Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Breaking news: LACBC hires Tamika Butler as Executive Director

New LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler; photo courtesy of LACBC

New Executive Director Tamika Butler; photo courtesy of LACBC

Finally, we see white smoke rising above the Downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Three months after long-time Executive Director Jen Klausner announced she’d be leaving at the end of the year, the LACBC has hired lawyer and non-profit executive Tamika Butler to lead the organization into its next phase of growth.

The hire comes at the end of an exhaustive, nationwide search that brought in resumes from nearly 100 qualified applicants, which was slowly whittled down to a final three before Butler was offered the job.

I’m told it was a very difficult decision. But at every phase, Butler stood out for her experience in leading a non-profit advocacy organization, as well as her focus on building membership and reaching out to the many diverse, and too often undeserved, communities that make up the City of Angels.

She has big bike shoes to fill.

Klausner has been the face of the LACBC for seven years, taking the bike coalition from adolescence to an award-winning organization with a national reputation and influence far beyond its size. And the only leader of the coalition most of us have ever known.

The thought of replacing her was, as the movie says, inconceivable.

Which is why Butler steps into the same role, not as her replacement, but as someone dedicated to building on the organization’s success, and leading it into even greater growth and influence.

She brings a new face, new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for building a better, safer and more enjoyable community for everyone who travels on two wheels. As well as all those who have been reluctant to give it a try, or thought bicycling just wasn’t for someone like them.

She is not the new Jen Klausner.

She is Tamika Butler, the next leader of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

And by all accounts, the coalition is very lucky to have her.

You can read the LACBC’s full press release announcing her hire below.

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Introducing the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Executive Director!

After an extensive national search, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has selected Tamika Butler to lead LACBC into the next phase of continued growth as we further our mission to make the Los Angeles region a healthy, safe and fun place to ride a bike.

“I’m really proud of the process and results of the search and couldn’t be more excited about Tamika as our next Executive Director,” says LACBC Board President Steve Boyd.

Tamika Butler brings to LACBC a proven track record of sustainably expanding and running programs and organizations, as well as a policy and advocacy background.  She spent three years as an employment lawyer at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and most recently comes from Liberty Hill Foundation, where she was the Director of Social Change Strategies. She first made her mark in Los Angeles as the California Director at the startup policy and advocacy organization Young Invincibles, where she managed the west coast regional staff, was the media and policy spokesperson, organized and led coalitions, developed curriculum and trainings, and fundraised to expand the organization’s presence on the west coast. She also developed relationships with community leaders and state and local lawmakers to advance the organization’s policy goals.

“I am thrilled to have the privilege to become the next Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and look forward to continuing the success, growth, and cutting edge work of the organization.  Biking in Los Angeles County has personally changed my life and deepens my love of the region every time I go for a ride. We’re lucky to live and bike in a county full of diverse communities that motivate this talented staff and me to push towards building a healthier, more vibrant Los Angeles County.  I am excited to start pedaling, dig deep, and get to work with our members and partners, within and across sectors, as we race to the front lines of the nationwide movement to create bikeable, safe, and sustainable neighborhoods.”  One of Tamika’s top priorities is to grow the diversity of LACBC staff and coalition membership.

When Jen Klausner started as LACBC’s Executive Director in 2007, there was only one other employee at headquarters, and it was a real struggle to keep doors open. Jen and the organization faced an uphill battle at City Hall to pass the Los Angeles Bike Plan and get pavement striped with room for bikes. Seven years later, under her leadership, there are now twelve employees working on your behalf with a LOT of successes! We continue to expand across the county with twelve local chapters.  We are poised to extend that reach even further as we strive to more fully represent the diversity of those who bicycle and want to bicycle in all neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. Tamika brings deep experience in social justice work and looks forward to working with the full range of communities across the county. We couldn’t be more excited.

Jen says, “Our new Executive Director Tamika Butler brings a fresh perspective to the leadership of LACBC, and one that is so relevant to the growth of the bike-ped movement and to important dialogues happening here and in cities across the nation.  I am confident in Tamika’s ability to take LACBC to the next level, and I, for one, will be staying tuned and keeping my membership current, because this organization is poised to do great things in the coming years.  Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to Tamika!”

Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, agrees that Tamika will make a great Executive Director: “Tamika is a dynamic, innovative leader who will be a huge asset to the LACBC team.  She brought Young Invincibles to new heights and I know that she’ll do the same in her new role!”

We look forward to introducing Tamika to our members, partners and supporters at the first available opportunity in January. Look for announcements of those opportunities in our weekly newsletter, on the website, and through Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget—as part of our end of year campaign, any donation at the $250 level and above will get you an invitation to our January 22nd Donor Thank You Party—an intimate gathering with our brand new Executive Director, Tamika Butler, in attendance.  Hope to see you there!

Morning Links: CM Cedillo turns a deaf ear to pleas of bike riders, portraying cyclists as bullies from the 1%

Evidently, 1st District Councilmember Gil Cedillo doesn’t understand how democracy works.

Word from yesterday’s LA City Council session is that Cedillo turned a deaf ear to the pleas of bike riders begging for a safer street on North Figueroa, and instead went forward with a plan to install diagonal parking rather than the bike lanes called for in the city’s already approved bike plan.

As anyone who has ever ridden or driven past cars attempting to back out of an angled parking space can attest, that does the exact opposite of improving safety.

Standing in the same chamber where retired councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously declared that “the culture of the car is going to end now!,” Cedillo insisted that he would not be bullied by cyclists.

I didn’t know that the pleas of a traffic minority group begging for a safe place to travel on our streets amounted to bullying; it seems more like a constituent group lobbying an apparently uncaring elected leader for relief, to me. Which is the very definition of democracy in action.

But what the hell do I know.

Cedillo also described bike riders as “the one percent,” deliberately miscasting cyclists with a term used to imply social and economic exclusivity, based on census data that bike riders make up just one percent of LA’s commuter traffic.

Never mind that the one percent stat only refers to rush hour commuters, and does not count the many people who ride to school or to do errands. Or the many low income, often immigrant, riders in his own district who ride to and from their jobs any hour of the day, often because they have no other way to get there.

And this from a man who publicly professes his support for immigrants to anyone who will listen.

Of course, no one should be surprised by the cold shoulder bicyclists received from Cedillo. Ever since his election last year, it has been clear that he intended to renege on the promise he made to support bike lanes on North Figueroa, back when he still needed our votes.

Cedillo has evidently made the political calculation that he doesn’t need our support to retain his office, in a city where incumbent councilmembers almost never lose elections.

Let’s hope we can prove him wrong.

More disappointing is that no one else on the council, or in city government — all the way up to the mayor’s office — has had the courage to stand up to the real bully in the room.

On that day nearly five years ago when LA bike riders finally found the voice we so desperately needed at City Hall, Rosendahl proclaimed, speaking for the full council, “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

Unfortunately, Rosendahl has left the council.

And the support for cyclists appears to have gone with him.

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Be careful riding in Glendale, which once again ranks near the bottom on a list of America’s worst drivers.

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Local

Who says no one rides in the rain?

LA Curbed offers a look at the design finalists for the planned bike/ped bridge over the LA River at the Glendale Narrows.

The Mid City West Community Council is teaming with the LACBC to offer a bike safety class on Sunday, January 11th.

Streetsblog spinoff Longbeachize celebrates its first anniversary tonight with a happy hour at the Blind Donkey in Long Beach.

 

State

An arrest is finally made after at least six cyclists were knocked off their bikes by a thief who then rode off on the bicycles in San Francisco’s Panhandle area.

Another would-be bike thief is busted after trying to wrestle a bike from a man inside a store in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers ten tips for successful bicycling in traffic.

Bounce back from your next hard ride with a little tart cherry juice.

More Denver residents are biking and walking to work, thanks in part to the city’s investment in better bike infrastructure.

An 18-year old Boston hit-and-run driver was allegedly under the influence of prescription drugs when he took out a cyclist and five parked cars while fleeing police; the rider is expected to survive, no word on the cars.

In more bike thief news, a Louisiana man is busted for burgling a $5,000 bike from a Mandeville bike shop.

 

International

We all know about the most popular bicycling movies, but what about the top five unknown cycling films?

No, really, the doping era in pro cycling is over. Even though a Mexican rider was arrested smuggling EPO through an airport.

Turns out bicyclists in the UK’s north may be marginally tougher than their southern counterparts.

Excerpts from a new book reveal the ugly drug-fueled final days of Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani.

 

Finally…

No, seriously, if you’re going to rob a pedestrian while riding your bike, make sure he’s got more than $7 on him first. It might have been more helpful if advice on how to bike home with your Christmas tree had come before most people had already bought one.

And caught on video: A cyclist survives a collision with a hit-and-run deer that violated his right-of-way, then fled the scene without stopping to render aid or exchange IDs.

Morning Links: LACBC Open House tonight, Sunday’s South LA CicLAvia, and KPCC talks ghost bikes

Don’t miss tonight’s LACBC Open House in Downtown LA.

From the LACBC’s email:

LACBC Open House
Thursday, December 4, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
LACBC Headquarters, 1st & Mezzanine floors – 634 S. Spring St., DTLA
FREE for LACBC Members, $10 General Admission
RSVP here

Please join us tomorrow evening to celebrate 2014 and look forward to 2015! You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • learn more about our programs, campaigns, and local chapters,
  • bid adieu to our fearless leader and executive director Jennifer Klausner,
  • honor some special folks who have made a difference in the local bike community,
  • dance to the funky sounds of DJ Starskee Suave,
  • capture the night’s merriment (and shenanigans) in our photo booth,
  • enjoy libations from Angel City Brewery,
  • feast on modern Mexican Cuisine from the Border Grill,
  • marvel at and then eat cake from Sweet Lady Jane,
  • and find out what the new year has in store for you from prognosticator Madame Pamita!

And yes, you’ll see me there, as I say goodbye to a good friend.

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Excitement is building for Sunday’s CicLAvia.

