Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Second lawsuit filed over Playa del Rey road diets, and bizarre racist traffic manifesto mailed

You knew it was coming.

In news that should surprise no one, a second lawsuit has been filed over the lane reductions on Vista del Mar and other streets in Playa del Rey.

This time, by the un-ironically named driver-activist group Keep LA Moving.

Which is fighting efforts to do just that in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, by demanding a continuation of the failed auto-centric planning that has harmed so many parts of our city, at the expense of everyone who isn’t currently in a car.

What is only a little surprising is the paranoid, tinfoil-hat wearing extremes to which they’ve taken their case.

According to a story in the Daily Breeze,

City officials have “engaged in a campaign of misinformation, name calling and race baiting, claiming that the aforementioned changes were made for ‘safety’ reasons, while the changes have made the affected roadways exponentially unsafe,” the lawsuit states.

Race baiting? Seriously?

In response to backlash, the lawsuit says, Bonin misleadingly used the stories of victims who were killed on the streets, failing to mention details that show lane reductions wouldn’t have prevented their deaths.

“In none of these cases was the unfortunate death caused by too many lanes on the road, or the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes,” the suit states.

Never mind that the victims might have survived the crashes if the traffic had been moving at a less deadly pace. Which was the expressed purpose of removing those lanes.

But here’s the best one.

It also accuses the city of failing to conduct adequate public outreach for the Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative, saying only 150 of Playa del Rey’s 12,000 residents were engaged in the process.

“LADOT thereafter populated neighborhood forums with outside, paid supporters to make it appear that local residents were overwhelmingly supporting the projects,” the suit states.

If you didn’t get your check, contact LADOT and demand payment. Because evidently, everyone else who supported the projects did.

And never mind that many, if not most, of those opposing the projects don’t even live in Los Angeles, let alone in Playa del Rey.

Keep L.A. Moving also alleges Bonin’s office has suppressed free speech by allegedly deleting critical comments and blocking users from his Facebook page.

Maybe they should give the 1st Amendment another read. Because I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Then finally, there’s this.

Keep L.A. Moving director Karla Mendelson said her group isn’t against safety, but wants to make elected officials think twice before implementing road diets.

No, they’re all for safety. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience them.

You can download a full copy of the lawsuit here.

………

Traffic safety advocates and neighborhood council members around Los Angeles have been receiving a very strange and offensive screed purporting to discuss traffic safety.

This bizarrely auto-centric piece, which is filled with bike hate and 180 degrees wrong on most traffic safety efforts, reads like the Unibomber’s manifesto, but without the intelligence.

Take this section on wide bike lanes. Please.

Even more frightening than the writer’s obvious glee at the fantasy of watching another human being die in the street, is the fact that these fliers have been mailed to people’s home addresses — an implied threat clearly saying “we know where you live.”

I’m told that at least one neighborhood council member has resigned as a result.

It’s horrifying to think that working to make this a more bikeable, walkable and livable city could put you in the crosshairs of people willing to threaten others to maintain their philosophy of autos über alles on the streets.

But that seems to be the world we live in.

……….

The self-proclaimed “LA’s #1 walking and biking advocacy group” we mentioned yesterday —which calls Vision Zero “population control,” and falsely claimed to be part of the non-existent group behind this website — says it will hold a public meeting at Intelligencia Coffee in Venice on Saturday.

If you live in the area, maybe you should drop in and see if they really exist.

And if they’re really there, give them a nice, big WTF for me.

And maybe a restraining order.

………

The Colorado Classic aims to reimagine bike racing; the Denver Post gives the details on all four stages.

Here’s your spoiler-free result of the first stage.

A Denver TV station says the presence of the Rwandan cycling team at the Colorado Classic sends a message of inspiration and hope, even if they’re not expected to win any stages.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis says banning Lance’s podcast is just being petty, as he prepares to return to mountain bike racing at the Leadville 100 with his Floyd’s of Leadville medicinal dope partner Dave Zabriskie.

Cycling great Andre Greipel says he’s lost all his instincts on the bike.

The Guardian offers a beautiful photo essay examining the 2,400-mile Transcontinental bike race across Europe.

……….

Local

Maybe one day your summer bike rides could be a bit cooler, as Los Angeles experiments with changing the surface color of streets to reduce roadway temperatures.

Great profile of 16-year old Los Angeles public transit enthusiast Kenny Uong.

CiclaValley discovers the San Fernando Valley’s secret climb.

Helen’s Cycles is sponsoring a trio of rides throughout the LA area tomorrow.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson offers his own inimitable advice on commuting to work.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News credits the removal of the Herondo wall on the Hermosa border and widening the bike path with opening the entrance to Redondo Beach, leading to a boom in business along Harbor Drive. So much for bike lanes killing business, as the above lawsuit asserts, as well as the “fat bike lanes” in the manifesto.

 

State

Residents insist that traffic congestion is a nightmare in Lytle Creek, even without any road diets or bike lanes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bike rider is sent flying when he apparently hits a curb after swerving to avoid an SUV that left-crossed him.

A San Francisco website says there ain’t no party like an East Bay Bike Party.

A 74-year old Healdsburg man will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for an unsafe pass that apparently caused a women to fall off her bike during a charity ride.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a specialized bicycle from a Navy vet who was using it to recover from paralysis, after he was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan.

Violent crime is increasing on a Sacramento bike path with one of the region’s highest concentrations of chronically homeless people; one rider reported getting punched in the jaw just for being there.

 

National

Streetsblog asks why cities shouldn’t fund student bikeshare passes like they do transit passes.

No surprise here. A new study showed that adult-supervised bike trains to and from school increased physical activity for kids, providing 35% of their daily recommended exercise.

Seattle discovers the most effective way to cut solo car commutes is charging for parking by the day, rather than by the month. Just imagine if they combined that with safer streets to encourage more walking and biking at the same time.

Speaking of Seattle, the city’s limited experiment with dockless bikeshare doubled to a total of 2,000 bikes this week, and could double again when two more suppliers hit the streets. My apologies to whoever sent this; unfortunately, I’ve lost track of where I got this story. But thank you anyway.

Caught on video too: A safety conscious Spokane burglar straps on a helmet before riding off with a homeowner’s bike, while ghost riding another.

Good idea. A Kalamazoo MI bike club printed and distributed 100 lawn signs to promote the city’s five-foot passing law.

The Pennsylvania bicyclist on trial for obstructing traffic testified that he was simply riding in the center of the lane to avoid debris on the right and prevent unsafe passing.

A tone-deaf Atlantic City editorial says bicyclists have to ride responsibly to protect themselves from distracted drivers. Which is probably true. But wearing a bike helmet isn’t likely to prevent a collision. And even the brightest hi-viz and lights won’t help if someone is looking at his or her lap instead of the road.

Emmy nominee Keri Russell is one of us, as a fellow bike rider strikes up a conversation about her show The Americans as she waited at a Brooklyn stop light. A) Conversations like that never happen when you’re in a car, and B) it’s proof that bicyclists really do stop for red lights.

Leonardo DiCaprio is still one of us, and still riding bikeshare bikes across New York. No word on whether he stopped for stop lights or paused to speak with any other bike riders, however.

A New York lawyer goes looking for video of the hit-and-run that put a bike rider in the hospital, and finds a city-owned truck with damage matching the one that hit her.

 

International

A 16-year old Calgary boy has raised $8,000 to fight cancer as part of a 124-mile charity ride, four years after an eye exam lead to the discovery of a baseball-sized tumor in his brain.

Edmonton, Canada is testing side guards on trucks to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

Toronto developers are starting to build carfree, bike-only condos.

The sister of a fallen teenage bike rider lashes out at young Brit riders who put their lives at risk by pulling stunts in front of cars. Although you’d think she’d blame the stoned driver who killed him, instead.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike mechanic tackles a bike thief who tried to make off with his bike after he leaned it against a wall for a few moments.

The mayor of Melbourne, Australia threatens to deal with the problem of abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes by banning them entirely.

 

Finally…

Why bother biking to work or slogging through traffic when you can just swim. You could do worse than the Sneaky Cyclist Robber, as far as bank robber epithets go.

And a mountain biker tries to take a $149 Walmart bike down some steep singletrack, with predictable results.

Morning Links: Insights on the Venice Great Streets debate, and Complete Streets discussions in the South Bay

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Mar Vista Community Council debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The quasi-governmental body defeated a motion to reject the Venice Great Streets project and return the street to its previous six-lane configuration, before voting 10-1 to support Vision Zero and a six-month reassessment of the project.

Two hours of public comment were roughly evenly divided, with nearly 60 speakers on each side.

Project proponents emphasized the need for safety in response to personal histories of collisions, injuries, and relatives’ traffic deaths. Speakers also brought up climate change, noise pollution, excessive space still dedicated to cars, and improved conditions for seniors and disabled. Proponents emphasized giving the recently opened project a chance to prove itself.

Project opponents raised issues of impacted commute times, emergency response delays, tsunami evacuation routes, disabled access, scofflaw cyclists, excessive Westside development, worsened air quality, and untrustworthy city data – questioning whether the project actually makes the street safer. Ironically, supporters held up orange paper signs stating “stop the unsafe streets project.” Opponent statements included “we want our lane back now,” “L.A. runs on four tires and an internal combustion engine” and “this is not Amsterdam, this is Mar Vista.”

After the meeting, one supporter offered these thoughts after finding himself surrounded by opponents of the Great Streets project, which provide some valuable insights going forward.

(I’m withholding his name due to the vitriol and anger displayed by some of the opponents, and have edited his comments slightly).

The anti crowd was for the most part older, and extremely entrenched in their viewpoints. Their perceptions, accurate or not, will supersede anything put forward by any of us, but especially those of Councilmember Bonin and the LADOT. It doesn’t matter that these perceptions were most likely forged while the project was under construction and therefore the most disruptive. I believe that the way forward is not through this crowd. They will not be moved regardless of how well the project proceeds. At best they’ll quietly subside over time.

Even before the meeting began I heard repeatedly that bicyclists are lawless, always running stop signs and red lights, have no regard for the rules of the road, and “if I hit one I’ll be to blame.” This sentiment was expressed in varying forms every time a professed bicyclist spoke to the council. Being a bicyclist in their minds somehow qualifies one as an activist and therefore not entitled to voicing an opinion. Never mind that pretty much everyone in attendance was an activist simply by attending.

Simply put, I believe the anti crowd feels they are the victims through all this. They see themselves as being overrun by an “elite” bent on making war with their entitled right of dominance of access. It’s almost impossible for them to fathom that a grown person would use a bicycle as anything other than recreation.

However, aside from a few disparaging remarks about victims of traffic, it was clear that the pedestrian safety component of the project transcends the divisions on the other issues. While I have my personal opinions about their concerns over safety, it was heartening to feel even a tiny bit of consensus.

Then again, those opposed to the Great Streets project might want to consider the results of this road diet in Orlando FL before making any rash decisions.

Because of this project, College Park’s main street has become a thriving corridor. Safety greatly improved after the project: total collisions dropped by 40 percent, injury rates declined 71 percent, and traffic counts briefly dropped 12 percent before returning to original levels. Pedestrian counts increased by 23 percent, bicycling activity by 30 percent, and on-street parking—which buffers the sidewalks from automobile traffic—by 41 percent.

In addition, the corridor has gained 77 new businesses and an additional 560 jobs since 2008.

The value of property adjacent to Edgewater and within a half mile of the corridor rose 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

That’s what Mar Vista residents have to look forward to, if they just have the patience to let it happen.

………

Hermosa Beach will discuss the city’s Bicycle Transportation Network at a special city council meeting next Monday, as part of the PLAN Hermosa (scroll to bottom).

The same night, there will be a public workshop in Manhattan Beach to discuss Living Streets and Complete Streets in the South Bay.

Although you might ask them why complete, livable streets are okay for the South Bay, but not Playa del Rey.

………

CNN takes a look at bicycling travel destinations around the world, starting with ten bicycling international routes that will take your breath away, including the Great Divide trail and a rail-to-trail conversion in Montana and Idaho. As well as the five best bike paths in Sydney, Australia.

And follow up by offering their own listing of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

None of which are named Los Angeles.

………

No surprise who won the sprint finish in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, which Bike Snob says has outlived it’s usefulness.

Bike Radar writes about trained boxer turned cyclist Nacer Bouhanni throwing a punch during Tuesday’s 10th stage, but all they really seem to care about is his new bike.

Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang will continue in the Tour, despite suffering two small fractures in his left arm after colliding with a teammate on Wednesday; the San Francisco Chronicle responds to all the injuries this year by calling the race a full-contact sport.

A ceremony will be held today on the slopes of Mont Ventoux to honor fallen cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the ascent during the 1967 Tour de France; race leader Chris Froome plans to honor him during Thursday’s stage.

Former pro Danny Summerhill accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail for firing his gun into a hill between two Colorado homes because he was having a bad day on a training ride. Of course, the unanswered question is why he had a gun on his bike, and where he kept it.

Now that’s the right kind of podium girl. German cyclist Florenz Knauer got down on one knee on the podium to propose to his girlfriend after winning a British Columbia grand prix.

A writer for the Guardian says Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st Century, following her transition from Scottish cyclist and journalist Robert Millar.

………

Local

The LA Weekly considers why there are no bike lanes in Skid Row, as residents call on the city to treat them fairly.

The SCV Bicycle Coalition is providing a free bike valet at Saturday’s Concert in the Park by an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band in Santa Clarita.

A dozen people learned mountain biking skills and etiquette at a free month clinic offered by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) at Malibu Creek State Park.

CiclaValley has a blast descending Old Topanga Canyon.

 

State

San Clemente has opened a new two-way cycle track along El Camino Real, along with a separate pedestrian walkway.

Former world champ and Olympic cyclist Amber Neben worked with special needs kids in Riverside to learn how to ride an adaptive bicycle.

Ventura County is planning to install three miles of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Thousand Oaks.

Caltrans proposes filling a gap in a Shasta bike trail in hopes of bringing more tourism to the town.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study shows that people who live in areas with more transportation options have better health.

Strider has formed a non-profit to help distribute their balance bikes to children with mental, physical, or financial challenges.

A Gold Star mother and father stopped in Albuquerque on their four-month bike tour across the US to honor their sons, and all the military men and women killed since 9/11.

Sounds like fun. A Wichita KS bar hosts a show for “freak bikes” or “rat bikes” — aka any funky, weird or unusual bike.

A Wisconsin airman is back to serving as an MP, after two years of training fulltime as a cyclist as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

In a sign of just how seriously authorities don’t take traffic crimes, a Wisconsin man was held on a ridiculously low $1,500 bond after he was arrested for attempting to intentionally run over a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A Michigan driver lost control and rolled his car down an embankment. So naturally, the guy on the bike gets the blame.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway originally told police a man and a woman on the side of the road threw a bicycle at him.

City Lab looks at the battle over bike lanes in Baltimore, where the mayor had threatened to remove a protected bike lane before being stopped by a court order.

 

International

The crowdfunding campaign we mentioned yesterday for a Calgary cyclist clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail has been frozen after the victim closed the account; a police sweep of the trail found no safety issues. And yes, something smells very fishy.

There’s a special place in hell for the men who stole a nine-year old Winnipeg boy’s bicycle, then dragged him behind their pickup when he tried to stop them.

A Halifax randonneur became the first woman to complete a 621-mile Nova Scotia brevet in 74 hours or less, finishing with 10 hours to spare.

Singapore-based Obike becomes the first dockless bikeshare system to open in London, competing with the well-established Boris Bikes.

 

Finally…

Bicycling can make you a better surfer. No need to worry about road debris when you have your own leaf blower bike to blow it away.

And clearly, nothing has changed on LA streets in the past 96 years.

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

………

Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

………

Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

………

The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

………

Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Morning Links: Venice NC supports data-based decision, angry Playa del Rey Op-Ed, and war on bikes goes on

Chalk up one small victory for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

John Montgomery attended last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, where a motion to immediately undo the recent lane reduction and installation of a parking protected bike lane was under discussion.

Here’s his report.

The Venice Neighborhood Council Parking and Transportation Committee met at Canal Club in Venice on Wednesday night and most of the evening was spent discussing the Great Streets project in Mar Vista. About 40 people attended, with approximately 15 residents of Venice taking part. Of the 15 Venice residents, at least seven turned out in support of the changes in Mar Vista in addition to several folks outside the area from various non-profits focused on pedestrian concerns. The rest were from Mar Vista, with some from the Playa area.

All-in-all the meeting was well run and controlled — and there was very little ugliness that often occurs at meetings where attendees are passionate about their views. I give committee chair Jim Murez credit for this — he was very quick to keep people focused and in line. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I do appreciate his effort to try to make it a positive meeting. Having served time on the Venice Neighborhood Committee, I know how difficult his job is.

The main discussion was a resolution apparently passed by the Mar Vista Transportation & Infrastructure Committee towards the end of June, which is very different from the motion listed in the Agenda (which is filed before the meeting). The very last paragraph of the motion demands that the changes be immediately reversed back to the previous three lanes in each direction.

Attendees discussed concerns about gridlock (20 to 30 minute travel times through the corridor), poor response times from first responders, the “incredibly unsafe” changes (such as not being able to see cyclists behind the cars in the buffer zone), and the fact that this “came out of nowhere.” The advocates, to a person, worked to dispel some of the myths that were brought up, focusing on the positive aspects about making a more livable Mar Vista “downtown,” as well as the fact that anecdotal evidence was not a way to make a sensible decision. They also brought up that this process was public since the middle of 2015 and numerous community outreach attempts were made…it was kinda hard to miss IMHO.

In my personal experience, travel times do increase during commute times (never as bad as 20 minutes) but at other points in the day traffic flows safely and normally — and I have GoPro video to document it. Several of us pointed out that the type of street changes implemented have almost unequivocally shown to increase safety when implemented in other areas, states, and countries. It is true that there is a learning curve with this type of implementation, but after the initial period the changes do end up being safer for everyone.

I was really impressed with the eloquence and thoughts of the cycling advocates (though I’m admittedly biased), who were incredibly positive about the changes while expressing empathy with some of the opponents’ perspective.  A main focus of advocates was to let this trial period play out and use actual data to back up decisions. LADOT’s Nat Gale spoke about all the data that was being collected, and that by the end of this week there would be a LADOT website about the project and the data being collected. He also announced that there would be an open house on Saturday, July 22nd (time and location to be determined) where the initial information would be shared and could be discussed with LADOT employees.

The only really ugly part of the night came when one of the residents opposed to the Great Streets project make a joke about a pedestrian being injured…which drew laughs/chuckles from a few in the audience. I’m sorry, but nothing is amusing about that. At all.

On the positive side, thanks to the advocates who turned out, the committee removed the last paragraph and instead replaced it with one requesting that the data be examined, that a meeting be held in Venice with Councilman Bonin, and that it not have a negative impact on the Venice community. The committee very much agreed that actual data should be used in such a decision and not simply anecdotal evidence.

I spoke with the committee after the meeting and thanked them — reminding them that almost half of the people who took the time to show up from Venice were in favor of the changes. After all, the committee is “Parking and Transportation,” so the deck is somewhat stacked against cycling advocates with the focus on parking. It was heartening to see my fellow Venice resident cyclists take the time out of their evening to show up and support a cause which I feel will benefit the community of Mar Vista. I especially appreciate their ability to separate the hype and anecdotes from fact.

Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting at the Canal Club; photos by John Montgomery

Venice residents who came out to support the Great Streets project

………

Meanwhile, a trio of angry drivers take aim at Councilmember Mike Bonin over the safety improvements in an Op-Ed in The Argonaut.

Think the same sort of sputtering anger you hear from a road raging driver, but in print.

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin justified his newly implemented “road diets” with an insulting diatribe about rich commuters from outside of our communities using our residential streets as highways. The truth is that Bonin’s “road diets” are wildly unpopular with his constituents and he refuses to admit it. He is replacing arterial lanes with bike lanes and parking on the premise that safety and commute times are mutually exclusive. Rather than objectively looking at facts, data and the numerous solutions that can truly make our streets safer, Bonin is misrepresenting details and using divisive rhetoric to force his personal ideals on us.

Note to angry Op-Ed writers: No need to put “road diet” in quotation marks; that’s what they’re called.

Of course, they then go on to compound their hyperbole with an un-objective look at the facts, data and solutions, reacting as only angry drivers can when they lose some of their precious road space in the name of safety.

Other than confusing the average of six collisions annually that result in serious injury or death with the 13 fender benders they site, they offer a collection of anecdotes with a complete and total lack of data to back it up.

And never mind that LADOT will study the results of the road diets, just as in the Mar Vista project cited above, and report back with actual stats and data on their effectiveness before any decision is made on whether to make them permanent.

It’s going to be a very long, angry summer.

You can show your support by signing the petition to keep Playa del Rey streets safe.

………

Today’s common theme is the war on bikes, which rages on.

A Seattle woman was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car while riding home with her husband. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Chicago man is under arrest for pulling a load gun on Critical Mass riders after some idiot sat on the hood of his car.

A FedEx driver in upstate New York faces a felony theft charge for taking a bicyclist’s phone after he tried to take photos of the driver during a dispute.

A Florida woman is accused of using her SUV to intentionally run down a bike rider she knew, then coming back to attack her again.

A road-raging Winnipeg, Canada driver repeatedly bumped a woman’s bike and shouted homophobic slurs, apparently for the crime of being in his way when he wanted to turn right at a red light.

A British bike rider was knocked off his bike, gouged in the eye and dragged by his dreadlocks after confronting a man over rumors he’d been insulting him.

Caught on video: A British truck driver drifts into a cyclist, who barely manages to stay upright after the truck sideswipes him and forces him off the road, then jumps out and starts screaming that the rider was at fault. Which he wasn’t, unless being in the same space the driver wanted to occupy is a crime.

On the other hand, police in the UK are looking for an “aggressive” cyclist accused of shouting abuse at parents as they pick up and drop off their kids at school. My guess is he’s just fed up with drivers cutting him off and blocking the roadway. Or maybe I’m just projecting from my own experiences with school-bound parents.

………

In today’s relatively spoiler-free racing news, the yellow jersey switched hands in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, while Italian champ Fabio Aru sent a message to the peloton. And American Andrew Talansky is off to an uneventful start in the Tour.

The debate over whether Peter Sagan should have been elbowed out of the Tour goes on, with almost universal disagreement with the decision; one track cyclist points the finger at Cavendish, instead.

Meanwhile, Ella Cycling Tips offers an update on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about comforting an injured woman who was hit by a driver, saying we don’t appreciate the vulnerability of pedestrians until it’s too late.

A Marina del Rey teenager raised $12,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation by riding from Mar Vista to Del Mar, stopping at several fire stations along the way.

 

State

An off-road rider was rescued by authorities above Ojai after apparently suffering heat exhaustion. A reminder to be careful riding in the extreme heat predicted for this weekend; bring plenty of water, and avoid riding in the heat of the day, if possible.

A moving new Salinas mural honors a fallen cyclist next to his ghost bike, three years after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was never caught.

San Jose will be installing several road diets and bike lanes over the summer. Which means San Jose bike advocates will get to have the same sort of fun we’re having with drivers enraged over losing a small amount of road space.

The San Jose Mercury News reviews Andy Samberg’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy, which airs this weekend on HBO.

Caught on video: A San Francisco driver gets out of his car to argue with a bike rider following a punishment pass. While the story correctly notes that police have to actually witness an infraction to write a ticket or make a misdemeanor arrest, the driver could have been charged with assault simply for getting out of his car to confront the rider. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the link.

Sacramento is building a three-quarter-mile long bike path along the American River, part of a planned bikeway leading to the Cal State Sacramento campus.

 

National

A new study examines the reasons people don’t use bikeshare; no surprise that the leading reason for all demographic groups was fear of traffic.

Another new study examines driver’s attitudes towards bicyclists, suggesting that the roadway is a battleground for social domination, rather than just a competition for space. Which explains the outrage over road diets.

An Op-Ed in a bicycle trade publication questions the lack of women in the bike industry, while noting the situation is poised to change.

Seattle is ready to make its third attempt at bikeshare, with as many as ten dockless bikeshare companies looking to enter the market; however, users are still required to have helmets, which may doom them all.

The massive Outdoor Retailer trade shows will be moving to Denver, in response to Utah officials support for downsizing the Bears Ears National Monument.

A Colorado man writes that he was hit by a speeding car while riding his bike, but instead of ticketing the driver, the cop lectured him about the wisdom of riding a skinny-tired bike on the street.

Nebraska will change the way it installs rumble strips to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

London’s former cycling czar accuses the new mayor of subverting plans for cycle superhighways, and maintaining capacity for motor vehicles even if it causes conflicts with cyclists.

An 18-year old British man has been sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a middle-aged man by scissor kicking him as he was riding his bike while walking his dog. Violence is never the answer, though the victim had provoked his attacker by repeatedly insulting him using racist terms.

Someone posted a handwritten sign urging drivers to slow down at an English intersection where a bike-riding father was killed, adding that it’s frightening to be passed by drivers going too fast and too close. And it is.

Caught on video: A bike-riding couple in the UK got dangerously buzzed by a speeding motorcyclist.

Better buy that $7,800 graphene-infused bike now; high-end British bike maker Dassi Limited was threatened with insolvency for failing to file required paperwork.

NPR looks at Copenhagen’s efforts to use technology to avoid bicycle traffic jams.

Get your bicycle tuned up. Hanoi, Vietnam has announced plans to ban motorcycles by 2030, the leading form of transportation in a country where few can afford cars.

 

Finally…

Looks like you can keep taking that EPO after all. Proof that there’s more than one way to lockup a bike; thanks again to Megan Lynch.

And some things are just too cute not to share.

………

Thanks to Joni Yung for today’s featured image of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

………

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

………

People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

………

Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

………

Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

………

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

………

Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

Morning Links: Driver busted in fatal Winnetka hit-and-run, and Krekorian kills Lankershim Great Street

As we noted last week, an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Winnetka.

Forty-seven year old Victor Mainwal Jr. was arrested Friday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, and is being held on $50,000 bail, with his utility truck impounded as evidence.

Police have not confirmed whether the crash was intentional, as a witness alleged.

The name of the victim has still not been released, pending notification of next of kin; the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

News of the arrest was first announced right here on Friday, and on the BikinginLA Twitter account.

………

Following in the footsteps of former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Councilmember Paul Krekorian snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last week.

Announcing his decision on the Friday before a three-day weekend — a longstanding public relations ploy to ensure whatever you do doesn’t make the next news cycle — Krekorian pulled his support from the nearly shovel-ready plan to remake dangerous Lankershim Blvd into a safer Complete Street that would meet the needs of all road users.

The LACBC reports that he blocked the plan, like LaBonge before him, saying it had to go back to the drawing board because of inadequate public outreach.

Apparently, the countless well-attended public meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes held over the past year don’t count. Never mind all the previous meetings going back nearly a decade.

Instead, Krekorian inexplicably threw his hat in with street safety opponents Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz and Curren Price, all of whom blocked much-needed safety projects supported by large segments of the community.

And never mind that this was exactly the sort of lifesaving project he claims to support, judging by this quote from Yo! Venice.

“Reducing pedestrian and traffic fatalities is something we urgently need to work toward,” said Krekorian, who serves as the Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.

Evidently, like Cedillo, Koretz and Price, he’s all for projects designed to save lives. As long as they’re in someone else’s district.

Which means businesses on Lankershim will continue to suffer, and people will continue to risk their lives, however they chose to travel.

And they’ll have their councilmember to blame.

The LACBC offered this call to action in response to Krekorian’s misguided decision:

We firmly believe that this is not an approach that is consistent with Vision Zero’s goal of saving lives.  Want to help? Join us in calling Councilmember Krekorian (818-755-7676) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (213-972-8470) today to tell them you don’t think this project needs to go back to the drawing board.

………

In today’s edition of how to lose your job as a pro cyclist, Daniel Summerhill, a rider on the United Healthcare Pro Cycling team, is charged with firing his gun at a Colorado hillside near occupied homes on a February training ride; he says he did it because he was having a bad day.

Never mind why he had a gun in his jersey pocket to begin with.

Needless to say, once word got out, he immediately resigned from the team.

Which is PR speak for they fired his ass.

………

Bid on a bike tour with cyclist and KPCC political and infrastructure reporter Sharon McNary — one of LA’s most insightful and knowledgeable members of the media — while you help support Southern California Public Radio.

………

The war on bikes continues, as a tire bounds across a roadway to attack a helpless bike before leaping into the arms of a man inside an office. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Local

Construction is nearing completion on the Venice Blvd Great Streets protected bike lanes in Mar Vista, which are already being used by bike riders, although local residents worry the loss of a traffic lane will cause more cut-through traffic. Which shows you what can happen when a councilmember — Mike Bonin, in this case — actually has the courage of his convictions.

LA’s Metro Bike will be expanding this summer, with new branches opening in Pasadena on July 14th, and along the LA Waterfront in San Pedro and Wilmington on July 31st.

The presumed death of the 710 Freeway extension means there’s now $600 million available to spend on transportation projects in the area, in addition to $100 million already budgeted for improvements including synchronized traffic lights, sound walls and bike lanes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Cal Poly Pomona student newspaper looks at the impact the loss of fallen cyclist and Cal Poly student Ivan Aguilar had on his family and fellow students, four years after his death.

If you lost a red Specialized Allez recently, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station could be looking for you after recovering one they believe was stolen.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune gets it right after a worrisome start, concluding that bike lanes have little or no negative effect on business. And are often good for local businesses, even if that means a loss of parking spaces.

 

National

A new video series explores the allure of tall bikes.

A Colorado woman will spend the next 12 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man on his bicycle.

The national Little Bellas organization helps empower young girls through mountain biking; the Denver Post looks at how a local chapter helps make a difference.

Massachusetts is adding a section on bike safety to their driver’s training manual, as well as posting a video on the Dutch Reach to avoid doorings.

Here’s another reason to ride a real bicycle. A former VP with Peloton was arrested at his Manhattan home for allegedly looting the indoor cycling company of $400,000 to support his lavish lifestyle.

GQ spots actor Justin Theroux riding his fixie through the streets of New York with a $3,000 Tom Ford bag on his back. Note to Theroux: Next time you have an extra three grand lying around, spend it on the bike, not the bag.

The New York Times offers a pretty good beginner’s guide to biking to work.

Evidently having run out of kids to order off his lawn, a columnist with the New York Post takes time out of his busy day to tell cyclists just how much they suck. Mike Wilkinson reminds up this is how it’s really done.

 

International

Toronto has a 10-year plan to build out a complete bicycling network to coax nervous riders onto the roads, though polite Canadian bicyclists want it built sooner, if possible. LA has a 25-year plan to create a safe bicycling network, but we’re told it’s only “aspirational.

A writer for Forbes recommends luxury self-guided European bike tours. Or you could just buy a good guide book, make some reservations, and start riding.

Treehugger goes in search of the lost British bike lanes.

A driver decided to use a new raised, separated bike lane as a convenient and traffic-free way to bypass all those other cars on an Irish highway.

A 73-year old German woman was killed by lightning as she rode her bike. A tragic reminder to find the nearest shelter if you get caught in a thunderstorm while riding; the National Weather Service advises waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before resuming your ride.

A Spanish art project shows the dangers of disappearing bike lanes by placing bicycles that disappear into blank walls, titling one “Cycle Lane 9 ¾ to Hogwarts.”

After a Bollywood actress is criticized for falsely claiming she was so poor she had to ride a bicycle to school, others point out her fellow students were so poor they couldn’t afford one.

A Billings, Montana non-profit collected 260 bicycles to deliver to impoverished villages in Jordan.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone who drives a 233 mph race car for a living is afraid to ride his bike because the streets are too dangerous.

 

Finally…

When you’re pedaling with plans to peddle the crystal meth you’re carrying, just put a light on your bike, already. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it — and leave the machete at home.

And your next bike could be made like a bamboo wicker basket.

 

Morning Links: LA Council revives Vision Zero funding, New York and Chicago show what can be done

Maybe they care after all.

Or maybe they were just stunned by the outrage.

Just days after the LA City Council’s Budget Committee zeroed out funding for Vision Zero in the city’s proposed budget — while saying they had no intention of doing exactly that — the full council passed a final budget allotting $27.2 million for Vision Zero over the next year.

Which is still nearly $53 million less than LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds says is needed to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% by the end of the year.

Let alone eliminating traffic fatalities entirely by 2025.

Surprisingly — and not surprising — the vote was unanimous to adopt the budget; not surprising, since the council usually votes in lockstep, but surprising that safety curmudgeon Councilmembers Koretz, Cedillo and Ryu went along.

It’s just a fraction of the amount New York spends on Vision Zero each year — let alone the additional $400 million in Vision Zero funding the city will spend over the next six years.

But it’s a start.

Only a start.

………

Demonstrating what Los Angeles could — and should — be doing, New York’s infamous Boulevard of Death has gone two years without a traffic fatality after being selected by the city as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor.

NYC added bike lanes, increased space for pedestrians and slowed traffic on Queens Boulevard, choosing to save lives at the risk of slightly inconveniencing drivers.

Meanwhile, as Chicago increased bike infrastructure 135% over the past decade, crashes dropped 54%, deaths and serious injuries fell 60%, and ridership jumped 167%.

Now that’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

………

Just in time for Bike Week, the Bike League announces two new Bicycle Friendly Businesses in California, including one in Los Angeles.

And strangely, the Coronado City Hall, where residents complained that bike lanes make them dizzy and compared them to desecrating their daughters.

………

The Sacramento Bee celebrates local rider Evan Huffman’s breakaway victory in Wednesday’s 4th stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while Thursday’s Big Bear stage ended in a surprising sprint finish after nearly four hours of climbing.

Bicycling looks at how Toms Skujins’ Cannondale team reacted to his crash in the Tour of California.

………

Local

After surviving this year’s election, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo thanks voters and touts his accomplishments, barely hinting at the raging discontent that nearly cost him his seat. Meanwhile, defeated challenger Joe Bray-Ali swears to hold his nemesis accountable “…for every misstep, every false move, every idiotic proposal…”

The Daily News looks at Wednesday’s North Hollywood Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox 11 discovers it’s Bike Month after nearly three weeks.

Burbank residents took to their bikes for Thursday’s Bike and Walk to Work Day in the city; no word on whether more people strapped on their sneakers.

Nothing like inciting a little panic about Pasadena traffic due to a confluence of events in the city, including the finale of the Tour of California; the Pasadena Star-News shows it’s possible to take a more measured tone.

Long Beach is collecting unloved and unwanted bicycles this Saturday to help find them a new forever home.

 

State

Bike Month puts the spotlight on bicycling in Solano Beach, thanks to the local advocacy group.

Thousands of San Diego residents took advantage of the 100 Bike to Work Day pit stops in the county.

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run murder of a Barstow bike rider, who was deliberately run down after an argument with a pickup driver.

A Santa Barbara chiropractor says wear your darn helmet, already.

A candidate for the Olympic track team was injured in a collision with a trash truck in Santa Barbara while he was riding his bicycle; he was riding, rather than running, due to an ankle injury.

San Francisco’s Ride of Silence was longer this year to remember the too many people killed while riding their bikes in the city.

The Sacramento Bee maps where you’re most likely to get hit by a car while riding your bike in the capital city, just in time for the start of the city’s bikeshare system.

 

National

Clean Technica says no, 80% of private cars will not disappear from American roads in the next 13 years.

Bicycling talks with long distance cyclist Brody Levin about how to have the ultimate bikepacking adventure.

Pro wrestler Dean Ambrose is one of us, as he talks about crashing his mountain bike a week before Wrestle Mania.

A Portland man is suing the police department claiming that he was just trying to ride his bike home from work when a cop stopped him, knocked him to the ground and arrested him, apparently for the crime of riding while black.

Seattle has the right idea. Instead of Bike to Work Day, they celebrate Bike Everywhere Day. Meanwhile, a Seattle bike rider writes a thank you note to everyone who came to her aid following a collision on Monday.

Forget toilet plunger protected bike lanes. A Texas bike club designed and built their own four-ton steel truss bike and pedestrian bridge.

An Arkansas newspaper looks at the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride, a 950-mile bike tour following the route of the 1830s Trail of Tears that devastated the Cherokee Nation.

A Chicago woman is suing the police department, claiming that she was struck by an unmarked police SUV while riding her bike, and the officer falsified the report to blame her for the crash.

Caught on video: Columbus, Ohio drivers are using an off-road bike path to bypass heavy traffic.

That’s more like it. A Pennsylvania man gets five to ten years behind bars for causing the chain reaction crash that led to the death of a woman on her bike; he was driving despite a suspended sentence and had synthetic marijuana in his system.

The war on bikes continues, as four Virginia bicyclists were attacked with a paintball gun from a passing car.

A Florida doctor somehow feels the need to point out that pro cycling is dangerous before offering safety tips for bike riders. Just like you should always point out how dangerous F1, NASCAR and IndyCar racing is before telling drivers to buckle their seatbelts.

 

International

Caught on video too: This is how quickly a dooring happens. And how close it can come to disaster.

Bike Radar offers six reasons you should leave your headphones at home on your next ride.

Political campaigning was suspended in Wales after former First Minister Rhodri Morgan collapsed and died while riding his bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero, as a Scottish man riding his bike home from work rescued a fawn drowning in a canal.

Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden remains in extremely critical condition in a Milan, Italy hospital with severe brain damage.

 

Finally…

Yes, your Ganesha bike shorts are offensive. Why teach people how to bike around cars when you can teach people how to safely drive around bikes?

And this is what happens when you get your bike too close to a crossing gate.

 

Morning Links: Ride of Silence tonight, Finish the Ride on Sunday, and Cedillo wins re-election in CD1 fight

Don’t forget tonight’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood.

There are also rides in a number of other cities throughout Southern California.

………

One event I missed in Monday’s seeming exhaustive listing of Bike Week events was this Sunday’s Finish the Ride: Ride, Run, Walk and Roll Challenge at Griffith Park.

………

Jezebel asks what happens when a bike-friendly LA city council candidate turns out to be an internet troll?

Sadly, this is what happens, as Joe Bray-Ali went from a likely upset winner to losing to anti-bike incumbent “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo in a landslide, ending what may have been the dirtiest LA city election in memory.

It shows just how much damage was done by the revelations of Bray-Ali’s online history trolling a racist website when he couldn’t muster more than 30% against the single most unpopular member of the city council.

And now we, and the residents of CD1, have to live with him for the next 5-1/2 years.

………

Italians are tanking the Giro, which now has a new leader wearing the pink jersey.

In today’s spoiler-free update on the Amgen Tour of California, Tuesday’s third stage was won by that famous guy who rides a bike.

Latvian rider Toms Skujins has been put in a concussion protocol following his dramatic solo fall in Monday’s Tour of California, while last year’s Best Young Rider is just this year’s spectator.

Never mind that some people might actually enjoy watching a bike race, just frighten them with scares of a traffic nightmare. Forget the bike race, let’s talk about what cyclists eat.

And something tells me LA ex-pro Phil Gaimon is having more fun now chasing racers than when he was one of them.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine looks at five ways biking is getting easier in LA, from Metro’s Bike Hubs to new infrastructure.

Stan’s Bike shop posted video from yesterday’s Blessing of the Bicycles.

Culver CityBus will give you free fare with your bike or bike helmet for Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

Burbank will celebrate Bike and Walk to Work Day on Thursday. Because setting aside just one lousy day to encourage and celebrate bike commuting just isn’t good enough.

Pasadena will hold a public meeting next Thursday to discuss the city’s Traffic Reduction and Transportation Improvement Fee.

Seriously? Unable to come up with the $1 million bail, a Long Beach man has been behind bars for nearly a year awaiting trial on felony charges of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer — all for throwing his bike at the cop who tried to stop him for riding without a headlight.

 

State

Encinitas officials are working to make the city safer for bicyclists.

Talk about not getting it. Apparently, the solution to traffic deaths in Palm Springs isn’t taming dangerous drivers, it’s making people — and their dogs — wear reflective hi-viz vests just to take a damn walk.

A teenager is donating the money he’s raised for the Tour of Novato to his high school robotics club.

Sad news from Lake Tahoe, where a bike rider was killed in a collision.

 

National

It turns out your bicycle is faster than your car. Mathematically speaking, anyway.

How to get your dream job working for Trek Bikes. I was once recruited to write advertising for Trek, but couldn’t convince my wife to move to Minnesota.

Kendal Jenner is one of us. Just not very good at it, apparently.

The founder of PayPal is one of us, too, and says his obsession with cycling makes him a better entrepreneur.

Always wear a helmet when you ride a Denver bike path to protect yourself from flying cars.

It takes a real jerk to steal a three-year old Rhode Island girl’s birthday bicycle before she even gets it.

The annual Police Unity Ride takes bike-riding cops from around the country on a 300 mile journey from New Jersey to DC to honor fallen officers.

Caught on video: Surveillance video captured the moment an NYPD patrol car smashed into a bike rider who appeared to be crossing the street mid-block. Which is just as horrible to see as it sounds.

Just days after a New Orleans cyclist was shot in the back with a pellet gun, a Mobile, Alabama woman was shot repeatedly with a pellet gun from a passing pickup while riding her bike; fortunately, she wasn’t seriously hurt and was able to get the truck’s plate number.

Caught on video too: A Florida 7th grader somehow managed to walk away after he was run down by a fishtailing hit-and-run driver. Warning: The video is very hard to watch, even knowing the kid came out okay.

 

International

A new high-tech fiber promises to make carbon frames lighter, stronger and less brittle than ever before. And they float, too.

Britain’s EconoTimes lists ten reasons we should all love cyclists. This should be required reading for everyone who drives a car. Or serves in government, at any level.

A British cyclist learns what it’s like when an airline breaks his bike in half, then refuses to do anything about it.

Israeli and Italian bicyclists rode 118 miles from Florence to Assisi to honor legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, recognized as a Righteous Gentile for his work saving Jews in WWII. Why he isn’t a candidate for sainthood, I will never understand.

 

Finally…

Face it, you’re not really a cyclist until you can speak the language. Just call him the bike lock whisperer.

And why ride your bike when you can dance with it?

 

Morning Links: Zero vision instead of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, and bike riders really do make better lovers

So much for Vision Zero being a priority in Los Angeles anytime soon.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that the new budget the city council will vote on later this week won’t include dedicated funding for the campaign to end traffic deaths in Los Angeles.

Even though the council’s Transportation Committee had voted to devote 60% of Measure M return funds to stop killing bicyclists and pedestrians.

And even though LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds estimated it would take $80 million to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% this year. Let alone ending them by 2025.

And even though the mayor’s own budget had included a woefully inadequate $16.7 million for Vision Zero.

Instead, the council’s Budget Committee voted to zero out funding for Vision Zero, while saying it was no one’s intention to zero out funding for Vision Zero. They promised to circle back at a later date to consider giving some unspecified piece of the pie to improve safety, while channeling much of the funding to repaving streets.

And we’ve learned from experience what their promises are worth.

As Linton wrote,

Despite LADOT having submitted a Vision Zero work plan with costs (see budget memos 130 and 131), Krekorian and Englander both asserted that directing monies to LADOT for Vision Zero was – in Krekorian’s words “buying a pig in a poke” – paying for an unknown quantity lacking “specific expenditures.” The Bureau of Street Services has not submitted an expenditure plan, but can pour money into its perpetually backlogged repaving programs, which divide expenditures by 15 for the 15 council districts….

In an interview with Streetsblog this morning, Bonin expressed frustration that his colleagues were praising the city budget for its no-kill animal shelters, while not yet dedicating any money to no-kill sidewalks. Bonin said that it didn’t make any sense for the council to put off Vision Zero funding that would prevent deaths and save lives. Bonin further stated that he is continuing to push for a genuine city commitment to Vision Zero.

So for now, at least, it’s exactly what so many of us have feared.

LA may have a Vision Zero plan. But zero commitment to follow through.

………

Forget those reports from a few years ago that bicycling can cause erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.

Because a new study shows no significant negative impacts for men or women; in fact, cyclists scored higher in sexual function than non-riders.

But we already knew that, right? And so did our undoubtedly very pleased significant others.

And you can stop riding those cut-out and cutoff saddles, because bike seats didn’t matter, either.

………

Metrolink will be hosting a Bike Week Twitter Party this evening.

………

As a public service, no more news about today’s elections in CD7, and especially, CD1 until we have actual results, and can kiss this seemingly endless election cycle goodbye.

You’re welcome.

………

Cycling Weekly takes advantage of a rest day at the Giro to catch up with who’s out of the race. America’s best hope took a hit as Tejay van Garderen cracked on Sunday’s stage, dropping four minutes behind the leader.

Monday’s stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California featured a long breakaway, a dramatic finish, and snakes. And Kiwis.

Latvia’s Toms Skujins was pulled from the race by his Cannondale-Drapac team despite somehow managing to get back on his bike following a particularly nasty solo fall during Monday’s race.

Team Sky’s Ian Bosewell wants to rebuild fans’ trust in American cycling by showing the new generation of riders can succeed without doping; he’s going to participate in a bike giveaway at the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club the day after the race’s Pasadena finish.

The AToC will roll along the Central Coast in today’s stage 3, finishing in Morro Bay.

………

Local

KNBC-4 wishes you a happy Bike Week.

The Daily News says business owners are struggling to deal with the increasing homeless encampment along the Orange Line bike path in Van Nuys, with open drug dealing and prostitution, as well as people turning the bikeway in an open air toilet. I’ve heard from several riders who no longer feel safe riding the bikeway, and asked an LAPD officer to look into it; he reported that they couldn’t be legally removed because they’re on private property.

The LACBC reports Culver City will get a Metro Bike Hub next year.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to proceed with the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network at today’s meeting.

 

State

Coronado suffered a rash of bike thefts, averaging nearly one stolen bike a day over an 11 day period.

The long-planned CV-Link multi-use pathway around the Coachella Valley gets final approval, after excluding Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells from the route. Which they will regret once it’s built and the bizarre resistance to the pathway fades away.

Nearly 300 chefs from around the US will depart from Santa Barbara on their bikes today, riding 300 miles to raise $2 million to help end child hunger; you can donate or sponsor a rider here.

It’s time for the four-day Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles next week.

Santa Paula police bust the bike-riding suspect who allegedly set a man on fire as he slept on a bench; the victim is being treated Los Angeles with burns over 50% of his body.

Writing in the Fresno Bee, a conservation advocate seems to believe the prospect of allowing bicycles in American wilderness areas will crack the final seal holding back the two-wheeled apocalypse.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a bike rider was killed in a crash on Mount Hamilton near San Jose. And a 15-year old boy was killed by a train while crossing a bridge in Manteca in the Central Valley.

Once again, San Francisco bike advocates form a human barrier to create a temporary protected bike lane.

 

National

Police departments across the US are going undercover to catch drivers texting behind the wheel. Except in Southern California, of course.

A Oregon paper asks readers whether there should be a tax on bicycles. And gets a response saying bicycles take up more room than cars do. No, really.

A 62-year old legally blind Idaho man has regained his freedom now that he can safely ride a bike on a Boise bikeway.

A Colorado man has been cited for careless driving after the tandem bike he was piloting veered onto the wrong side of the road and sideswiped an SUV, injuring two children on the bike.

The DIY toilet plunger protected bike lane movement has now spread to Omaha NE.

The former Governator took advantage of Houston’s bikeshare system while he was in town to give a commencement address.

A Michigan woman gets six months in jail for a fatal collision with a bicyclist because she had THC in her blood, even though she had the right-of-way and, according to her lawyer, police concluded there was nothing she could have done to avoid the crash.

Heartbreaking news from Indiana, where a driver lost control swerving to avoid a bike rider who had fallen while crossing the roadway and collided with a truck, killing an 11-year old girl in the passenger seat.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, who talks about Bike Week and the challenges facing Cincinnati’s growing bicycling community.

Once again, a bike rider has been struck by a cop responding to a call, this time in New York.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler delivered the keynote address at last week’s Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero Cities conference, asking if Vision Zero can work in a racist society.

Eight hundred riders turned out for a South Carolina bike race — including some of NASCAR’s top drivers.

Caught on video: The moment a New Orleans cyclist was shot with a pellet gun was captured on bike cam by one of his fellow riders; fortunately, he’s now out of the hospital.

 

International

Cycling Weekly takes a look at knee pain and what to do about it.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid’s effort to resurrect Great Britain’s forgotten bike highways of the 1930s continues to gain traction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A British army vet with early onset Alzheimer’s is riding across the country to raise funds to fight the disease that killed his father and grandfather in their 40s.

An Irish advocacy group says horses are treated better on the country’s highways than cyclists are.

In a terrifying, yet ultimately harmless crash, a South African cyclist was dragged behind a semi-truck after a hook from the truck got caught on his jacket.

A New Zealand bike advocate is concerned by a plan to let children, as well as older and disabled cyclists, ride on the sidewalk, saying it would put kids at greater risk from cars backing out of driveways. But evidently, running over older bike riders is perfectly okay.

One thousand riders from a dozen countries around the world turned out for a two day Chinese Gran Fondo.

 

Finally…

As long as they’re removing statues of Confederate leaders, New Orleans might want to rename a bikeway or two. Red Bull says tall bikes will save the world.

And don’t steal bikes, dude. Especially from America’s biggest bike race.

 

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

………

KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

………

This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

………

No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

………

Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

………

If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

………

Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

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