicality of Elon’s Folly, the underground tunnel system he promises will whisk cars at high speeds underneath Los Angeles. Although I’m in favor of anything that would get more cars off the streets, even if that means sending them down into the bowels of the earth.

State

No more $2 bus tours of Camp Pendleton any more, but you can still visit the Marine base by bike — if you plan ahead and apply for a permit in person, in advance.

San Francisco debunks the common argument that protected bike lanes will interfere with fire trucks. And moves forward with another protected lane as a result.

It’s been a deadly year in San Jose.

A Marin newspaper says Mill Valley’s new designation as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community is well-deserved.

National

The Seattle Times asks if Seattle’s new transportation director can build detente with the the city’s sparing drivers, bike riders, pedestrians and transit users, like he did in DC.

The former sex change capital of the world — and the halfway point by rail between Los Angeles and Chicago — will host the first Southwest Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival next May, combining a “love of the outdoors, bicycle fetishism and the obligatory live entertainment-and-partying.”

In a battle of letter writers, a Colorado Springs CO bike rider says he doesn’t want the bike lanes the city is forcing on residents, while another rider correctly notes that people on bikes are subsidizing the people in cars (2nd and 3rd letters).

‘Tis the season. A Chicago nonprofit refurbished 50 bicycles for kids in Gary, Indiana, part of the 1,400 bikes they donate in the Chicago area, and up to 8,000 bicycles they send to Latin America and Africa.

Condolences to bicyclists in Adrian MI, who are getting new sharrows and being told it’s infrastructure instead of what they really are, arrows designed to help drivers improve their aim.

Honda is testing a smart intersection system in an Ohio city that warns drivers if a pedestrian or bicyclist — or a red light running driver — is about to cross their path. But only if they have the connected car system installed.

Gothamist says New York bicycling deaths have plunged to a record low as the city built nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes this year. But Streetsblog says no they didn’t, unless you count five miles of lanes without protection as protected.

Frightening and inspiring story from New Jersey, as the long-time lawyer for the state’s governing body for high school sports makes a miraculous recovery from the nearly fatal bike crash that left him paralyzed, after the riders ahead of him went down on a high-speed group ride.

International

Cycling Weekly presents nine Christmas experiences every cyclist will recognize. Unless, of course, like me, you don’t.

Cycling Tips shares their favorite bikes of 2018, sans price tags, unfortunately. On the other hand, you can get a new and improved Oi bike bell for just $36.

No bias here. A British Columbia letter writer says new bike lanes in downtown Victoria have given bike riders a lawbreaking sense of entitlement.

The Evening Standard asks if soaring ebike sales could help London clean the air.

Yes, please. British police plan to use virtual reality to teach dangerous drivers what it feels like to be passed too closely.

BikeBiz says it will take a fresh approach to make the roads safer, as six UK bike and pedestrian advocacy groups band together to get more people riding.

A pair of bike riders are raising funds for charity by biking from London to Tokyo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, riding over 12,000 miles through 26 countries.

Bikes are being stolen from an English train station because the bike racks are merely bolted to the ground, allowing thieves to simply remove the bolts and walk off with the still-locked bicycle. Which is why you should never use a rack unless it’s embedded in the concrete.

A police union official says separate rules for bikes, ebikes, scooters, mini electric cars and hoverboards are turning bike lanes in the Netherlands into a living hell. Raise your hand if you’d gladly trade the streets you ride for Dutch bikeways, hell or otherwise.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands is investing the equivalent of $390 million to build 15 bicycle freeways and an additional 25,000 bicycle parking spaces to get another 200,000 commuters on two wheels — and paying bike commuters 22¢ a mile to ride to work.

A Palestinian writer calls on the UK to cut ties with what he calls Israel’s oppressive regime, saying he’s being sent to prison for riding a bike during a protest.

No bias here. A Hong Kong letter writer asks who needs bicycles when you can use the city’s speedy, efficient transit system — especially when they annoy people like him.

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. The way to get a real — and legal — edge in bike racing is supercomputing.

Finally…

Is that a bikeable alley, or an overly realistic trompe l’oeil painting? When your annual bike ride is like a “naked Christmas episode of Doctor Who.”

And if you haven’t signed a pro cycling contract by the time you’re 11-years old, you’re already falling behind.

………

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 


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