USC’s Daily Trojan looks at the first ever South LA CicLAvia. Flying Pigeon will host a feeder ride from Northeast LA. And the Los Angeles Post-Examiner offers a preview of can’t miss sites along the way.

You are going, right?

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KPCC’s Sharon McNary offers a great first person look at Danny Gamboa and the Ghost Bike Foundation, responsible for memorializing fallen riders throughout Southern California.

But should we be offended when a company pimps ghost bikes to promote its product?

Uh, yes.

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Local

The LACBC reports the discussion over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills has been continued to the January 6th city council meeting; Ryan Snyder Associates offers an idea of what the street could look like if local officials get their shit together.

Day One reports Monterey Park is the fourth city to officially adopt the San Gabriel Valley bike plan.

Metro wants your help to determine where bike share stations should go in LA County.

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly round-up of what the state’s leading bike advocacy group is up to.

Newport Beach police are starting a new safety campaign in areas frequented by bike riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists; the department will direct education and enforcement efforts at all road users.

A San Jose writer says the city was right to ban bikes on some downtown sidewalks, even if it is a token gesture.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has hired Noah Budnick, Deputy Director and Chief Policy Officer of New York’s Transportation Alternatives as their new Executive Director. Meanwhile, the LACBC is currently interviewing candidates for their opening, and expects to announce their choice before the month is over.

A San Ramon business park opens its own bike share program for employees.

 

National

Momentum Magazine offers an infographic illustrating five reasons why riding a bike is safe.

Now you can show allegiance to your favorite baseball team while riding your roadie to the stadium. Although that might give supporters of opposing teams one more reason to run you off the road.

A Reno man is finally headed home after circling the globe by bike five times from five directions.

A Denver bike cop monitoring a protest march is in critical condition after he was hit by a car; three other officers were injured.

No bias here. A Minneapolis paper credits the bike lobby with pressuring city officials; after all, it couldn’t just be bike riding city residents contacting the people elected to represent them.

A Boston bike startup plans to unveil a $500 weather- and theft-proof bike next year.

 

International

A new Kickstarter smart bike project promises to add over 100 intelligent features to your bike for just $159.

Subliminal messages in your videos can make you train harder without knowing it.

Bono is recovering in Dublin after going over his handlebars in Central Park last month; U2 band mate The Edge says no one recognized him following the wreck because he was dressed like a Hassidic Jew.

Not surprising. An American expat working in the Netherlands admits to impatience riding her bike behind slow moving tourists.

 

Finally…

Now that’s more like it, as a bike riding California high school football player not only survived a head-on collision, he totaled the car. If you’re riding your bike with a BAC over twice the legal limit, don’t crash into a road construction sign.

And a Spanish man sets a new record by riding 1,739 miles in six days. Without going anywhere.

 

Morning Links: The last gasp for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes; is Gil Cedillo sandbagging his own safety meetings?

It may be the last gasp for much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC calls on everyone to attend today’s Beverly Hill’s City Council study session on the proposed bike lanes, or if you can’t make it, email councilmembers in support of the bike lanes largely unsupported by the council.

As usual, Better Bike provides an in-depth analysis of both the roadway and city politics, saying it looks like the fix is in. And not in a good way.

I wonder if the city can be sued for failing to consider the needs of all road users as required by Federal law and the state’s requirement for Complete Streets (pdf). Especially if state and/or Federal funds will be used in the planned reconstruction of the streets.

Now that’s one Kickstarter I’d pitch in for.

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Local

A 27-year old bike rider was shot to death in South Los Angeles early Monday morning. Do we even need to mention what an incredible waste of human life that is?

A writer for City Watch says a less car-dependent Los Angeles is a fantasy. Then again, he’s probably right if we ignore alternatives and focus strictly on driving, even if the cars are driverless.

CD 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo appears to sandbag his own street design public meetings for Northeast LA by failing to give sufficient public notice for anyone to actually attend.

 

State

A passer-by — or driver-by in this case — comes upon a Cypress bike collision, and is told the rider survived only because he or she wore a helmet — without noting what injuries the victim did or didn’t suffer, and whether a helmet could have actually made a difference. And never mind the inappropriate photo of a happy, helmet-clad kid.

Bicyclists ask for more space on Caltrain cars.

A Modesto letter writer says drivers have an obligation to stick around if they hit someone — although the driver who admitted hitting him on purpose actually did.

 

National

A new book looks at the history of Bicycles in American Highway Planning from 1969 to 1991, when an emphasis on motor vehicles marginalized bike infrastructure and set bicycling back 40 years.

The much loved Urban Velo succumbs to the times and ceases publication.

Bike friendly Portland encourages people to ride to the airport; if that was a viable option here, maybe we wouldn’t have such disastrous traffic tie-ups every holiday. We can dream, can’t we?

Nice. A non-profit organization founded by a Seattle man has given over 2,000 bicycles to survivors of human trafficking around the world.

Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for riding her bike in the traffic lane, has filed to run for Lt. Governor of the seemingly bicycling-challenged state.

