Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: BOLO alert in SaMo, 2015 bike/ped count released, and construction on Marina bike path

Santa Monica police are asking for the public’s help in finding the cowardly jerk who ran down a woman as she walked Tuesday evening and left her lying in the street with serious head injuries.

Be on the lookout for a possible 2000-2006 silver, four-door Nissan Sentra, which could have damage to the bumper, hood and windshield on the right front.

Anyone with information is urged to call investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954 or the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

Thanks to Damien Newton for the heads-up.

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The LACBC, in conjunction with AARP, released the findings of last year’s annual Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count, which for the first time show a decrease in bike ridership as the city largely stopped building new bike lanes.

The report includes a number of key findings, including:

  • The most popular streets for walking and biking are also the most unsafe: All of the top 30 count locations for people walking are located on the High Injury Network, along with 24 of the top 30 locations for people biking. These top 30 locations accounted for 65% of all people walking who were counted and 55% of all people biking who were counted. All of these locations are located in high-density neighborhoods, near major destinations, or in low-income communities of color. Almost all of the top 30 locations were in neighborhoods with median household incomes below the rest of the city.
  • As bike lane installation has slowed, new ridership has decreased: In 2015, riders continued to gravitate towards bike lanes; however the count shows an overall 9% year-by-year decline in same location ridership from 2013 to 2015. In the last two years, bike lane installation has decreased significantly from a high of 101 miles in fiscal year 2013 to only 11 miles in fiscal year 2015. Many of these new lanes have been installations where bike lanes could be included in other road resurfacing or safety projects, rather than installations along high priority corridors identified in the Bicycle Plan. Of the initial 183 miles of bike lanes prioritized in the 5-year Bicycle Plan Implementation Strategy, only 45 miles (25%) have been installed. As a result, the bike network in Los Angeles remains fragmented with large gaps in bike lanes along most riders’ trips. This lack of connectivity continues to be the greatest barrier reported by many people who bike or would like to.
  • Women want safer biking options: In Los Angeles, women make up just 16% of cyclists overall, but the gender disparity is lowest on streets with quality bikeways (bike paths at 22% and bike lanes at 17%) and highest on streets with no bicycling infrastructure. Cities with safer streets for bicycling in general tend to have smaller gender disparities in bicycling, such as Portland, Oregon (35%), and Copenhagen, Denmark (50%).
  • Bike lanes have made streets safer, but more work needs to be done: On the new bike lanes studied, bike ridership increased by 62% after installation. After accounting for increases in bike ridership, new bike lanes reduced bicycle crash risk by an average of 42%.

la-bike-ped-count-16-sheet

The full report is available for download here.

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Steve Herbert forwards news that the Marvin Braude bike path will soon be rerouted and improved where it currently twists awkwardly, and dangerously, through a parking lot around Pier 44 in Marina del Rey.

But riders will have to detour along Admiralty Way in the meantime.

Here’s what he had to say.

The Marvin Braude bike path snakes through Marina Del Rey connecting Ballona Creek & parts south to Washington Blvd. where cyclists can ride to Venice boardwalk or other parts of the region. Pier 44 is about to undergo renovation with the existing tenants, boats and trailers all cleared out. Pier 44 is at the end of Basin G of the marina which is bound by Bali Way on the north, Admiralty Way on the east and Mindanao Way on the south.

The bike path winds through this facility which is about to be closed and I asked Anthea Raymond, a Beaches and Harbors Department Commissioner I know, what plans there are to accommodate cyclists and the path while it’s under construction. Below are the answers and diagrams I got.

She didn’t provide any specific dates, but the pier is now a ghost town and I expect to see fencing and demolition equipment any day now just based on what I observe riding through the site as one of my commute routes.

And here is Ms. Raymond’s response.

Here’s what I learned about the Marina bike path, both during renovations on Pier 44 and going forward:

The Pier 44 project includes significant improvements to the bike path. Whereas the current bike bath snakes across the parcel, forcing riders to navigate around buildings and boat storage, the new bike path will have a straight alignment along the waterfront, next to the new 20’-wide pedestrian promenade.  Additionally, the project includes two public restrooms along the bike path, and bicycle racks that can accommodate 68 bikes.  This project also includes a WaterBus stop, because early on we wanted it to be a destination that people could visit by foot, by boat, by car, or by bike.  While the parcel is under construction, the bike path will temporarily be routed along the eastern portion of the parcel, adjacent to Admiralty Way.

Attached are site plans that show the existing and proposed paths.

Thanks for your concern.

Anthea

ps: While the parcel is under construction, the bike path will temporarily be routed along the eastern portion of the parcel, adjacent to Admiralty Way.

pier-44-current-conditions

pier-44-approved-plan

It looks to be a significant improvement to one of the worst sections of the popular beachfront bike path.

Let’s just hope the construction doesn’t take too long, and they provide an adequate alternative in the meantime.

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It’s time to catch up with upcoming bike events.

BikeSGV is hosting a pet and family-friendly Pet-acular Bike Train tomorrow. But neither you or your pet are allowed to use training wheels.

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance to honor victims of traffic fatalities; 40 artists will participate in the event with LA Road Concerts in Downtown LA.

Malibu is hosting a community outreach meeting on November 29th to discuss the problems with parking along PCH; anyone who’s ridden the coast highway through the city knows the dangers poorly parked cars can pose.

Metro’s El Monte Bike Hub will host a Commute 101 Clinic on November 30th to help you get more comfortable riding your bike to work or school.

San Bernardino will hold 14-mile Inland Regional Center Memorial Ride on December 2nd, riding one kilometer for each of the 22 people injured in last December’s terrorist attack, which is equal to 14 miles for each person killed. A similar ride will start out from Redlands, with 22 turns to honor the wounded and 14 miles to remember those killed.

Milestone Rides is hosting their annual holiday toy ride to Camp Pendleton on December 3rd.

As noted yesterday, the LACBC will host their annual open house on December 7th.

Recently retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is teaming up with the LACBC for the second annual Mulholland Clean Up on December 10th.

Finish the Ride will hold their Ride, Run, Walk N’ Roll Holliday Challenge in Van Nuys on December 11th.

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Members of Team Novo Nordisk discuss how to compete while managing your diabetes; each of the 18 riders has Type 1 diabetes.

Yes, you can win a national hill-climb championship on a bike assembled from parts purchased on eBay.

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Local

Congratulations, Los Angeles. You win the prize for the most dangerous city for speed-related traffic fatalities.

The co-founder of Burbank based Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — talks about what’s it’s like to found a business with his best friend.

Pasadena, Altadena and San Marino Rotary Clubs will team together to build and donate 200 bicycles for underprivileged children this holiday season. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

The LA Times says bike paths along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers offer a glimpse of what Pico Rivera looked like before LA’s eastward expansion steamrolled the area.

Santa Monica wants to know what you think about transportation options in the beach city, but only if you live or work there.

Long Beach creates a protected bike lane by installing green bollards on Studebaker Road, even though local residents call them distracting eyesores.

CiclaValley concludes his three-part Veteran’s Day journey with a family ride through Berkeley.

 

State

The afore mentioned Damien Newton discusses the effects of the recent election with Calbike’s Jeanie Ward-Waller.

