Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Koretz reportedly kills Great Streets bike lanes in Westwood Village; new Redondo bike lanes paved

So much for Great Streets.

According to UCLA’s Daily Bruin, the Westwood Community Council discussed removing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the city’s Mobility Plan, despite being unanimously approved by the full city council as part of the 2010 bike plan.

And yes, CD5’s Paul Koretz was one of those councilmembers who voted to adopt the plan.

Yet Koretz has already single-handedly killed bike lanes on Westwood south of Santa Monica Blvd, and now the Daily Bruin reports he’s agreed not to allow the much-needed bike lanes to be painted in Westwood Village, which is scheduled to be part of the Great Streets program.

Even though the plan currently under consideration doesn’t remove a single traffic lane or parking spot from UCLA south to the Expo Line.

Thanks to Koretz, Westwood will continue to fail the thousands of students and faculty who ride to the campus every day, as well as the countless more who will come when the Expo Line opens next year. Not to mention anyone wishing to visit the area’s shops and restaurants by any means other than motor vehicles.

All this from someone who claimed to support implementing the bike plan in his own district. But who has, through his actions, become one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of bicycling and the safety of cyclists on the Westside.

Clearly, the bike plan, which LA bicyclists had to fight for, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

And evidently, neither is a formal approval by the city council.

Maybe what we need is a good lawyer.

……..

VeloNews says pro cycling once again shot itself in the foot by penalizing Richie Porte for accepting a wheel from a member of a competing team when he punctured in the Giro. There’s something wrong when the rules stand in the way of genuine sportsmanship.

Meanwhile, the director of Team Sky wants you to be able to hear radio communications between team directors and riders.

And the Feds say Lance continues to obfuscate, as Olympic champion Nicole Cooke blames the “Cult of Lance Armstrong” for continued doping problems in cycling. Note to Cooke: Pro cyclists doped long before Lance joined the peloton, and many will continue to as long as they think they can get away with it.

……..

Ted Faber reports the new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes have been paved and painted green; at last report was they’re still scheduled to open by Memorial Day.

Redondo Bike Lane

……..

Local

Streetsblog explains what the misguided decision to include just one sidewalk on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge really means. Hopefully new CD4 Councilmember David Ryu will keep his promise to hold out for bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides.

Santa Monica students take part in the Bike It Walk It program, which is now part of the Safe Routes to Schools Initiative.

The LACBC, CICLE and Metro host the last in their series of family friendly Southeast LA rides this Saturday, with a six-mile route through Bell Gardens.

 

State

The California Bicycle Coalition offers their monthly report, and urges action to increase funding for the state’s Active Transportation Program.

Speaking of Calbike, Damien Newton talks to board member Chris Kidd, who also serves on the boards of Walk/Bike Oakland and Bike East Bay. Chris has come a long way since he founded the LADOT Bike Blog while serving as an intern with the agency.

Thirty-seven Orange County kids got to take home a new bike as part of the national Build-A-Bike program for military families.

Yet another bike rider was shot and killed this week, this time in a Santa Ana drive-by late Tuesday night.

Bike cops return to Costa Mesa for the first time since the 1990s.

A local TV station says a cyclist is in critical condition after colliding with another rider in a Lompoc pro race on Wednesday. However, there doesn’t appear to have been a pro race in the area; maybe it was a group or training ride.

Heartbreaking profile of a San Francisco bike rider who lost his life following an “amazing renaissance” in the last few years. This is the price of our dangerous streets, even though most victims never receive more than a few inches in the local paper. If that.

Eureka decides not to ban bikes from the sidewalk to combat bike-born burglars. Note to Eureka: Not everyone who rides on the sidewalk is a criminal, especially where safe bikeways are lacking.

 

National

Yet another study shows bike riders and pedestrians overpay for their share of the road, while imposing almost no costs for wear and tear.

The Bike League says if bicycling is going to continue to grow, bike shops need to welcome everyone.

Forget just biking to work; the office of the future will allow you to ride up to your desk.

Tucson agrees to pay a bike rider $1.8 million, without admitting guilt in the case, after he was run over by one of the city’s garbage trucks while riding in a bike lane. Although it looks like they’ve admitted responsibility about 1.8 million times.

Investigators are questioning whether the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist could be linked to a series of shootings on nearby I-25; a triathlon planned for this weekend has been canceled because of the shooting.

Formerly bike friendly Wisconsin continues its attack on bicycling, proposing a $25 tax on every new bicycle sold; this comes after the governor’s proposal to eliminate the state’s Complete Streets requirement. I don’t have a problem with taxing bike sales as long as 100% of the fund go to pay for bike infrastructure. However, the amount of the tax should be tied to the value of the bike; a $25 tax is more likely to discourage someone from buying a $250 bike than it would a $2,500 one.

Chicago business leaders stand behind efforts to preserve one of the city’s most heavily used protected bikeways during a construction project.

A Nashville bike club gives away 25 bicycles to honor a member who was killed in a robbery Monday night, in an attempt prevent more violence by getting kids on bikes.

Bicycling reports on a Philadelphia company where all 114 employee commute by bike.

The widow of a cyclist sues to force improvements to a Maryland highway where her husband was killed five years earlier.

 

International

A cyclist and a jogger team up to save the life of an Ottawa bike rider after he fell into a canal next to a bike path; he was still clipped into his pedals as he sank into the water.

An anonymous 90-year old Montreal man has given free bikes worth over $600,000 to local kids for the past three decades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Newfoundland city councilors want to rip out a lightly used bike lane so local residents can park in front of their houses again. Never mind that ridership might increase if they waited until the city’s bike plan was actually completed.

A couple riding across South America with their dog launches a crowd-funding campaign to pay for cataract surgery after the Westie goes blind.

London bike-jackings are on the rise; over 550 people were mugged for their bikes while riding last year.

Scientific American reports on several cities where it’s faster to ride a bike than drive during rush hour. Not surprisingly, that includes LA, where traffic averages 8 mph on one unidentified corridor.

 

Finally…

Yes, a New York man is stealing purses and iPhones, but at least he does it while riding a Citi Bike. A Portland cyclist who helps bike theft victims recover their bikes had his own stolen while he was watching a news report about his efforts.

And if your bike isn’t safe inside a medical marijuana dispensary, where is it?

 

Morning Links: Ramsay endorsement, a way to measure 3-foot violations, and Sagan takes the AToC by 3 seconds

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote in tomorrow’s election if, like me, you live in LA’s 4th council district.

I’m casting my vote for Carolyn Ramsay.