 

International

We have met the enemy, and he is us. Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid illustrates how our paved roads — and yes, the cars on them — were begot by bicyclists.

Must have thin skinned police in Italy, as the cops who conducted the possibly flawed investigation into the death of cycling legend Marco Pantani threaten to sue the press for besmirching their reputations.

A new emphasis on cycling has helped change Rwanda’s international image.

Now that’s more like it. Singapore commits to becoming a bicycling nation by 2030, but a former official says it can be done in just six years.

 

Finally…

The perfect gift for your ultra-competitive toddler. A Korean company says it’s developed the first truly functional flat-proof bike tire.

And as if drivers didn’t have enough trouble seeing us, Russia’s Tinkoff-Saxo pro team unveils new camo training uniforms.

 

Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

Evidently, it’s our fault.

Mostly, anyway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an analysis of San Diego bike crashes since 2011 shows cyclists at fault in nearly 60% of collisions.

Of course, those stats are based on police collision reports. And as the story notes, the results are subject to question.

Their accuracy depends largely on the individual officer’s knowledge and interpretation of bike law, ability to properly investigate bike collisions — especially when the injured cyclist is often unable to give his or her side of the story — and a lack of bias.

The simple fact is that few California police officers receive adequate, let alone in-depth, training in the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, as evidenced by the frequency with which riders are ticketed for things that aren’t actually illegal, such as riding in the traffic lane or two or more abreast.

And none are trained in the unique forensics of bicycle collisions, which differ dramatically from typical automobile crashes.

As for bias, with the exception of bike cops and officers who ride on their own time, most cops see the world from the same windshield perspective as other motorists.

All of which means that stats like this may provide support those who want to write bike riders off as law-breaking scofflaws.

But until we demand better bike training for traffic investigators — and police officers in general — they will have little basis in reality.

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Local

Not even zoo animals are safe from LA’s hit-and-run drivers, as a big horn sheep is killed after escaping its enclosure, and the jerk behind the wheel just keeps on driving.

Velonews reports on the first day of the CXLA Weekend at the Greek, with victories by Katerina Nash and James Driscoll in the elite races. Cycling Across LA offers video of the race.

A ride will be held on December 7th to honor fallen cyclist Milt Olin, roughly three months after the DA dishonored him by refusing to file charges in the case.

BikeSGV delivers their monthly newsletter filled with upcoming events in the San Gabriel Valley

 

State

Neil Storm Stephany entered a not guilty plea Friday in the alleged intoxicated hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last month. Stephany faces a well-deserved murder charge based on a prior DUI conviction.

Short-sighted San Clemente votes not to include bike lanes in a coming reconstruction of Calle Frontera, apparently not realizing that giving people an alternative to driving could reduce traffic.

‘Tis the season: A Pismo Beach man donates 57 bikes to the local sheriff’s department to give away for Christmas.

 

National

Great news from Tucson, as former Rep. Gabby Giffords gets back on her bike three years after the near-fatal shooting.

A road raging Seattle driver faces just three to nine months in jail following her conviction for second-degree assault for intentionally running down a cyclist in a horrific attack.

An allegedly very drunk Chicago bike share rider is critically injured after being hit by two cars.

Turns out that Wolverine-playing song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride on the streets of New York.

A father and daughter finish their 4,200 mile trip from Washington to Key West to benefit wounded vets.

 

International

E-bikes are on a roll in Europe, but just starting to catch on in the US.

Bikes will be banned from a bucolic garden bridge over the Thames because they would allegedly spoil the peaceful walking atmosphere. And as we all know, it’s impossible to ride a bike peacefully.

Caught on video: A London cyclist captures a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be hit by an unseen cab; the footage is evidence in a civil case.

Down Under girls just want to have fun on fixies. That is, if they’re not collecting a menagerie of bikes.

A newborn Aussie baby is safe, thanks to the cyclists who discovered him hidden in a storm drain where he had been abandoned up to five days earlier.

 

Finally…

Turns out rocket powered cyclists are nothing new. British cyclists have a better knowledge of road safety than motorists do; not surprising, since people on bikes are a lot more vulnerable on the roads those who can rely seat belts, air bags and crumple zones.

And a Boston man confronts the thief who’s stealing his bike, and wins.

 

Morning Links: Road raging Malibu driver assaults cyclist, and the Times looks at the politics of LA road diets

A PCH cyclist is in serious condition after being attacked by a road raging driver.

According to the Malibu Times, the victim got into an argument with a pickup driver as he rode west on the coast highway between Busch Drive and Morning View Drive. After the rider moved on in the right hand lane, the unnamed driver sped past him, then stopped, got out of his truck and pushed him off his bike into the left lane.

Fortunately, it was either a rare moment when there was no traffic on the highway, or oncoming drivers were able to stop in time to avoid him. Even so, the victim still suffered serious injuries and lacerations.

The paper quotes a sheriff’s deputy as saying the dispute was over “use of the shoulder lane,” though he doesn’t clarify whether the driver wanted to use it or, more likely, incorrectly thought the cyclist belonged there.

Although you’d think someone with the rank of lieutenant would know that the shoulder of PCH — or any roadway — is not a lane, since it’s not legally part of the roadway.