UC San Diego officers remove over 700 apparently abandoned bicycles from campus; if they go unclaimed for 90 days, they’ll be donated to charity organizations.

Menlo Park considers a grade separation that would create a 1.6 mile bike boulevard along the Caltrain railroad tracks.

Alameda wants to build a 600 foot bike and pedestrian drawbridge connecting it with Oakland.

Nevada City middle school students — yes, middle school — learn frame building by building their own from scratch as part of a program that refurbishes bikes for homeless people.

 

National

Several bike-related businesses make Outside Magazine’s list of the top 100 places to work, including bike-friendly, employee owned New Belgium Brewery in my hometown. Do I really need to say that the town didn’t become bike friendly or open its first craft brewery until after I left?

Bicycling discusses the joys of riding at night.

Seattle’s failing bikeshare system gets a March 31st deadline to get its merde together.

Life is cheap in Oklahoma, where a distracted driver will serve just 10 months of a 15 year sentence for killing on cyclist riding across the country for Bike and Build, and critically injuring another; she’ll also have to speak publicly about what she did.

Apparently, not even Secret Service agents are safe on our streets. A uniformed agent was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while riding near the White House.

In a remarkable move, a New York city is moving forward with plans to convert a parkway near Niagara Falls into a multi-use bike path.

 

International

A Toronto paper traces the 40-year fight for safety and acceptance of bicyclists through the life of a man who was photographed on the back of his father’s bike as a five-year old in 1976. Yet oddly, they don’t bother to show the photo.

British authorities arrest three teenage suspects for the murder of a recently released convict who was kicked off his bicycle by a group of young men last month.

A British town gets it, saying if close passes make people too afraid to ride a bike, it’s a police matter.

Now that’s more like it. Drivers in a North London borough could have their cars crushed if they’re caught passing bike riders too closely twice in a single year. And yes, bike cam video counts. Now if we could only get California to do that for hit-and-runs.

Like LA, advocates blame stalled bike path plans, as well as draconian fines, for a drop in the number of bicyclists in Sydney, Australia; last year the state government gave up on plans to double the rate of cycling.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything by bicycle; even lemonade, cookies and a polar bear.

And you’ll be happy to know that drinking beer is good for your cholesterol levels. So ride to your nearest bike-friendly microbrewery, and salute!

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On a personal note, it was a pleasure to meet St. Louis-based Cycling Savvy instructor and BikinginLA contributor Karen Karabell and LA-based Cycling Savvy instructor Gary Cziko yesterday.

It’s great to talk with fellow advocates who don’t let differences in approaches to bicycle safety get in the way of finding common ground in their efforts to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone who rides.

Not to mention just spending some time with a couple of very nice people.

First rule of photography: Never stand so your shadow falls on your subjects

First rule of photography: Never stand so your shadow falls on your subjects

Morning Links: Villaraigosa announces 2018 gubernatorial run, and pro cyclists stunned by election results

Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa formally announced his long-expected candidacy for governor of California in 2018 when Jerry Brown’s term ends.

It was under Villaraigosa’s watch that CicLAvia began and the comprehensive 2010 bike plan was adopted, with his now forgotten commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year.

And yes, it all started when he fell off his bicycle.

Let’s hope he makes support for bicycling a key part of his campaign platform.

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Not surprisingly, the pro cycling world is horrified over the results of this week’s election. Except for Russian former team owner Oleg Tinkov.

An excerpt from a new book looks at the early career of America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

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Local

The victim’s wife — and the only witness — in Sunday’s road rage carjacking describes the fight with the bike rider who killed her husband and stole their car. A GoFundMe account to pay funeral expenses has raised $19,000 of the $30,000 goal.

The LACBC says there were lots of questions but few answers at the Army Corps of Engineer’s workshop this week to discuss the sudden closure of the LA River bike path. Which isn’t surprising, given the Corps tight-lipped, we-know-best reputation.

The CHP will increase traffic safety education efforts and step up enforcement of bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists.

If you’re in need of a good ciclovía to raise your spirits after a stressful week, Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event comes to the city’s Midtown neighborhood this Saturday.

In ten years the Long Beach Coastal Coaster bike group has grown from a few friends to several hundred coaster bike riders flooding the city on the first Sunday of every month.

 

State

A law firm ranks the most dangerous intersections in California, almost all of which are in the Los Angeles area; eight of the top ten are in the San Fernando Valley.

A USC graduate just passed into Mexico on a ride from Alaska to Argentina to raise awareness about spinal chord injuries after a friend was paralyzed in a drunk driving crash.

San Luis Obispo’s proposed transportation sales tax increase falls to a narrow defeat; Sacramento’s plan also went down in a photo finish, as well. Which is ridiculous when California’s two-thirds requirement to increase taxes means the will of the overwhelming majority of voters is ignored. And don’t get me started on the electoral college.

 

National

American voters approved $170 billion in transportation funding, including public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian projects to make up for a shortfall in federal funding, which is likely to get much worse under the incoming administration. Although Strong Towns says let’s not waste any of it on sharrows.

Forbes discusses how HED Cycling’s Anne Hed picked up the pieces after the death of her husband, and co-founder of the company.

A local Eugene OR weekly discusses how local advocates are working to remove the barriers to bicycling.

A Houston radio station talks with one of the authors of a new study from the Urban Land Institute that shows real estate developers can see big returns by including facilities for walking and bicycling.

An Iowa driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider while high on drugs; unfortunately, no reason for the attack was given.

What the hell is going on in Michigan these days? Four bicyclists were struck in a hit-and-run, once again in Kalamazoo County; fortunately, only two of the riders were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

A new North Carolina law requires cyclists to have a red rear light on their bike or wear reflective clothing at night.

 

International

Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider — not to arrest him, but to thank him for loaning his bike to an officer to chase after a suspect.

The parents of an Irish boy killed in crash while riding his bike channeled their grief into donating ten defibrillators to the local police department.

The mayor of Islamabad, Pakistan will inaugurate new segregated bike lanes.

The new Chinese LeEco Super Bike comes complete with virtually everything built-in, except e-power.

 

Finally…

Evidently, there’s an illegal motorized bicycle scene here in Southern California. Most nine-year olds are content to ride their bikes in the playground.

And wheelie-popping kids terrorize Philadelphia.

No, wheelie.

 

Morning Links: Pro bike forces carry the day in LA area; Trump presidency could mean end to federal funding

The good news in Tuesday’s election was the victory of most bike-friendly proposals and candidates in the LA area.

Metro’s Measure M passed with overwhelming support, increasing the sale tax by ½ cent indefinitely to fund transportation projects throughout the county; the measure is expected to raise roughly $120 billion over the next 40 years, including at least $4 billion for walking and biking. The measure promises to help reshape the city into what LA Times Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne calls the Third Los Angeles.

LA County’s Measure A also passed with far more than the required 2/3 majority to provide funds for parks, open space and recreational facilities; hopefully, some of that will go towards completing the missing links in the LA River bike path through DTLA and points south.

In addition, nine of the ten candidates endorsed by Bike the Vote LA were on their way to victory, including Laura Friedman and Stephen Bradford, both of whom were endorsed here.

