Archive for General

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

After too many late nights this week trying to keep up with the news in Beverly Hills and Playa del Rey, my diabetic body chose last night to remind me who’s really in charge.

I’ll try to make up for it with a new post tomorrow to catch up on all the news we’ve missed.

Back at Beverly Hills City Council Tomorrow: Bicycle Lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please join residents, riders, regional bicycle commuters and multimodal mobility advocates tomorrow for a return engagement of ‘Bicycle Lanes Comes to Beverly Hills’! The curtain rises at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council chambers. There is a new cast but a familiar storyline: Will city officials agree to include bicycle lanes on our reconstructed Santa Monica Boulevard? Will we finally plug the gaping hole in the backbone bicycle network to connect West Hollywood and Century City?

When the curtain closed on this show back in July of 2015, councilmembers Nancy Krasne, Willie Brien, and (then-Mayor) Julian Gold would not agree to striping bicycle lanes. Even though the boulevard would be wide enough to accommodate lanes. Even though riders would have shared a 15’ wide curb lane with buses and many, many motorists.

(For more about the twisted road to Santa Monica Boulevard bicycle lanes in Beverly Hills, check out my recent recap. Want a news update by email right after the decision? Sign up for the Better Bike blast!)

Of course US DOT advises against letting bicyclists share such a wide lane with motor traffic. And for good reason: on a corridor that sees 50,000 motor trips on average every day, for example, why would any city official choose to put bicycle riders into a scrum with buses and SUVs? Yet our two councilmember-doctors, Gold and Brien, along with councilmember Krasne (“I love the bikers”), simply could not be persuaded by a safety argument. No matter how many riders offered it.

Now, two years later the curtain rises again… but with a new cast!

Returning for an encore performance is Mayor Lili Bosse. She has made multimodal mobility a priority for the city and we are looking forward to our first complete streets plan early next year. (The RFPs are back at the end of June – stay tuned!) Councilmember John Mirisch also supports bicycle lanes. He’s actually a resident of Sweden so he knows what Euro-style multimodal mobility looks like. First-time councilmember Robert Wunderlich could add a third vote for bicycle lanes on the corridor. Not only has he said he supports lanes; he’s even asked why they can’t be protected lanes!

Supporting players in the City Council drama include Vice-Mayor Julian Gold. He couldn’t support bicycle lanes in 2015 (but said he was open to them). And first-time councilmember Les Friedman, a longtime member of our Traffic and Parking Commission, has never been a pro-multimodal or pro-bike voice. (When pressed on infrastructure, he simply asked, “Why do all the cyclists run stop signs?”) We need to give these two officials in particular a reason to make safety job #1. We want five pro-safety votes.


The curtain rises again tomorrow, Tuesday June 20th at 7 p.m. The storyline is familiar: Will city officials agree to include bicycle lanes on the new Santa Monica Boulevard? Tomorrow’s City Council meeting (455 N. Rexford Dr. Beverly Hills at 7 p.m.) is your opportunity to write a different ending to this saga.

Here are our top-three arguments for bicycle lanes: safety, safety, and safety.

Bicycle lanes are recommended because a wide curbside lane encourages higher speeds. Buses and bicyclists are generally “not compatible” when sharing the curb lane, according to design guidance, so why have a too-wide curb lane when we can stripe a bicycle lane within it?

Moreover, Santa Monica Boulevard is appropriate for bicycle lanes because there is no curbside parking on the corridor in Beverly Hills. That’s often an impediment to riders because the ‘door zone’ is a known hazard. But here it is not a problem. This boulevard is a perfect case where bicycle lanes will improve flow for all road users.

Santa Monica Boulevard is regional connector and bicycle commuters already use it. We go to UCLA, the beach, and to businesses and homes right here in Beverly Hills. Let’s give us a safe way to reach them!

The second issue concerns rider experience. Aside from the question of whether we have the votes to stripe bicycle lanes is the question of what kind of lanes we will get.

We are looking for standard 5-foot wide lanes at least. The staff report proposes bicycle lanes as narrow as 4’ 6”. Ostensibly that’s because the city proposes to stripe the inside lanes at 11-feet wide. It could also be because city transportation officials never supported bicycle lanes and a 4’6” lane is designed to fail to gain support. Regardless, it comes back to safety: according to current design guidance that 11’ #1 traffic lane needs to be reduced to 10 feet. That would reduce vehicular speed on the corridor and make available a greater margin of safety for riders.

Tomorrow we will ask that City Council direct staff to distribute the available curb-to-curb space in a way that maximizes safety for all road users. Here’s a preview of what that could look like.

Santa Monica boulevard with the lane width adjustments that will get us the room for first-class lanes that we need!

Santa Monica boulevard lane width adjustments could get us the room we need!

 

Moreover, we urge City Council to support high-visibility green bicycle lanes. Making lanes more conspicuous offers several advantages over conventional (Class II) lanes. Reduced road conflict is a feature of high-viz lanes and should lead to fewer crash injuries (which have increased dramatically in Beverly Hills). When color delineates the space available to riders, motorists are discouraged from encroaching into the lane and are encouraged to yield to riders when appropriate. Not only that: colored lanes highlight the multimodal function of the boulevard. Our plans say we want travelers to travel by bicycle so let’s make it obvious!

An added benefit is that green lanes add to the apparent greenspace while reducing the visual impact of the blacktop. Win-win!

Help us support bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please contact City Council by email with your support for high-visibility bicycle lanes. Reach Council at [email protected] Your short statement should indicate whether you are a resident and/or if you work here. Those are important considerations for any councilmember.

Plan to attend the meting on Tuesday, June 20th in Council Chambers, City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. and the main act should hit the stage at 7:45 or so (please refer to the agenda).

I want to thank Ted Rogers for this essential blog, as well as thank all of the tireless supporters who have come to my City Council hat-in-hand, year-after-year, asking for this most basic of safety measures. You have come from Westchester, the Valley, and the far Eastside on two wheels and I salute you!

Special thanks goes to Kory Klem, Rich Hirschinger, Eric Bruins, and the many other folks who helped to craft our Greenway proposal in 2014. That was the leverage we needed to get an additional 2.5 feet of width to make lanes even possible. We also couldn’t have done it without LACBC which lent staff support for our proposals and outreach over the years. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

I was hoping to knock out today’s Morning Links, despite meeting with the LAPD in the afternoon and enduring the world’s most unproductive Neighborhood Council committee meeting last night, eventually having to walk out before the topic of bike lanes ever came up.

Unfortunately, I came home to the tragic news from Murrieta, which took up what little time and energy I had left.

So I’m forced to throw in the towel for tonight. And leave you with a promise to catch up on everything we missed bright and early tomorrow.

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan released, bike riders behaving badly, and why our streets stay dangerous

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA is supporting local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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It was a surprise announcement.

And both heartening, and a little disappointing.

Word broke Thursday morning that LA’s Vision Zero Alliance had finally released its long-awaited Action Plan, explaining how the plan to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by the end of this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025.

While the report hits all the appropriate notes, it’s a little short on specifics.

For instance, it talks about the need to reduce speeds to drive down LA’s worst in the nation traffic death rate, but doesn’t actually commit to reducing speed limits to 20 or 25 mph, as other major cities have done. And it discusses working to change laws at the state level, without stating whether they will fight to remove the deadly 85th percentile law that drives up speeds and destroys livability — not to mention survivability — on city streets.

However, there are a few specific actions we can follow to verify that the plan is on track:

Vision Zero means designing a street network that is safe for all modes. The City will:

Install live-saving improvements on the priority corridors and intersections along the High-Injury Network, such as optimizing four-hundred traffic signals and redesigning at least twelve miles of City streets every year to accommodate safe transportation for all.

Update 100 percent of the expired speed surveys on the priority corridors by the end of 2017.

Update all City street-design standards used by the Bureau of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of City Planning to be consistent with the National Association of City

Unanswered is whether the city will address the chronic understaffing problems at LADOT so they actually have the capability to work on Vision Zero, without throwing the hard-fought Mobility Plan out the window.

Some of those bicycling deaths could be prevented simply by building out the low-stress network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the plan, giving riders a safer and more comfortable alternative to riding busier streets.

Also unanswered is how they will solve the problem of recalcitrant councilmembers who attempt to block desperately needed safety improvements in their districts, as Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz have already done.

Not to mention LA’s rampant NIMBYism, which rises up to oppose virtually any changes on our streets, especially if there’s the slightest suspicion it might slow traffic down.

Which is pretty much the point.

Here’s what LA Curbed’s Alissa Walker and Streetsblog’s Joe Linton have to say on the subject.

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Today’s common theme, bike riders behaving badly.

Probably not the best idea to park your bike in front of a Palo Alto police station with a can of Colt 45 instead of a water bottle.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo police are looking for a butt-slapping bike rider who assaulted two women on campus in less than a week. Chances are, it’s not the same jerk who’s been assaulting English women in the same fashion for the last month.

Canadian police are looking for a bike-riding man who tried, and failed, to break into a business with a rock.

The Austrian man who was busted for trying to ride naked into a hotel in eight degree weather says he was trying to impress a girl. Although getting fired from his job as a pastry chef at the hotel probably isn’t the way to do it. And someone should explain to him about shrinkage.

A Pennsylvania bike rider was apparently under the influence when he was killed by a 17-year old driver; the victim had a water bottle filled with booze, and a dope pipe in his pocket.

University of Florida students are unnerved by a man riding his bike around campus wearing a swastika. Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys. And sometimes they’re just assholes. But even assholes have a constitutional right to be one.

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Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a distracted driver gets a whole 75 days in jail for killing a cyclist while apparently checking his email.

But not as cheap as Illinois, where a drunk driver cops a plea for killing a man who was riding his bike home from work, in exchange for a whopping ten days behind bars. Ten effing days. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

And a three-time Brit traffic serial killer gets his suspended license back three years early because it’s an inconvenience to his family. It was probably pretty inconvenient for the families of his victims, too.

And then we wonder why nothing ever seems to stop the carnage on our streets.

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Nice to hear from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, who offers news from LA County’s too often neglected Eastside.

Even if the news isn’t exactly what we want to hear.

Like the bad news that yet another local bike shop is going out of business, as the popular Coates Cyclery is closing is doors. And this time, it’s his LBS. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the first link.

He also sends word that there will be a clean-up day on Glendora Mountain Road Sunday, February 5th to pick up the trash left behind by the people who travel it. Not all of whom are in cars.

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The 3rd annual Night on Broadway will take place this Saturday, with over 60,000 people expected to celebrate with free events and music on DTLA’s main street; there will be a bike valet, so you can leave your car at home.

Santa Monica Planning is hosting a ride with SaMo’s mayor this Sunday. LA mayor Eric Garcetti agreed to ride with bicyclists when he was running for office four years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has bothered to ask him to do it. Which should be a big hint to the LACBC, the BAC, LADOT…

Also on Sunday, community coalition Si Se Mueve is holding a free community bike ride through Northeast LA.

Yet another Sunday event, as Walk Bike Glendale is sponsoring their first Women’s Ride of 2017.

Finishing up a very busy Sunday, Black Kids on Bikes is holding a free bike tune-up session, followed by a freedom ride.

And one last reminder about the LACBC’s rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion on Monday in DTLA. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.

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A Welsh Olympic gold medalist says there’s still a lot of sexism in cycling, but it’s not blatantly obvious. And the fluffy music played at women’s races doesn’t help.

NPR talks with the filmmaker behind Icarus, an amateur cyclist who filmed himself doping, only to accidently uncover the Russian doping scandal.

US Cycling membership now includes legal benefits, including a free consultation, reduced legal fees, and priority consideration for pro bono legal representation. Although virtually any bike lawyer will offer a free consultation.

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Local

The LA Times looks at bike trends for 2017, from comfort bikes and ebikes to lighted helmets and ultra bright headlights.

Speaking of the Times, they make the bizarre claim that ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. They’re a great alternative to driving, but it’s ridiculous to claim ebikes are greener than bicycling or walking.

If Elon Musk is building a tunnel in LA, can we ask him to put in a bike lane?

An editorial in USC’s Daily Trojan calls California’s ban on headphones for bike riders a new, overbearing law. Except the law only prohibits wearing headphones in or on both ears, rather than one. And it’s not new. Wearing headphones in both ears has been illegal for years, just as it is for drivers; all that changed with the new law was to eliminate loopholes to include any form of headphones or earpieces.

This Wednesday is the deadline for Santa Clarita high school seniors to apply for a college scholarship in honor of fallen cyclist, musician and teacher Rod Bennett.

Long Beach is looking for a Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officer. They had me right up to the healthy living part.

Let’s face it. CiclaValley is probably having more fun than the rest of us these days.

 

State

Momentum Magazine previews April’s Sea Otter Classic at the famed Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, calling the world’s premier cycling festival.

San Jose’s Good Karma Bikes helps teens learn how to keep their bikes in good working order while teaching job skills.

Fresno puts off a vote on the city’s new Active Transportation Plan that would add 950 miles of bike lanes, routes and trails.

 

National

The founder of Justin’s nut butters is one of us, too.

Bicycling reviews the warmest clothes for winter riding. And they list six epic bike events you probably don’t know about, including two in California.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, as cyclists react to the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old racer; his own mother found his body and mangled bike after he didn’t come home from a ride. Thanks to Shannon for the tip.

A recent Rutgers University study concludes that concerns about racial profiling are a barrier to bicycling in communities of color. It’s not just their imagination; blacks are more likely to be stopped and ticketed by police in northern cities, as well as in the deep south. And from what I’ve heard, that goes for black and Latino riders in SoCal, too.

A New Jersey paper recommends renting a bike when you travel to Europe, rather than trying to take yours with you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Chattanooga national masters champ is doing back-to-back 75-mile rides to celebrate his 75th birthday.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eight reasons you should talk your friends into bicycling. They also list six “essential” tips for losing weight by bicycling, all of which you could figure out on your own.

Seventy-one percent of people responding to an online poll in one Canadian town think winter bicycling should be banned; one bighearted driver thinks running over a cyclist could provide extra traction on icy streets.

Toronto ups the ante for the combination of a coffee shop and bike shop by throwing in an art gallery, too.

London’s police department is going to put undercover cops on bikes to bust drivers making dangerous passes; they want to send the message that anyone on a bike could be a cop. We’ve been trying to talk the LAPD into trying that for years, but without success so far.

Britain sets aside £300 million — the equivalent of $376 million — for bicycling, then spends it on other things.

An Irish cyclist tries to reassure local businesses that bike lanes and parking can coexist, and that bike riders shop, too.

In a truly bizarre case, Dutch police have filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice against a UN lawyer from Jamaica who claimed she had been brutalized by cops who arrested her when she got off her bike and walked it across a busy street.

Who needs a mountain when you’ve got a parking garage? Adelaide, Australia cyclists compete in their own indoor hill climb. Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the news.

Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new world record for the longest single-file line of moving bicycle traveling together, with 1,186 riders. Even that’s probably not enough to convince some drivers it’s better to let cyclists ride abreast.

 

Finally…

If you have to ask a Tostitos bag if you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to drive. Better stick to IPAs; the beer you drink could say you’re likely to have your bike stolen.

And this is what happens when a town gets serious about promoting bicycling, without getting too serious.

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Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to support this site. Donations are always welcome to help us bring you the best, freshest and most accurate bike news in this post-truth era of alternate facts and fake news.

Morning Links: Los Angeles selected for bike riding boost, and carfree plan moves forward for Mt. Hollywood Drive

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA is supporting local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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In case you missed yesterday’s big news, PeopleForBikes has selected ten cities for their inaugural Big Jump Project intended to double or triple ridership in select neighborhoods in just the next three years.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles made the cut, with efforts to focus on Downtown LA and adjacent University Park.

This was my take on it when the news broke around noon yesterday.

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In what could be the final step in a long, drawn-out battle to keep cars off Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park, the LA City Council’s Arts, Parks and River Committee approved plans for a shuttle system to take people up to the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign; the proposal goes before the full council today for final approval.

BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote an open letter to the council in support of the plan.

Dear Lovers of Griffith Park:

I have been a CD 4 resident and homeowner, employee and employer in one capacity or another since the late 1960’s. I have a wife and a five year-old girl. We all use Griffith Park at least once a week. I live in Franklin Hills. My parents are elderly and they live in Beachwood Canyon, right under the Hollywood Sign. They too use Griffith Park.

Many other users of Griffith Park and I have watched as the City has struggled with traffic problems and the issue of motor vehicle traffic on Mt. Hollywood Drive.

Griffith Park is and must remain a place for people, not cars. Colonel Griffith J. Griffith bestowed the Park to the people of Los Angeles as, “[…] a place of recreation and rest for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people […] to make Los Angeles a happier, cleaner, and finer city.”

The absence of motor vehicles in the Park is a prerequisite to Colonel Griffith’s mandate. Car-free, natural and unspoiled venues in Los Angeles are rare and precious. The absence of motor vehicles makes the Park a safe haven from the hectic, break-neck pace of life in metropolitan Los Angeles. Families like mine can escape to its confines and breathe unspoiled air. Children can run free without fear of getting hit by motor vehicles.

These truths impart an inherent value that supersedes the need for vehicular access to touristic vistas. Tourists’ desires for photo opportunities cannot outweigh Angelenos’ need for an escape from the mechanized dangers of city life. Los Angeles and its amenities must first be a place for its own residents.

Many Angelenos struggle in their daily lives because they cannot afford cars. Commuting and navigating the City unfairly burden them with logistical difficulties. Merely crossing the street threatens them with becoming another of Los Angeles’ 20,000 annual hit-and-run victims. They often lack recourse because the choices that shaped our great City’s landscape failed to account for anything but cars. Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities are implicitly considered the cost of doing business.

For these reasons and more, Griffith Park must remain car-free to the fullest extent practicable. The Griffith Observatory Circulation and Parking Enhancement Plan keeps it so. It provides unprecedented transit access to the Park for those unable to afford a car, or for those who decide that one less car in the park is a good thing. Car-free policy lifestyle benefits the environment and Angelenos, and fulfills Colonel Griffith’s vision and mandate. And frankly, the tourists enjoy car-free Griffith Park more too.

The thousands who have signed petitions and attended meetings are pleased and grateful to know that Mt. Hollywood Dr. will remain motor vehicle free.

Thank you for protecting the Park’s wild interior and for improving the lives of Angelenos.

Joshua C. Cohen

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If you want to see the new documentary on Russia’s systematic doping program, you’ll have to get Netflix.

The four-stage Tour of Abu Dhabi will roll next month after moving from its previous October date.

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Local

LA-based battery maker Immotor plans to bring an ebike to market later this year as proof-of-concept for their advanced batteries.

Pasadena will host a public workshop tomorrow to get input on the city’s draft Street Design Guide.

ASSOS will be the title sponsor of the Malibu Gran Fondo for the next two years.

Violent crime may be up in Long Beach, but bike theft has dropped over 26%. Maybe they could tell LA how they did it.

Speaking of Long Beach, work has begun on completing the Ocean Blvd road diet, which should have bike lanes by Friday.

CiclaValley tackles the famed Gibraltar climb above Santa Barbara.

 

State

Fifteen San Bernardino students got new bikes and helmets for maintaining perfect attendance records.

A Morro Bay mother who lead the fight for a BMX bike park has been honored as the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.

A San Francisco cyclist was injured in a fall on a bikeway that’s been taken over by a homeless encampment, despite promises from the city to clean it up.

Davis is looking for input on new wayfinding strategies.

Not content with smashing windows at a Davis mosque and draping bacon over door handles, a woman was caught on security cameras slashing tires on bikes that were parked outside it.

A writer says bike riding is an opportunity for Calaveras County, but streets remain a major obstacle. Sort of like nearly everywhere else.

Instead of getting rid of rumble strips that pose a risk to Northern California cyclists, Caltrans just paints a wedge on the pavement to warn riders about them.

 

National

Soap opera star Martha Madison is one of us, as she recovers from a broken elbow after falling of her bike.

How is it that Los Angeles, where year-round riding is easy, doesn’t have a winter bike week, but Denver, where it isn’t, does?

It’s a win for Montana bike riders, as a bill that would have banned bicycles from most two-lane roadways has been withdrawn, and will be redrafted with bicyclists’ input; the lawmaker responsible for the bill says the new version won’t contain restrictions on walking or bicycling.

A new Colorado study shows, just like with anything else, familiarity breeds acceptance when it comes to ebikes on trails; once people try them, their resistance melts away.

Another salvo in the war on bikes, as a bike rider barely escapes injury when someone strung fishing line across a Wichita, Kansas bike trail.

Detroit breaks ground on a $4 million sports complex that will include a new velodrome.

The Bike League’s annual National Bike Summit will take place in Washington DC the first week of March.

A coalition of Virginia lawmakers proposes getting tough on distracted driving.

 

International

Bike Radar examines 12 cycling nutrition myths.

A new study says bikewear that promises to dissipate heat doesn’t actually work, and could prove harmful to older riders.

A pair of Vancouver bike riders will spend a week in jail and face a five year ban from US public lands after riding off-trail through environmentally sensitive lands in Yellowstone, as well as other US parks.

The war on bikes continues, as a British woman was pushed of her bicycle by the passenger of a passing car; fortunately, she was not seriously injured.

A kindhearted woman in the UK starts a fundraising campaign to buy a new bike for a woman who had hers stolen, after reading the note the victim left for the thief.

Several stars of Britain’s Tottenham Spurs go for a bike ride in Barcelona. Although those look more like scooters to me.

Road.cc asks what Brexit and the Trump presidency will mean for British bicycling, the short answer is, prepare for a major hit to the pocketbook.

Where to go on your next bicycling vacation to Denmark.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist swerves to avoid getting hit after he’s cut off by a U-turning driver, then gets a milkshake thrown at him by way of thanks; fortunately, the driver had really bad aim.

Now that’s love. A Chinese man rode over 1,200 miles in 15 days just to see his girlfriend on her 21st birthday. Although whether he loves her or bicycling — or both — remains to be explained.

The Chinese maker of Apple iPhones invests some of its profits in a bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

Now you can dress to match your new bamboo bike. Unless you’d prefer a paper bike to go with your paper helmet.

And if you can’t decide whether to dress for warmth or visibility on a cold winter’s night, there’s always the option of nothing.

 

Weekend Links: LA election debates, reforming CA Trans Commission, hi-viz skin, and better libidos through biking

Please forgive yesterday’s unexcused absence.

The sudden failure of a hard drive cable took my laptop down without warning, wiping out all the links I’d been saving, and leaving me without access to this site.

The good news it, it was a quick, easy and relatively affordable fix. So we’re back in business, and serving up a virtual smorgasbord of fresh, hot bike links.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA provides a list of upcoming candidate debates before the March city elections.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about better bike parking for the Gold Line.

In case you wondered, this is why many bike paths shut down before heavy rains. And if you were planning to use the protected bike lanes on the California Incline this weekend, you might want to plan another route.

Santa Monica is conducting yet another of their frequent bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days this Monday. You know the drill; follow the letter of the law until you cross back into the scofflaw loving arms of LA.

A Long Beach city councilmember says people are free to push for changes to the number and color of the green bollards on Studebaker Road, but they were put there to slow traffic and improve safety.

 

State

A bill to restructure California’s Transportation Commission would require at least one of the six members to have expertise in bicycle and pedestrian safety; two would have a background in sustainable transportation, one in mass transit, and two working with disadvantaged communities.

Calbike is looking for an administrative manager.

After starting out with ambitious plans for a Complete Street makeover of San Diego’s El Cajon Blvd, the city settles on a watered-down approach with buffered bike lanes instead of protected lanes.

Bring your rain gear. Today’s Tour de Palm Springs will roll rain or shine. Or 40 mph winds.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Thirty-three years later, a writer in Half Moon Bay still struggles with the hit-and-run death of his bike-riding father two days before his dad’s 38th birthday.

A Redding man is facing a murder charge for calmly riding away on his bike after setting a gas station clerk on fire; authorities still don’t know why, though.

 

National

Lawsuits are flying back and forth at the new company formed by America’s last remaining Tour de France winner to make low-cost carbon fiber, but not for bikes.

Bicycling explains why you should keep riding outside all winter, and how to organize a bike pub crawl.

Men’s Journal offers commuter gear every cyclist needs. None of which anyone really needs, but most of which seems pretty good for a change.

Who needs hi-viz when your skin can glow in the dark?

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Oregon will build a bike path to fill a gap in a bike lane where a man was killed last year.

A Colorado man beat depression by bicycling across the US with just $600 to his name; now he’s preparing to race 5,770 miles across Russia.

The war on bikes continues, as a Montana legislator introduces a bill that would ban bikes from virtually every two lane road in the state. Which is most of the highways in the state, as I recall.

If you build it, they will come. Nearly one million people used the bike trail system in Sioux Falls SD last year, in a city of just 165,000.

Caught on video: A road raging Wisconsin driver rolls a stop sign, then repeatedly attempts to cut off a bike rider before getting out of his car to confront him, and complaining that the cyclist is taking up too much of the road. Even though the sharrows indicate he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.

The bike-born coffee and bread deliveries must go through, even in a Minnesota winter.

When a local hotel is razed, an Indiana woman asks for, and receives, the 600 pound boulder she used to sit on to watch her late husband, a county sheriff, ride off to DC every year to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

A Michigan TV station lists three surprising benefits of bicycling, including boosting your libido. Which probably isn’t much of a surprise for those of us who do.

Amsterdam’s bike mayor is taking her act on the road in an attempt to remake the former New Amsterdam into a bike riding city.

Philadelphia police are getting serious about ticketing people who park in bike lanes.

Now that’s more like it. A Pennsylvania man gets five to twelve years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a motorized bike rider who was on his way to see his dying father.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a hit-and-run driver walks after killing a cyclist; his victim wasn’t killed in the crash, but drowned in a ditch because the jerk who hit him didn’t bother to stop. Something’s seriously wrong with the prosecutors who made this deal; instead of being released on probation, he should be doing hard time on a 2nd murder conviction.

New Orleans is launching a fleet of 700 custom-designed bikeshare bikes at 70 stations around the city.

 

International

Cycling News asks if sexual abuse will be cycling’s next big scandal.

A British Columbia snow biker wants his cliff-hanging ski-bike back.

Bad British roads killed or injured 99 bike riders over a recent two year period. Meanwhile, in a totally unrelated story, the BBC asks if sidewalk riding should be legal in the country.

A Belfast woman is looking for the hit-and-run cyclist who killed her dog. I’ve had to dodge a number of dogs whose irresponsible owners let them wander across pathways on a loose leash. But, if you can’t avoid hitting a dog, human or any other animal, just stop already.

Caught on video too: Aussie police are looking for a sidewalk raging pedestrian who grabbed a 62-year old woman’s bike by the rear wheel and flipped her over the handlebars, tossing her face-first into the pavement.

A Santa Barbara couple spends three weeks riding 600 miles around Taiwan.

 

Finally…

No, bikeshare bikes don’t grow on trees. Helmets have been around almost forever.

And your next bike could actually fly. But only if you define “bike” very loosely.

 

Morning Links: Crowdsourcing the fight against distracted driving, and a new look at the murder of Ronni Chasen

This one is worth your money.

The Milt Olin Foundation, named after the music executive killed by a distracted LA County sheriff’s deputy while riding his bike on Mulholland Highway, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the fight against distracted driving.

In just two days, it’s raised over $15,000 of the $20,000 goal for their #HandsOff movement to end Distracted Driving.

Send the link to everyone you know. And let’s see if we can push this over the top before today is over.

………

The Hollywood Reporter offers an extended follow-up on the shooting death of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, alleging Beverly Hills police conducted a sloppy investigation before concluding that a bike-riding ex-con pulled the trigger, then shot himself two weeks later as police closed in.

It’s worth a read.

Because that was one case that never passed the smell test, even from the beginning.

………

No bias here. New York’s Daily News absolves the driver responsible for the death of 15-year old bike rider Saul Lopez in Pacoima Tuesday morning by saying “police believe one driver did not adhere to a traffic stop.”

Which is about as mild a way possible of saying someone killed him by running a red light.

………

Norwegian cycling officials say one of their junior riders was deliberately rammed by a Qatari policeman after winning a medal at the recent world championships, presumably because of her “inappropriate” clothing.

………

Local

Pulitzer Prize-winning transit expert Edward Humes discusses the plusses and minuses of Measure M, including support for bikeways and bikeshare among the former; highways, trains and carpool lanes in the latter.

The LACBC will host their annual open house on December 7th.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is celebrating its fifth birthday tomorrow evening.

Burbank’s formerly fixie-focused Pure Cycles is entering the road bike market.

Lake Arrowhead’s long-defunct Santa’s Village will reopen soon for the holidays, including a bicycle-themed Pedals Pub serving craft beers from area breweries. Which sounds like a good reason to stop on your next ride along the Rim of the World.

 

State

California’s proposed transportation bill would boost bike and pedestrian funding by $80 to $150 million, but doesn’t include a requirement for Complete Streets, or align with the state’s climate goals.

San Diego approves a new growth and development plan for the city’s uptown district, including a request to identify funding to complete a bike lane connecting the Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods along University Ave.

Nice essay from a Stanford student about riding through campus, in which she concludes, “When you unlock your bike each morning you are entering into conversation with the world and those who populate it.”

 

National

Another reminder that bikes help those in need. A 19-year old Afghan refugee tells the story of her family’s long, arduous journey to the US, where her father rode his bike to work in construction every day after discovering his Russian engineering degree was useless in this country.

A Wichita KS Whole Foods puts its money where its mouth is, donating a $1,200 bike repair station to the city.

New York considers giving bicyclists a head start at red lights by allowing riders to go during the advance walk phase before the green light.

North Carolina’s governor challenges residents to hike, walk, bike, paddle or skate 100 miles. Not in a day, a week or even a month, but over the course of a full year. Seriously? If that’s a challenge, it’s no wonder most Americans are out of shape.

 

International

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence.

A cyclist and author offers advice on how to keep your lady parts happy when you ride. Assuming you have them, of course.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls for a Vision Zero plan for the Canadian city.

Talk about burying the lead. London’s Daily Mail reports a woman denied seriously injuring a bike rider when she rear-ended his bike. But fails to mention she’s accused of intentionally chasing and running him down in a road rage dispute that began when he complained about her cellphone use, and escalated when he kicked off her side mirror.

London’s former cycling minister suggests five things he says will determine if the city’s new mayor is serious about keeping his bike-friendly campaign promises.

We’re winning. Copenhagen now has more bike traffic than car traffic.

The Guardian looks at the opening of Africa’s first bikeshare system in Marrakech, Morocco, asking if it could be the launchpad for spreading the movement across the continent.

An Aussie paper reviews the new Ikea bicycle, and decides you could get a better value at your local bike shop. Or a cheaper bike at Kmart.

Three Zimbabwean soldiers face murder charges for beating a man to death in a dispute over a bicycle.

 

Finally…

Maybe cycling really is the new golf. Your next helmet could be an award-winning, banana-shaped piece of paper.

And note to thieves: If you drop your bike and run as soon as a police car approaches, it only calls attention to your probation violation and burglary tools.

Just a hint.

 

Weekend Links: Protected bike lanes improve safety and increase ridership, and LAPD cops buy girl a new bike

Better bikeways really do improve safety.

In an editorial in the American Journal of Better Health, authors John Pucher and Ralph Buehler argue that bike lanes encourage more people to ride while improving safety, as the following chart shows.

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-1-46-02-am

Even auto-centric Los Angeles, with its disconnected non-network of mostly door zone bike lanes, has shown a significant improvement in safety while more than doubling ridership.

However, the point of the article is that it’s the type of bikeway that matters.

The safest kind of facility, by far, were cycle tracks, which are on-street bicycle lanes that are physically separated from motor vehicles by raised curbs, bollards, or concrete barriers.

The authors note that riding in a cycle track is 89% safer than riding on a major street with parking and no bike infrastructure; regular painted bike lanes on streets without parking were 53% safer.

Note the key words “without parking.”

Thus, removing car parking and replacing it with cycle tracks is an ideal way to improve cycling safety on major streets.

They also observe that lightly trafficked residential streets with no infrastructure were 56% safer, suggesting that you’re right to seek out back ways that allow you to avoid major streets. And that traffic calming is key to improving safety on local neighborhood streets.

They conclude,

It is crucial to provide physical separation from fast-moving, high-volume motor vehicle traffic and better intersection design to avoid conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles. More and better bicycle infrastructure and safer cycling would encourage Americans to make more of their daily trips by bicycle and, thus, help raise the currently low physical activity levels of the US population.

Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

………

Local

Bighearted LAPD officers pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a teenage girl whose bike was stolen on her birthday; oddly, while the LA press hasn’t picked up the story, a station in Atlanta did. Thanks to Sgt. Helper for the heads-up.

The Santa Monica Police Department received a $300,000 grant to help prevent traffic injuries and deaths.

 

State

A San Diego seminary student thinks it was divine intervention that saved her cell phone from thieves, although those same divine forces didn’t seem to care so much about her bikes.

A two day radiothon raised enough money to buy 400 bicycles and helmets for fourth grade kids in the Coachella Valley.

 

National

Bicycling offers the warning signs of hypothermia. Which isn’t normally something you have to worry about it Southern California, unless you ride in the mountains or get soaked by rain.

Corvallis OR and Oregon State University team up to tell bike riders and pedestrians to “Be bright, Be seen.” Because there’s no point in expecting drivers to actually pay attention, evidently.

Denver TV viewers pitch in give a college student their own pickup and mountain bike after his car and bicycle were stolen two days apart.

A San Antonio bike rider is caught in the middle of a legal dispute after her bike was mangled in a crash while on the front rack of a city bus; the bus company refused to pay for damages, blaming the other driver.

The four Kalamazoo cyclists struck by a hit-and-run driver Thursday night had lights on their bikes and reportedly were doing everything right.

At least one cyclist was seriously injured when anti-bike terrorists struck again, this time tossing tacks into the path of a Florida triathlon; over a dozen riders were treated for abrasions and impact injuries.

 

International

A pro cyclist and entrepreneur is starting a new insurance company for cyclists and other people with active lifestyles in the US and Canada.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail looks at the new Complete Streets promising to end the reign of car as king in the city, while giving unprecedented respect to pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.

Get your resume ready. British Cycling is looking for a new CEO.

Cycling Weekly says Barcelona should be your next cycling destination.

An Israeli father is on a crusade to ban ebikes from the country, calling them a menace to children.

Another day, another Aussie cyclist attacked by a magpie.

Pro cyclist Rebecca Rusch will lead an eight-day, 340 mile ride along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos to raise awareness and funds to remove unexploded ordnance that remain from the Vietnam War.

 

Finally…

Nothing like getting dropped by a koala. If you really want to be seen, maybe you need a brighter bike.

Or maybe you just need to ride with a soccer ball on your head.

 

CiclaValley guest post postponed

Due to this morning’s breaking news, Mr. CiclaValley’s interview with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo has been postponed.

It will appear on this site by noon tomorrow. My apologies for the delay.

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