Then again, so is every other bike rider I know who has publicly expressed an opinion. Endorsements for Ramsay range from Bike the Vote LA to the LA Times, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the candidate previously favored by many cyclists, Tomas O’Grady.

If anyone in the cycling community has endorsed David Ryu, I’m not aware of it.

It’s not that there aren’t a few questions marks surrounding Ramsay.

Like the fact that her boss and mentor, outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge, has publicly supported bicycling for years, while quietly stabbing us in the back time and again. LaBonge was personally responsible for the death of the long-planned 4th Street bike boulevard, as well as killing bike lanes on 6th Street and Lankershim Blvd, at least until he leaves office.

Which can’t happen soon enough.

She has also publicly questioned current plans to put bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd, preferring crowded, high traffic and high speed Sunset Blvd as an alternative.

Yet Ramsay has tried to make it clear she is not LaBonge, and thinks for herself.

When I spoke to her after a debate, she seemed stricken to learn just how poorly her boss was perceived by cyclists. And said her support would go beyond words and an occasional bike ride.

She also said that she would keep an open door and an open mind. And was willing to be convinced in cases like Hollywood Blvd.

Unlike her former boss, who turned a deaf ear to pleas from bike riders if they conflicted with demands from home or business owners. And would often cave in at the first sign of objection, rather than trying to find a workable compromise.

The one advantage I can credit Ryu with is that, unlike Ramsay, who has spent years working in LA’s less than democratic city hall, he would bring a much-needed outside perspective to the office.

But as Ramsay points out, there are advantages to knowing how to get things done on the council, without having to learn on the job.

You can read the responses from both candidates to bicycling issues on the LACBC’s detailed candidate survey.

But whatever you do, get out there and vote.

Because your right to vote doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

And with turnout expected to barely reach the double digits, every vote matters; this election could be determined as much by who doesn’t vote as by who does.

LA bike riders are depending on you to make the right choice.

……..

In what could be a huge step towards enforcing three-foot passing laws around the country, Chattanooga police develop a radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car.

The LAPD, LA Sheriff’s Department and CHP need to get their hands on this ASAP.

……..

You don’t have to understand French to get the message behind this beautiful TV spot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smREcqxm6D0&sns=tw

……..

Now that’s more like it. The Amgen Tour of California comes down to mere millimeters in the final stage from LA to Pasadena, as Peter Sagan wins by just three seconds. VeloNews looks at the winding road that put him atop the podium.

Meanwhile, Contador continues to lead the Giro whil taking nothing but over-the-counter pain killers for his dislocated shoulder; a writer for the Guardian says his toughness puts a lie to all-too-frequent homophobic slurs against cyclists. Cycling Weekly looks at what a solo breakaway feels like.

Former pro Jens Voigt settles into life off the bike as a race ambassador and quasi philanthropist, while Wiggo calls for mandatory bike helmets.

And women’s racing has a long way to go to catch up to the men; pay is so low some riders can’t afford to join a pro team even if they get the invitation.

……..

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the decision to keep traffic lanes over sidewalks on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was based on outdated Level of Service metrics.

KCET’s Krista Carlson looks at how local resources and social rides can help turn every week into Bike Week.

The Westwood Business Improvement District applies for a Great Streets grant. And considers using the funds for parking improvements. No, really. This is the kind of thinking that has helped keep storefronts empty in what should be one of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo Neighborhood Greenway opens May 30th.

 

State

Not surprisingly, Governor Brown once again ignores active transportation in his proposed state budget.

Writing for Bike Newport Beach, David Huntsman says bicycling would look less dangerous if you’d just take your helmet off when you get off the bike.

The San Diego Association of Governments goes back to the drawing board after an auto-centric regional transit plan was rejected by the courts.

A planned 50-mile Coachella bike path is threatened by a dispute over funding for maintenance.

Writing for the Fresno paper, a CHP officer says cyclists and pedestrians can be discourteous, just like law-breaking drivers. I’d call breaking the law in a dangerous, multi-ton machine more than mere discourtesy. But hey, that’s just me.

Fresno riders take over a local freeway. Hopefully, courteously.

The cyclist who crashed into an 80-year old woman on a Marin County pathway tells his side of the story, insisting she stepped into his path as he tried to avoid her; the CHP is investigating the crash.

Instead of embracing a socially and environmentally friendly form of tourism, the Sausalito city council continues to complain about the up to 1,000 bikes and riders who visit the city each day. Maybe the town should find a way to accommodate bikes instead of fining the people on them. Or bike riding tourists may decide to spend their money somewhere they’re actually wanted.

A 50-year old cyclist is killed in a collision with a truck during a double century race in Solano County; witnesses report he went through a stop sign.

The Turlock newspaper apparently believes a bike helmet could have kept an 11-year old bike rider from suffering a leg injury in a collision.

 

National

A planned Montana bike path is rerouted to preserve a century-old landmark tree.

Three upstate New Yorkers face charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; the driver was on the phone when she veered off the road, and her sister and boyfriend allegedly helped cover up the crime.

Today Show host Matt Lauer will be riding 250 miles from New York to Boston, in support of NBC’s Red Nose Day to call attention to children living in poverty.

New Jersey has the nation’s second highest percentage of fatal bicycle and pedestrian deaths; a proposed four-foot passing law has stalled in committee.

The DC area’s Bicycle Bandit is busted after a series of two-wheeled getaways following bank robberies; thanks to Nancy Duley for the heads-up.

Instead of saying a bank robber used a bike to make his getaway, a Florida paper writes that a local bank was robbed a bicyclist. No bias there. Has anyone ever said that a bank was robbed by a car driver?

 

International

Famed theologians, including Albert Schweitzer and C.S. Lewis, rode bikes; the story quotes Schweitzer saying he used his “abundantly and with delight.”

Sad news from Mexico, as a 17-year old BMX rider is killed in a fall attempting to qualify for the national Olympics.

London’s Telegraph says one way to make London better would be bike lanes that don’t make riding more dangerous. Busting more bike thieves, as London police did at the famed Brick Lane Market, would help, too.

The owner of a UK trucking firm who called bike riders the worst of all road users joins with a bike shop owner to metaphorically sing Kumbaya and call for détente on the streets.

A European study says traveling by car instead of bike costs society six times more. And yes, bike riding really is environmentally friendly.

Nigerian cyclists threaten to give up the sport if there aren’t more races.

A Kiwi cyclist gets a two-year ban for doping.

 

Finally…

Brooklyn’s love affair with the bicycle goes back nearly 150 years; even before a certain baseball team threw its first pitch. An Alaska truck driver somehow manages to see a salmon cyclist sneer at him as she blows through a stop.

And both discredited American former Tour de France winners continue their legal pissing match. If anyone other than their lawyers still care.

 

Morning Links: LA’s DPW goes forward to the past, the Bike Week beat goes on, we’re #8, and a pretty bike painting

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

Just a few of the bike riders who turned out for the Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday; photo by Carolin Kewer.

……..

LA’s Department of Public Works continues to plan for the city’s auto-centric past.

Evidently thinking the word Public refers only to the motoring public, the department is recommending that the reconstructed Glendale-Hyperion Bridge should have even fewer crosswalks than the current unsafe crossing.

But hey, we will get a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, using existing structures left over from the old Red Car trains, right?

The City Council’s Public Works Committee will consider the DPW’s recommendation for the much-hated Option 1 for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Friday morning. CiclaValley offers a good look at why that’s a bad thing.

The speedy hearing looks like an attempt to rush the plan to approval before the new CD4 representative has a chance to oppose it; both candidates in next week’s election prefer the third option, which would remove a lane to create space for pedestrians and bike riders, resulting in a projected 10 second delay for motorists.

Yes, 10 seconds.

Seriously, how much more harm can Tom LaBonge do before he finally leaves office?

………

Tuesday's non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

Tuesday’s non-denominational ceremony including Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist blessings.

More Bike Week news, as Monday’s kickoff press conference makes self-professed cynic Joe Linton smile.

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles, along with Monday’s panel discussion on the future of bicycling. And a reporter for KABC-7 bikes to work, partly on the LA River bike path.

WeHo will host a pit stop on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, while Burbank will have four stops. You can find other pit stops on Metro’s jumbled one-size-fits-all Bike Week map. Is it just me, or is 50-plus pit stops kind of pathetic for a county this size? Seriously, any business that does business with bike riders and doesn’t host a pit stop needs to take Marketing 101 over again.

While you’re at it, bike to the library; the Central Library in DTLA is hosting a free class in bike maintenance Thursday evening.

Bike Snob says the problem with Bike Week is it encourages inexperienced riders to take to their bikes for a few days before they get back in their cars.

On the other hand, people who bike or walk to work are 40% less likely to be tense in the first hour at work.

……..

Washington leads the list in the Bike League’s latest ranking of bike-friendly states, while ‘Bama checks in dead last; California moves up a notch to number eight.

……..

Cav makes it two in a row in the Amgen Tour of California, but Latvian rider Toms Skujins takes the leader’s jersey in stage three. And no, I never heard of either of him, either.

The only rider to compete in every Tour of California unfortunately exits his 10th and last one in an ambulance after a crash. The Lodi paper is impressed with how fast pro cycling is.

And you have one more chance to see the world’s top women riders in action at Friday’s Big Bear time trial. You’ll have to be there in person, though, since women’s racing isn’t deemed worthy of TV coverage.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Simon Clarke takes the pink jersey after a “tempestuous” stage in the Giro. That massive crash caused by a fixie-riding fan in stage two is caught on video, as is a vicious face plant during a descent by Italian rider Domenico Pozzovivo.

And Giro officials are on the lookout for bike doping, inspecting pro riders bikes for hidden motors.

……..

Local

Bike theft continues to soar in Los Angeles, up nearly 60% in DTLA; a police spokesperson says there’s no real consequences for property crimes since the passage of Prop 47, which reclassified some crimes as misdemeanors to reduce jail overcrowding. As my friend Eric W. pointed out, rising rates of bike theft could also be a result of rising riding rates; more bikes on the road means more poorly protected bikes and more bikes to steal.

The first Finish the Ride hit-and-run billboard goes up in Pasadena. Let’s hope we soon see these everywhere.

UCLA will paint new bike lanes in Westwood Plaza in less than two weeks.

The Malibu Surfside News reports on Friday’s Bike Rodeo and unveiling of the new PCH safety video.

 

State

Outside rides Eroica California.

The U-T San Diego says hopping on a bike can start a lifetime of fitness, and the best place to ride is your own neighborhood.

Runners and cyclists feed abandoned kitties in Ocean Beach.

Rancho Mirage rejects participating in the planned 50-mile CV Link through the Coachella Valley, preferring to keep bike riders on a dangerous highway.

A 72-year old Saratoga cyclist passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack; he was found on the side of the road with no evidence of a hit-and-run.

Sacramento’s Department of Public Works recommends a goal of converting all the roadways in the city to complete streets — including bike lanes — within 20 years. Hello, LA? Hello?

NorCal’s AAA offers Watch For Bikes mirror stickers to encourage motorists to do just that.

 

National

Six reasons why bicycling is the fastest growing form of transportation. The seventh is because driving is already maxed out.

Biking and waking studies get barely more Fed funding than chicken trucks.

The new biopic about Lance Armstrong could be released in the US later this year.

A new Portland app will automatically count bike riders as they pass through select intersections, while a cyclist in the city catches a confrontation with a car prowler on his helmet cam.

An Alaska cyclist says bike lanes will just be a myth until everyone believes in them.

Someone is sabotaging Arizona mountain bike trails by placing rocks in the path of riders. Whoever is doing it should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; anyone hitting those rocks without warning could be seriously injured. Or worse.

Proof there are good people in the world. After two Missouri boys steal a bike from a special needs girl, an anonymous Good Samaritan buys her a new one.

 

International

The Mounties offer advice on how to keep your bike safe from thieves, including the suggestion that secure condo bike parking usually isn’t. They also recommend registering your bike so it can be identified if it’s stolen. I’m just saying.

A Brit hit-and-run driver gets seven years for killing a cyclist after claiming he thought he’d hit a wheeled trash bin. So what kind of idiot hits anything without stopping to check?

The Netherland’s 230-foot long solar cell bike path has already generated enough electricity to power a single home for an entire year. Now if we can just build them into every highway and surface street, we might be onto something.

 

Finally…

When bicycles die, their wheels live on as a host to cucumbers and rap battles. A fake water bottle converts your ride to an e-assist bike.

And a new bike ID won’t just identify you if anything happens, it can also open a beer bottle.

……..

One last note.

In one of those only in LA things, I found myself talking with the woman next to me as we waited for a our laptops to be repaired the other day.

Yes, my little Macbook Pro — not a Powerbook, as the folks at ReaniMac in Hollywood repeatedly corrected me — will be fine, thanks to a new hard drive. In fact, it runs better than ever, which seems like a fair exchange for leaving me a little poorer.

But as we chatted, it turned out that in addition to a successful acting career, Tessie Santiago is also an artist who recently had her first showing.

She started out showing me her paintings of dogs, since I was there with a very bored Corgi. But as she flipped through the images on her phone, she quickly became one of my favorite undiscovered LA artists.

So if you’re feeling artistically inclined, take a look at her work. And if you know someone who owns a gallery, tell ‘em to give her a call, already.

Tessie-Santiago-Bike-Painting

Unfortunately, this is her only painting of a bicycle. And she doesn’t have any paintings of Corgis.

We’ll have to work on her on both counts.

 

Morning Links: More on efforts to undo Chase Street, bike riding family shot in WI, and apparently only dopes dope

Good commentary from Mr. CiclaValley (who apparently has no idea how hard it is not to type CicLAvia by mistake) on the ridiculous efforts to undo a road diet on Chase Street in Panorama City.

As he points out, the argument comes down, as it usually does, to the convenience of pass-through motorists versus the safety of people who live, work and attend school along the street, which was never intended to be the arterial people seem to use it for.

Or that the local neighborhood councils want it to be, at least.

Battles like this are best seen as the violent death throws of LA’s overdependence on motor vehicles. Simply put, the city has no choice but to change; as he points out, increasing capacity on our streets does nothing to reduce congestion in the long run.

The only choice we have is to provide viable alternatives to driving. Which means, not just providing transit options, but making our streets safe to bike and walk.

As an added benefit, improving safety also makes our neighborhoods more livable, resulting in increased property values and greater profitability for local businesses.

Which seems to be more than worth a small increase in congestion — which usually only lasts until drivers adjust to the changes, anyway.

But hey, that’s just me.

………

This one’s just too sad for words.

A Wisconsin father and daughter were killed, and the mother injured, when a stranger opened fire on a family out for a bike ride before killing himself. Just because he was pissed off after a fight with his girlfriend, and they happened to be there.

There are no words.

………

Give Lance his yellow jerseys back.

A new study says doping not only doesn’t improve performance, but it can actually have the opposite effect.

So Armstrong may have won in spite of cheating, not because of it.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

………

Local

The WeHo Bicycle Coalition posts candidate questionnaires for all the candidates in next months West Hollywood election, while the city’s City Council considers jacking up fines for parking in bike lanes.

Malibu is hosting a free bike rodeo for kids ages 4 – 13 this Friday afternoon, along with the premier of a new video promoting safety on PCH.

Look ma, no hands! Actor Orlando Bloom impresses the impressionable Brit press by riding his mountain bike hands-free through the ‘Bu.

A Long Beach rider walks away from a collision in Belmont Shore.

 

State

All-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk will compete in this year’s Amgen Tour of California, while former non-diabetic Astana rider Evan Huffman struggles to come back with an entry-level team competing in the tour.

A a meth-fueled Santa Barbara woman attempts to make her getaway by stolen bike after attacking an elderly woman with a pitchfork.

San Mateo County can afford to widen the freeway, but can’t seem to scape up enough funds for a safe way for bikes and pedestrians to cross it.

Bay Area-based Google gets a patent for how driverless cars can detect bike riders and recognize hand signals. But can it recognize the one we give to too many human drivers? Yes, that one.

Chico bicyclists smartly adapt the tweed ride for the California climate with an annual seersucker ride.

 

National

Advice on how to choose a lock and effectively secure your bike.

A $100,000 grant from REI helps fund protected bike lanes in six cities. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A Mac website says the non-Apple-made Stromer ST2 e-bike is such a blast to ride it shouldn’t be street legal.

A Honolulu protected bike lane increased bike traffic by 70% in just one year, while cutting sidewalk riding from 66% to just 14%.

Oregon begins a new campaign to increase bike tourism in the state.

My hometown offers an alternative to bike share, with a bike library that lends out bicycles to anyone who needs one. Note to the Coloradoan newspaper: Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Fort Collins wasn’t a cow town; it was all about the sheep. Which explains why my high school team was called the Lambkins, something I’m still trying to live down.

Yesterday we mentioned a cyclist with pancreatic cancer who spent the last three years touring the US. Now another rider pauses in Texas on a cross country ride to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer; his wife, who suffers from the disease, is following in the support van. My mother died of pancreatic cancer, as did Steve Jobs and Cardinal Joseph Bernadin. And as a relatively newly minted Type 2 diabetic, I face an increased risk, as well. I fucking hate cancer.

Tres shock! The editor-in-chief of Vogue is nearly flattened by a bike rider on her way to a New York red carpet event; the rider was reportedly led away by police.

Bono falls off his bike once again. But this time it was just a stunt for Jimmy Fallon.

West Virginia tells drivers to give bike riders three feet.

A South Carolina motorist faces an attempted murder charge for jumping out of his car and attacking a woman riding her bike; the victim was seriously injured in the assault.

 

International

Good for them. A UK appeals court tells a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist and tried to cover up his crime that he deserves every day of his eight-and-a-half year sentence.

A bicyclist is beaten to death by a motorcycle rider attending a wedding in India, after he lost his balance and broke a turn signal on the motorbike. A mob responded by trashing the wedding site, yet the couple still managed to exchange vows under heavy police protection.

Adult cyclists may soon be allowed to ride on the sidewalks in one Down Under state.

The LA Times looks at the problems besetting Giant’s giant Taiwan bike manufacturing plant.

Not surprisingly, the speeding Thai driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing three and injuring six, was under the influence.

 

Finally…

It often seems like spandex and those who wear it are under attack these days, but bike shorts still come in handy for smuggling a half kilo of coke jammed into your nether regions. When you’re claiming to be the victim in a road rage incident, it helps if you don’t head butt and bite the cops when they respond; it also helps if the Kiwi press can manage to keep the damn parties in the story straight.

And caught on video: A Brit bike rider flips through the air along with his mangled bike after he’s hit by a car, and catches the whole thing on his helmet cam.

 

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ramsay, bike protest at Malibu City Hall, and rough week for LA cyclists

Too much news, good and bad, for one weekend.

So let’s dive right in.

……..

Bike the Vote LA has officially come out in favor of Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19th election for LA’s Council District 4, which they describe as crucial for LA cyclists.

And as someone who lives in the district, so do I. Bike-friendly improvements can’t come soon enough to an area where there are far too few safe and comfortable options for cyclists.

Riders are invited to join Bike the Vote LA to canvass for Ramsay on Saturday.

……..

LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the Planning Commission on May 29th at the Van Nuys City Hall. The plan incorporates the 2010 bike plan, which has been gutted in some areas by a handful of city councilmembers, despite being unanimously approved the council in 2011.

Evidently, unanimous votes don’t mean what they used to. Maybe they had their fingers crossed.

You might want to consider showing up to tell the Planning Commission how you feel about that.

……..

If you ride PCH or the Malibu Hills, you owe it to yourself to protest the illegal mistreatment of cyclists by the motorists on the highway, as well as by members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Join Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Malibu City Hall at 9 am on Saturday, May 9th, or meet him at Will Rogers State Park to ride into the city as a group. And hopefully not get any tickets for not riding in the non-existent bike lane along the way.

This has been an ongoing problem in the area, as bike riders work with the department to ensure fair enforcement, only to see new officers transferred in who don’t understand the basics of bike law, so the process starts all over again.

And it’s time it stopped.

……..

It’s been a rough week for LA cyclists.

According to a Facebook account, two bike riders training for the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride were mugged and robbed at gunpoint by three men on the LA River bike path Wednesday night.

One of the riders was eventually able to get away, but the other lost his bike and cell phone to the thieves.

Unfortunately, the account doesn’t say where it happened on the bike path. So be alert out there, especially at night. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

Then there’s this case, where a cyclist definitely didn’t get a three-foot passing margin.

In another Facebook account, a rider describes being passed by a vehicle so closely that the trailer it was pulling actually brushed his foot, scraping the side of his shoe — despite the fact that he was riding at the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Needless to say, the driver refused to take any responsibility, instead blaming his victim for being on the road. Or maybe the planet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

……..

A Santa Ana cyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked by a large truck when he came off a sidewalk into the street, and was caught under the rear wheels of the truck. He was dragged about 200 feet before the truck came to a stop.

As usual, the driver was not cited.

……..

Let’s catch up with the upcoming bike events.

Don’t forget Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records from noon to 4 pm this Sunday, benefitting the LACBC.

All ages are welcome to the family friendly second annual Walk ‘N Roll Festival in Culver City this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a breakfast ride on Sunday to kick off Bike Month.

Santa Clarita will host their free Hit the Trail community bike ride on Saturday, May 9th.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path.

Tour LA’s iconic street art with the Eastside Mural Ride on Saturday, May 16th.

……..

Local

CiclaValley goes climbing.

Councilmember Jose’ Huizar calls for re-evaluating streets in Downtown LA to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new bike from LA-based Pure Fix pays tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace. But could it support an extra large rider like Biggie?

Santa Monica businesses can join in the city’s 2015 Commuter Challenge: Bike Month to see which company can achieve the highest CO2 savings by having their employees bike to work through May. Which just happens to be National Bike Month, as well as the start of the National Bike Challenge.

Manhattan Beach residents raise a whopping 543% of their Indiegogo goal to market an affordable e-bike beach cruiser.

The long planned two-way bikeway connecting Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach should be rideable by Memorial Day.

Advice on bicycling in LA County from a student at Biola University.

 

State

Schedule your life around the TV viewing schedule for the Amgen Tour of California for the next few weeks. Needless to say, the women’s races won’t be televised — except for a one-hour 11 pm highlight show. So much for network support for women’s racing.

Unbelievable. San Diego police are looking for a road raging truck driver who hit bike rider in the head with a hammer during an argument. I repeat, he hit a bike rider in the head with a hammer. Proof that bike helmets really do help.

The San Diego Bike Coalition kicked off Bike Month a day early. Apparently, they were too excited to wait another day.

A Modesto driver gets six years for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist while she was high on meth; somehow, she was still allowed on the road despite two previous DUIs.

Sacramento considers putting more of their streets on a diet.

I’ve said it before: It takes a major schmuck to mug a small boy and steal his bike, this time in Calaveras County.

A proposed Merced bike path is the regional finalist in a $100,000 contest sponsored by Bell Helmets.

San Francisco buses get triple bike racks, something we’ve been promised down here now that the law has been changed to allow them.

A Marin equestrian says safely sharing every trail with bikes, hikers and horses is an illusion. Maybe so, but bike riders and hikers hardly ever poop on the trail.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 mistakes for beginner bike riders to avoid.

A new bipartisan Safe Streets bill in Congress would give planners two years to adopt Complete Streets policies for all federally funded transportation projects.

Denver bike messengers adapt to a declining market, while a London bike courier spills his secrets.

Mountain biking ex-president Bush does his best Elvis impersonation while leading wounded vets across his Texas ranch on the first leg of a 100 mile ride.

A Milwaukee writer discusses how to transport your dogs by bike.

A Vermont website worries that Complete Streets safety improvements will make things worse for cyclists in the wake of recent bicycling collisions. Even though none of them had anything to do with Complete Streets.

Bono still can’t play guitar five months after his bicycling spill in New York’s Central Park; it could take him another 13 months to learn if he’ll regain feeling in his hand.

Baltimore’s hit-and-run bishop gets defrocked four months after the alcohol-fueled death of a cyclist.

Wal-Mart isn’t responsible for the injuries suffered when a Mississippi boy took one of their bicycle-shaped objects for the spin through the store.

A Florida rider discusses when to pack it in and call the SAG wagon.

 

International

Advice on how to ride around the world from a Scottish rider who set a record doing it; a fellow world traveler writes about his plans to cross Australia by bike.

Here’s something LA riders can relate to, as a hard-won Toronto bike lane is blocked by a film shoot.

Canadian teens ride from Auschwitz to a Netherlands Nazi transit camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation Holland.

A UK rider is nearly garroted by an extended dog leash while riding on a bike path.

Caught on video: This is why you need good brakes, as a Brit bike rider barely avoids becoming bus fodder.

Also caught on video: The owner of a Dutch cat litter company converts his bakfiets into a kitty carriage for a 300-mile journey from Amsterdam to London.

VeloNews asks if the Vuelta has lost its mojo.

German police thwart an alleged plot to bomb a Frankfurt bike race; the race was cancelled in the wake of the arrests.

Touring China by bike may be the best way to find clean air and quiet in the booming country; meanwhile, a 28-year old Pomona College student is honored for teaching Chinese people how to take control of their own lives by building bamboo bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to sell a stolen bike, try to make sure your coffee-drinking potential customers aren’t off-duty cops. An Indian cyclist credits his survival in a hit-and-run in part to his knee and elbow pads, while a badly injured Brit rider thanks his badly mangled helmet.

Your next bike could be made of carbon fiber, ash and mahogany, though that wooden saddle looks a tad harsh. And you may never have to look up while you ride again; although personally, I’d be more impressed if it showed what’s behind me, instead. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the tip.

………

One last note. I’ve been told about a possible bicycling fatality in Granada Hills on Wednesday, but haven’t been able to get confirmation; both the CHP and the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division say they aren’t aware of anything. 

Let’s hope this one’s just a false alarm.

Guest post: BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on efforts to undo the Chase Street road diet and bike lanes

Last week we alerted you to an attempt by the Panorama City Neighborhood Council to sneak in a last minute vote on removing the road diet and bike lanes on Chase Street through the San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

Despite the late notice, a number of bicyclists emailed to protest the blatant attempt to bypass legitimate discussion of the issue, and a handful of riders were able to attend the meeting.

Glenn Bailey, Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers his report on the matter.

………

Existing bicycle lanes in Panorama City were under attack last week as both the Arleta and Panorama City Neighborhood Councils voted to support efforts to “restore” two additional lanes of motor vehicle traffic along a one-mile stretch of Chase Street between Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue. The bicycle lanes, installed a year ago, link a major commercial district in Panorama City with the existing bicycle lanes on Woodman Avenue, and will provide a future connection for the proposed bicycle lanes on Parthenia Street, which will extend west to Canoga Park. The Chase lanes also serve the adjoining Chase Street Elementary School and nearby Panorama Recreation Center.

The removal of the bicycle lanes has been spearheaded by the Arleta “Looky Loo” Neighborhood Watch group, even though the lanes are located in Panorama City and not in Arleta. They claim traffic is delayed “up to fifteen minutes during rush hour.” (Alternatively, bicycling the route at any time of the day only takes four to five minutes.)

The Panorama City Neighborhood Council (PCNC) held its regular fourth Thursday monthly meeting last week but the Chase Street bicycle lanes item was not listed on the agenda distributed three days earlier. Instead, the PCNC issued a second agenda for a special meeting that was not publicly distributed via the City’s Early Notification System until less than 11 hours before the meeting start time.

Generally, these “special” sessions are only called pursuant to State’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, to consider items that become known within two to three days before a regular meeting. However, public records indicate that the Chase Street bicycle lanes have been agendized by the PCNC at least twice over the last two years: in April 2013 and in October 2014. The issue was most recently considered by the PCNC Public Safety Committee at a meeting held on March 11, 2015 and yet the item was not included on the agenda for the next full Board meeting held on March 26, 2015. Instead, it mysteriously appeared six weeks later with virtually no advance notice for the public.

Despite the lack of public notice, the PCNC President, Viviano Montes, reported that the Board had received about twenty emails that afternoon supporting the bicycle lanes.   Two bicyclists who live in Panorama City and who use the Chase Street bicycle lanes on a daily basis did attend and spoke passionately in favor of keeping the lanes.

Two persons spoke against the bike lanes and apparently neither live in Panorama City, but rather in neighboring Arleta.  One speaker said the bicycle lanes should be “shared” with motor vehicles, apparently unaware that a five-foot lane width is too narrow to accommodate cars and that such use is a violation of the State Vehicle Code. She claimed to have petitions with 250 signatures to remove the lanes, but apparently a copy was not provided to the Neighborhood Council so the Board doesn’t know if the signers are actually from Panorama City or not.

But that was enough to influence some of the PCNC Board members who said they would vote to represent the wishes of the “majority.”  The vote was 10-1-3 (yes-no-abstain) to “ask the city to restore Chase Street to four traffic lanes between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard” which would necessitate the removal of the bicycle lanes. (A similar motion was passed the previous Tuesday by the Arleta NC on a 7-1-1 vote.)

According to the U.S. Census, the current population of Panorama City is 70,749 so if the Neighborhood Council wants to represent a true majority, they will need to hear from at least 35,250 more of their constituents.

Instead of undoing the road diet and removing the bicycle lanes, the City’s Department of Transportation should conduct a traffic and safety study and make recommendations to improve the flow of traffic, if necessary.  For example, the complaints about delays at the four-way stop signs could be addressed by installing roundabouts at those intersections.

The bicycle lane opponents vowed to submit their petition signatures to the local City Councilmember Nury Martinez (6th District) so stayed tuned as this story unfolds.

 

Action Alert: Panorama City NC sneaks in agenda item to remove bike lanes on Chase Street at tonight’s meeting

I just received news that the Panorama City Neighborhood Council will discuss removal of a recently installed road diet and bike lanes on Chase Street.

The group has already requested removal of the lanes in one section; now they’re planning to ask for removal of the entire road diet.

Worse, they’re trying to sneak this past the public without any real discussion by inserting a last-minute “special agenda” at the end of the previously published agenda. And allowing only eight minutes to consider the matter, effectively eliminating any possibility of legitimate discussion.

5. Consideration and possible action on the recommendation of the Public Safety committee that the Board ask the city to restore Chase Street to four traffic lanes between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. The Board has already taken action to request a return to four lanes between Wakefield Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. The council had opposed lane elimination in that area when the street restriping was still in the proposal stage. Now that the restriping has occurred, a dangerous condition has also arisen at the Woodman end, where parent traffic blocks the street while waiting to turn into the alley behind Valor Academy Middle School to pick up children. The through-street’s traffic capacity reduction is also causing huge backups along the street during rush hours, and a dangerous diversion of cut-through traffic to Parthenia Street between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard. That section of Parthenia has now changed from a quiet residential street to an arterial street. For all of these traffic disruptions, very few bicycles are ever seen occupying the two bike lanes that replaced the two traffic lanes. [8m]

If you live, work or ride in the area, you’re urged to attend tonight’s meeting:

PANORAMA CITY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING AGENDA

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:30 PM
Mission Community Hospital, Medical Office Building, 2nd Floor, Room 208 14860 Roscoe Boulevard, Panorama City, CA 91402

If you can’t make it, email your comments — and your outrage at the sneak attack — to PCNC@EmpowerLA.org; blind copy (Bcc) LA BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey at glennbicyclela@gmail.com.

Demand that they allow legitimate public discussion before taking any action.

And that they allow the bike lanes to remain until people in cars and on bikes both have a chance to adjust to the new road design — and give up this ill-advised attempt to revert the roadway back to a more dangerous state.

 

Morning Links: Bike the vote in Pasadena election; cyclists urged to defend Mt. Hollywood Wednesday

There seems to be an endless round of elections in the LA area these days.

While LA waits for the CD4 city council runoff next month, Pasadena prepares to elect a new mayor a week from today.

Boyonabike checks in with a detailed analysis of both candidates, concluding that current councilmember Terry Tornek is the best choice to bike the vote in the Rose City.

And Bike the Vote LA concurs.

……..

All hands on deck.

Anyone opposed to opening Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park to cars or trams is urged to attend Wednesday’s meeting of the Recreation and Parks Commissioners on Wednesday to speak on a public non-agenda item.

The meeting starts at 9:30 am at the Expo Center next to the LA Coliseum; you’re urged to arrive at 9 am to discuss strategy and ensure you’ll be allowed to speak at the meeting.