Not surprisingly, the driver, who wasn’t publicly named, was arrested for felony assault.

Although it should be attempted murder if there was any traffic coming at the time.

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The LA Times examines the politics of road diets, and correctly suggests that biking and walking will be issues in next year’s city council elections. At least if we have anything to say about it.

It would have been nice, though, if they’d mentioned that the primary purpose of most road diets is to improve traffic safety for all road users; better livability is just a bonus.

And as John Lloyd pointed out, despite the way the Times piece characterizes it, CicLAvia is more about opening streets for people than closing them off to cars.

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Caught on video: Across Los Angeles takes a look at the first half of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hill climb competition.

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Local

Nice piece on Medium.com, as Steven Corwin explains why he shouldn’t have to justify his decision to live car-free.

The Eastsider asks if a freeway cap can make freeway-severed Belvedere Park whole again.

The former Governator and friend ride in one of Santa Monica’s many bike lanes.

Downtown Hawthorne gets a $300,000 makeover, complete with bike lanes. Eventually.

 

State

San Francisco safety advocates say it’s time to end traffic violence; the mayor promises quick action.

A writer for Streetsblog clarifies that Sacramento is not seriously planning to license bicyclists, despite that breathless TV report we linked to last week.

A Modesto letter writer wants cyclists to explain what makes us so special that we don’t have to obey traffic laws — unlike motorists who never speed, use hand-held cell phones or roll through stop signs. Maybe we’re not so special after all.

Nice. After losing his wife, a Chico Iraq war vet finds peace through Ride 2 Recovery.

 

National

A new city bike promises to fold up in seconds.

People for Bikes explains how Denver got an oil company to help crowdfund a protected bike lane. I wonder if anyone has ever asked any of the many companies that suck LA oil out of the ground to pitch in to make the city a little safer. Probably not.

After a special needs woman has her bike stolen, a Michigan TV station replaces it with a better one.

A Maryland woman makes it back on her bike a year after a near-fatal collision, and brings her previously non-biking husband along for the ride.

West Palm Beach’s Jack the Bike Man is looking for used bikes to fix up so he can give 1,000 bikes to children this Christmas.

 

International

The Guardian takes a look at the world’s best cycling infrastructure, none of which is located south of the Canadian border. And says the BBC still gets it wrong in a week-long look at bicycling.

It takes a major jerk to steal an autistic British man’s bike.

Rather than require motorists to drive safely, a Swiss canton orders children to wear hi-viz vests when biking to school.

That Dutch solar bike path opens this week; the question is whether it’s really as dirt and skid resistant as advertised.

 

Finally…

The difference between an ticket and a night in a Santa Monica jail? Not stopping when a cop tries to pull you over for riding on the sidewalk without a headlight (last item). Caught on video: an Edinburgh cyclist uses entirely appropriate inappropriate language given the circumstances, as he’s nearly run over when a van driver decides to use the bike lane as a shortcut.

And now you can play Chutes and Ladders without shame, as Copenhagenize unveils a game based on the best and worst ways to promote bicycling.

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Thanks to all veterans for your sacrifice in service of our country.

 

Today’s post, in which I don’t exactly endorse anyone — and urge you to wake the sleeping bike giant

The future of bicycling in LA County and the State of California is in your hands.

Or more precisely, awaiting your vote.

Bike the Vote LA offers a full slate of endorsements for your voting pleasure in tomorrow’s election.

I’ll leave it to you to make your own choices.

Though I will point out, for those in his district, that District 43 Assembly Member Mike Gatto has proven himself to be one of the most effective members of the legislature — and one of the best friends bicyclists and pedestrians have among California’s elected officials.

……..

As for myself, I plan to cast my ballot for Bobby Shriver for LA County District 3 Supervisor to replace Zev Yaroslavsky.

While I have a great deal of respect for Shiela Kuehl and all she has accomplished at the state level, I’m troubled by her responses to the LACBC’s candidate survey earlier this year. Especially this one, in response to a question about whether she would support protected bike lanes in her district:

Yes, I would, so long as it doesn’t reduce the total number of lanes available to cars.

In other words, she would automatically rule out road diets, even though a US government study shows they can improve safety for all road users by 20 to 50%. And protected bike lanes have been shown to reduce injuries by as much as 90%.

Meanwhile, Shriver expressed strong support for complete streets, and pledged to build at least 40 miles of new bikeways each year.

But don’t take my word for it. Click the links above to read both candidates’ responses, and decide for yourself.

I also plan to vote for Jim McDonnell for LA County Sheriff.

While I’m troubled by his heavy-handed crackdown on the nascent Lang Beach Critical Mass — including bogus tickets and the illegal seizure of some riders’ bikes — I’m impressed by his responses to the LACBC survey. Especially his willingness to meet with cyclists and establish a bike liaison program similar to the LAPD’s to help resolve conflicts between the department and the riding community.

And I have a real problem voting for a candidate who has barely campaigned for the office he’s seeking, and has spent his entire career in a department riddled with allegations of corruption and civil rights violations, as his opponent, Paul Tanaka, has.

On the other hand, I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to throw my vote away by casting it for Republican Neel Kashkari, who has virtually no chance of beating incumbent Governor Jerry Brown. Particularly in light of his misguided pledge to halt California’s planned high-speed rail system — or as he calls it, Jerry Brown’s crazy train — which was approved by voters in 2008, long before Brown took office.

But I can’t in good conscience vote for a man who vetoed every piece of hit-and-run legislation that passed his desk, as Brown did this year.

Is it too late to vote for Meg Whitman?

……..

One last note. Or rather, vote.

I will be voting in favor of LA County Proposition P, which in effect replaces two soon-to-expire property taxes that have funded parks and bikeways throughout the county.

Prop P would create a 30-year stream of funding for parks and open space, beaches and trails — including, possibly, a 22-mile bikeway from Claremont to Rosemead.

Yes, we could all benefit from lower taxes.

But if Prop P fails, everyone in LA County will be poorer for it.

……..

Finally, a quick reminder.

As we’ve noted before, LADOT estimated in the 2010 bike plan that there are roughly 400,000 people in the City of Angels who ride a bike on a monthly basis.

Which is about 22,000 more than bothered to vote in the last city election.

And there’s no reason to believe the same doesn’t hold true throughout the county, where only 17% of registered voters bothered to cast their ballots in the June primary.

That makes bicyclists the sleeping giant of LA politics, with the power to sway elections — especially close ones.

But only if we remember to vote in terms of our own self interests.

Or bother to vote, period.

Because we have the power to ensure a bike-friendly future for the City and County of Los Angeles.

And as we’ve seen, it only takes electing the wrong person to undo hard-won the gains we’ve made.

 

Morning Links: Deadline for LACBC ED apps extended; Bike League politely abandons Kentucky’s Cherokee Schill

One quick note before we get started.

The LACBC has extended the deadline to apply for the Executive Director position (pdf). If you think you’re up to the challenge of leading one of the nation’s most vibrant and innovative bike advocacy organizations — or know someone who is — you’ve got just a few more weeks to apply.

……..

The League of American Bicyclists has decided not to actively support Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for the crime of riding her bike in the traffic lane.

After analyzing the unique qualities of the state’s antiquated traffic laws, they determined that an argument could be made either way. And since it doesn’t have national implications, they’d rather work to change the law than help fight in court for her right to ride.

Their reasoning makes perfect sense.

But I can’t help thinking they’re leaving her alone to face the legal lions, when they could easily step in to lend a hand.

Because moral support ain’t worth a damn on the streets. Or in the courts.

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Local

The lawyer for the South LA bike rider allegedly beaten by police offers his side of the story.

Bicycling magazine describes the merits of bike-friendly city #28 on their list, also known as the City of Angels.

Santa Monica College is the first California community college to be designated a Bicycle Friendly University.

 

State

California’s own — and now America’s only — Tour de France winner moves forward after 12 years of hell for taking a stand against doping in the peloton.

Laguna Beach riders get a new, continuous north-south route that avoids dangerous PCH.

The Newport Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on adopting the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, friends and family come to the support of the wife of fallen cyclist Shaun Eagleson, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Newport Beach last week.

A teenage bike rider may have suffered serious head trauma when he was hit by a car in Phelan in San Bernardino County.

An estimated 10,000 people turn out for Santa Barbara’s second annual open streets event.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is going to the mattresses to stop scofflaw off-road riders in the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Mountain bikers compete in a 24-hour endurance race in Oroville.

 

National

Bicycling is the new wonder drug.

A new smart bike helmet promises to beam data on your heart rate, calories and performance to your cell phone.

Corvallis OR police are puzzled by a 100% increase in bike thefts over last year.

A Springfield MO man gets seven years in the death of a cyclist who was killed as the man’s girlfriend attempted to flee from him as he chased her through the streets of the town in a stolen car after flashing a gun. Sounds like he got off way too easy.

A Clarksville TN mountain biker wanted a challenging trail to ride, so he built one. Then got hired by the city to build more.

A Chicago cyclist is critically injured when he’s hit by a stolen semi-truck; the driver is arrested after fleeing the scene.

New York’s financially troubled Citi Bike is purchased by a real estate company that owns other bike share programs in North America and Australia.

 

International

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 76-year old UK track cyclist sets a world’s record in the over 75 class.

The Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team has Olympic dreams, despite the difficulties facing women — let alone women cyclists — in their home country.

Nearly 50% of Aussies would bike to work if they received financial incentives to do it.

Evidently, cyclists in Singapore face the same anti-bike clichés as riders in the US. And everywhere else, apparently.

Clearly, distracted driving isn’t just an American problem, as a Chinese bus driver faces criminal charges for killing an elderly bike rider while checking his cell phone. (Fair warning, this story includes video of the collision from the driver’s perspective — something you may not want to see. I know I didn’t.)

 

Finally…

If spandex impacts cyclists’ ability to observe stop signs, then it must affect drivers as well, since 80% of today’s clothes contain at least some of the material. No, seriously, when a highway patrol officer tells you to move your bike, don’t threaten him with a knife.

And in a brilliant idea, Edinburgh, Scotland bans cars from school zones in an attempt to improve safety, something that would undoubtedly cause parental rioting here.

 

Morning Links: Another reason to ride, as traffic congestion costs LA drivers; Flying Pigeon calls out Tom LaBonge

As if you needed another incentive to ride a bike.

The LA Weekly says the city’s traffic congestion costs motorists $5,700 a year, compared to an average of just $1,700 nationwide. And that’s in addition to the estimated $2,458 LA drivers lose due to bad roads.

On the other hand, traffic congestion doesn’t cost bike riders a dime. Although those bad roads can bust wheels and frames.

And bones.

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Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg says as if anti-Fig4All City Councilmember Gil Cedillo isn’t bad enough, CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge manages to insert himself into bike photo ops while blocking much needed bike safety projects.

Tom LaBonge intrudes his bulky self into every bike-related photo op anywhere in or near his district, often wearing his signature red sweater to catch the eye (and the cameras). But he has stopped the Fourth Street Neighborhood Greenway, is trying hard to stop the Lankershim Boulevard road diet, and stands stubbornly against a community-friendly Glendale/Hyperion bridge rebuild.

And now, Sixth Street in the Miracle Mile, a narrow four-lane that impatient scofflaws use as a fast alternative to Wilshire one block away, sometimes hitting speeds of 60 and 70 miles per hour…

Sixth Street was slated to receive a road diet, but—yes, you guessed right!—Tom LaBonge chose to “defer” it. His rationale? Road work on Wilshire might send more traffic onto Sixth. But his presumptions have led him into error: road diets, while they restrain top speeds, often smooth out traffic flow and result in quicker, if calmer, A to B transits of a street.

Something is seriously wrong when a single councilmember can derail already-approved road treatments designed by people actually qualified and paid to make those decisions.

If Mayor Garcetti really wants to do something about our dysfunctional city government, this would be a damn good place to start.

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In pro cycling news, the Astana cycling team risks losing its license for the pro tour after yet another rider is caught doping. Good thing the sport has cleaned itself up.

Meanwhile, VeloNews attempts to fit injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney for next year’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France, even though he’s still working on his comeback and has never ridden — let alone won — a single stage of the Tour.

Give the man a little time, already.

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Local

Metro moves forward with a mealy-mouthed, weak-ass Complete Streets policy.

Flying Pigeon hosts another of their popular Get Sum Dim Sum rides on Sunday.

The 2nd annual Long Beach AIDS Ride rolls on November 15th with rides of 40 and 70 miles, along with an eight mile family ride.

 

State

BikeSD reports bike and livability advocates in the Hillcrest neighborhood are subject to death threats.

San Francisco’s police investigate a series of attacks on bike riders in the city’s Panhandle.

 

National

A new government study confirms Millennials are driving less and biking and walking more.

A Kickstarter project promises jeans cut to accommodate the massive thighs of serious cyclists, which won’t always fit in regular jeans. A problem I once had, and sincerely hope I will again someday.

Grist gushes over the beautiful bike freeways in Minneapolis.

Three years ago, the NYPD recommended a mandatory helmet law for cyclists, but can’t be bothered to enforce traffic laws to protect them.

Nice. Atlanta’s working on a citywide network of protected bike lanes.

 

International

A Calgary writer explains why he rides in the road when there’s a bike path nearby.

Seriously? An Edmonton city councilor wants to discourage bike commuting by requiring licenses for anyone who rides to work.

The Guardian says bicycling is good for everyone; mass cycling could save the National Health Service £17 billion — the equivalent of $27 billion — over 20 years, and prevent 500 road deaths a year.

Britain’s Department for Transport calls for doubling cycling by 2025, but lacks the funding to do it.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen discusses how cities around the world are adapting to bike riders.

A group of cycling physicians call for more to be done to improve bike safety in Perth, but the equivalent of a three-foot law fails in West Australia.

 

Finally…

A Scot cyclist goes for an unplanned swim after swerving to avoid a dog. You thought LA potholes were bad — a New Zealand cyclist rides into a sinkhole and can’t get out; his dog stayed with him until help finally arrived.

And a road raging Kiwi cyclist goes off on the driver who rear–ended him following a roadside dispute; something tells me there are no innocent victims in this one.

 

Weekend Links: A massive list o’links and a whopping videopalooza

It’s a veritable link and video-palooza today on BikinginLA.

……..

Caught on video: This is what anti-bike harassment looks like, in all it’s brutal ugliness.

Here in LA, this video would be all the evidence needed to file — and win — a suit against the driver under the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Instead, the Kentucky cyclist, Cherokee Schill, was charged and convicted for the crime of riding a bike in the traffic lane. And the police look the other way when she’s threatened and harassed by angry motorists.

Which is a polite way of saying they don’t give a damn because they don’t think she belongs there to begin with.

Fortunately, she’s less than $200 away from the $10,000 needed to appeal her illegal conviction.

……..

Caught on video: Before Governor Brown signed the current three-foot passing law, he vetoed a much better version that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass cyclists when it was safe to do so, fearing endless carnage and lawsuits.

Even though the state is largely immune from being sued. But still.

Evidently, it’s not that big a deal, as this video from the Austin TX police department shows.

Any chance we could get Brown to watch this?

No, I didn’t think so.

……..

Caught on video: An irate woman berates a Chicago cyclist for riding on the sidewalk, nearly getting herself arrested in the process. And being unclear on the concept, tells him to ride in the street before wishing he gets hit by a car, which is probably why he was on the sidewalk to begin with.

……..

Caught on video: I missed this one earlier this year, as three cyclists experience a viscous goathead attack on the San Gabriel River trail. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

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And one more while we’re at it.

Caught on video: Wolfpack Hustle offers video of the recent Huntington Park Gran Prix.

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Good advice, as a writer suggests three things all cyclists should do.

……..

Great idea. UCLA is hosting Bike (Re)cycling Day on Sunday the 19th; the university’s police and transportation departments will give out free abandoned bikes and parts to UCLA students, staff and faculty members.

……..

If you hurry, you may still be able to make one last training ride today before next Saturday’s first ever El Gran Fondo de Angeles Crest. And my apologies for not getting this notice up sooner.

……..

Local

Okay, so it’s not bike related. But in an apparent case of induced demand, travel times on the 405 freeway have increased a full minute following the $1 billion —that’s billion with a b — project to add an HOV lane through the Sepulveda pass.

Good news for Valley cyclists, as the second phase of the San Fernando Road bike path opens.

Turns out there will be three workshops to discuss the Las Virgenes Malibu Regional Bike Master Plan, in Malibu on the 21st, Westlake Village on the 22nd and Calabasas on the 23rd of this month.

The Pasadena Star-News calls out one of the San Gabriel Valley’s most bike unfriendly cities while endorsing Eric Sunada for Alhambra city council. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the tip.

Haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson for awhile; here he puts the great helmet debate in perspective.

 

State

Evidently, the DMV has reworked their website and made everything harder to find, including bike laws.

Around 4,000 people took part in last Sunday’s first ever Santa Ana ciclovia.

A San Diego writer says the new three-foot law will increase tensions with drivers, but gets it right in calling for more protected bike lanes. Another writer on the same site calls cyclists “scourges of the road,” while decrying that bikes aren’t required to stay three feet from drivers; seriously, I could spend all day just pointing out the fallacies in this piece of bikelash drivel.

Palm Springs gets its first bike corral.

Caltrans did the right thing for a change, building a pedestrian bridge and off-road bike path connecting Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties as part of a six-mile carpool lane project; I’m told it has dramatically improved safety for riders along the coast highway. Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

Too typical. Santa Cruz creates up a sandwich sign to warn drivers to give cyclists three feet. Then puts it in the bike lane.

Yet another teenage driver faces charges in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, this time in Milpitas.

A Monterrey couple ride 2,300 miles to attend their 50th reunion in Kansas.

San Francisco cyclists are the victims of violent assaults to steal the bikes they’re riding.

 

National

A blogger offers a great list of some truly badass biking women, including Elly Blue and our own Nona Varnado.

In the latest attempt to thin the herd by enabling more distracted drivers, a new app promises to let drivers use all their apps behind the wheel.

Despite that, it looks like the Feds are finally taking bike safety seriously, as the Department of Transportation releases new guidelines to make the streets safer for you and me. Maybe they could ban the use of onboard computer systems by drivers next.

A bike-friendly Portland convenience store finds sales exceed expectations, as 34% of customers arrive some way other than driving.

Unclear on the concept. An Ohio driver complains about cyclists riding in the traffic lane, then insists bike riders need to act like motorists.

Yet another caught on video, but one that can’t be embedded: A cyclist accuses a Penn university cop of using excessive force in a confrontation partially caught on camera.

After a New York driver runs down a cyclist from behind — and is found at fault by her own insurance company — she sues the victim for damaging her car. No, really.

Bike Snob introduces you to suddenly bike-friendly New York.

 

International

Here’s what’s wrong with London’s pie-in-the-sky proposals that would remove bike riders from the street.

“Old men in limos” are working behind the scenes to derail London’s plan for separated bike lanes.

The Daily Mail freaks out when Kerri Russell rides a bike sans helmet and talking on a cell phone.

A former British soldier recalls liberating a Dutch town in World War II by bicycle 70 years ago.

Sad to see Andy Schleck retire from pro racing at 29, after a career that started with such promise.

Okay, so maybe bicycling isn’t really the fastest form of transportation in Perth. Then again, the results might be a little different coming from a less biased source, no?

 

Finally…

Probably not a good idea to ask your Twitter followers to shoot another bike journalist, even if you’re not serious. Or especially if you are. If you profess to be a psychic, don’t channel a recently fallen rider, all the details of which could probably be found by picking up the local paper.

And one more benefit of bicycling — you probably won’t have a secret police file from scanning your license plates.

……..

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to help support this site.  

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