The good news extended to Santa Monica, where all three of the city council candidates endorsed by the group won, while the city’s draconian anti-growth Measure LV failed.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s Tamika Butler writes about the organization’s success with the passage of the measures they supported, while movingly noting the fear among the LACBC’s highly diverse staff over the outcome of the national vote.

Further south, San Diego’s transportation issue Measure A failed, and Republican Rep. Darrel Issa, the richest man in Congress, barely survived his Democratic challenger after campaigning by bicycle.

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Nationally, the news is good for drivers, not so much for everyone else.

Our soon to be president Donald Trump promises to rebuild America’s roads to make them second-to-none; however, the GOP platform calls for eliminating funding for rail, mass transit and bicycling.

Meanwhile, an industry site looks at how a Trump presidency will affect the bike trade.

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Bike Radar takes a ride along the route of the iconic Paris-Roubaix classic.

Cycling News talks with former cycling great Jan Ullrich, who retired before he could be banned for doping.

A pair of North Carolina twins born one minute apart both podiumed at the recent Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, their first and third place finishes separated by just 120 seconds.

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Local

No bias here. The Pasadena Star-News reports on the city’s decision to move forward with the Union Street road diet and protected bike lanes. But instead of discussing how the project will improve safety for everyone on the street, they focus on the possible loss of parking and fears of business owners. And illustrate the story with a photo of a salmon cyclist using the new Marengo Ave bike lane.

 

State

La Jolla officials propose a road diet on Gilman Drive to make room for a separated bike lane connecting segments of the San Diego Coastal Rail Trail; naturally, members of a local planning association fear massive traffic backups.

Sad news from Los Banos, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with two other vehicles.

Palo Alto officials support a less expensive design for a bike and pedestrian bridge; the city scrapped a previous design over rising costs.

 

National

Cycling Weekly asks what lessons can be learned from president-elect Donald Trump’s ill-fated attempt at starting a bike race to rival the Tour d France back in the ‘80s.

Tragic news as a 71-year old Phoenix man was collateral damage in the city’s drug wars, after a group of teenagers fatally shot him in the eye while trying to hit another man in a drive-by shooting.

A creepy mystery in Arizona, as skeletal remains were found near clothing and a bicycle close to a freeway interchange in the desert north of Lake Havasu City.

A Colorado Springs CO letter writer is shocked to learn the city has a bicycle planner and demands the removal of a new bike lane, saying city officials couldn’t care less what area residents want. Because people who live in the city and prefer not to drive don’t qualify as residents, evidently.

Chicago Streetsblog approves of a new Illinois bike park, even though it’s hard to get to by bicycle.

A new Indiana bike park was built to honor a soldier killed in Afghanistan; the park features 300 acres of bike trails, including some that float on water.

Dayton, Ohio bicyclists will ride for respect this Saturday to educate motorists and raise awareness of cyclists’ rights on the roadway.

Three Florida cyclists finish a cross country ride, even though one started the ride while still recovering from a crash earlier this year.

 

International

As we’ve mentioned before, an environmental philosopher will travel the length of South America on a bamboo bike she built herself to study the effects of biodiversity loss starting this December.

Caught on video: An Ottawa, Canada bicyclist is hit in a left hook while riding in a new cycle track, at least the third collision involving a cyclist since the lane opened.

The board governing British cycling proposes giving bike commuters a £250 annual tax break — the equivalent of $310. Something like that should be done here to encourage more people to leave their cars behind. 

This has got to stop. A bike rider in the UK pleads guilty to manslaughter after pushing a pedestrian to the ground in a road rage dispute. Never resort to violence, no matter how justified you may feel at the time; the unintended consequences could haunt you for life.

An English town is pioneering a project using cargo bikes to collect rotting food and turn it into green energy.

Scotland’s tourism board hopes Danny MacAskill’s latest stunt video will translate into more people visiting the Scottish Highlands.

A French cyclist is gearing up for his 400th climb up famed Mont Ventoux.

An Indian man has been riding around the world for the last 12 years to call attention to HIV/AIDS, traveling over 80,000 miles through 126 countries, and being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

An Asian travel website helps you plan your next bicycle tour of scenic, bike-friendly Taiwan.

 

Finally…

You can’t play Pokémon Go while driving anymore. You may soon be able to take your bicycle to the mobile bike wash.

And if you want to ride harder, chomp down on that Hershey bar.

 

Morning Links: Goodbye and thank you to Michelle Mowery, and improvements and closures on LA River bike path

Bittersweet news from LADOT, as longtime bicycle and active transportation coordinator Michelle Mowery announced today that she is leaving for a position with the mayor’s office, focusing on the LA River Bike Path.

On  Monday, October 24th, I will be beginning a new assignment with Mayor Garcetti’s LA Riverworks Team to focus on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path.  While I am excited about working full-time on the River; it will be very, very difficult to leave my home at LADOT.  I will miss working with all of you on projects that have, and continue, to make bicycling more accessible in the City of Los Angeles.

The last 22 years with the City have been the most exciting and fulfilling of my 39 years in public service.  I can’t tell you all how wonderful it has been to see cycling established a real means of transportation in Los Angeles.  I will miss many of you as I shift my focus in the City but expect to continue to see you in my efforts on behalf of the River.  It has been my greatest pleasure to serve the City as a transportation professional on two wheels.

Thank you all for your cooperation and support over the years.

When I first got involved in bike advocacy efforts in Los Angeles, I found myself loosely allied with a group of advocates who blamed Mowery for the city’s decades of failure to do anything to protect the safety of bicyclists, and who made it their not-so-secret goal to have her fired.

I resisted those efforts, to the point that I found myself ostracized and attacked because I questioned whether she was really to blame.

And openly wondered what she could do with the actual backing of the city, instead of the old school, auto-centric senior LADOT engineers, who have since retired or otherwise moved on, squashing her every effort.

I think the last several years have more than answered those questions.

Since bicycling first received the attention and backing of the mayor’s office during the Villaraigosa administration, Los Angeles has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, including the city’s first parking and curb protected bike lanes, as well as an actual bike network in Downtown LA.

Under her tenure, Los Angeles was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for the first time in 2012. And made Bicycling Magazine’s biannual list of the country’s best cities for cycling, currently checking in at a lofty 24.

Which is not to say we don’t still have a long way to go. It only takes a few hours riding the mean streets of Los Angeles to realize just how inadequate LA’s bicycling infrastructure is for a car-centric city this size.

But it made huge leaps under Mowery’s guidance, once she was finally allowed to do her job.

We owe her a big round of thanks for sticking in there and doing the best she could when the job was impossible, and she was the focal point for every cyclist angry over everything that didn’t get done.

And showing us all what this city could be once she was given the chance.

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The LA Weekly takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the call for banning bikes on the LA River Bike Path through Elysian Valley, in the wake of an elderly woman who was seriously injured in a crash with a bike rider.

Not to mention they have the good taste to quote yours truly.

The story notes that that someone placed an illegal, DIY sign at the entrance to the path reading “Bike Path Closed,” which was largely and justifiably ignored.

Meanwhile, LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell says the city will be making safety improvements to the path to notify riders to slow down or dismount in areas with a high level of pedestrians.

As well as increasing police presence on the path. Which is something bike riders, as well as pedestrians, have long called for.

Although the call to dismount is highly questionable. Especially since people somehow seem to manage sharing the path on the far more crowded beachfront bike path.

And it should be noted, as we mentioned here yesterday, that the rider stopped and cooperated with police following the crash.

Although none of it may really matter now, since the bike path is once again being closed for the winter, for reasons that have yet to be explained.

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The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. CiclaValley in his off-duty hours, sends word about the organization’s new team kit, which is available for preorder right now.

LACBC’s 2017 Kit is now for sale by preorder for a limited time until October 30th. To support the local cycling community, LACBC collaborated with L.A.-based collective superdomestik on design and California-based manufacturer Voler on production.

Go to LACBC’s Facebook Page to find out how you can win gear and go to the team store to purchase from the 2017 collection.

lacbcfsprosq

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USA Cycling announces the Pro Road Tour racing schedule for next year. The tour comes to California just twice, in April and May, for the Dana Point Gran Prix and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

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Local

CD1 city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali writes about how to get the people who ride for fun to join forces with people who ride for transportation, and make the city more bike-friendly without additional funding.

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot and killed a man in San Fernando Thursday night.

The Santa Monica College student newspaper looks at last weekend’s CicLAvia in the Heart of Los Angeles.

Metro is sponsoring a free Bicycle 101 class at the El Monte bike Hub.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a four-wheel, surrey-style bike from a school for autistic children in San Diego.

Authorities are looking for the heartless coward who hit a young child in Victorville as he was riding his bike and left him lying in the street; the boy may have suffered serious head trauma in the hit-and-run collision.

The new bikeway over half of the San Francisco Bay is finally expected to open this Sunday.

Chico approves a free citywide bike registration system, while a 93-year old Chico man remains in critical condition eleven days after he was hit by SUV while driving his bike.

 

National

CityLab urges you to ride with a boombox on your bike instead of headphones, so you can annoy more people with your excellent taste in music. However, it may take some practice to develop the retro skills required ride your bike with a massive boombox perched on one shoulder, ‘70s style.

Eyewear maker Bollé introduces a mountain bike helmet with features that actually make sense for a change, including a detachable visor, slots to store your glasses and space for an embedded tail light.

Anti-bike terrorists have struck again, sabotaging a Colorado mountain bike trail with spike-embedded boards buried in the dirt. If you question the use of that term, consider what would happen to a rider who suffers a blowout while zipping down a trail.

The Michigan senate responds to the Kalamazoo massacre by passing bill requiring a five-foot passing distance, and another requiring three hours of bike and motorcycle safety training in all driver’s ed courses.

New York bike messengers form a union to fight for better treatment from Uber and other delivery firms.

A Philadelphia cyclist correctly resists police efforts to make him stop recording an arrest and to hand over his phone as evidence. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in a public place, and police have no right to stop you as long as you don’t interfere with their actions. And they can’t seize your phone without probable cause, or delete any of the contents. Which does not mean they won’t try.

 

International

A new report from the United Nations Environment Program calls for countries around the world to spend at least twenty percent of their transportation budget for safe bike lanes and sidewalks, noting that people on foot and two wheels, with or without motors, make up nearly half of the 1.3 million people killed in crashes worldwide each year.

A London hospital spent the equivalent of $12,000 to fight a protected bike lane in an apparent attempt to drum up business; 315 bike riders were killed or injured on the roads approaching the hospital over the last ten years, including some directly in front of their entrance.

A British man has been jailed for 28 months following a racist attack on a bike rider; he was one of three men who swerved at the victim in their car, doored him and forced him off his bike, then violently attacked him while screaming racial epithets.

Winston Churchill’s grandson is one of us.

A six-year old Irish boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is able to ride a bike for the first time thanks to a new medication. Nice to finally see some hope for this cruel disease.

Caught on video: A British railway worker saves an apparently drunk bicyclist at the last minute after he had fallen on the tracks. Or maybe not.

The brother of a fallen cyclist begs a Dublin county council to reconsider its decision not to include safe routes to schools in their draft development plan.

Security camera footage shows thieves casually bicycling on their way to rob Kim Kardashian in Paris, then back again with her $10 million jewelry in tow.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist loses a piece of his ear when a Magpie swoops down and attacks without warning.

Justice and common sense prevailed in Australia, where a drugged-out driver will spend at least three years in jail for killing a bike rider, despite attempting to use her newborn baby as a Get Out of Jail Free card.

 

Finally…

Your next U-lock could raise a real stink. Does this bike really look like a Lamborghini to you?

And anyone can ride a bike the usual way. But how many can do it facing backwards?

 

Morning Links: An honor from the South Bay, People for Bikes endorses LA measures, and Lompoc shames LA

My apologies for the continued lack of email notifications for subscribers. We’re still working on it.

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Look what came in the mail.

SAMSUNG

As honored as I am, it’s just this side of impossible for me to make it to the South Bay on a Saturday night.

On the other hand, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been killing this year in advocating for bike safety on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

I’m just saying.

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People for Bikes made a couple of endorsements in November’s LA County election.

people-for-bikes-endorsement

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Mike Wilkinson forwards photos from Lompoc, showing a complete, built-out, actual bikeway network connecting every part of town.

This is what he had to say.

Lompoc is a simple town of about 42,000 near Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California Central Coast. My wife and I were there on business a few weeks ago, and we stopped to admire the welcome sign near the city limits. I noticed there was a smaller sign to the left that had a map of the city’s bike routes.

welcome-to-lompoc

lompoc-bike-trail-sign

The map was impressive not because Lompoc has a vast array of bike paths, but because the paths they have make a lot of sense. There is a bike route every few blocks, and most of the routes are continuous, instead of the stop-and-starts routes I see near my home. They are elegant in their simplicity.

It amazes me that a small, somewhat rural town has managed to do a better job with bike routes than many of the big, busy cities in southern California. They may have been motivated by a steady stream of bike tourists traveling through their town on the way up or down the coast. Tourists and their dollars are a legitimate motivation, and the town has responded well. Nice!

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This sign from Brisbane, Australia comes courtesy of B2 H, spelling out how to share a shared path, for those who can’t seem to figure it our for themselves.

brisbane-share-path-sign

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German pro Tony Martin tied a record by winning his fourth world time-trial championship in Qatar. Twenty-two-year old Irishman Ryan Mullen finished fifth in his first worlds by preparing for the heat on a turbo-trainer in a sauna.

The 2019 road cycling world championships will be held in the Yorkshire region of by then non-European Britain.

The Giro is finalizing routes for what should be an epic 100th edition.

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Local

Actress Lea Michele is one of us, keeping a bike on the set to ride around the Paramount lot during breaks in the filming of Scream Queens.

Richard Risemberg cites the unreasonable lack of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd as a key reason to support Jesse Creed in his bid to unseat anti-bike lane incumbent Paul Koretz.

Is this the bike rider who was injured in WeHo Tuesday? Seventeen-year old actress Joey King writes on Instagram that her older sister was injured in a collision with semi-truck while riding to work that morning, but thankfully is on the road to recovery.

A Pasadena city council committee voted unanimously to approve funding for the Union Street cycle track, while asking if the long timeline for construction could be speeded up.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune asks if the 17-mile Emerald Necklace bike trail connecting the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers can ever be built, as plans move slowly forward.

BikeSGV invites everyone to their Spooky Train night ride through some of San Gabriel Valley’s historic districts this Saturday.

A SaMo documentary maker credits a chance meeting with actor Eddie Albert while on a bike ride for his decision to become a filmmaker.

 

State

San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs rolls this weekend to raise funds to help fight breast cancer before it starts.

San Francisco’s DIY bike advocacy group continues to install their own bike lane bollards under the cover of darkness.

 

National

Apparently, sidewalks, parks and bike lanes are the keys to happiness in big cities. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

An Arizona man builds his own DIY sidecar for his dog. Which is exactly what I need to take the Corgi to CicLAvia this Sunday.

People for Bikes is seeking a marketing coordinator to work in their Boulder CO office.

An Oklahoma man who fixes up bikes to donate to kids every Christmas needs fixing himself after he was rear-ended while riding his own bike.

After a New York truck driver injured a bike rider, the NYPD naturally responded by ticketing cyclists; the driver wasn’t ticketed, even though the truck appeared to be too large to legally use on the streets of the city.

 

International

A Canadian writer says it’s depressing to come home from bike-friendly Seville to a poorly thought-out bike lane non-network.

The Alberta, Canada health department has wisely taken down a webpage urging parents not to let their kids ride bicycles, even when they ride with them in a bike lane.

A Toronto report says the city’s cycling strategies must focus on women, who make up less than 30% of current riders. Meanwhile, a female bike shop employee says sexism is part of Toronto’s bike scene, saying bike shop workers didn’t take her seriously, and customers often don’t either. Like pretty much everywhere else, unfortunately.

A writer for the Guardian says London’s new mayor must avoid the mistakes made by former mayor Boris Johnson in building bikeways, and try harder to build a consensus to accommodate pedestrians and other road users, as well.

British TV personality Jeremy Vine records a driver cutting around another car at an intersection, then zooming around the corner directly in front of him. Yet people still justify the driver’s actions and accuse Vine of overreacting.

An Irish writer says cyclists have to be mindful of others, like all road users. Then cites the example of a reckless bike rider who only put himself at risk

Be grateful you live in semi-bike friendly LA, or wherever you may be, as a Critical Mass rider in Minsk is sentenced to two years behind bars on seemingly trumped-up charges.

Once again, Indian authorities humiliate a medal-winning paracyclist by forcing him to remove his leg before being allowed to board a flight.

Bicycles take over Tel Aviv as people leave their cars at home in observance of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

An Aussie writer celebrates National Ride2Work Day by insisting bicycles don’t belong on the roads, and should be registered if they are, while deflecting legitimate criticism by dismissing it in advance.

 

Finally…

A badly injured bike rider gets the blame for a wreck — with a rabbit. This GoPro-equipped helmet looks oddly familiar.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a collision, maybe you shouldn’t leave your license plate imprinted on the other car.

 

Morning Links: Bike collection stolen in burglary, Bike the Vote LA endorses, and new AZ bike safety PSAs

My continued apologies for the lack of email notifications for subscribers. None of the suggested fixes have solved the problem yet.

Which may be why I once again failed to win the Nobel Prize for bike blogging.

Maybe next year.

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Keep your eyes peeled for a collection of Cicli Devotion team kits and bikes, parts tools and other gear stolen from a Calabasas storage unit, along with a number of other personal items.

stolen-bikes-gear

Which should serve as yet another reminder to register your bikes for free with Bike Index before anything like this happens to you.

Thanks to Bryan Hance for the heads-up.

………

Bike the Vote LA has been busy in the weeks leading up to the November election, including an endorsement of US Representative Janice Hahn for LA County Supervisor in the 4th District.

They also voice their support for LA County Measure A to build and rehabilitate parks, beaches, natural areas, and multi-use trails used by bike riders. As well as Metro’s Measure M sales tax increase to build out the county’s transit system, and provide funding for bicycling and walking projects.

bike-the-vote

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the tip.

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Tucson-based Look Save A Life — founded by a cyclist and former firefighter who was nearly killed by a distracted driver — has introduced a series of public safety videos made in conjunction with local law enforcement.

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Sadly, the bike rider who died of a heart attack during the Long Beach Marathon on Sunday was a well-known member of the South Bay cycling community, and a board member of Lightening Velo.

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Pro cyclist Tom Dumoulin is no dummy, but his stand-in is.

Irish cyclist Daniel Stewart talks about stepping away from international cycling to battle his depression.

A new Israeli cycling team becomes the first to compete in the World Championships, let alone in an Arab country; meanwhile, an Iranian woman becomes the first from her country to finish the Kona Ironman Triathlon.

The New York Times dives into the world of bike messengers and last weekend’s North American Cycle Courier Championship.

………

Local

CiclaValley discusses the conflict between bicyclists needing a safe place to ride on Forest Lawn Drive and people parking in the bike lane near the Mount Sinai cemetery for the High Holidays.

A German filmmaker offers a documentary about the battle over the Burbank Mariposa bridge and the ongoing efforts of equestrians to keep bike riders the hell off it. Thanks to Doug Weiskopf for the link.

BikeSGV reports the Pasadena city council will vote on the Union Ave protected bikeway at their 4pm meeting today. So if you live, work or ride in the area, be sure to attend the meeting to support safer bikeways.

Speaking of BikeSGV, mark your calendar for their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards night on Thursday, November 10th.

Cycling in the South Bay reports the Palos Verdes Estates city council bizarrely voted not to install Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Even though that remains the law, with or without the signs.

 

State

KPCC asks if California’s roads are ready for recreational marijuana, which appears likely to be approved by California voters next month. There shouldn’t be any major issues beyond what we already face; afterall, anyone who wants dope can get it now by claiming some sort of physical problem. Like nausea caused by the presidential campaign, for instance.

A Santa Maria credit union uses their Columbus Day holiday to build 200 bicycles to donate to abused and neglected children.

With LA’s CicLAvia coming this Sunday, Salinas hosts a 1.5 mile ciclovía of their own.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man was killed in a collision with a bus while he was riding his bike.

 

National

You can find a lot of things when you ride, including some you really don’t want to. Like a human body in a Washington retaining pond.

Seattle opts to replace their failing bikeshare system with a city-wide fleet of ebikes.

Nice gesture from the Oklahoma State University marching band, as they pay tribute to a member of the Baylor marching band who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last week.

A Missouri columnist writes about the dangers of right hooks and dooring, suggesting cyclists should always ride in the traffic lane. Whether or not PVR posts signs saying you can.

Country singer Luke Bryan explains his solo bike crash at the end of a 28-mile ride last week; he had surgery to repair a broken clavicle over the weekend.

A Rochester NY pastor could soon be jumping through flames again; his prayers were answered when someone returned the 80 pound, custom-made bicycle he lost when it fell off his rack as he drove home from an August performance. On the other hand, riding through flames without divine intervention probably isn’t the best idea.

A man riding a Citi Bike bikeshare bicycle was beaten and robbed by five teens in New York’s Central Park.

Philadelphia police are looking for a bike-riding man suspected of attacking two prostitutes in recent days; he is believed to be the same man who killed one woman and attacked another earlier this year.

Kindhearted Philly police buy a new bike for a kid riding a beat-up borrowed chopper during the city’s Peace Ride.

 

International

Despite the efforts of Toronto’s former mayor to rip out the city’s bike lanes, it’s now a bicycling role model for other cities.

Caught on camera: A London bus driver clips a bike rider, apparently intentionally, for the crime of not getting the hell out of his way.

A Brit bicyclist is crowdfunding a motion-sensor theft alarm that emits an ear-piercing shriek as loud as a jumbo jet focused directly at anyone on the bike.

The creepy clown phenomenon has spread to the UK, as a bike rider gets harassed by masked occupants of a car.

A little windshield bias from Romania, where cyclists are blamed for causing 630 collisions since the first of the year. However, they fail to mention what percentage of bike crashes that represents, implying that the people on two wheels caused all of them, which is highly unlikely.

IKEA unveils their new belt-drive, car-replacement bicycle Down Under.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a truck driver gets community service and a curfew — yes, a curfew — while losing his license for a whole year for killing a bike-riding Chinese tourist.

 

Finally…

Why use an expensive parking lot to store cars for your dealership when you can just park them in the bike lane? You can thank a cyclist for every Ford that runs you off the road.

And this time of year, everyone needs to know what beer to pair with Halloween candy after a long ride.

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Thanks to Vincent Malgren and John P. Lynch for their generous donations to support this site. If everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

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On a personal note, thanks to everyone who expressed concern for the Corgi; she’s doing a little better, and seems to be on the road to recovery after a full weekend on the extreme weight loss plan.

Although she is in mourning right now.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for that last link.

 

Morning Links: Fanning the fires of bike hate, LB hit-and-run suspect busted, and bike smash seen round the world

My apologies for the continued problems with email notifications for subscriber to this site. We’re still working on getting it fixed.

………

It doesn’t take much to bring out the bike hate.

Especially when people are allowed to post their comments anonymously.

Yesterday’s LA Times featured a well-reasoned Op-Ed from Tom Babin, author of “Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling,” and the bike blog Shifter.

In it, Babin argued that the laws governing traffic weren’t written with bicycles in mind, and don’t always work effectively for people on two wheels.

It’s true that Los Angeles is finally taking its first serious steps toward making the city more bike-friendly. But the focus is on building bike-dedicated infrastructure, which can be slow and expensive to build.

The Idaho stop law shows there are other ways for municipalities to encourage cycling while their infrastructure catches up. Cities around the world are demonstrating that simply changing the rules in favor of cyclists can make roads more welcoming.

He continues,

Yet streets are already governed by different rules for different users, such as laws that require slower speed limits for big trucks, or that mandate school buses to stop at uncontrolled railway crossings. Rather than demonize cyclists for their inability to conform to rules designed for cars, laws should recognize that riding a bike is different than driving.

All in all, a reasonable request to simply acknowledge that bikes are different that cars, yet bicyclists are forced to act like motor vehicles, regardless of whether it makes sense.

Yet based on some of the comments, you’d think he declared war on anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.

Like this from OptimisticOrgan, for instance. (Unfortunately, the Times makes it impossible to link to any one comment.)

Stop sign being a yield is fine by me. Cycling culture needs to change, though. Too many jerks are going 15 in a 45 in the middle of the lane. Then they act like yr the bad guy for being annoyed by the fact they’re impeding traffic flow. It’s like “I’m sorry brother, trying to stay far enough behind you,” but the cyclist is still pissed that your car is faster than his bike and projects ill will toward you.

Many commenters went great pains to point out that Los Angeles isn’t Idaho, with many times the population, in case we had somehow missed that point. Apparently failing to notice where he pointed out that the Idaho Stop Law is now in effect in auto-clogged Paris, with it’s 2.24 million population, and a reputation for roadway rudeness that makes our streets seem downright polite.

Other, such as feaco11, apparently couldn’t grasp Babin’s key point that bikes and cars are different.

Better yet, let’s change the law so that motorists can treat a stop sign as a yield sign. Just think of the gas that will be saved if our cars do not have to lose momentum going through an intersection. Maybe the same could be applied to red lights. It would certainly free up the court system because there would be less tickets written.

Then there’s this confession to illegal harassment from boneme8978.

i would not consider riding a bike on a suburban street . but i love the people that do . keeps me laughing all the time . you should see them jump when i blast them with my train horn ! the 300 i spent at ‘summit racing ‘ to buy that bad boy was worth every penny !

And it goes on and on, ad nauseum, just like on any other pro bike piece that appears online, filled with constant reminders of that one time a bike rider broke the law, which somehow projects onto every person on a bicycle who ever lived.

Damnable scofflaws, all.

It’s a reminder of who we share the road with. As well as the Internet.

Protected by layers of glass and steel on one, anonymous pseudonyms on the other.

Spelling and punctuation challenged though they might be.

………

Long Beach police arrested a hit-and-run suspect at gunpoint after he was found hiding under a car. Witnesses said the speeding driver hit a bike rider after running a red light, then drove erratically, running red lights and nearly striking pedestrians as he attempted to escape.

Both the victim and the driver were transported to a local hospital; no word on their conditions.

………

Turns out the bicycle smashed in two by an angry rider in Milan’s Red Hook Crit wasn’t even his.

Deadspin calls it the pinnacle of human rage, though anyone who has dealt with a road raging motorist — or an angry online commenter — would probably disagree.

Meanwhile, VeloNews puts it in the context of other great bike throws in recent years.

………

Local

Bicycling finally gets around to posting last year’s profile of LACBC executive director Tamika Butler online.

LAist calls the coming My Figueroa project the city’s first truly protected bike lane.

Bike the Vote LA offers a guide to the candidates in November’s Santa Monica city council election.

In the latest round of anti-developmentism, Redondo Beach residents could vote on whether to cancel ambitious plans to redevelop the city’s aging waterfront, including plans for an improved bike path through the area.

 

State

New tests from Stanford conclude the unnamed Hövding airbag helmet actually works. And reduces impact up to six times over conventional bike helmets.

A Chico couple propose to replace their daughter’s ghost bike with a sign memorializing her, along with the phrases “How to save a life? Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Share the Road, Drive with Care,” pending approval from Caltrans. Which is not likely, unfortunately.

 

National

A Portland Op-Ed writer complains about car-hating social engineering, while completely missing the point of Vision Zero.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a Nebraska man takes up bicycling and a better diet, and loses 75 pounds while bringing his illness under control.

An Arkansas paper takes a look at bikepacking.

A road raging DC driver gets offended when a cyclist slapped the back of his car after he deliberately tried to run her off the road, then gets out and repeatedly slaps her before stealing her phone when she tried to call 911.

 

International

A body found near a Halifax trail could be a missing mountain biker who disappeared without a trace two years earlier.

A Scottish parliament member says even a small increase in bicycling could lead to an improvement in air quality, while calling for a decrease in speed limits around schools and residential areas.

At least it’s a creative protest. A Scottish man shows his objection to a new separated bike lane by rowing in it.

Any writer who uses the tired cliché that bike safety is a two-way street should receive a six-month sentence in journalist jail.

A San Francisco rider joins 400 other cyclists in the Haute Route timed cycling event in the Pyrenees; a US event is planned for the Rocky Mountains next year.

Glamour admires the glamorous Iranian women defying the religious edict against bicycling in public.

A South African provincial transport minister says bicycling must be seen as a form of mobility, disputing plans by the mayor of Johannesburg to halt bike lane construction in the city.

 

Finally…

You can’t compete in your first pro race if you’re stuck in traffic. If you’re fleeing police on your bike, you really just need two legs.

And your next helmet could give a whole new meaning to helmet hair.

Or you could let your kid steer you like a bike.

 

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: LACBC endorses Measure M, cars used as weapons, and Bill Nye teaches bike riding

The LACBC officially endorsed Metro’s Measure M in the November election

The half-cent sales tax extension is projected to raise $120 billion over its 40-year lifespan, with $4 billion set aside for bike and pedestrian projects

The remainder will be invested in transit projects and wasted on highways.

……….

The only good thing about these next few stories is there were no bicycles involved.

A horrifying story from Oregon, as a white supremacist couple is charged with using their car as a weapon to intentionally run down and kill a young black man following an argument.

Meanwhile, a Phoenix driver apparently used his car to deliberately run down three cops; fortunately, none appear to be seriously injured.

Funny that we screen gun purchases in the US, but we’ll let any homicidal maniac drive a car.

………

Local

A Dutch intern reminds CiclaValley learns not to take riding the Angeles Crest Highway for granted.

Hawthorne is the latest city to announce their police department will be stepping up enforcement of violations that can cause bike and pedestrian crashes tomorrow. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits; thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

The New York Times talks with LA author Edward Humes about his new book Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, which discusses the inefficiency and wastefulness of the automobile, as well as its potential to kill.

BikeSafe USC is hosting a free bike ride and workshop one week from today.

 

State

The Army Corps of Engineers will shut down the San Luis Rey Bike Trail in Oceanside for six months to remove sediment in the river.

The next phase of the project to widen Highway 101 through Carpinteria began Monday; plans include sidewalks and bike lanes — hopefully separated from the highway.

Santa Barbara County will clear out supposedly abandoned bicycles in student-friendly Isla Vista, despite giving only two days notice; if your bike disappears, check with the sheriff’s department.

Napa police return two stolen bikes to their owners and bust the transients riding them.

 

National

Seattle is thinking about getting serious about Vision Zero by lowing speed limits by 5 mph all over town.

A Fairbanks AK newspaper says the city needs changes in attitudes as well as infrastructure if it’s going to meet its goal of becoming a more bike-friendly community.

Caught on video: A Utah bike rider walks away after being run down from behind by a distracted driver; remarkably, the 16-year old driver wasn’t even cited, despite saying she never even saw the cyclist. Which should be taken as an admission of guilt, not an excuse.

Pueblo CO votes to rip out a protected bike lane, calling the design dangerous from the beginning. So if it was such a bad design, why did they install it in the first place? And why not fix it instead of removing it?

The New York Times calls North Dakota’s Maah Daah Hey Trail the longest, and arguably most grueling, single track route in the US. And stunning, too.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a distracted driver faces a whopping $750 fine for leaving a cross-country bike rider in a wheelchair.

A Houston paper asks if the city’s comprehensive new bike plan, which calls for 1,700 miles of “safely designed bike lanes and trails,” will end the battle between bicyclists and drivers. Only if they actually build it, unlike most bike plans in most cities. And it’s not much of a battle when ones on two wheels are the only ones getting hurt.

The Illinois Project Mobility works to put disabled vet on specially adapted bicycles to help them re-engage with the world. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog says New York Mayor De Blasio should get serious about Vision Zero instead of getting defensive about his bike policies.

Cyclists call Pennsylvania’s Reading 120 Classic of the Americas the toughest one-day bike race in the US. Thanks to Mike Bike for the tip.

A new study from Virginia’s James Madison University says consuming protein supplements while you ride may help build muscle, but won’t improve your performance.

 

International

You’d have to ride nine hours and 50 minutes a day in peak London pollution before the risks of bad air would outweigh the benefits of bicycling; in Delhi, it would take just five hours a week.

A driver in the UK will face private prosecution for killing a cyclist after a crowdfunding campaign raises $60,000 to fund the trial; government prosecutors twice refused to file charges. Too bad we can’t do that here.

A new UK app will power a first-of-its-kind peer-to-peer bikesharing system.

Caught on video: A British motorcyclist gets off his bike to threaten a bicycle rider after he and a second rider nearly take him out passing on both sides on a roundabout, even though he’s hugging the side of the roadway.

A new poll says that one in four Brits are worried about having a wreck while they bike, while “only” 9% of British workers ride to work. There aren’t many places in the US that wouldn’t be overjoyed to have half that many bike commuters.

An Aussie city council considers requiring all bicyclists to wear hi-viz any time of the day or night, evidently because the councilors can’t be bothered to pay attention to where they’re going.

 

Finally…

Caught on video too: bike cleats and slick floors are not a good combination. Your next ebike could have a Ferrari pedigree.

And learn to ride a bicycle with Bill Nye the Science Guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFGl0tXRAjg

 

Morning Links: Torrance tri canceled, Riverside carnage continues, and bike advocate ponders if it’s time to quit

If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest post Letter From St. Louis, from CyclingSavvy’s Karen Karabell.

Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Then buckle in. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

………

Don’t bother showing up for this weekend’s triathlon in Torrance.

Word comes from Todd Munson that the race has been called on account of apparent greed and billing irregularities from the cities involved, and not involved.

This is what the organizers had to say.

Yesterday, the city of Torrance canceled the 2016 LA Triathlon at Torrance Beach.  With much regret, we are forced to announce this cancellation to our participants and sponsors only 4 days prior to race day.  We understand that the cancellation will come with great disappointment to those of you who have worked hard and prepared for months toward this year’s triathlon.  We are disappointed by the unexpected and unprecedented circumstances and demands that have unfolded to cause this cancellation.

We have listed the key points that led to the city’s cancellation of our event in an effort to offer some immediate transparency to all participants:

  1. On August 31st, the City of Torrance sent to Pacific Sports an email demanding advanced payment, in full, to the city, prior to the event, for city services.  There was no detail of the charges, simply amounts in total and the requirement to bring two cashier’s checks by 5pm.   This is not standard practice in other municipalities and certainly not in those where all previous invoices had been paid in a timely fashion.
  2. In the same email on August  31st, we were informed that a significant separate payment was also required to be paid to the neighboring City of Palos Verdes, a city in which we have no footprint, no permit, no participants enter their city as part of our course, no liability coverage, and no relationship of any kind.  This demand is unprecedented in our 36 year history as an event production company, and to our knowledge unprecedented in the event industry in the United States.    This payment is demanded by Torrance (to be paid to Palos Verdes) although we have never been made aware of the apparent business relationship (although it has been requested) between Torrance (where we do have permits) and the city of Palos Verdes.
  3. Also in this email, it was finally revealed by the City of Torrance, after an audit requested by Pacific Sports, the city had significantly overbilled us by an amount in excess of 30% to the total in 2015 for city services.   We have strong evidence that the 2014 invoice may have been overbilled as well.   Importantly, we have no reliability that the advance payment demanded for 2016 (without detail of its calculation) is backed up by verifiable charges which will only be available after the event has occurred.
  4. Since August 31st, we have worked tirelessly with all levels of the city government including the city council and Mayor’s office in an attempt to bring resolution.  We offered a structured and fair written compromise on these issues in attempt to  insure the event went on as planned on September 11th.  Ultimately, the city offered no compromise or proposed solution and informed us they had unilaterally canceled the event.

We are upset and deeply disappointed by the cancellation, but the requirements were unreasonable and excessive.  Accepting the terms would have compromised the entire event and were untenable for us to continue at the current site for the LA Triathlon.

………

Yet another teenager has been injured riding her bicycle in Riverside, where it’s apparently open season on bike-riding school kids.

A 14-year old girl is in stable condition after being hit by a pickup while riding in a crosswalk just 100 feet from her school Wednesday morning. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly; she was taken into custody on a nearby highway about 10 minutes later.

Although despite what the story says, it’s hard to imagine the driver was “fully cooperative” with police when she tried to make a getaway before being caught.

………

Lucas James Guidroz pled not guilty to in the hit-and-run death of math and music teacher, musician and cyclist Rod Bennett as he was riding on Placerita Canyon Road last May. Guidroz faces felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury.

Note to Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Show a little respect, and get the victim’s name right in the caption.

………

In the wake of yesterday’s blog post from Surly’s Skip Bernet, in which he said he’s done riding on streets due to the dangers posed by cars, long-time LA bike advocate Examined Spoke questions whether he wants to keep riding his bike.

Is cycling in traffic safe? I can find statistical support for any answer I want: yes, no, who knows. My own experiences suggest the answer should be no, not safe. In 2009 I was rear-ended while riding on Los Feliz Boulevard; last year I was brushed (side-swiped) on Fountain Avenue. I can recount several other close passes, terrifying moments — the usual stuff that you will hear from almost any cyclist. I shrugged off these experiences when they happened, but they still haunt me. They’ve also made me into a poor advocate; I cannot argue for cycling’s essential safety, I am a personal testament to its dangers. As much as I want to believe the opposite, little by little I’ve had to admit to myself that I don’t feel safe on the road. I never feel safe out there.

It’s a very well-written and challenging piece, and one that poses some very difficult questions.

If anyone wants to respond to it, let me know. I’ll be happy to share your thoughts here.

………

The bus carrying Britain’s Team Sky pro cycling team nearly made mince pie out of a cyclist on a narrow country road.

The team contacted him a few hours after the video went online to apologize.

They should give him an autographed team bike, at the very least. And a new pair of shorts, since he probably needs them after that.

Meanwhile, Lance’s doping ban has been partially lifted, so he is now free to compete in non-bike related Olympic sports, like ski jumping, pole vaulting and synchronized swimming.

………

Local

Props to CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo for beginning work to create a pedestrian plaza, including bike racks, on the Hoover Triangle in University Park. Now if he could just do something to make it safer to bike or walk there.

More honorees at the LACBC’s upcoming Firefly Ball include Culver City Council Member Meghan Sahli-Wells and The Walt Disney Company.

CiclaValley shares video of the new Spring Street bike lane between 1st and 2nd Streets in DTLA.

Damien Newton talks with Marisa Creter of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments about plans for a 200 mile bike superhighway crisscrossing the entire valley.

WeHoVille examines the 18-month timeline to reconstruct Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills; the street will be widened, providing enough room for the bike lanes that won’t be installed. Increased costs and the objections of residents to widening one narrow section of the street was given as the reason not to install much-needed bike lanes on the boulevard. So why won’t they commit to adding them now that the street is being widened anyway?

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee as only he can.

 

State

A Canadian man is riding over 1,500 miles to attend next month’s Desert Trip music festival in Indio on his Pedego ebike.

Pismo Beach votes to move a bike path into a busy parking lot to keep it from besmirching a coastal subdivision for wealthy homeowners.

Fresno jurors find an accused career criminal not guilty of attempted murder of a police officer in a struggle that began when the cops tried to stop him for riding without a light.

 

National

Streetsblog says the US has the worst per capita traffic fatality rate in the developed world because we drive too damn much. Not to mention too damn fast, too damn drunk and too damn distracted.

Zocolo Public Square says modern roads resulted from a coalition of early bicyclists and rural farmers banding together to demand better streets, only to see cyclists squeezed out with the advent of the automobile.

Build your own DIY ebike that looks like it would probably alert the bomb squad.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride through your pregnancy.

Exploring Hawaii’s Lanai island by bicycle, where only 3,200 people live and there are no traffic lights.

The Tacoma teenager tackled by police as she rode her bicycle through a mall parking lot is suing the police department, as well as the officer in question, the mall and its security company.

American Denise Mueller hopes to set a new motor-paced bicycle land speed record of over 168 mph at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats this weekend.

A Chicago area writer can’t seem to figure out if he’s pro or anti bike, saying allowing bicycles in wilderness areas is a bad idea, but giving bicyclists the same rights as drivers is a good one — especially if it means more riders get tickets.

An Op-Ed writer in the Chicago Tribune complains about a parking protected bike lane, and insists that bike riders can’t be ticketed — or pay fees — because they don’t have operators licenses. Never mind that most bicyclists have driver’s licenses, like most other human beings in this country, and can be ticketed even without them.

Cleveland officials say the bike lane that was removed to provide parking for the Hilton hotel wasn’t really removed because it was never really a bike lane to begin with.

A retired Boston doctor encourages drivers to open their doors with their right hands to avoid dooring cyclists.

New York protected the security of the presidential candidates from bike riders by forcing the riders onto a busy highway at rush hour.

A Pennsylvania website says bicyclists face a life and death struggle for space on the state’s roads.

 

International

Ottawa officials say it’s okay that bike lanes on a newly opened bridge are too narrow to meet official guidelines, because they’re not really bike lanes. Evidently, they’ve been talking with the people in Cleveland.

It only took 120 years to get a bike lane on one Toronto street.

The Guardian looks at the Rails to Trails movement in the UK, where abandoned rail lines are being turned into world class biking and walking trails.

Curbed introduces Amsterdam’s first Bike Mayor, elected as an unofficial representative for the city’s bicyclists.

Apparently Belgrade, Serbia fails to make the grade when it comes to being bike friendly.

A new report says Adelaide, Australia isn’t ready for bikeshare because of its immature bikeway network, mandatory helmet law and crushing car culture. Los Angeles can cop to two out of three.

An Aussie writer calls for a network of segregated cycle routes to replace painted bike lanes, augmented by a network of shared quietways where cars don’t own the roads. Which sounds a lot like the apparently forgotten Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in LA’s Mobility Plan.

 

Finally…

Bicycling may be good for your health, but good sex may kill you. Seriously, if you’re already on probation for drug charges and carrying an “unknown white substance” on your bike, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And just in time to beat the Halloween rush, a bicycle on a kickstand pedals itself, both forward and back, with no one but the camera around.

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