……..

Local

Ted Farber offers photographic proof that the long-discussed separated bike lanes near the Redondo Beach pier are about to become a reality.

Anthony Kennedy-Shriver will team up with the Beach City Cycling Club to promote the upcoming Special Olympics with four free rides in the South Bay this Saturday.

The two adults charged with mugging people on Santa Clarita bike paths last summer have been convicted after pleading no contest; three of the five youths arrested in the case have been placed in juvenile camps.

 

State

Cyclelicious asks if bike counts that only measure commuters undercount bike use. Short answer, yes.

The CHP is called out to investigate as someone tried to sabotage Sunday’s San Diego Gran Fondo by strewing hundreds of thumb tacks on the course. Let’s hope they take it seriously, since this sort of assault could result in serious injuries to a rider.

Phil Gaimon takes the men’s title in the Redlands Classic, while three-time runner-up Mara Abbott wins the women’s race; Gaimon also won in 2012.

A bike riding Hanford father and his three-year old son in a trailer behind him suffered major injuries when they were rear-ended by a driver doing an estimated 50 to 55 mph.

 

National

Bad stats never die. The National Law Review picks up on the highly flawed report on bicycling safety and fatalities from the Governors Highway Safety Association; those same states lead to the introduction of California’s proposed mandatory helmet law, which was recently withdrawn.

A new organization hopes to help guide cities in forming Vision Zero policies.

A Portland bike commuter learns what it’s like to be the one behind the wheel, while a petition drive seeks to strip the city of its platinum bike friendly status.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole a newly restored Stingray bike before it could even be given to an autistic Utah boy for his birthday.

Duluth MN attempts to brand itself as an urban mountain biking destination.

 

International

A Canadian website discusses why bike licensing programs simply don’t work.

Bike Radar looks at eight innovative ideas in bike security.

The head of Cycling Scotland calls for bicycle superhighways in the country. We could use a few of those right here.

If you need a good smile, Scot bike blogger Town Mouse races a little kid and nips him at the line.

The French state railway wants to give a legal spanking to the cyclists who rode through a crossing barrier moments before a high speed train blew by, while cycling’s governing body wants to know what the hell happened.

Caught on video: Three Russian cyclists are lucky to be alive after being sideswiped by a tanker truck; a car website wants to know who was at fault.

Great story as a young Rwandan is inspired to take up bicycling after seeing the national team riding by. And now rides for it, as the country struggles to put the 1994 genocide behind it.

The president of the Australian Cyclists Party insists the new political party made a difference in the country’s recent elections, even if it didn’t make a dent in the vote.

 

Finally…

British university town Cambridge posts a No Bike Parking sign, but only if you can read Latin or pseudo ancient Greek; so do you fail your course in ancient languages if you park there? A trailer has been released for bike racing’s equivalent to the Fast and Furious franchise from a Hong Kong director, although the original title of Breaking Wind has been changed, for obvious reasons.

And London’s Guardian tells the history of cities around the world by examining fifty buildings. So naturally, they choose a freeway interchange to represent LA.

 

Weekend Update: CA bike helmet bill dead for now, LA council votes on hit-and-run rewards Wednesday

Just a quick update to catch up on some of the more important news this weekend.

First up, good news from Sacramento, as the proposed law to require all bike riders to wear a helmet is dead for now.

Faced with almost universal opposition, Sen. Carol Liu has amended SB 192 to require a study of bike helmet use instead. Also gone is the silly requirement for all riders to wear reflective hi-viz after dark, which would have criminalized commuting in normal street clothes during the winter months.

Let’s hope the study, if the revised bill is passed, goes beyond the junk science we usually see on the subject. And considers not just whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet, but whether the victim actually suffered a head injury and if wearing a helmet could have made a difference.

Thanks to Calbike and CABO for their opposition to the bill.

………

The LA City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal to establish a standing reward for hit-and-runs this Wednesday.

The program would start at a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for property damage, rising to $50,000 if someone flees a fatal collision.

Anyone who has experienced hit-and-run first-hand — not just bike riders — is urged to attend the council session to tell your story in support of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, a press conference will be held at LA City Hall prior to the council session, starting at approximately 9 am; anyone who supports the proposal is urged to attend, whether or not you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run. This will also tie into the Finish the Ride event the following Sunday to call attention to the epidemic of hit-and-run on our streets.

If you can make it, email Damian Kevitt at damiankevitt@finishtheride.org to let him know you plan to attend, and give him a brief summary of your personal experience with a hit-and-run driver.

………

Word is that the people pushing to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive open to cars are keeping the pressure on city officials to make the temporary opening permanent — converting the treasured hiking, biking and horse riding trail into just another car-jammed street.

Which means we have to keep the pressure up, as well.

Swrve offers a sample email you can personalize and send to the following people:

I’d suggest adding your own city council member to the list, as well.

As a cyclist and hiker who regularly rides and hikes Mt Hollywood I urge you all to not open the Mt Hollywood gates, on the Valley and Observatory sides, to private vehicle or City tram traffic. It will create a hazard for cyclists, hikers and equestrians on the Mt Hollywood road, will disturb the serenity of one of the most popular trails and areas of GP, and needlessly congest a wild area.

Tram, private vehicle transit or parking on Mt Hollywood will crowd the road too greatly, be a new source of air pollution and will add to the safety hazards cyclists, hikers and equestrians already face in other areas of the park such as Fern Dell.

Thank you,

(your name)

You might also consider adding a line or two about the added risk of wildfires started by hot car engines parked over tinder-dry brush, or cigarette butts carelessly tossed by tourists who may be unaware of our current severe drought conditions — creating exactly the risk proponents say they’re trying to prevent.

………

Finally, a handful of events you won’t want to miss this weekend.

We’ve already mentioned Saturday’s unveiling of the work done as phase one of the Reseda Blvd Great Streets, and the workshop for phase 2 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Anyone attending this weekend’s Redlands Classic is invited to join in a social ride and bike parade hosted by the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance at 3 pm this afternoon.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Tour tonight, including an exhibit in the shop by Highland Park-based artist and musician Timothy Sellers.

Sunday evening, the LACBC is hosting a Pre-Climate Ride Party at the Angel City Brewery from 5 to 8 pm to raise funds for members of their climate ride team. The party is free to attend, but includes incentives for donating to your favorite Climate Rider:

  • $25 = 1 Beer Ticket
  • $50 = Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $75 = LACBC Membership + Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $100 = LACBC Membership + 2 Beer Tickets in souvenir pint glass + 3 Raffle Tickets
  • Raffle prizes include a Tern folding bike, a Laemmle Theatres private screening for 13, George Lopez tickets, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, a Timbuk2 messenger bag and more.

And if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Corgi Beach Day at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday morning. Unfortunately, our Corgi sends her regrets, since she’s not terribly fond of other dogs, particularly not ones as cute as she is.

Sienna-on-bed2

Morning Links: Survey asks what residents really think about Westwood bike lanes; cars vs. cyclists in Flanders

Enough with the posturing.

A new group called Westwood for All wants to know what local residents really think about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

This is from the press release announcing the questionnaire.

A community group called Westwood4all has released an online questionnaire to advance the discussion about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. The aim is to provide accurate numbers about local support for bicycle facilities on Westwood Blvd. Results will be shared with elected officials so that they can make an informed decision.

When planning a transportation network, the opinion of local residents is just one factor in a very complex equation. An informed decision by elected officials will also consider the network as a whole, the effects on the neighborhood, on business, safety, parking, environment, congestion, public health, etc. But if the general attitude of the local community towards bicycle infrastructure is known, then a controversial issue can be settled more easily.

So far, the cycling community has posted a petition with 500 signatories. A number of UCLA stakeholders have also called for bike lanes. The Business Improvement District in the Westwood Village has recently voted for bike lanes in the village. One the other hand, the leadership of some local homeowner groups and of the Westwood Neighborhood Council have objected to the plan. Our effort may help to resolve this conflict by documenting local attitudes for or against bicycle infrastructure on Westwood Blvd.

You can take the short survey here.

……..

The first LA bike has been reported stolen using our new Bike Index stolen bike notice. So be on the lookout for a gold Rocky Mountain Bicycles full suspension mountain bike.

……..

Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Tour of Flanders, while Alexander Kristoff took the men’s title. And an Irish rider won his weight in beer.

Although in the aftermath of the race, the story is more about who didn’t win than who did.

The real story, though, is that Shimano service cars took out two riders, one in a collision with another race vehicle; evidently, you’re not even safe from hit-and-run drivers in a bike race, as the video below shows.

Injured New Zealand cyclist Jesse Sergent is expected to be out about a month after successful surgery for a broken collarbone.

Meanwhile, American pro Peter Stetina will be out for the foreseeable future after he breaks his leg, kneecap and four ribs in a peloton pile-up in Bilbao, Spain.

And Jaguar and Pinarello came up with a unique suspension system to ease the discomfort of riding the cobbles, reducing road vibration 50% without adding significantly to the bike’s ultralight frame.

……..

Local

KCBS-2 looks at Reseda Blvd’s new protected bike lanes.

Evidently, close bicycle access to Mulholland Drive is now an amenity for new housing developments.

WeHo council candidates discuss whether bikes should be kicked off the city’s sidewalks.

A Pasadena mansion up for sale originally belonged to a man who made his fortune by inventing a more comfortable leather bike seat in 1892.

Metro, Bike SGV and CICLE invite you to take a tour of art, bikes and history in El Monte on April 26th.

 

State

In California, bicycling is somehow seen as a greater risk than polio and measles. Yet the state’s mandatory helmet law for kids, unlike voluntary vaccinations, shows no obvious benefit.

San Diego advocates call on the city to emphasize bicycling, pedestrian and mass transit infrastructure in the next budget. Meanwhile, the city gave approval a new retail development catering to cyclists and pedestrians.

Not exactly instant karma, but close. A San Diego County shooting victim was arrested, but evidently not convicted, in a 2006 head-on hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist.

A new three-mile stretch of the Coyote Creek Bikeway adds another link to the 66-mile OC Loop.

The popular Tour de Palm Springs could move to January.

This is why you always carry your cell phone when you ride. A Loma Linda mountain biker is rescued after injuring his head; a call to his wife following the fall triggered the search effort.

Santa Barbara will open a new bicycle skills park on April 19th.

Porterville residents pitch-in to buy a new bike for a Navy vet after the bike his great-grandson gave him was stolen.

A San Jose road diet gets mixed reviews, even though it seems to be working. I love this quote from a local resident, which should be recited at every public meeting to discuss one: “I suspect that folks truly wanting to speed are simply finding alternate routes, but who cares about them anyway?”

The Easter Bunny brought bicycles to 24 Suisun City kids at the annual egg hunt.

 

National

The right on red law, which was pioneered here in California, may make life easier for motorists but it raises the risks for everyone else.

The biggest thing keeping Americans from bicycling more is a fear of being hit by a car.

The Department of DIY gets to work in Salem OR as cyclists post their own homemade Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A Minneapolis writer says Pittsburgh should embrace bicycling because it makes a city more welcoming. Even though he won’t get on one for fear of being killed.

A Detroit man was killed when he was run over by a bus as he was trying to remove his bike from its rack.

A Muncie IN bike shop celebrates its 150th anniversary, although the shop has changed names, locations and owners. But other than that, it’s exactly the same, right?

Seriously? A Pennsylvania letter writer says bike lanes are a bad idea because they have to be maintained — unlike the rest of the roadway, evidently.

Florida police are ticketing drivers for violating the state’s three-foot passing law, but the courts are letting them off.

 

International

Bicycling looks at the race to the year record.

Two UK candidates blame immigrants for clogging the country’s bike lanes.

Two women are riding from London to Hong Kong to call attention to global food waste.

City Lab looks at the steps Paris is taking to become the world capital of cycling.

A new Spanish collapsible bike helmet appears to flatten down to the size of a large dog dish.

Indian villagers riot after police kill a cyclist while chasing down a driver who failed to stop for a DUI checkpoint.

An Aussie study says riding a bike at least once a week will lead to a higher quality of life. As long as you’re a man.

Bicycle sidecars remain a popular mode of transit in Myanmar.

China’s Flying Pigeon bike maker collaborates with a video website to introduce a “super” smart bike, which will incorporate a music player, navigation, social networking, health monitoring, anti-theft lock and turn signals. Or you could, you know, just ride a bike.

 

Finally…

Seven very tongue-in-cheek tips for urban cyclists, from always strapping a baby onto your bike, to politely taking up as little space as possible when you’re sprawled on the pavement. A Kiwi cyclist pedals to work in a giraffe-print onesie to calm aggressive driving; a requirement for adult animal-print onesies is no doubt being added to California’s proposed helmet and reflective clothing law as we speak.

And before you impatiently honk your horn and buzz a group of cyclists while shouting obscenities out the window, make sure it’s not a group of bike cops on a training ride.

Just a suggestion.

……..

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to help support this site. If the mood strikes, you can contribute here

%d bloggers like this: