Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Today’s post, in which I remember a friend. Rest in peace, Howard Krepack.

I knew this day was coming.

But the news still hit hard. And hurt like hell.

According to Streetsblog LA, Howard Krepack, one of LA’s first lawyers specializing in bicycle cases, passed away on Saturday, and was buried Monday afternoon.

I had the pleasure of knowing Howard, and was happy to call him a friend. He had a warmth and good humor that welcomed everyone, and made anyone he met feel like an old friend.

With the possible exception of opposing counsel.

Bicycling wasn’t just the focus of his practice, it was his passion. And he was committed to doing what he could help it thrive in the City of Angels, from supporting the LACBC and websites like Streetsblog and BikinginLA, to doing whatever he could to help injured cyclists.

A long time member of Velo Club La Grange, he had the skill to drop riders half his age. Unless he’d rather just ride alongside, discussing everything from the latest frames and components to how the streets could be made safer for cyclists.

Or just how great it felt to be out for a ride on a typically beautiful LA day.

Howard made sure I rode in to the first few CicLAvias with him and his riding buddies. And made a point of including me as part of the team he sponsored for River Ride every year, whether I was able to ride with them, or busy volunteering at the LACBC booth.

I probably learned as much about bike law from Howard the few times we rode together as I have from any other source.

It was devastating news when I learned, shortly after one of those River Rides, that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A disease that slowly robs those it afflicts of the ability to control their own bodies. The mind remains sharp, but trapped in a body that no longer functions; first, unable to ride a bike, then walk or speak, and finally, unable to breath.

He already knew he was suffering from an incurable, and inevitably fatal, illness as we had a long discussion that day. Yet there was no hint of it in his bright smile and broad laughter.

And he continued to practice law, first on his own, then through his associates at the firm, managing cases from his home once he could no longer make it to the courthouse, for as long as he was able.

I kept touch with him for awhile after that, first through email, then through his assistant Lisa as the disease took its toll.

Then lost touch as I struggled with my own illness, and an upgrade from Apple robbed me of the contents of my address book.

Yet even so, he served as an inspiration to me on my darkest days.

From some reason, though, he’d been on my mind lately. I’d been meaning to reach out to his law firm to see if Lisa was still there, and had any news about him. And ask her to pass along my friendship and best wishes.

Sadly, I waited too long.

I’ll miss Howard.

And whether or not you knew him, so will you, as LA bicyclists has lost a true champion, in every sense of the word.

The good always die too soon.

Update: Howard and his family have created a fund in his honor at The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins under the leadership of Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein. To donate and read more about this fund, please visit: http://bit.ly/KrepackForACure.

………

Howard Krepack contributed a few guest columns to this site, based on his knowledge of the law, as well as his own intimate knowledge of cycling; you can read them here and here.

I’ll try to get Tuesday’s Morning Links online a little later today. To be honest, I just can’t write anymore right now.

 

Morning Links: San Diego police blame bike mob; unconfirmed report of bicycling fatality on PCH in Malibu

No bias here.

Not from the press. And certainly not from the San Diego Police Department.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a female driver called 911 to report a “mob” of nine or ten bicyclists had chased her down and smashed her car window.

It must have seemed frightening to the people huddled at home watching the broadcast.

But the real story is hidden in the details.

The bike riders were using the sharrows in the city’s Normal Heights neighborhood when the driver came up behind them and began harassing them by honking nonstop, which is a violation of California law. Even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be.

She then broke the law again by passing too close, striking one of the bikes; fortunately, the rider was able to jump off just in time to avoid serious injury.

The riders then chased down the hit-and-run driver as she dragged the bike for several blocks, banging on her window in an attempt to get her attention and keep her from fleeing the scene.

Pedestrians and other motorists are often called heroes when they stop a fleeing driver under similar circumstances.

Instead, these riders were portrayed as a crazed mob, and threatened with prosecution on vandalism charges for punching and kicking the car.

So it’s okay for the driver to mangle a bike after running down the rider. But not for riders to break a window, apparently inadvertently, in an effort to make her stop.

Got it.

Police refused to even ticket, let alone arrest, the woman, despite obvious violations for

  1. harassing the cyclists
  2. breaking state law governing the use of a horn
  3. violating the three-foot passing law
  4. destruction of property
  5. failing to stop and exchange information following a collision

And yet somehow, she’s portrayed as the victim, with the people on bikes her attackers.

It’s sadly reminiscent of a case that marked the first stirrings of the bicycle rights movement here in Los Angeles.

Andres Tena was riding with a group of friends in the spring of 2009 when they were confronted by an impatient Hummer driver, who attempted to flee the scene after striking Tena’s bike and injuring him enough to require hospitalization. The other riders chased the driver down and blocked his way; in response, they were threatened with an unseen gun before the driver ran over their bikes in an effort to escape.

When police arrived, they somehow concluded that Tena had crashed into the side of the Hummer — which would have required backing into it at a high rate of speed, since he was thrown forward by the impact and suffered significant damage to the rear of his bike.

And that the driver was justified in attempting to flee, because he was frightened by all those scary bike riders, despite being safely ensconced within his multi-ton urban assault vehicle.

The cop on the scene took it a step further, saying if the cyclists had surrounded him like that, he would have done the same thing the Hummer driver did.

In fact, the only criminal prosecution that was even contemplated was a misdemeanor charge against a cyclist for “throwing his bike at the Hummer.”

Funny how some things never change.

It took years of sometimes difficult negotiations, but now LA’s bicycling community has a much better relationship with the LAPD than we did back in the dark days of just six short years ago.

But clearly, San Diego police haven’t gotten the memo.

And as this case clearly shows, they have a long way to go before cyclists can feel like they have the same support from law enforcement that drivers have come to expect, and are considered equal road users rather than two-wheeled pirates.

None of us are safe on the streets if we can’t count on the police to be there when we need them. And to do it fairly, without an obvious — and repugnant — windshield bias.

According to a tweet from BikeSD, they’re working with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to arrange legal representation for the bike riders.

They may need it.

And sadly, the angry hit-and-run driver who started it all won’t.

………

The publisher of the Malibu Times mentioned Tuesday that a bike rider had been killed on PCH near Busch Drive, but didn’t have any details.

However, the report cannot be confirmed at this time.

There have been no other reports in the press, and repeated web searches have turned up empty. And there has been no response yet to a request for information from the CHP.

Meanwhile, he goes on to criticize cyclists for riding with inadequate lighting on their bikes. While he has a point, it is irresponsible to bring it up in response to the unconfirmed report of the bicycling fatality without knowing if a lack of lights had anything to do with it.

Or if it even happened.

It’s no better than if someone went off on a rant against speeding, texting drivers after hearing about a traffic collision without knowing if those were contributing factors in the wreck.

Yes, we should all ensure that we are visible to those we share the road with, especially after dark or in the late dusk or early morning hours when it can be most difficult to see.

But it’s wrong to imply, intentionally or not, that it may have had anything to do with a wreck that can’t even be confirmed.

………

I don’t even know what to think about this.

TMZ reports the DA’s office is unlikely to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner for a fatal collision on PCH last February, since they wouldn’t even file charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin while using his onboard computer.

………

Just like anyone else, Alejandro Valverde used Google to plan his route to victory in stage four of the Vuelta.

And after the Feds drop fraud charges against the other disgraced former Tour de France champ, Floyd Landis — remember him? — still has to repay nearly half a million dollars to the 1,700 people who donated to his defense fund when he was still pretending he hadn’t doped.

………

Local

A Texas study says LA has the second worst traffic in the US, costing commuters 80 hours a year lost to traffic delays. To which bike commuters respond, “So?”.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Vision Zero with LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds in the latest #DamienTalks podcast.

For those who read español, a nice profile of Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club; Morales saved his own life by losing 250 pounds riding a bike, and now works to spread the gospel of bikes and health to others. For those who don’t, Google Translate offers a passable translation.

 

State

Congratulations to the newly announced Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Southern California, including Santa Monica ad agency Ruben Postaer and Assoc, Giant Santa Monica bike shop, and the San Diego Association of Governments.

San Diego police bust a bike-riding bank robber. Or maybe they just assume everyone on a bike is a criminal.

Apparently, not everyone in Coronado opposes a bike path along the beach. Nice to see a rational, non-NIMBY response for a change.

The El Cerrito Planning Commission approves an Active Transportation Plan, including bike boulevards, traffic calming on narrow streets and a bike route providing access to the Bay Trail surrounding the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to avoid helmet hair, as well as advice on meditating to get more out of bicycling. Meditation will also improve your health. And life. Trust me.

A Utah man is ordered to pay a whopping $8,000 restitution for intentionally running down a man on a bike over a property dispute. Twice.

Turns out that despite vocal opposition, 57% of Boulder CO residents support the right-sizing of a city street to make room for protected bike lanes; bike traffic is up 38% in just the first three weeks, while average vehicle speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 37 mph — in a 30 mph zone.

Colorado transportation officials plan to improve bicycle safety on a major street by turning it into a high speed virtual freeway and forcing bikes off it. Memo to Colorado DOT: The auto-centric ‘70s are over.

In a bizarre assault, a Boise man who was driving erratically shouted at a bike rider at an intersection, then made a U-turn, drove up on the sidewalk and punched the rider in the face before driving over his bicycle.

A Wisconsin driver faces charges for running over a bike and a child’s bicycle attachment following a dispute after passing a father and his two kids too closely; the driver claims the father threw his $2,000 bike in front of the truck’s wheels. Sure, that’s credible.

No bias here, either. Two people were killed and eleven injured in seven separate Chicago shootings, yet the headline only mentions the one involving a bike.

It’s bicycle back to school time. Indiana’s Purdue university opens its own bikeshare system, while the University of Florida is offering to rent students a bike, helmet and lock.

Pittsburgh’s transit system will open its third bike garage, which will hold up to 80 bikes on pneumatic, spring-loaded double-decker racks.

Over 800 Philadelphia bike riders are planning to participate in a PopeRide when the city’s downtown streets will be shut down for the papal visit.

A Staten Island website questions whether bikes, recreational or otherwise, should ply the island’s narrow colonial-era streets. Never mind that bikes are better suited for narrow streets than cars and SUVs, or that they could provide an alternative to heavy traffic.

The mayor of an Alabama town lost his bid for a fifth term two weeks after he was bopped in the head with a baseball bat for schtupping the wife of a bike riding attorney.

 

International

A Quebec cop is charged with killing a bike rider last September; he faces charges of reckless driving and criminal negligence, even though witnesses say he backed into the victim’s bike on purpose.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old British man still rides every day on the 1939 Triumph bicycle he got for his 14th birthday.

People get killed or injured by being passed too close, and some post video of those dangerous passes online. Evidently, a group of British filmmakers who posted a YouTube style parody online think that’s funny.

Caught on video: A Brit bike thief makes off with a bicycle in less than a minute after casually joking with the staff at a gym, where the owner had gone in to take a shower.

A writer from the UK says she belongs on the road as much as any man, and despite the harassment she faces, the freedom of bicycling more than makes up for it. All cyclists are subject to harassment, but the added sexual component woman face is one of the factors that helps keep bicycling a predominately male form of transportation.

The Smithsonian recommends touring Kaohsiung City, Taiwan by bike, calling it one of Asia’s best cycling cities, with a world-class bikeshare program.

 

Finally…

Painting eyes over a bike rack helps prevent thefts, although the thieves just seem to go somewhere else. If you’re going to “borrow” a bike to get to work, make sure it’s not a cop’s patrol bike first.

And a Baltimore writer finishes dead last on what the Smithsonian calls the world’s “most difficult feat in uphill cycling.” But he finished.

Then again, they probably never heard of LA’s own Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan bikelash has begun, and I go off on an unintended rant

The bikelash has officially begun.

In an OpEd for the LA Times, the owner of a Santa Monica luxury gift business says the city’s plan for road diets on some streets is a terrible idea.

Bruce Feldman suggests that what works in Stockholm, where the “Swedes are smart and good looking,” won’t work in LA. Where evidently, the residents aren’t.

Instead, he suggests banning all parking along major thoroughfares to make more room for cars, and yes, bikes, while providing parking lots on every block in business areas — apparently, tearing down some of those businesses to make room for idle cars.

He also trots out the failed proposal made by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, before he fell off his bike and saw the light, to transform Olympic and Pico Blvds into parallel one-way streets. An idea so bad it was one of the few things that could unite virtually everyone who lived, worked, shopped or owned a business anywhere near those streets in opposition.

And says that people move to LA to live in tidy sundrenched bungalows far from work and shopping. Which certainly explains why DTLA — and even Downtown Santa Monica — are thriving.

Meanwhile, LA Times’ readers say the death of a pedestrian on Rowena Ave is just an anomaly, and doesn’t justify changes to the roadway to improve safety if it means a slower drive. This is what we’re up against; people are so used to traffic violence that it’s accepted as the cost of driving.

All of this stems from the city’s remarkable failure to control the narrative surrounding the passage of the Mobility Plan.

Virtually every single news story and talk radio program both before and after the plan was passed focused on bike lanes, and the possibility of removing some traffic lanes to make room for them.

Even my own 15-minute interview with a local news station, in which I discussed the nuances of the Mobility Plan and the importance of Vision Zero, was edited down to “Bike lanes are great!”

Which is not what the plan is about.

It’s about improving safety for everyone, with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities within the city by 2035. Not just for cyclists and pedestrians, but for all those who travel by any means.

It’s about improving traffic flow by creating a true multi-modal transportation network, where people can get from here to there conveniently — and yes, safely — by bus, train, car, bike or feet. Wherever here and there may be. And reducing congestion by allowing those who prefer not to drive to travel by other means, making more room on the streets for those who do.

It’s about increasing the livability of our city by creating more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods where people choose to live and work, and where businesses thrive, while reducing the blight caused by inducing drivers to blow through neighborhoods at excess speeds without stopping. Or even noticing what’s on the other side of the curb right next them.

It’s not about bike lanes. Or forcing anyone out of their cars.

In other words, what we have here, as the movie says, is a failure to communicate.

One that starts at the top, with a mayor who was missing in action when the plan was being debated in the city council. And missed his opportunity, not only to support the plan in the face of opposition from some councilmembers, but to properly position it in the minds of the public after it was passed.

Maybe we can discuss that with him on Monday.

And extending down through LADOT, whose spokesperson could only defend it meekly as “aspirational,” suggesting that much of it would never be built in the face of community opposition, rather than explaining why it needs to be.

In fact, the best explanation of the Mobility Plan came from the LACBC’s Tamika Butler, as KPCC’s Larry Mantle kept trying to switch the conversation back to bike lanes.

The new Mobility Plan is a sweeping roadmap to a far better City of Angels to come.

But one that is doomed to failure if the city leaves it to people like us to explain.

………

Better Bike offers their own response to Feldman’s OpEd, asking why would you double down on yesterday’s failed planning paradigm.

And the LACBC sends word the Highland Park Neighborhood Council will consider a motion to support the Mobility Plan as is at tonight’s meeting, opposing efforts by a handful of councilmembers to gut the plan.

Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council

Regular Meeting and Agenda

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Highland Park Senior Center 6152 N. Figueroa St.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Item #16 (15 mins): Motion to file a community impact statement (CF #15-0719) in support of “Mobility 2035” as proposed, and opposing all amendments to the plan as proposed by Councilmember Cedillo, Councilmember Koretz, and Councilmember Price. – H. Slater.

**The item will be discussed in the second half of the meeting.**

………

Sad news today, as Deb Hubsmith, founder of Safe Routes to Schools, passed away from acute myeloid leukemia.

………

Two days into the USA Pro Challenge, the BMC team has taken control behind stage 2 winner Brent Bookwalter and Rohan Dennis.*

It took an act of Congress to allow the second stage of the Pro Challenge to finish on Forrest Service land. A Denver TV station looks at the nine — or maybe eleven — types of cycling fans you’ll see at the Pro Challenge.

And this year’s race includes the first Israeli team to race in the US.

*Yes, stage 3 is already in the books, but the news stories seem to be running a day behind this year.

………

Local

A lawyer in the San Fernando Valley discusses the need for children to wear bike helmets. But neglects to mention they’re required for anyone under 18.

The Santa Monica police department is cracking down on violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety today and Saturday. Enforcement is targeted at any traffic violations, regardless of mode of travel, so stick to the letter of the law if you ride through the city.

South Pas rejects bike safety in favor of parking.

Richard Risemberg discovers the rumors of a Redondo Beach cycletrack really are true, and finds it much to his liking.

There’s a fundraiser tonight for Great Streets projects in South LA, Boyle Heights and Pacoima.

More free bike safety classes this weekend in West Covina, East Los Angeles, Cudahy, South Los Angeles and DTLA, courtesy of Metro and the LACBC.

Santa Monica is offering free bike repair, as well as fixing other items, this Saturday.

 

State

Pedal Love offers a podcast explaining Vision Zero with Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the Vision Zero Network for North America.

San Diego’s City Beat questions the city’s partnership with Miami-based DecoBike to provide bikeshare service.

BikeSD is planning to Bike to the Border on September 19th.

San Raphael opens a new multi-use pathway connecting downtown with a coming SMART Transit Center. Meanwhile, we can’t even get a bike lane connecting Westwood with the coming Expo Line.

A San Jose letter writer really doesn’t get it, complaining about a new road diet, despite years of reporting collisions on the street. As noted above, road diets aren’t done to install bike lanes; they’re done to slow speeding traffic and improve safety. And bike lanes are just one of the tools used to do that.

A Cottonwood bike rider suffered major injuries in a hit-and-run collision with a motorcyclist. Even in a small NorCal town, motorists don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a wreck.

 

National

The CDC suggests treating traffic violence like a public health issue, with the cure consisting of slowing drivers and building better bike infrastructure. Sort of like LA’s new Mobility Plan.

A writer for Care2 offers up eight ways to make our cities bike-friendly. Never mind that by making cities more inviting for bike riders, they can also reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone.

A cyclist on a cross-country tour has his bike and gummy bears stolen in Portland.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a teenage driver gets a whopping one year and 10 days for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist while driving drunk and on drugs.

Three months later, still no arrest in the apparently random shooting of a bicyclist near my Colorado hometown.

A “normal, decent guy” goes for a bike ride in Minnesota. And is surprised to learn bikes aren’t allowed to take the lane on a busy interstate highway.

The Kentucky State Fair is encouraging visitors to ride there instead of driving, but evidently can’t be bothered to provide secure bike parking.

An upstate New York letter writer says killing a cyclist should have consequences. Amend that to killing a human being, regardless of mode of travel, and I’m onboard.

Now that former mayor Michael Bloomberg is gone, New York cyclists are questioning Gotham’s commitment to improving bike safety.

A former Rockette discusses bicycling sans spandex in NYC, and that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to ride a bike.

 

International

Bicycling discusses how bikes are changing lives around the world — and in some cases, saving them.

An Ontario — no, the one further north — cyclist says we’re all just people, so drive like it around bicyclists.

A Quebec cop faces charges in the death of a salmon cyclist last year; the officer was trying to intercept him when he collided with the rider.

London’s black cab drivers are trying to scuttle the city’s plans for an East-West Cycle Superhighway, even though construction has already begun.

Sometimes you just can’t win. A Brit bike rider was clubbed over the head by a road raging driver when he slowed for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Too often drivers blame us when we break the law, then get pissed off when we don’t.

Welsh cyclists petition to save a key bikeway from closure due to budget cuts.

Italian stunt cyclist Vittorio Brumotti was brutally attacked by three men while riding.

An Aussie woman still traumatized by her previous experiences says it’s time to toughen up and join her family on two wheels.

 

Finally…

No matter what kind of gesture a taxi driver makes your way, don’t get off your bike and jump on the hood of his cab. Then again, don’t make a double-handed rude gesture after nearly knocking a cyclist off his bike if you want to keep your bus driving job.

And don’t Silly String a cyclist.

Period.

 

Morning Links: Newport hit-and-run driver turns himself in, and more fallout from the new LA Mobility Plan

More on the 14-year old girl who was critically injured when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding in Newport Beach Tuesday night.

Thirty-six-year old Anthony Michael George turned himself in to police at around 2 pm Wednesday, which would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

Assuming he had been drinking, of course, which only seems like a given.

That was after his badly damaged car was discovered by a sharp-eyed Newport resident out for a run.

His victim, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of other riders, was on vacation with her family from San Carlos; she’s now fighting for her life after she was hit head-on with enough force to shatter the car’s windshield.

She was not wearing a helmet, despite state law requiring them for anyone under the age of 18. Whether it could have made a difference, given the description of the collision, is questionable.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link about the car discovery.

………

The Daily News says the newly passed Mobility Plan offers promise, but questions whether the city is dictating new habits or anticipating them. Neither, actually. It’s aimed at improving safety while giving people the option of how they want to travel, rather than how they currently feel they have to.

LA Times readers offer surprisingly rational responses to yesterday’s story about the shift in LA transportation priorities.

KNBC-4 misses the point, saying community groups oppose taking travel lanes — not auto lanes, thank you — from streets like Westwood Blvd, even though current plan for Westwood don’t involve removing a single lane or parking spot. Which makes you wonder what the real reason for their opposition is, along with that of Councilmember Paul Koretz, who appears to be in the pocket of wealthy homeowners.

Larry Mantle discussed the passage of the Mobility Plan on KPCC’s Air Talk; the LACBC’s Tamika Butler made some good points by stressing it’s not just about bike lanes, although the remarks by motorhead Jay Beeber — and many of the comments — are infuriating.

Speaking of which, I’m told you should only read the comments on KFI’s Facebook page, home to the bike hating John and Ken, if you want to lose all hope for humanity.

And Bicycling wants to arm you with responses to the typical anti-bike comments you’ll find to any online story about bicycling.

Meanwhile, this is what the story looks like from an overseas perspective.

………

Brenda Miller of the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County writes to say they’re looking for vendors with experience in hosting bike rodeos.

Orange County will be holding bike rodeos the month of September, 2015, and is seeking bids from vendors experienced with such bicycle education events. Funding for the rodeos is provided by the non-profit, Alliance for a Healthy Orange County, as part of a community health grant received from the CDC. Contact info, details/specs, and a list of Q&A’s submitted by potential vendors is downloadable via Dropbox HERE.

………

Matt Brammeier, the cyclist injured in that horrific Tour of Utah crash, as been released from the hospital.

………

Local

Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office is preparing a pop-up Great Streets installation on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista early next year, including improved — and possibly protected — bike lanes.

Richard Risemberg says even if we get bike lanes, once the paint dries, we’re on our own.

Bike thefts continue in DTLA, as six people have their rides taken, four after the locks were cut; one man was arrested trying to take one.

There will be a pop-up community open house for the Cesar Chavez Great Street, which doesn’t appear to include anything to improve bike safety, this Saturday. Maybe you can point out the error of their ways.

 

State

San Francisco police back off their heavy-handed crackdown on scofflaw bike riders in the face of angry bicyclists, after 200 riders were ticketed for rolling stops, running lights and not stopping for pedestrians in just a two-day period. A petition protesting the crackdown drew over 19,000 signatures.

The Yolo County driver who intentionally ran down three cyclists in succession behind the wheel of a stolen car now faces attempted murder charges and a sanity hearing. That’s Yolo, not YOLO.

 

National

Bicycling talks to the people behind everyone’s favorite bike comic.

VeloNews asks what the rise of e-bikes means for the world of bicycling. Less pedaling, for one.

Bloomberg notes that crowdfunding is the latest way to get bikeways built, but questions just what the purpose of taxes is, then.

Not a bad idea. A new light attaches to your brake cable, giving you an automatic brake light for just $10.

If a judge agrees, an Anchorage teen could get less than three years in juvie for the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider. The collision came just eight days after she completed — and evidently failed — a drug abuse program; she was on Ecstasy, coke and marijuana at the time of the crash.

A car is a man’s — or woman’s — castle in Kansas; just reaching inside could entitle the driver to use deadly force. Good thing that personal space doesn’t extend to the air around it.

Caught on video: This is what a dangerously close pass by a Texas driver looks like.

A fifth Minneapolis bike rider has been attacked by a rock-throwing SUV driver; the latest victim suffered a broken clavicle.

The Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to avoid neck pain caused by cycling. Or maybe you suffer from hay fever while riding, instead.

An Ohio driver gets a lousy three months in jail for sideswiping a cyclist with his trailer after following behind a group of riders for several hundred feet, honking and yelling at them out his window.

The athletic director at Middle Tennessee State University considers himself lucky after breaking two neck vertebrae and a wrist when he went off the road while riding his bike.

Bicycling casualties are raising red flags in Boston, where 13 people have been killed riding bikes in the city in the last five years. Nearly that many died in Los Angeles last year alone, with 11 bicycling deaths within the city limits in 2014.

A Florida man faces a manslaughter charge after killing another man with a single punch in a dispute over a stolen bike. Seriously, recovering your bike isn’t worth taking a life. Or spending the next several years behind bars.

 

International

Hundreds of cyclists formed a funeral procession for a popular British bike advocate who was killed in a road rage assault while driving his car.

Add this to the list of things you wouldn’t see while driving, as Town Mouse spots a very hidden young deer on her ride to town. And note that her definition of a busy road is spotting half a dozen vehicles in four miles.

The next time you’re in Amsterdam, look bikes with a yellow rack for a free ride on the back from an unofficial bike ambassador.

Australia’s Senate is told that mandatory helmet laws do more harm than good.

New Chinese augmented reality glasses currently raising funds on Indiegogo promise to give you a heads-up display while you ride. Because it just takes too much effort to look down at a Garmin.

Over 40,000 Thai cyclists have registered for a ride this Sunday to honor the country’s Queen on her 83rd birthday.

 

Finally…

Seriously, when a driver tells you to get off the road, just flip ‘em off if you have to respond, instead of causing $300 damage to the jerk’s car. If you’re riding a stolen bike armed with burglary tools and a stun gun, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And caught on video: A Chinese bicyclist just barely avoids serious injury when he hops off his bike milliseconds before it’s hit by a driver making a dangerous U-turn in a busy intersection. Naturally, police conclude it wasn’t really the driver’s fault.

 

Morning Links: LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 passes the council, but the fight isn’t over yet; cyclist critically injured in OC

Fours years after the 2010 bike plan passed, the media seems to have finally discovered it when the Mobility Plan wins approval from the city council.

And does their best to panic easily frightened autocentric Angelenos into thinking we’re coming for their precious traffic lanes.

As predicted, the LA City Council passed the Mobility Plan, but not by the usual unanimous vote; in an unexpected move, Council President Herb Wesson allowed both debate and public comment before calling a vote.

That turned out to be 12 in favor and two against. Just enough to secure passage on the first reading, though several contentious amendments were deferred for later consideration.

Which means we may have won the day, but the key battles remain to be fought.

According to Streetsblog, still to be considered are motions to remove various bikeways, including:

  • Notoriously anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s motion to remove virtually every bike lane in his district from the plan;
  • Councilmember Curren Price’s request to remove a protected bike lane planned for Central Avenue, apparently because he thinks it doesn’t solve the 8 to 80 problem, even though it does;
  • And newly elected Councilmember David Ryu’s call for removal of the long-promised 4th Street bike friendly street — even though such bikeways have been shown to increase property values, reduce speeding and cut-through traffic, cut crime and improve safety and livability.

Yeah, who would want that?

Meanwhile, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz may have shot himself in the foot by pressing for a vote on his motion to remove Westwood Blvd from the plan, which promptly lost with just three votes in favor.

And you can probably guess which three votes those were.

In an interview with KABC-7 — which includes a highly truncated interview with yours truly — Koretz explains his opposition by saying there’s too much traffic, bus and otherwise, on Westwood for bicyclists to ride safely.

So instead of doing something to improve it, he opts to keep the street dangerous for everyone. Smart.

Most disappointing was Ryu’s support for removing Westwood and 4th Street from the plan.

While most bicyclists supported his opponent in the recent election, many had high hopes that he would turn out to be good second choice, and earn the support of the bicycling community. But if his actions Tuesday are any indication, it could be a very long four years for bike riders in his district.

And needless to say in overly litigious LA, opponents to the plan are already planning a legal challenge based on the worst-case projections that it might lead to increased congestion.

Never mind that it could actually relieve congestion by giving people an alternative to driving. Or that a key component of the plan is a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2035, in part by slowing traffic.

Evidently, those opponents are willing to accept a little collateral damage if they can get to their jobs just a few seconds sooner.

And let’s not forget that even LADOT describes the plan as “aspirational,” meaning there’s no actual commitment to build any of it.

Meanwhile, Cedillo once again trotted out his argument that he has to represent his entire district, not just the 1% that ride bikes.

Even though that 1% figure only counts those who commute to work, and fails to consider anyone who rides to school, for errands or any other reason. As well as a number of immigrants for whom a bike is their only form of transportation — many of whom live in Cedillo’s district.

And it fails to consider the overwhelming proportion of people who say they would like to ride a bike if they had a safe place to do it.

BAC President Jeff Jacoberger put that 1% figure in perspective — and I’m told, brought tears to some who heard his comments — when he said that as a gay man, he used to be considered one of the 2%, but see how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Hopefully, this plan will overcome the challenges that still lie ahead, and in 20 years, we’ll all be able to look back and say the same thing.

See how far we’ve come.

………

The Times gets it, saying “the old vision of widening streets and accelerating car traffic isn’t possible or practical anymore.”

LA Curbed gets it, too, calling it a “big-time plan to make it easier for everyone to get around the city.”

Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein says it’s the opponents, not supporters of the plan, “who are putting up roadblocks to a Los Angeles that recognizes that every bike rider, pedestrian and transit rider is one less car on the road.”

And the LABC thanks everyone who wrote, called and attended council sessions in support of the Mobility Plan.

………

Sad news from Orange County, as a man from Bell isn’t expected to survive after he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike in Anaheim.

And a 14-year old girl was hit by a Mercedes while riding her bike in Newport Beach Tuesday night. The car may have been accompanied by two motorcycles, suggesting it might have been part of a motorcade, or the bikes could have been chasing the driver as he fled the scene.

Update: The girl, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of friends, was apparently hit head-on by the driver of a silver or white Mercedes. The victim is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries; she was not wearing a helmet, though it’s unclear from the description whether that could have made a difference.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

………

Disc brakes are coming to the peloton for a two-month trial.

With the Vuelta and the USA Pro Challenge just days away, does anyone really care about the Eneco Tour? TdF winner Chris Froome apparently doesn’t, setting his sights on the Spanish tour.

Anyone can win the Tour de France; a new book looks at the riders who finished dead last.

………

Local

SaMo police bust a homeless man for bike theft after tracking a bait bike by GPS.

 

State

Pacific Beach planners are plenty peeved to find San Diego’s bikeshare on the boardwalk. Might as well leave it there; they’ll need something to do on Sundays after their football team moves to LA.

Still more San Diego bike lanes are under attack by misguided business owners who seem to think all customers arrive by car, even though studies repeatedly show bikes boost business.

Cars are now prevented from turning onto San Francisco’s Market Street, though police fear drivers will anyway because their GPS units tell them to.

Caught on video: A Bay Area B-baller makes a half-court shot while riding a bike. Allowing bikes on the court could make the NBA a lot more interesting.

Mountain View bicyclists get their first protected bike lane.

 

National

A new peer-reviewed study looks at how drag affects time trial performance. Though why anyone would dress in drag for a speed competition is beyond me. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Eating your probiotics will lead to better gut bacteria diversity and make you a better bike rider.

Fodor’s ranks the nation’s top 10 urban bike paths. None of which are within 300 miles of Los Angeles.

Fortune says bikeshare is reshaping American cities, even if it’s not making any money.

Honolulu cyclists won’t have to hold their noses anymore as they ride past an illegal dump site.

A New York cyclist has a magical two-hour ride around the city after just setting out to get air in his tires. Things like that simply don’t happen when you drive.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists take to Facebook to fight bike theft.

Once again, a wire has been strung across Brit bike trail. And once again, a deliberate attempt to maim bike riders is inexplicably written off as a prank.

The BBC looks at how Paris allows cyclists to ride through red lights, but only where there is no crossroad.

Good news from the UK, as a 16-year old bike rider is miraculously brought back to life 30 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest during a cycling competition.

Bicycling asks if anyone really needs that Japanese Breathalyzer bike lock. That would be, no.

 

Finally…

No matter who you think had the right-of-way, don’t push another bike rider into an aqueduct. British police haven’t banned bike racing, just cancelled all the upcoming races.

And the Chicago Tribune is frightened by bicycles, and worried sick about where everyone will park.

 

Morning Links: It’s Video Tuesday, LA Mobility Plan back before city council, and one more CicLAvia wrap-up

Let’s make this a video Tuesday.

First up, bike rider Richard Bidmead barely makes it across an intersection thanks to someone with highly questionable driving skills.

Frequent contributor danger d gives us a hyperspeed timelapse ride through Sunday’s CicLAvia (more on that subject below).

He also questions whether a man who parked in the middle of the Balboa Park bike path to take a nap on a picnic table is tired or drunk. I vote for the latter, myself.

A great Brit video explains how to pass bike riders, and how not to. Too bad we can’t just flip the video and run it here.

And filmmakers are looking for funding for a documentary on enforcing three-foot and reckless driving laws; so far, they’ve raised just $530 of the $25,000 goal.

………

The LA Times casts a mostly unfavorable eye on LA’s new Mobility Plan, explaining at the end that maybe it won’t be as bad as they first make it look. Not surprisingly, Breitbart takes an even more conservative slant on the story.

And KPCC looks at the Vision Zero plan that underpins the Mobility Plan, which the Times failed to even mention.

The plan comes up before the full city council at 10 am today. The LACBC urges you to attend to support a safer transportation system in Los Angeles; if not, email your councilmember to express your support.

However, if the council follows its previous pattern, City Council President Herb Wesson may allow CMs Koretz and Cedillo will voice their support for the plan while urging the council to gut key parts of it in their districts.

Then the council will vote unanimously to adopt it, with little or no public comment, and reserving the more contentious issues for another date, since Wesson doesn’t seem to tolerate dissention in his house.

………

An LAPD spokesperson estimates over 20,000 people attended Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia. Before 10 am, maybe; funny how the crowd estimates keep getting smaller as the events get more popular.

The Source provides some great photos, as does CiclaValley and the LA Times; CicLAvia provides their own page of photo highlights, along with video of the skateboard-riding granny who caught everyone’s eye. Meanwhile, Streetsblog asks what your favorite part of the day was.

Evidently, not everyone got the memo that it was car-free, though.

………

The women are racing in France once again, following their token appearance at the Tour de France. Meanwhile, the USA Pro Challenge announces the women’s teams competing in this year’s race, just 10 days before the tour starts. No point in giving them adequate time to prepare or anything.

A former Austrian pro gets a lifetime ban for pushing EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs to riders a few years back, while the Feds explain why they want Lance’s medical records. Which turns out to be exactly what everyone thought.

Taylor Phinney surprises everyone by being competitive in the Tour of Utah, after a 14-month recovery following a collision caused by a race moto at last year’s Nationals, while 24-year old Joe Dombrowski surprises everyone by winning the race.

And it’s happened once again, as MTN-Qhubeka rider Matt Brammeier is seriously injured in a collision with a support vehicle; two more riders collide with a race bike as he laid in the roadway.

………

Local

A Santa Monica bike shop owner spots someone riding the bike that was just stolen from his store while he’s driving to meet with police to discuss the break in. And follows the bike rustler until LAPD can make the bust.

If you didn’t get bitten by a rattlesnake on the Ballona or Marvin Bruade bike paths on the 31st, thank the Marina sheriff’s deputies and county animal control.

A Texas man rolls through Redondo Beach after riding 9,000 miles across the US with his dog to promote awareness for animal shelters.

After the cops give Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson a $350 ticket for blowing a stop sign at 40 mph, they come to his rescue when he’s harassed and threatened by a car full of punks.

 

State

After a 62-year old San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a Mission Bay hit-and-run, another motorist followed the fleeing driver to get the license plate number.

Santa Barbara police are quick to ticket participants in an annual unsanctioned bike ride.

San Francisco accepts an F-grade level of service on redesigned Cesar Chavez Street to improve safety on the street, resulting in a 400% increase in bike traffic.

A Bay Area cyclist sets a new ascension record by climbing 95,622 feet in 48 hours.

A 14-year old Stockton boy suffers non-life threatening injuries when his bike is hit by a pickup. Why is it that reckless bike riders always seem to dart out in front of perfectly conscientious motorists?

No drama or close calls as Davis unveils a new bike-friendly Dutch intersection.

 

National

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise, so naturally, a government report blames texting walkers rather than texting drivers.

Planetizen says building a better city requires breaking down silos between disciplines and departments. Something that has proven difficult so far in the City of Angels.

Forty-thousand Portlanders get to preview a new car-free bridge.

An advocacy group from my hometown explains the rules for crossing a double yellow line to pass bike riders. That would have been legal here if it wasn’t for Jerry Brown’s hyperactive veto pen.

A Wyoming bike group asks the state legislature to invest in bikeways, while lawmakers would rather just study the issue.

Horrifying news from otherwise bike-friendly Minneapolis, as someone in a white Bronco is attacking bicyclists with cinder blocks; one rider was seriously injured.

Three out of four Rhode Island drivers like Christmas lights on bike wheels.

 

International

Road.cc lists 18 things that cyclists say.

A Canadian writer says that protecting bicyclists from collisions is a far better safety measure than requiring helmets; Britain’s Chris Boardman agrees, saying he won’t waste air time discussing the safety effects of helmets.

The father of a fallen Canadian rider calls for minimum sentences for hit-and-run drivers.

Ottawa paints “dooring zone” on the street in an attempt to keep cyclists out of it and drivers from doing it.

A teenage British bike rider helps rescue a woman from her overturned car. But bikes are the problem, right?

When you’re waiting for your girlfriend to join you on an around-the-world ride, it’s probably not the best idea to climb a mountain in India; an Israeli adventurer is severely injured in an avalanche doing just that.

Aussie authorities propose a floating bike lane to prevent deadly doorings in Melbourne. A similar plan was proposed for Westwood Blvd, but local residents and business owners evidently thought LA drivers were too dumb to figure it out.

 

Finally…

This is why you should never ride without a bra; a German woman was saved by her underwear’s underwire when a hunter’s bullet rebounded off a wild boar. A photographer shows why he prefers to shoot cyclists instead of moving motor vehicles.

And don’t try to flee by bike after bopping the mayor with a baseball bat because he was schtupping your wife.

Seriously.

 

Weekend Links: CicLAvia feeder rides, and the Times spanks the mayor over his disappearing act on difficult issues

Just a quick update while we all wait for Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Speaking of which, Flying Pigeon is hosting a feeder ride from NELA; you can find other feeder rides and walks on the CicLAvia website.

Meanwhile, Tito’s Tacos does a turnaround and announces they’ll welcome CicLAvia after all, after threatening to sue over a misplaced fear of lost business.

And don’t forget to read the Militant Angeleno’s guide before you ride.

………

The LA Times complains that while Mayor Garcetti is as appealing and articulate as ever, he’s avoiding tough or controversial decisions.

A lot of bike, walking and safety advocates would agree with that.

Garcetti was nowhere to be seen, publicly at least, during the fight for bike lanes and sidewalks on the Glendale-Figueroa bridge, and the conflict over bike lanes on Westwood and North Figueroa. Much to the chagrin of many who expected him to step up and get involved.

He had a lot of support from the bike community when he ran for mayor two years ago. But aside from making a great choice to lead LADOT by appointing Seleta Reynolds, we’re still waiting for him to show us we made the right choice.

It’s the mayor’s job to lead the city.

So far, at least, he seems to be content to let the city council take the lead. And let a handful of councilmembers act like feudal lord in their little fiefdoms.

………

Local

Mrs. CiclaValley has her bike stolen from the NoHo Metro station, which is quickly becoming ground zero for bike thefts.

South Bay cyclists will soon get a bike lane connecting Sepulveda Blvd with the Strand in Manhattan Beach.

 

State

The Union-Tribune explains how San Diego’s new bikeshare system works.

Huh? The local paper says bicycling collisions are up in San Luis Obispo because better infrastructure and bicycle education encourage more people to ride — even though bike-related ER visits have dropped significantly since 2009. So collisions are up, but injuries are down, and better infrastructure and education are to blame. Thanks to John McBrearty for the link. 

San Francisco bicyclists jokingly puts a $100,000 bounty on a TV reporter who’s been critical of cyclists. At least, let’s hope it’s a joke; if it was serious, they probably wouldn’t have been posted it on Craigslist.

A San Francisco cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries in a collision with a house.

Sad news from Marin County, as the driver accused of running down a cyclist in a road rage attack reportedly committed suicide. A tragic reminder that over-the-top anger can be a sign of depression.

Sacramento bicyclists call for a tougher sentence for a driver who killed an experienced cyclist last year, while the judge in the case tosses out a proposed plea deal that left the victim’s family feeling blindsided.

The main road through Truckee could get bike lanes and roundabouts.

 

National

The Bike League offers new model laws for better biking, including allowing drivers to cross double yellow lines to safely pass bicyclists, and let bike riders make their own choices regarding lane positioning instead of the outdated ride to the right regulations.

A Denver commenter somehow concludes that a drunk on a bike is more dangerous than a drunk driver. Never mind the higher speeds and two-ton difference in vehicle weight.

Will Olson, the mountain biker killed in a Colorado enduro race last weekend, is described as a legend; the Crested Butte event was going to be his last race before moving to Vermont.

A Nebraska community college gets its own five bicycle bikeshare program.

The laws are a lot tougher in Texas, but the results aren’t. An Austin driver faced up to 30 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he ended up getting the minimum sentence of just two years. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Boston residents freak out when a flip flop-wearing bicyclist rides on a local freeway. Considering he’s shown riding in the left center lane, they’ve got a point.

After a Boston bike rider is killed by a semi-truck driver who left the scene, the focus is on improving truck safety rather than fixing the city’s most dangerous intersection.

A Florida cyclist faces battery charges for touching the hat of a driver who almost hit her.

 

International

The jury is still out on the presumed safety in numbers effect.

There goes the bike vote. A Canadian bicyclist is told to bug off after complaining that the prime minister’s campaign bus was parked in a Toronto bike lane.

An injured Welsh cyclist is forced to wait 70 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

 

Finally…

Now you can own a bike that was actually touched by Prince Harry. A letter writer apparently mistakes sharrows for bike lanes, and misses the point entirely. FYI, bike riders pay taxes to maintain the roads, just like everyone else.

And evidently, Hitchcock was right.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan passes but defers battles, Tito’s Tacos owner battles Culver City over CicLAvia

Good news and bad news from Tuesday’s LA city council committee session.

As we discussed earlier, the council’s Transportation and PLUM committees held a joint session to discuss the plan for managing mobility in the city for the next 20 years.

After what the LACBC’s Eric Bruins described in an email as “quite contentious discussion of some the proposed amendments,” the plan was passed unanimously, with two primary amendments. One to prioritize equity during the implementation, and another to add the council as an implementing agency along with the mayor’s office and city departments.

What the last one means in the real world, I have no idea.

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog's Joe Linton

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog’s Joe Linton

Two other amendments aimed at derailing significant portions of the plan were tabled for the time being.

As expected, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz asked that planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd be stripped from the plan, saying the street is not suited for bicycling — even though hundreds of riders already use it every day. CiclaValley offers much better arguments against them than Koretz and his minions supporters.

Although it’s hard to top a claim that a mobility plan that aims to improve safety and reduce reliance on motor vehicles will somehow harm habitats and wetlands (see photo to right).

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz's Twitter feed

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz‘s Twitter feed

And needless to say, while NELA Councilmember Gill Cedillo claimed to support the plan, he also offered an amendment to gut it by removing some of the bike lanes in his district.

Or just about all of them.

The plan now goes to the full city council next week, leaving the bike portion of the plan, along with the city’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths within the next 10 years, intact for now.

However, the motions by Koretz and Cedillo will undoubtedly rear their ugly heads at a future date when they’re reconsidered in committee. And could still be passed by the council, stripping out key parts of the plan after we all turn our attention somewhere else.

Still, it’s considered a big victory by just about everyone.

With the exception of Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg, that is, who takes a contrarian view by suggesting that the proposed amendments will gut the plan. And that councilmembers have no legal veto power over agency-approved projects, either individually or collectively.

Yet they do it anyway.

………

You already know CicLAvia is coming this Sunday, right?

Thankfully, it will bring changes from the hugely overcrowded 2013 CicLAvia to the Sea route, which saw massive bike traffic jams as riders limited to just one half of Venice Blvd backed up for blocks at red lights.

KNBC-4 calls it a come-as-you-are affair, though they recommend putting some sparkly handlebar streamers on your bike.

There are plenty of feeder rides to help get you there. And thankfully, the Militant Angeleno has created the latest in his indispensible guides to what to see, including the movie studio where my dad used to lay tile for movie sets and met Judy Garland.

However, the owner of popular Tito’s Tacos clearly doesn’t get it, threatening to sue Culver City for blocking motor vehicle access to the busy taco stand, which she claims is the only way her customers could possibly get there.

If she’d stop complaining and embrace the hundred of thousands of people who will be riding and walking past on sunday, she could end with lines around the block.

The Militant sums it up about as well as anyone can in his guide.

But seriously, Señora Davidson, you have no reason to fear CicLAvia this Sunday. Because we are coming. And you will get A LOT of business. And you can be rest assured that unlike your car-oriented customers, we won’t be crashing into your wall. [MIC DROP]

………

Teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge taking place in two weeks.

Eric Heiden, one of the first wave of American pro cyclists — and a five-time gold medal winning speed skater — is still active in the sport 30 years later as team physician for BMC. Laurens Ten Dam could have used his help, as the Dutch rider’s season may have come to an early end after he was hit by a car while training.

And in the story that never ends, the Feds want Lance’s medical records as part of their $100 million case against him.

………

Local

The latest Clitoral Mass drew hundreds of women and women-identified riders to reclaim the streets.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program is officially online.

A Burbank letter writer claims to be a bike advocate, as long as they ride slowly and don’t arrogantly compete with cars.

LA County has approved a bike path leading to an eventual Metro stop in Duarte.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition hosts a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt this weekend, and Streetsblog is holding a fundraiser Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village this Saturday.

 

State

Nice piece from former Long Beach Mobility Director and current Calbike board VP Charlie Gandy offering a brief history of the US bike movement, and saying if we really want to be the “all powerful bike lobby,” we need to be more like Gandhi.

The Newport Beach e-bike rider killed when he crashed into the back of a minivan on Sunday may have been distracted by his cell phone. Seriously, put the damn thing away when you ride; if you need to use it, pull over and stop first.

San Diego neighbors team together to catch a bike thief who has been plaguing their neighborhood.

Fresno sees a near 40% jump in bike commuting since 2009.

A Morgan Hill business owner says don’t believe the hype from opponents of a road diet; his business has gone up since it went in, and the street is calmer, quieter, safer and more active, with a more diverse group of users. But other than that, it’s a failure, right?

Lets hope there’s a good bike lawyer in the Bay Area, as San Francisco police ticket bicyclists for not putting a foot down when they stop — even though that’s not required under California law. Expecting cyclists to put a foot down is the equivalent of making drivers put their emergency brake on at every stop sign.

Once again, bike hate rears its ugly head in Marin County, as a road raging driver tries to run down a pair of cyclists, striking one from behind. Fortunately, both escaped serious injury, while the driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, landlocked Turlock is no better, as a driver uses his car as a weapon, intentionally sideswiping a bike rider following a dispute.

 

National

Scenic Jackson WY is the latest town to get bikeshare before LA, even if you can’t tour the Tetons on it.

A Kansas cyclist bizarrely says having to use lights on his bike after dark is an “absolute atrocity,” and the city council members are idiots for requiring it. Apparently, it’s just another government conspiracy to take away our God-given right to ride like ninjas.

After Texas thieves force a bike rider off the road with their car and steal his cellphone at gunpoint, he goes home and tracks it on his iPad before telling the police where they can find them.

It just keeps getting more bizarre. A Vermont woman married to a cop could lose her license — not because she killed a cyclist, or drove drunk while under the influence of three prescription drugs, but for failing to submit the proper form in time. At least she faces a misdemeanor DUI charge, even though it would probably be a felony for anyone else.

Bikeshare will continue to besmirch the sidewalk in front of New York’s iconic Plaza hotel, as the state supreme court upholds dismissal of the hotel’s lawsuit demanding its removal.

If a New York bus driver says you can’t bring your bike onboard, don’t whack him with it and threaten to kick his ass.

A Pennsylvania legislator is the latest to propose requiring bicyclists to wear reflective clothing, after a similar California proposal thankfully died on the vine earlier this year.

An apparent salmon cyclist was killed in a bike-on-bike collision on a Delaware highway. Or if he wasn’t riding the wrong way, the other guy was.

You know things are bad in Baton Rouge when a bike rider is hit by a car on his way home from a memorial for another rider.

A Miami area woman is under arrest for punching a seven-year old bike-riding boy in the face for making fun of her. She must be the poster child for anger management dropouts.

 

International

A new Brazilian action cam promises to simplify the process of uploading and automatically editing the highlights.

A Vancouver cop is convicted of punching a red-light running cyclist after he was cuffed for talking back.

Caught on video: A London cab driver narrowly avoids running over a cyclist after the rider is knocked off his bike by a driver’s car door. He didn’t just swerve to avoid it, despite what the headline says.

Unbelievable. A London cyclist requests security camera footage from the city that could show the hit-and-run driver who ran him down from behind, and is told he could only get it if he died.

The BBC offers twelve tips for first time bike commuters, while the Independent can only manage five.

The UK plans to use infrared sensors to count cyclists and measure riding activity to improve streets and communities. Can we get some? Pretty please?

Self-titled Brit lawyer “Mr. Loophole” urges motorists to turn the tables by recording cyclist who ride dangerously in order to goad motorists into attacking them so they can capture it on video. He’s onto us, comrades. Although I’d suggest he may be some other type of hole.

A UK truck driver was reaching across his cab to play a sermon on his mobile phone moments before running down a bike rider.

Australia will reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which is blamed — or credited, depending on your perspective — with helping the country bypass the bike boom.

An Aussie website offers nine tips on how to look good on your bike. All of which apply only to the spandex set, and most of which are totally full of crap. Except for the one about sleeveless jerseys, which don’t look good on anyone. No, not even you.

 

Finally…

At last, there’s a bike built for aspiring Bruce Waynes. The Onion offers their own take on car maker’s attempts to improve safety for cyclists, which makes more sense than some of the real ones. I’m looking at you, Volvo.

And next time you’re riding in the Bay Area, keep your eyes open for falling lampposts felled by urine.

 

An open letter to the LA City Council in support of the Mobility Plan 2035

Dear Councilmember Ryu and Honorable Councilmembers,

As a resident of the 4th Council District, and someone who walks, bikes, drives and uses transit throughout the City of Los Angeles, I strongly urge you to support passage of the Mobility Plan 2035 to increase safety on our streets, while encouraging alternative transportation, increasing livability and creating a more sustainable future for our city.

It is vital that we have a well-connected bicycle network, including protected bike lanes, bike friendly streets and other safety enhancements, in all parts of the city to encourage people to leave their cars at home and embrace alternative transportation methods to improve the health of both our city and its residents. Bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to reduce injury collisions for all road users by as much as 50% — protected bike lanes by up to 90% — while improving the livability and health of neighborhoods and commercial corridors, resulting in increased property values, commercial occupancy and business receipts.

Our city’s current reliance on automotive transportation is clearly unsustainable. Our streets are already at or near capacity, with little or no room to expand; even where expansion is possible, increasing capacity will only increase demand. We have no choice but to provide safe, viable and inviting alternatives to help remove some of those cars from the roads. It only takes a small reduction in traffic volume to create a significant reduction in traffic congestion.

There are currently no safe bike routes in or out of my neighborhood in Hollywood west of La Brea, with few bike lanes and only sharrows on a handful of streets, most of which are too heavily travelled by motor vehicles to accommodate the overwhelming majority of people on bicycles, not to mention the 65% of people who say they would like to bike more if they had safer alternatives. We desperately need both the east/west and north/south bike lanes contained in the plan to encourage people to commute to work and school, as well as ride to shopping or family recreation. And I need them for my own personal safety; even as an experienced bicyclist, I must ride in fear anytime I leave my home on my bicycle, and take extraordinary steps to ensure I’m seen by motorists, even in broad daylight.

I am also concerned by the unprecedented recommendation to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan — after they were unanimously approved by a vote of the city council as part of the 2010 Bike Plan, which has been subsumed into the Mobility Plan, and which was part of a long public process leading to its approval. Westwood is one of the city’s most dangerous streets for people riding bikes, with over eight times as many bike-involved collisions as on similar streets in Los Angeles. Westwood is already heavily used as a commuter route by UCLA students, faculty and employees, as well as people who work along the boulevard and on the Wilshire corridor; this will only increase, perhaps dramatically, once the Westwood Expo Line station opens early next year. In addition, bike lanes could help revive the long declining commercial corridor along Westwood Blvd and bring more life to commercially failing Westwood Village.

I urge you to vote to adopt the Mobility Plan 2035 as written to ensure greater safety and livability for everyone who uses our streets.

Thank you for your consideration,

Ted Rogers

bikinginla.com

 

Morning Links: It’s Mobility Monday — contact your councilmember to support LA’s Mobility Plan as written

Today is Mobility Monday

A day designated to voice your support for the LA Mobility Plan 2035, which includes the hard fought bike plan passed unanimously by the city council in 2010. Yet that same plan is under attack by members of that same council, including some who voted for it just five years ago.

And yes, I’m looking at you, Paul Koretz.

We’ll let the LACBC explain, as I shamelessly lift from the coalition’s weekly newsletter.

Action Alert: Mobility Plan 2035 Goes to Committee On Tuesday and Needs Your Support

The long-awaited Mobility Plan 2035 is coming before a joint council committee hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th at City Hall Room 340 (Council Chambers). In the past several weeks, opponents have launched baseless attacks on the Plan’s bicycle and transit networks, with particular vengeance against proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd connecting to UCLA. The campaign was hot enough to get picked up by the Los Angeles TimesKPCC’s Airtalk, and UCLA Green Commuter Blog.

As reported by the Times, Councilmember Paul Koretz opposes these critically needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. Worse yet, he wants to remove them from the Mobility Plan, not just block the project from being installed. Such a move would be totally unprecedented and reverse nearly a decade’s worth of bicycle advocacy on the Westside.

The integrity of the Bicycle Plan itself is at stake. We need your help demonstrating the community’s strong support for a safer, more accessible streets in Los Angeles.

Take Action Now!

  1. Mark your calendar and come to the hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th at L.A. City Hall Room 340 (Council Chambers)
  2. Email the council committee: use the sample email at la-bike.org/mobilityplan
  3. Join us for another #MobilityMondayLA day of online action this Monday. For more info, go to: la-bike.org/mobilityplan

Below you’ll find the email address, where available, and Twitter handles for each of the councilmembers; you should be able to contact the councilmembers without public email addressed through their webpages.

………

Cyclists aren’t even safe from drivers on the race course, as yet another pro racer has been taken out by an official vehicle; Greg Van Avermaet had a 15-second lead on a solo breakaway when a race moto ran him down from behind.

A British rider is the only one who didn’t know he’d just won the biggest race of his career.

And cycling has lost the lead when it comes to doping.

………

Too much sad news from the world of cycling this weekend.

Ghana’s top cyclist was killed in a traffic collision while training. A 22-year old women’s racer died from an apparent embolism while on route to a Women’s World Cup race. And a Colorado mountain biker died following a crash near the finish line of a Crested Butte Enduro race.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg complains about being unable to get a sinkhole fixed, in a bike lane that doesn’t connect to anything.

 

State

A man was found dead in an Anaheim alley with his bicycle around 4 am Sunday; no word on whether he was riding his bike or if it just happened to be nearby. Hopefully, we’ll get more details in the next few days.

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? A former Marine from Escondido who lost both legs and part of his brain in an Afghan explosion just finished a 3,000 mile handcycle trip across the US.

Marin County parks officials are being trained to use radar guns to catch speeding cyclists on fire roads, despite the lack of posted speed limits.

 

National

Spokane cops bust twelve bike thieves with the help of a bait bike. On the other hand, when Chico cyclists tried to same thing, no one took the bait.

Boulder CO motorists declare the “right sizing” of a city street to add buffers to existing bike lanes a failure in the first week, rather than wait to see if it actually works; the local paper explains what all the markings mean. Meanwhile, a law professor at the local university says buffered bike lanes cause car collisions and encourage law breaking by bike riders, resulting in traffic congestion that will increase noxious emissions and greenhouse gases. And evidently, will basically lead to the end of life as we know it.

A letter writer from Pueblo CO says they should rip out that city’s bike lanes before it becomes a laughing stock for visitors, since there’s not a single bike lane in the UK or the rest of Europe. No, really, that’s what he said.

A Houston lawyer bikes across the country just to talk to people and figure out what makes America tick.

Two Iowa reporters created the world’s largest bike tour in the 70s because they wanted to ride across the state, and have their newspaper pay for it.

A Kansas City paper says the city needs to move faster to finish promised bike lanes.

Boston encourages people to park for free, and pedal the last few miles to work.

When Bono honored the woman who came to his aid following his bicycling wipeout in Central Park, New York concert goers booed her off the stage.

Bikes not guns, as 50 Baltimore men ride across the city calling for an end to violence.

A Virginia advocacy group mails a users guide to local residents explaining how sharrows work, four years after they were installed and the city neglected to do it.

This is why you never say you’re not hurt following a collision, as a 14-year old New Orleans boy is hospitalized with a brain bleed days after he and a friend were hit by a cabdriver while riding their bikes.

 

International

A new movie looks at how bad planning is the real cause for the conflict between bikes and cars.

Other children pitch in to raise funds to buy a special bike for a four-year old boy with cerebral palsy in Ottawa, Canada.

London drivers have a meltdown when roads are closed for a cycling event.

An Irish paper catches 22 rule breaking bike riders in just half an hour. No word on how many motorists broke the law in the same period, though.

Bangladesh factory workers beat a man to death for allegedly stealing a bicycle.

A passing plumber with a second-hand defibrillator saves the life of an Aussie cyclist who was having a heart attack.

Instead of improving safety on Western Australia streets, government councils want to let people ride on the sidewalk.

China discovers randonneuring thanks to the efforts of a single cyclist.

 

Finally…

A style website explains how to make a bike your best fashion accessory, because how you look with it is far more important than where it can take you. But if you really want to make a statement, try riding a Big Wheel to the first day of an NFL training camp.

And an eight-year old boy completes his first triathlon, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.

Now then, what was your excuse?

%d bloggers like this: