Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Miscreant scooter users, Safe Routes to Schools in Boyle Heights, and Giant bikes in Ventura

It’s a relatively quiet news day, so let’s get right to it.

………

Local

The LA Times asks if e-scooter startup Bird can control the behavior of miscreant scooter users.

Los Angeles broke ground on a Safe Routes to Schools project designed to improve safety for people biking and walking to Breed and Sheridan elementary schools, and should eventually include a road diet and bike lanes on Soto Street in Boyle Heights.

 

State

The Ventura County Star applauds Giant Bicycles North American operations, which is headquartered in Newbury Park; the area’s US congresswoman recently toured the plant to promote National Bike Month.

 

National

A writer for Outside says women face sexual harassment on the roads, in addition to the harassment they face just for riding a bike. Meanwhile, the magazine offers eight pieces of bike gear to keep you safe on your commute. And no, pepper spray isn’t one of them, but maybe it should be.

Bicycling considers the annual Remember the Removal ride, with 18 members of the Cherokee nation riding their bikes along the infamous Tail of Tears to honor their ancestors who were forced to march from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A website for engineers and designers asks what all the buzz about ebikes is about. And proceeds to answer their own question.

A Mac website reviews the Apple Watch-controlled Lumos bike helmet, and likes it — if you’re willing to fiddle with it to keep it working properly.

Bend OR bike riders complain the city’s bike lanes have become an obstacle course.

Denver uses inexpensive rubberized curbs to form traffic circles to create a neighborhood bikeway. Which is a reminder that we were promised an actual network of Bicycle Friendly Streets — which everyone interpreted as another name for bike boulevards — in both the 2010 bike plan and the subsequent Mobility Plan 2035. None of which has appeared, by any name.

He gets it. A Colorado writer says safer streets will mean more people on bicycles. And that’s a good thing.

In a rare example of a town pulling together to honor fallen riders, a Kansas town installs a ghost bike to honor a pair of German bike tourists who were killed while riding on the famed Route 66. The police donated the bicycle, while the local convention and visitors bureau worked with the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association to acquire the land and install the bike. Although a better way to honor them might be filing charges against the 23-year old driver who killed them.

A Nebraska bike rider credits his helmet for saving him when he hit a loose chunk of asphalt at 23 mph and went flying, landing on his head and skidding 15 feet. As we’ve said many times before, a bike helmet should always be seen as a last resort when all else fails. But I’ve been very glad I had mine when it did.

Michigan legislators vote to approve a three-foot passing distance, and require at least one hour of bike, motorcycle and vulnerable user instruction in driver education classes. However, that’s a step down from the bill’s original five-foot passing distance.

New York developers are adding bicycling amenities to compete for buyers and residents.

A Philadelphia TV station asks why cyclists keep dying on the city’s streets. Maybe someday an LA station will finally ask that same question.

The war on bikes goes on, as a Baltimore firefighter is charged with lifting a young black man up by the throat in a public bike lane meeting.

Let’s hope a Florida Patch site made a typo in the subhead, saying construction will begin construction on a project “designed to the death of cyclists” at a deadly intersection. More surprising is learning there are still Patch sites lingering around.

 

International

If you want to live longer, ditch the drive to work.

As usual, bike riders won a commuting race in Vancouver, beating people who drive or took transit. And won on commuting costs, too.

The sponsors of a British Columbia Bike to Work Week offer five reasons to ride your bike, including it’s social and ridiculously fun. Which may just be the best reason.

The trucking industry in Halifax, Nova Scotia is fighting proposed regulations to require side guards on trucks to save lives in right hook collisions. Which should be required on every truck, everywhere.

A Halifax paper offers tips on how to become a better bicyclist.

The parents of a fallen Canadian bicyclist urge the coward who fled the scene after killing their son to turn him — or her — self in. Proving that hit-and-run is not just a Los Angeles, or even a California, problem.

No shit. A British judge tells a convicted drunk driver she’s a danger to the public, as he tosses her appeal to have her sentence for killing a teenage bike rider reduced, especially since she had three previous DUI convictions.

A UK campaign calls on the government to teach the Dutch Reach in the face of rising dooring incidents.

An Edinburgh couple wasn’t satisfied with the choices they had for bike jackets, so they designed one that converts to a messenger bag or rolls up under your seat. There’s eight days left to grab one for around $250 on Indiegogo.

An Indian website profiles a 17-year old boy who has overcome cerebral palsy to excel at cycling in the Special Olympics.

Factor Daily looks at leading Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo’s plans for India, the second most populous country after China.

Australian bike riders push for a law that would require a high tech device in all cars that would completely block cellphone use while the car is in motion. We need that here, although there should be an exception for 911 calls.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips offers a great photo essay from the recent Amgen Tour of California. But wasn’t there a women’s race, too?

The same site says Tour of California winner Egan Bernal really is that good.

That big Italian bike race is in its final week.

 

Finally…

Jensie loves Johnny Cash. How to pedal pot.

And when you’re not sure if safety barriers are there to slow riders down or injure them.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in Boyle Heights, defusing a suspicious package, and a little bike satire

The LAPD’s Central Traffic Division reports a bike rider was injured in a collision at Mission and Sichel in Boyle Heights.

However, the comment about bike helmets was not well received on Twitter, as a number of commenters took exception.

………

No, seriously. It’s probably not the best idea to break through a police cordon on your bike, and defuse a suspicious package yourself.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Let’s hope this one is satire, as Toronto authorities announce the opening of dooring season to cull the existing cyclist population.

Looks like the Onion has some serious competition.

Thanks to Harv for the link.

………

Local

KABC-7 looks at the “controversial” Mar Vista Great Streets road diet on Venice Blvd, where some drivers have no problem finding the supposedly non-existent parking.

LA Street Services has repaired 50,000 square feet of bike lanes on Forrest Lawn Drive. This is great news; more bike riders have complained to me about the condition of the Forrest Lawn bike lanes than any other street in the LA area.

Somehow, Los Angeles manages to fix steep Baxter Street for drivers and homeowners just days after a story appears in the LA Times. But can’t manage to fix the streets where people actually get killed.

Ebike and e-scooter maker GenZe names Los Angeles number five on the list of the top ten ebike cities in the US.

The Arts District just got a little more walkable, if not bikeable.

The Long Beach Post talks with a badass bike courier who’s living her best life on the streets of the city. And highlights the story with some bikie Insta posts.

 

State

Davis gets a new Bicycle Program coordinator for the platinum level bicycle friendly community. Whose main job is probably to just not screw things up.

Speaking of Davis, the UC campus now has dockless e-bikeshare.

 

National

Two Portland bike riders have been injured in right hook collisions at the same intersection in two weeks.

The victim of last weekend’s mountain lion attack in Washington had recently earned a Ph.D in philosophy from Boston College. Personally, I don’t care why the cougar attacked; I’m more concerned with what to do if you run into one.

Colorado’s 46-year old Iron Horse Bicycle Classic covers two high country mountain passes, and draws everyone from serious cyclists to people just out for a little fun.

Congratulations to Kansas for keeping a dangerous drunk on the roads until it was too late, as a 34-year old driver faces charges for critically injuring a woman riding her bike — including a charge for at least his fourth DUI. Seriously, drunk or stoned drivers should face a two strikes and you’re out rule. First DUI conviction and you lose your license for a year; second conviction and you lose it permanently. And every DUI should be a felony.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Iowa, where a Louisiana man has been sentenced to five years for driving over a RAGBRAI participant who was sleeping in his tent.

An allegedly road-raging Wisconsin man is going on trial for knocking two cyclists into a ditch; he claims he was totally innocent and the bike riders hogged the roadway, flipped him off, and then inexplicably swerved into his car. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s not just NASCAR racers who are into bikes, as Bicycling rides the famed Indianapolis Brickyard with three of the top IndyCar drivers.

It takes some major skills to do stunts on a 45-pound New York bikeshare bike.

Medium considers how New York bike lanes actually get made.

A former North Carolina city manager offers advice on how to stay safe on bike, after his own father was killed while bicycling. Although can we please, please, please stop citing that long-discredited figure that bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85%?

An English man is back on his bike, seven months after he was nearly killed while riding in Florida, just 350 miles short of finishing a ride across the US.

 

International

Momentum Magazine profiles the cross-party cycling caucus in the Canadian parliament.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Canadian man is still biking 155 miles to work every week. And yes, I intend to still be working on this site at that age.

A Toronto editorial says the city’s Vision Zero program has has zero impact so far.

An Ottawa columnist says the city needs a full network of connected and segregated bike lanes. Any chance we could get him to move down here and make the same case for LA?

A new British study shows bicycling to work can cut your risk of heart disease by a third.

A writer for the Guardian says it’s time to send the UK government a message about what it would take to get you on your bike.

A British father will bike 300 miles to raise funds for a charity, two years after he was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down in a bicycling collision.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like when a masked man jumps out at you swinging a weapon as you ride on an English pathway, then changes his mind and simply walks away.

Less than 30% of the rush hour trips in Dublin, Ireland are made by car, as most people now commute by public transport, bike or walking. Seriously, if they can do it, Los Angeles can — if we have the political will.

Bengaluru’s first bicycle mayor has been leading the fight for sustainable transport for six years in the city also known as Bangalore.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real, as a Kiwi bicyclist suffered a broken hip when he was repeatedly brake-checked by an angry driver.

Two New Zealand bicyclists have been killed on the same deadly roadway just five weeks apart, as bike riders say the road should have been fixed years ago. Unfortunately, dangerous situations like this and the one in Portland usually get fixed only after it’s too late. If then.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former pro Tyler Hamilton says he may have been a doper, but motor doping is going too far, even if he thinks some in the pro peloton are doing it.

Speaking of motors, the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay looks at the coming grudge match between LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara. Which sadly won’t be available on TV, even though I’d gladly pay to see that one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride salmon on a freeway. Introducing cross-bikes you ride along, not on.

And first it was cougars, now we have to deal with road raging moose.

 

Morning Links: More Venice Blvd disinformation, study says road diets save lives, and East Side Riders video

Sometimes I don’t even know where to start.

In his latest column, the Mar Vista Community Council’s self-appointed traffic planner/dermatologist Kenneth Alpern says it’s time to stop all the lies and abuse on Venice Blvd.

Which I assume means he won’t be writing anymore.

Especially since he doesn’t seem to have a problem co-opting the #TimesUp movement for something that has nothing to do with sexual harassment.

Never mind that he’s the one who’s been dishing out abuse towards anyone who disagrees with him, particularly Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Then again, that comes with their jobs.

But it doesn’t — or at least shouldn’t — be part of the job description for LADOT Principal Project Coordinator Nat Gale, who has been subjected to repeated accusations and character assassination at Alpern’s hands.

Simply because, like the other traffic safety deniers who’ve been fighting the Mar Vista Great Streets project for the past year, Alpern chooses not to accept the established science behind road diets and protected bike lanes.

They also reject out-of-hand any stats that come from LADOT. Not because they have any credible evidence to refute them, but simply because the facts don’t align with their pre-established biases.

So let’s look at just a few of the inaccuracies in his latest screed.

Because it would be rude to call them lies, even though that’s what they are.

So …TIME’S UP! Enough of listening to the hundreds of taxpaying citizens, and overwhelming majority of the community, have their good will and patience and collective voice snuffed out because of a few activists who believe in crushing the voices, safety, and quality of life of that overwhelming majority (which includes the overwhelming number of bicyclists who do NOT support this project).

Seriously, show me one survey that supports his argument that the overwhelming majority of the community opposes the road diet on Venice Blvd. Especially since public opinion at his own community council meetings has been evenly split on the subject.

And never mind that he has absolutely zero basis to claim that most bicyclists, let alone an overwhelming majority, don’t support the project. I’ve personally heard from a few bike riders who oppose the project, compared to dozens who support it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the false LIE that half of the community wants the Venice Blvd. Road Diet, when at best only 10-20% want it and everyone else hates it, and wants it reversed NOW.

To the best of my knowledge, there has been no survey of the general public to determine how many support or oppose the project. If he has any valid stats to back up his claim, let him produce it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the constant and daily accidents and near-accidents that endanger motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, including and especially children!

Again, if he has valid stats to back up his claim, let’s see them. Otherwise, let’s wait until LADOT releases the actual, factual stats at the end of the full year of the pilot project, which concludes this week.

And I have to wonder just how many people have been killed or injured as a result of those constant near-accidents.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that was not done in compliance with ADA/disability community laws and legal requirements!

If any of that is true, the city would be required to make any necessary changes to bring the project into compliance. And probably subject to numerous lawsuits already.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that shredded over a decade of community input for what was supposed to be a beautification effort on Mar Vista, and which was (despite the LIES to the contrary) imposed in the dead of night without ANY true input or debate!

We’ll let Streetsblog’s Damien Newton refute that.

Bonin and a band of neighborhood and business advocates have used the Great Streets Plan for Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista (roughly between the 405 and Lincoln Boulevard) as a sort of Livable Streets master class to educate people about what a street can be if it is reimagined as something new. The presentation of the image boards showing the various Great Street options at both the “usual suspect” locations (Farmers’ Markets, the Mar Vista Community Council, and Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce) and high schools, libraries, coffee shops, and markets allowed a wider range of stakeholders to weigh in on the proposed changes.

That was written nearly three years ago. And a full 21 months before the road diet was installed.

You would think that a community council member like Alpern would know what’s going on in his own community. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Then again, you’d also think Alpern would know what the hell is going on with his own community council, since LADOT lists 12 community events where the project was discussed prior to installation — including two years of attending the Mar Vista Community Council’s Great Streets Ad Hoc Committee meetings.

TIME’S UP! The number of bicyclists using the “protected” (but with lots of blind intersections) bike lane is very small, while both commuters and bicyclists avoiding Venice Blvd. in Downtown Mar Vista is very high, and stop pretending it’s otherwise!

So show us the bike counts. Or any other factual basis for this claim.

Then again, if commuters are avoiding the street, why do traffic safety deniers continue to claim it suffers from soul crushing congestion?

As Yogi Berra famously said, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

Of course, the question is why Alpern and Restore Venice Blvd’s Selena Inouye are using such false and unsupported claims to demand the removal of the road diet before the official stats for the project have even been released.

For some reason, they seem to be unable to wait a few more weeks for the stats to be compiled.

Possibly because they suspect the real statistics won’t support their claims. And want to poison the waters before LADOT can tell us what’s really going on.

So let me be clear.

If the facts back them up, and the road diet has actually made the street less safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, I will be the first to demand changes.

Even if that means acceding to their wishes, and restoring the boulevard to its original dangerous and destructive configuration.

But I suspect they won’t.

And I suspect they suspect that, too.

………

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examines the rapid increase in pedestrian deaths in the US, which have gone up 40% more than other traffic deaths in recent years.

However, it’s unlikely that Ken Alpern or the rest of the Restore Venice Blvd/Keep LA Moving crowd will like their conclusions.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased precipitously since reaching their lowest point in 2009. To have the largest effect in halting the escalation in pedestrian fatalities, countermeasures should be implemented where the rise in fatalities has been greatest. Specifically, transportation agencies can concentrate efforts on improving urban arterials, which represented nearly two thirds of the increase in fatalities during 2009–2016 and on which about half of pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016.

And…

Transportation agencies can improve urban arterials by investing in proven countermeasures, such as road diets, median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and automated speed enforcement. Better road lighting and vehicle headlights could improve pedestrian visibility at night.

Of course, that will only work if our council members have the courage to ignore the traffic safety deniers to make those changes.

And automated speed enforcement, aka speed cameras, are currently illegal in California. Which is something that has to change.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the heads-up.

………

Great new video about how South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club is using bikes to make a positive difference in the community, and maybe even break the color barrier in Olympic and pro cycling.

And about founder John Jones III, who pays most of the expenses out of his own pocket.

Seriously, take a few minutes to watch it. It may be the best four minutes of your day.

………

CiclaValley informs us that the new 7th Street semi-protected bike lanes are proving popular as parking spots for Uber drivers.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Parody Twitter account @realJohnBoehner forwards video of a British woman calmly removing a barricade, then driving through hundreds of runners taking part in a half marathon.

………

Local

A Hispanic man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in South LA early yesterday morning; police said there was no initial indication the killing was gang related.

CicLAvia is hosting a community meeting in Panorama City tomorrow to discuss plans for the June 24th open streets event in the north San Fernando Valley.

Pasadena police will be cracking down on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians this Friday and Saturday, even if they only endanger themselves. You know the drill, ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction. Thanks to Megan Lynch and The Preven Report for the tip.

Bike friendly Santa Monica continues to show Los Angeles how it’s done, as the city planning commission approves plans for a protected bike lane on 17th Street; their only complaint was that federal funding requirements mean it won’t be completed until 2021.

Now the Santa Clarita Cycling Bear sculpture makes a little more sense, as the local paper explains more about it. Although I’m very disappointed that the bear isn’t actually riding a bike.

 

State

San Diego is attempting to put a permanent stop to a DIY pump track in Ocean Beach by building housing on property that was originally deeded as a park for the children of San Diego.

San Luis Obispo County bicyclists celebrate the completion of a road safety project that began in 1974.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who crashed into a four-year old girl as she rode her bicycle in Stockton last week, then drove off and left her bleeding in the street.

A Redding driver complains about closing a little-used street to improve safety for a bike path because it will inconvenience him personally, and because he seldom sees a bike rider using it. Remarkable how many drivers take the time to perform bike counts while they zoom by. And how rarely bike riders happen to go by at that exact moment.

 

National

Marketplace discusses whether Uber is disrupting itself by moving into bikeshare.

A governing website explains why Seattle paid $3.8 million to build a one-mile bike lane, while the city’s protected bike lanes will cost $12 million per mile — four times the national average. And it ain’t because they paid too much for paint.

Meanwhile, a Seattle website says the war on pedestrians is already underway, because ebikes are now allowed on sidewalks. Maybe they could cite the number of pedestrians killed by bicycles, electric or otherwise, and contrast that with the number killed by motor vehicles each year, and determine which one really poses a problem.

Streetsblog Denver wonders why the local alternative weekly is pedaling anti-bike propaganda.

A Houston sports writer offers ten tips for bicyclists and motorists on how to share the roads with each other, and pathways with pedestrians. Bizarrely, it’s apparently legal to park on a dedicated bike path in the Texas city.

A Texas writer says safer streets will result in more people on bikes.

Work on Detroit’s rapidly expanding bike lane network could go on hold as bike riders complain about poor design and a lack of maintenance on the city’s first protected bike lane.

The road raging driver caught on video deliberately running down a cyclist on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway has copped a plea to significantly reduced charges that will result in just 10 months behind bars and three years probation. The conviction is credited to the crash being caught on bike cam, which put the lie to the driver’s ever-changing excuses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

Delaware bike riders complain about a lack of safety, even on back roads.

A Miami commissioner holds a “Dead Serious” meeting to reduce bicycling deaths.

 

International

Toronto residents are still waiting after a newspaper declared it the Year of the Bicycle. In 1975.

A study of 13 European cities reveals London is next to last in air quality, behind only Moscow, and is one of the most dangerous cities to walk or bike. The former may have a lot to do with the latter.

Sad news from the UK, where a bike rider who was killed in a collision with a truck was still setting records at 86 years old, and belonged to the same bike club he founded just after after WWII.

Horrifying story from Australia, where one of the country’s top masters racers died of ovarian cancer after falling under the influence of a self-described healer, who claimed to have cured cancer in hundreds of others.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist captures a bus driver, who didn’t know the law, nearly merging into him. Followed by another doing the same thing.

In a story that could have been written nearly anywhere, an Aussie writer bemoans the rise of the entitled motorist.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s split results for Britain’s Yates brothers, as Adam Yates missed the Amgen Tour of California podium by two seconds, while his twin brother Simon continues to lead the Giro. And no, that’s not a spoiler, since the Giro had a rest day on Monday.

Bicycling looks at a day in the life of a bike mechanic.

Outside profiles the incredible Marianne Vos, calling her the greatest cyclist you’ve never heard of. Unless of course you have, in which case she may just be a greatest cyclist, period.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could cost less than 2,000 rupees, which works out to around 30 bucks. Co-existance on the roads is easier when bicyclists follow the rules they’d follow as drivers, if only drivers actually followed them.

And this is why dogs should always wear helmets when they mountain bike.

Thanks to LA bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners for the link.

 

Morning Links: Mountain lion kills WA trail rider, DIY Westwood bike lane, and Venice bicyclist stops car thief

In the big bike news of the weekend, a Washington mountain biker was killed, and another rider seriously injured, in an attack by a mountain lion.

Reports are the victims tried to scare the mountain lion off, doing “everything they were supposed to do,” according to the local sheriff.

However, the emaciated cat attacked anyway.

The surviving victim had to ride two miles after the attack to get a cell signal and call for help. When searchers arrived, they found the mountain lion standing over the body of the other victim.

Attacks on humans by mountain lions are rare, but they do happen; USA today says less than 100 have been reported since 1890. Like most animals, a mountain lion is more likely to attack if it is starving.

A woman in Orange County was seriously injured when a mountain lion attacked her and another woman as they were riding their bikes in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Parkin 2004.

………

The Department of DIY struck in Westwood last week, as Westwood Blvd briefly had the much-needed bike lane Councilmember Paul Koretz has blocked at the behest of wealthy homeowners.

The president of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, which has successfully fought to halt bike lanes on Westwood, called the stunt “childish.” And blamed the group behind Westwood Forward, a breakaway neighborhood council attempting to separate from the larger NC.

Although blaming a rival group without any evidence whatsoever seems pretty childish to me.

………

A Venice bike rider stopped a suspected car thief when he noticed his wife’s stolen car being driven by another woman, and used his bike to halt her.

I’m not sure who sent this one to me, but thank you.

………

Malibu will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement day on Wednesday.

By now, you know the drill — ride to the letter of the law until you leave the Malibu area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

………

Local

Bike SGV is staying in the open streets business, following the hugely successful 626 Golden Streets event with a new ciclovía through Baldwin Park and Irwindale in September.

A government website says road diets have proven divisive for cities, using Los Angeles as a case in point.

Upscale Echo Park bike and cycling apparel shop Banker Supply is shutting its doors, possibly as a result of rising rents in the area.

Santa Clarita now has a bicycling California bear sculpture.

 

State

A local entertainment website suggests the best bike trails in San Diego.

When the fires were burning in Sonoma and Ventura counties last year, one of the firefighters was a member of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame and a former member of the famed 7-11 cycling team.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed in a collision after allegedly riding against traffic.

 

National

A Korean-American writer says our streets are haunted by the victims of traffic violence, their ghosts fed by the false divide between drivers and non-drivers in a world where we are all dependent on motor vehicles in some way.

Fast Company says sustainable transportation won’t work if city’s don’t build bridges that work for cleaner transportation. Something Los Angeles is finally getting around to.

A new documentary tells the story of Colorado Rockies broadcaster Jerry Schemmel competing in the RAAM, aka Race Across America.

A Montana town has put out the welcome mat for bike tourists, making riders and the money they bring to the town feel at home.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver pleads down the drunken hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, and ends up with probation rather than serving his one-year sentence. So let’s get that straight — a driver won’t spend a single day in jail after getting drunk, running down another human being, and leaving him to die in the street.

Detroit is adding recumbents and adaptive bikes to the city’s docked bikeshare so the system can be more inclusive for people with disabilities and other health problems.

The governor of Maine credits his bike helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a car while riding in Florida last fall.

Vermont bicyclists will have to find a detour as a damage from recent storm has knocked out a bike ferry across a section of Lake Champlain for the rest of the year.

A Massachusetts writer says he hates bike shorts, but can’t find a viable alternative. Maybe he should try some of these pants.

A writer for the New York Daily News says it’s dangerous out there for bicyclists, but it doesn’t have to be. And the problem isn’t the people on two wheels.

A Philadelphia writer says the city should steal Macon GA’s idea of installing an entire network of temporary bike lanes, then making them permanent when they prove successful, as they inevitably do.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer offers some reasonable tips on how to change the city’s deadly car-oriented culture. Most of which could come in handy here in Los Angeles.

DC bicyclists celebrate Bike Week by forming a human-protected bike lane.

A new report from Baton Rouge LA shows every mile biked instead of driven adds $2.12 to the local economy.

 

International

Road.cc offers eight reasons you should ride your bike, seven of which apply in the US as well. Unfortunately, we don’t get the tax break UK riders do, especially since a modest bike commuting benefit was removed from the tax code to help pay for the recent tax cuts.

Vancouver’s pubic library now has a wi-fi equipped e-asist book bike.

When a bike raging UK bicyclist screams profanities at a truck driver for no apparent reason, the press somehow assumes that driver didn’t do anything to deserve it. Even though it’s always possible the driver did something stupid before the video starts.

A Welsh bicyclist was collateral damage when a driver swerved across the road in an attempt to frighten his girlfriend during a fight, and ran down the innocent rider.

An Irish writer breaks the omertà, and spills the beans about bicycling through Sicily.

Swedish bike riders are rushing to take advantage of a 25% subsidy on ebikes. Which is exactly what California should be doing with its cap-and-trade funds to get more cars off the roads.

German auto parts and electronics maker Bosch is encouraging its 1 million workers to ride bikes instead of driving, and will deduct the cost of leasing an ebike from the workers’ salaries.

An Indian website asks if bicycle mayors could help tame deadly traffic in the country’s cities.

After moving to the Netherlands, a Kiwi writer says bicycling changed his life and he never wants to own a car again.

Australia’s Road Safety Minister apparently approved a series of controversial ads that depicted bike riders as losers, despite initially denying that she’d ever seen them before they aired.

An Aussie driver faces drug and alcohol charges after plowing into a group of cyclists, injuring two riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal discovers what many of us have — just riding a bike can be more fun than racing.

In your relatively spoiler-free report on the Amgen Tour of California, since the race has been over for two days now, we can tell you the men’s race was won by a Columbian rider, with riders from the country maling a major impact on the race.

On the other hand, American riders did better on the women’s side, though two-time world pursuit champ Dygert Owen suffered a concussion in a crash.

Evidently, you can take a dive in pro cycling. Which is probably better that shoving a competitor off his bike as you near the finish line.

The LA Times looks at the life of a cycling domestique.

And yes, there’s still a bike race going on in Italy, which is not being dominated by Columbians.

The Air Force has named endurance cyclist Major Ian Holt their male athlete of the year after he bounced back from life-threatening injuries in las year’s Tour of Gila to win two Masters track medals. In his day job, Holt serves as a combat operations division space control branch chief at Vandenberg.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to clothesline a bike rider, take off your Strava-enabled FitBit first. Forget a helmet, strap on a mouthguard.

And get your custom 3D printed carbon bike frames, courtesy of the CIA.

 

Morning Links: Happy Bike to Work Day, #CrashCityHall tomorrow, and Rapha says sit on it

Happy Bike to Work Day.

You can ride Metro, Metrolink and many other transit systems free today with your bike, or in some cases, just a helmet.

And don’t forget about the LACBC’s Handlebar Happy Hour at Gulp Sushi Alehouse in DTLA, sponsored by BikinginLA title sponsors Pocrass and De Los Reyes.

………

We’re just one day away from #CrashCityHall.

I hope you can join me, and other walkers and bike riders from throughout Los Angeles, as we crash tomorrow’s city council meeting to demand safer streets for all of us.

And urge our elected leaders to have the courage to do the right thing.

Be there at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, for the 10 am council meeting. And be sure to fill out a speaker card to get your one minute of speaking time at the microphone.

I’ll try to get there a little early to meet everyone outside; if not, you’ll find me at the back of the chamber as the meeting starts.

And come back this afternoon, when we’ll have two more open letters to the city council, from Amanda Gohl.

………

Local

Streetsblog confirms the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, while noting that the LAPD has refused to return calls about the case.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino reports a bike rider was hospitalized after getting struck by a driver in Watts Tuesday evening.

More misleading stats about the Mar Vista Great Streets project from the “chief grassroots organizer” of traffic safety denying “road diet opposition group Restore Venice Blvd,” who concedes there was extensive outreach for the project before accusing the city of inadequate outreach for the project. Here’s my response to her equally misleading post on City Watch.

Curbed recommends four rides to explore Los Angeles on two wheels, including the Eastside Mural Ride, Ballona Creek, and riding to Dodger Stadium.

The Santa Monica Daily Press post their short list of Bike Week activities. Although someone should tell them to post it before most them are over.

Lifehacker says go ahead and get bike riding lessons for your kids, recommending classes from REI and the YMCA, as well as LA’s C.I.C.L.E and Bicycle Kitchen.

 

State

Calbike announces their endorsements for two ballot initiatives, lieutenant governor and a trio of SoCal legislative races.

The Press-Enterprise reports on the Rides of Silence in the Inland Empire.

The local newspaper profiles Folsom’s first family of bicycling.

Bike-riding volunteers deliver fresh burritos to San Francisco’s homeless people each month.

 

National

It turns out Millennials are driving and buying homes after all.

The usual suspects lead a new report of America’s most bikeable cities, with Minneapolis and Portland leading the way, followed by Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. It’s a list that bears little resemblance to People for Bikes’ recent rankings.

High on the list of laws that shouldn’t have to be passed, Albuquerque NM is moving to prohibit parking and driving in bike lanes.

The future of bicycling in Kansas City includes a protected and connected bike network.

A Houston writer says drivers have got to stop their victim-blaming excuses.

A Brooklyn website accuses New York of favoring rich ebike riders while thousands of delivery drivers suffer.

A New York bicyclist is suing the city after NYPD officers were caught on camera using their patrol car as a weapon to knock him off his bike, then lied that he resisted arrest, when the video shows him standing calming and submitting to handcuffs. And never mind the dope they claimed he had on him. Intentionally striking a bike rider with a police car is an illegal use of deadly force, posing a risk of serious, if not fatal, injuries even at slow speeds.

Writing in the New York Times, an architect and urban planner says there are better ways of getting around town than driving.

A Pennsylvania man hopes to someday ride a bike again, ten months after he was intentionally run down by the driver of an SUV who fled the scene, and still hasn’t been caught.

South Carolina residents are dusting off their bicycles after learning repairs to a bridge could take four weeks.

 

International

An automotive fleet website ranks the world’s ten best bike cities; New York and DC get an honorable mention.

Now you can sit on, and not just in, your Rapha.

Quebec bike riders can now ride through a red light on the walk signal after coming to a full stop and yielding to pedestrians, and don’t have to signal for a stop, which no one usually does anyway.

After two years of Vision Zero, Toronto bike and pedestrian deaths are still not coming down.

Not surprisingly, traffic injuries and deaths has dropped by half at London’s Bank Junction after banning all traffic other than buses and bicycles.

Taking a page from soccer, British cops hand out yellow cards to warn riders of bicycling violations. Does getting two yellow cards mean you get tossed off your bike? And if you’re not successful enough, could you get relegated to a lower town?

A writer for the Guardian explains why she moved her family to a nearly carfree city in the Netherlands. As if any explanation is necessary.

An Aussie newspaper disabuses readers of their anti-bike misconceptions, pointing out that’s it’s legal to ride abreast and bicyclists are not obstructing traffic just because they’re not driving.

Shenzhen, China’s Qianhai business district will get its own elevated walking and biking pathway, similar to New York’s successful High Line Park.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for bike racing fans. Amgen has renewed its sponsorship of the Tour of California for another two years.

American Brent Bookwalter was back for yesterday’s time trial in the Tour of California, eleven years after he nearly lost his leg karate kicking a light pole.

The winner of the time trial was a local favorite who jumped into the leader’s jersey, but may not win the war.

A Sacramento TV station offers a glossary of bike terms for any wheel suckers who may be turning in for the first time.

In today’s nearly spoiler-free Giro report, the man in the pink leader’s jersey says he’ll keep attacking leading up to Tuesday’s time trial.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine says this is how you celebrate a win.

https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/status/996537221564907520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclist.co.uk%2Fnews%2F4762%2Fwatch-how-to-celebrate-a-victory-as-a-professional-cyclist

 

Finally…

Before you ride through an abandoned railroad tunnel, make sure it really is. Kiss your Dutch beer bike goodbye.

And happy 199th birthday to New York’s bicycling community. Scroll down after clicking the link.

No, further. Seriously, keep scrolling.

………

Ramadan mubarak!

Morning Links: Bike auction to benefit BikeMS, why drivers don’t face murder charges, and Venice ain’t Bird’s fault

It’s getting closer. 

Just two more days before we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and ask LA city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

Something that has been seriously lacking in the past year.

You still have time to send in your letter if you can’t make the 10 am city council meeting. 

You can find all the information here

And come back this afternoon when we’ll post another open letter to the LA city council, this time from Sean Meredith. 

………

It’s not every day you can get a deal on great bike, and support a good cause at the same time.

The CBS2/KCAL9 Cycling Team is auctioning off the new men’s Giant Defy 1 Disc Brake bicycle show above to raise funds for BikeMS.

The bike, which was donated by the Newbury Park Bike Shop in Newbury Park, has a retail value of $1,500. It’s still in the box, ready to be picked up from the shop or shipped anywhere in the US.

And every penny raised by the auction will go to BikeMS to support people living with muscular sclerosis.

The 15-member CBS2/KCAL9 team has already raised over $10,000, and is one of the top fundraising teams leading into the June 3rd ride.

………

Another good, but challenging, read from Peter Flax.

He examines the death of fallen cyclist Mark Kristofferson in this year’s Tour of Palms Springs, who was killed at the hands of a drunk and stoned driver doing 100 mph, with a suspended license and a long history of traffic violations.

And wonders why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murder. Let alone actually get a conviction.

The easiest way to kill someone and get away with a slap on the wrist is to make sure your weapon is a car. But there has been some recent progress in how fatal crashes play out in the legal system as the problem gets greater attention from judges, state legislators, and police departments. “Ten years ago, it was really rare to get a felony conviction if a driver killed a cyclist,” (bike lawyer Peter) Wilborn says, noting that his own brother was killed in 1998 while riding a bike after an underage driver ran a red light. “Now I’d say that in cases that involve death or catastrophic injury, close to 50 percent of the time we get felony charges. I see a system that isn’t perfect, but also one that’s caring more than it ever did before.”

Wilborn asserts that it’s a logical fallacy to call the majority of these crashes murder. “I’ve been at this every day for many years and see the negligence and its impact,” he says. “I have seen the surge of distracted driving, and I know how a six-inch deviation in a car’s line can lead to a cyclist dying. We have a public-health crisis that needs to be solved, but it’s also true that very few motorists are using a car as an intentional weapon. So it’s only in extreme cases that the charge is murder.”

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

In one of the most bizarrely wrong-headed Op-Eds in recent memory, a former player for the Denver Broncos now living in Venice blames Bird scooters for allowing tech bros to avert their eyes from the homeless lining the streets as they zoom by.

Except people have been ignoring homeless people for years, if not decades. And it’s even easier to ignore them while zooming past in your hermetically sealed automobile, with the windows rolled up to block out the sounds and smells.

The real problem is a lack of caring at worst; a feeling of helplessness to do anything about it at best.

It has nothing to do with a mode of transportation. Even if you do need a smartphone and a credit card to use it.

Meanwhile, Bird scooters are getting the blame for a Nashville hit-and-run that injured two women, instead of the coward who fled the scene after hitting them.

………

Pasadena Now looks at Bike Week in the Rose City, including tonight’s Women’s Bike Night.

And don’t forget tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, which is basically like trick or treat for adult bike commuters.

You can find a map of most, if not all, of the morning pit stops on the Metro website.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan hospital, including a way too cute photo of little tricyclists getting blessed.

Santa Monica could get the area’s first protected intersection near the Santa Monica College stop on the Expo Line. Although at a cost of 94 parking spaces, which could be enough to make the traffic safety deniers get out the pitchforks and torches.

A planning website talks with LADOT General Manager Selena Reynolds, who says she wants people to have a “symphony” of transportation choices, with driving alone being the last resort. Except that will never happen as long as LA councilmembers live in constant fear of angry drivers, and have the power to cancel projects on their own, for any reason. Which is one more reason to #CrashCityHall

Culver City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks forward to tonight’s Rides of Silence throughout the state.

A San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when his bike was struck by a 33-year old driver after allegedly riding into oncoming traffic.

Bicycling collisions are up in San Diego, rising nearly 30% in the first four months of the year. Maybe injuries are up because an increase in bikeways in the city is getting more people out on bikes, rather than due to dockless bikeshare, as the story implies.

A Ventura museum is hosting an exhibit on the artistic beauty and love of bicycles.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time to get rid of the right turn on red lights, which may be more convenient for drivers, but increases the risk for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Treehugger aptly observes that the problem with Bike to Work Week is that it requires the infrastructure to enable people to ride to work all year.

A Phoenix weekly offers tips on using dockless bikeshare, most of which involve where not to leave it.

Former pro cyclist Mara Abbott bemoans the slow death of her hometown Boulder CO newspaper at the hands of its hedge fund owner, after the editor was fired for pointing out what was going on.

A Denver writer demands more and wider roads, making it clear he’s never heard of induced demand. Or global warming.

Maintaining a spectacular Vermont bikeway that crosses four miles of Lake Champlain could prove more difficult than building it, after it’s battered by wind-driven waves.

BikeBiz talks with the co-creator of the Boston-based lighted Lumos bike helmet.

New Yorkers will be racing through the city on bikeshare bikes this weekend.

A columnist for the Philadelphia Enquirer says a protected bike lane would have saved the life of a bike courier who was killed in a crash last weekend.

A 22-mile bike path currently under construction in Florida could open the way for bicycle agritourism. And no, I never heard of agritourism, either.

A Florida bike rider says please stop killing my friends.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where killing a bicyclist while driving without “due care” results in just an $1,800 fine and a one-year drivers license suspension.

The Guardian offers up five scenic backcountry bike rides in England’s West Country to add to your bike bucket list.

Britain’s Road Safety Week will tell bicyclists and motorcyclists to Bike Smart. Of course, it might help more if the message was Drive Smart, for truck drivers and everyone else.

A UK website suggests bicycling your way to a healthier and wealthier future.

It looks like Zwift is getting a Romanian competitor for the world of virtual cycling.

Bikeshare comes to North Korea in bike-friendly Pyongyang.

 

Competitive Cycling

A look at Monday’s Stage Two of the Amgen Tour of California by a local Santa Barbara site.

VeloNews says 20-year old American cyclist Brandon McNulty came of age on Monday’s climb up Gibraltar.

Crowds turned out for the start in King City and the finish at the famed Laguna Seca race track for Stage Three, which was won by a cyclist breaking from the pack to seize the victory in today’s spoiler-free update.

In a reflection of the sad financial state of pro cycling, two of the teams competing in the AToC are racing for sponsors, as well as stage wins.

Cyclocross legend Katie Compton switches sports to compete in the Women’s Amgen Tour of California, riding as a domestique for teammate Megan Guarnier. The four stage women’s race starts tomorrow — and no, you can’t see it on TV.

Ella Cycling Tips talks with 22-year old former Aussie world juniors champ Macey Stewart, who will be rebooting her racing career for the second time when she starts at the Tour of California on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there’s still a men’s race going on in Italy.

Outside profiles Marianne Vos, calling her the world’s best cyclist and a fighter against gender inequality.

 

Finally…

When the drunk who runs you down is a cop. Forget riding, just take a hot bath.

And a $24,000 fine for running a traffic signal may sound extreme, until you realize that works out to less than 200 American dollars.

On the other hand, ten days behind bars works out the same no matter what country your in.

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, and fake news from Venice Blvd traffic safety denier

Before we start, don’t miss Doug Moore’s open letter to the LA city council if you didn’t read it yesterday.

You’ll also find instructions at the end on how to submit your own letter to the council if you can’t join us to #CrashCityHall this Friday.

Or even if you can.

These are the gifts we’ll have for the mayor and city councilmembers on Friday. Think they’ll get the message?

………

You can run, but you can’t always hide.

The Chief Lunes bike ride reports that the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last month has finally been arrested.

In addition, charges are pending for her two passengers, who encouraged her to flee and helped in the coverup that followed.

We’ll let them tell the story.

Let’s hope his family gets the justice they deserve.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

………

No bias here.

Writing on City Watch, where facts go to die, Selena Inouye, the “chief grassroots organizer” for Restore Venice Blvd, calls the Mar Vista Great Streets project an “epic fail.”

She demands that Mayor Eric Garcetti and Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin keep their promise to remove the road diet if the data shows it’s not working after a year.

Even though that year won’t be up for another week. And the data for that full year probably hasn’t even been compiled, let alone released yet.

Not that any decent traffic safety denier would let an inconvenient little fact like that get in the way.

Instead, she relies on — and distorts — the stats released at the six-month point to make her case, noting that collisions and injury collisions both went up.

Although what she presents as a dramatic increase, the city says was statistically insignificant.

In fact, there were just two — yes, two — more minor injury collisions during the first six months of the trial period than in the same six months the year before.

And let’s not forget that the purpose of the often misconstrued Vision Zero is not to prevent collisions, but to keep those collisions from resulting in serious injuries or death.

Which, based strictly on the data she’s using, the Venice road diet seems have done pretty well.

Or that any major change, to any street, is likely to result in an increase in collisions until drivers get used to it.

Then there’s her bizarre — and demonstrably false — statement that the $91 million devoted to street safety improvements in the mayor’s budget will be spent on road diets.

While Garcetti had initially stated that the budget for Vision Zero would increase to $91 million, he later corrected himself to say that figure referred to the city’s entire street safety improvement program.

Improvements to Vision Zero’s High Injury Network would only get a boost to a relatively paltry $37 million. With none of that specifically budgeted for road diets.

And with the way the city council has been cowed by the angry drivers Restore Venice Blvd and Keep LA Moving purport to represent, there’s not much chance of any many road diets getting installed in the near future.

Then there’s her claim that reducing the number of traffic lanes by one-third on Venice has resulted in gridlock, reflected by a nearly one-third drop in vehicles per day.

Yes, according to her, a substantial drop in vehicle in vehicle usage somehow managed to cause the entire street to become so congested that movement in any direction is impossible.

Or maybe she just doesn’t understand what gridlock means.

Never mind that those same six month figures show that average driver speeds remained unchanged from before the road diet. Yet miraculously, drivers still managed to exceed the speed limit, despite being unable to move at all.

But why let a little thing like facts get in the way?

Although I’d seriously like to know what kind of a person quotes herself in her own opinion piece.

Clearly, when you want to get the quote right, you go right to the source.

Unless you are the source, then you can write whatever the hell you want.

………

Caltrans is looking for applicants for its new California Walk and Bike Technical Advisory Committee to help guide staff decisions about walking and biking design and policies.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the tip.

………

Metro offers their take on Bike Week activities.

MetroLink is hosting a Twitter party in honor of Bike Week tonight.

Tomorrow night is the worldwide observance of the Ride of Silence, with local RoS rides in the San Fernando Valley, the Rose Bowl, the Conejo Valley, and Orange County. My goal is to one day have a Ride of Silence that goes straight down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to DTLA.

And it turns out that this isn’t just Bike Week, it’s also Infrastructure Week. Or as Treehugger suggests, let’s make it Bike Infrastructure Week.

Please.

………

Local

Los Angeles finally broke ground on the long-promised bike, foot and equestrian bridge over the LA River, connecting Atwater Village to Griffith Park and the LA River bike path.

Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a bicycle travel meet-up on June 17th, along with bike maintenance workshops this Saturday and May 27th.

When marketing your lightweight German ebike, always include a photo from the Santa Monica Expo Line station.

Best wishes to Santa Monica Next editor Jason Islas, who is scooting off to work for Bird.

 

State

Two guided bike rides will be held Sunday in honor of Grossmont College political science professor Brian Jennings, who was killed in a collision with a sleeping driver last month.

A bicyclist was seriously injured in a collision in Palm Desert yesterday morning; as usual, no information is available.

VeloNews looks at how the Montecito cycling community is coping with loss following the recent fires and mudslides.

A local paper offers ten reasons why you should ride your bike in Sonoma.

 

National

Bicycling says hill yes!

Life is cheap in Oregon, where the local DA determines that a FedEx driver didn’t commit a crime when he killed a bike rider by failing to yield, because he wasn’t drunk or distracted at the time. So go ahead and turn in front of that person on the bike; the worst you’ll get is a traffic ticket.

The local paper says Spokane WA has come a long way in the last decade, but still has a long way to go to be safe and inviting for people on bikes.

Sadly, bike theft is nothing new, as this Arkansas story shows.

An Indiana endurance cyclist talks about how her riding season ended when an aggressive driver tried to pass her on the left as she and a riding companion were trying to make a left turn, after already claiming the left turn lane.

More proof bike riders just can’t win. A Massachusetts bus driver calls the police because a bike rider was tying up traffic trying to save a turtle in the roadway.

A Brooklyn driver gets three to nine years for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a teenager riding his bike; the driver was at twice the legal limit after drinking all day, and doing 80 miles an hour on a surface street when he hit the victim head on. You have to really fuck up to get nine years behind bars, and make it seem like it’s not enough.

A viral video shows a Philadelphia driver appearing to run down a cyclist from behind in a bike lane, apparently on purpose. Although the police question the validity of the video, in part because the rider doesn’t seem to have any hands.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida woman calls for an end to distracted driving after the March crash that killed her husband; remarkably, she asked that the driver not be prosecuted, because living with what he did was punishment enough.

The head of a Florida rehab facility calls for Complete Streets so his clinic will get fewer customers.

Continuing our Florida traffic safety trifecta, a woman wins her decade-plus fight for red light cameras in the state. Los Angeles cancelled its red light camera program, caving to drivers who claimed it increased the risk of collisions when drivers jammed on their brakes to stop. Because they couldn’t, you know, just drive at a safe speed that would allow them to stop for red lights, or anything.

 

International

The CBC offers six reasons to ride a bike.

Bicyclists hope that the century-old traffic laws in Nova Scotia, Canada, will be rewritten with them in mind, for once.

The BBC, with its keen grasp of the obvious, says cheap dockless bikeshare bikes are flooding the world. Although that’s not exactly how they say it, being British and all.

A Chinese website asks if the country’s polluted cities can leave the car behind.

 

Competitive Cycling

No bias here, either. A writer for the Press-Telegram says the Long Beach start of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday ruined Mother’s Day business for local restaurants. Or maybe some local restaurants. Or maybe having the race there was good for business after all. Seriously, there may be a good story about the effect the race had on local businesses, for better or worse, but this wasn’t it.

Cycling Weekly features highlights from stage one of the AToC, while the Long Beach Post offers photos of Sunday’s race. But sadly, none showing the countless mothers staying away from empty restaurants in droves.

Thousands turned out to see the riders off on yesterday’s Ventura start, which was won by a rookie rider on the WorldTour who may be destined for great things.

Now you, too, can own a bike ridden by the Rally Cycling team in the Tour of California, while you raise funds for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

And yes, there is still another race going on over in Italy.

 

Finally…

What kind of grownup attitude is saying if you break the law, I will too? So there. No, seriously, if you want safer streets, just stick a seat post up your ass.

And sometimes you just need the right motivation to set an even faster record.

Like making it to the royal wedding on time.

Morning Links: More events to kick off a busy Bike Week, and Elon Musk wants to take you on a ride

Before we start, I’ve created a Facebook Event page for #CrashCityHall this Friday. Please spread the word to everyone you know so we can get as good a turnout as possible.

And be sure to read the open letter to City Hall written by Raquel Jorge. Come back later today, when we’ll post another by Doug Moore. 

………

Thanks to everyone who sent me items to post over the weekend. I’d like to thank you individually, but frankly, it’s four in the morning as I finish this up and I keep falling asleep as I type. So please accept my apologies and my gratitude.

………

Still more Bike Week Events.

CICLE is hosting a ride to A Taste of Pasadena tonight.

My favorite Bike Week event takes place bright and early tomorrow morning with the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital. This year the prestigious Golden Spoke Award goes to LA Metro for their leadership on bike projects in recent years.

West Hollywood is giving away free bike lights at Santa Monica and Vista tomorrow night, and hosting a Bike to Work pitstop on Thursday.

Westwood’s Hammer Museum is hosting a talk Wednesday evening on how to move LA to a decarbonized future.

The annual Pasadena Ride of Silence around the Rose Bowl will roll at 6:15 pm this Wednesday.

Ride free with your bike on Metrolink this week, or ride free on El Monte’s transit system with your bike or helmet.

KTLA-5 talks Bike Month with the LACBC’s departing Executive Director Erik Jansen.

………

Elon Musk says you’ll be able to take a free ride through his new Boring tunnel under the Westside within a few months.

No, really, he seems to be serious.

No word west on whether you’ll be able to take your bike with you, as he previously promised.

………

Local

The LA Times recommends walking or riding in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve in the West San Fernando Valley.

La Verne is creating its first active transportation plan and planning for bike lanes. Which is about time, since the city currently doesn’t have any.

A Long Beach resident describes what he has to go through as a black man just to walk in his own neighborhood.

 

State

Orange Coast College is easing a ban on skateboards and rollerblading after installing a dedicated bike path to encourage students and staff not to drive to campus. It’s long past time for all schools and businesses to remove needless barriers to active transportation. And that includes dangerous roads along the way.

A San Diego councilmember wants to ban e-scooters from the Mission Beach boardwalk, accusing users of turning it into a human slalom course.

 

National

Wired says the vehicle of the future is a bicycle.

A writer for Medium says that a real commitment to Vision Zero could result in more than just fewer deaths. As if that wasn’t enough.

Men’s Journal list the top five commuter bikes for 2018, only one of which sells for under $1900.

Gear Junkie answers all your questions about bike shorts. Including why you should go commando.

Great idea. A Las Vegas school combines bicycling with support for education, sponsoring a ride in which bicyclists bring books to the school for kids to take home.

An Arizona court rules that if you’re injured on streetcar tracks that meet design and engineering standards, it’s your own damn fault.

An Austin TX bicyclist was killed in a collision with a police officer responding to a call, after allegedly riding through a stop sign; his companion, who managed to get across the street safely, appeared to be under the influence.

A Rochester NY cyclist says bike lanes terrify bicyclists and confuse drivers.

A New York writer takes a ride on an ebike. And likes it.

Yale alumni guide blind riders on tandem bikes through the streets of New York during the Five Boro Bike Tour.

A DC rider learns the hard way that bicyclists depend on drivers to get home safely.

 

International

Road.cc considers how to get your bicycling mojo back.

Mexican officials reverse themselves, and say the Polish and German men recently found dead in a ravine were the victims of foul play, after one was found with a bullet wound; they were on an around-the-world bike tour when they were robbed and murdered in Chiapas.

Ontario, Canada cyclists celebrate a coming road diet, while drivers inevitably try to stop it.

Nova Scotia is working on updating its traffic safety laws for the first time in 100 years; a driver recently got away with failing to yield to a bike rider because bikes aren’t considered vehicles under their laws.

The war on bikes continues, as a driver in the UK deliberately aims his van at a bike rider, then threatens to kill bicyclists after running the rider off the road.

The top ten bicycling routes in Scotland, to add to your bike bucket like.

A Scottish lawyer and bike advocate calls for presumed liability, saying it’s the only way to bring fairness back to the legal system and protect the rights of people injured in crashes.

A British study concludes that the only way to prevent unsafe passing of bicyclists is to invest in separated infrastructure.

The Irish Times says the government has a moral responsibility to invest in protecting bicyclists.

Seriously? A seven-year old boy in the United Arab Emirates was taken into custody by police and interrogated for allegedly swerving his bike into traffic and causing a collision, before the court finally ordered him handed over to his father. Did I mention that he was just seven effing years old?

Fifteen thousand bicycle cab operators in Kenya’s Busia County are trapped in the business, because they can’t make enough money to afford a motorcycle.

One of the world’s top-ranked paracyclists is joining with eleven runners to travel nearly 1,400 miles from Cape Town to Pretoria, South Africa, by handcycle, less than four years after she lost the use of her legs in a cycling crash.

A New Zealand truck driver says you never get over the pain of killing someone, even if the victim’s parents forgive you; he says he’ll never drive a truck again after he killed a man riding his bike last year.

Canberra, Australia will test slowing traffic on some streets to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Singapore approves a new requirement for bike parking spaces in any new residential development, while saying fears it will force out car parking are unfounded.

A Singaporean website questions whether pedestrians and personal mobility devices like e-scooters and hover boards can co-exist.

 

Competitive Cycling

In your spoiler-free report on Sunday’s first stage of the Amgen Tour of California, someone outsprinted his competitors to claim victory, while someone else finished second.

The Tour of California will award equal prize money to both the men and the women, even if women cyclists are not yet allowed to compete on the same courses. And the race has done away with podium girls, allowing women to make the podium the same way the men do — by winning races.

CyclingTips asks if an American can win the AToC, while Cycling News offers five riders to watch.

Meanwhile, in an equally spoiler-free report from the Giro, it’s still going on.

The BBC looks at how the world’s oldest BMX competitor was talked into trying the sport by her son.

Britain’s Sean Conway set a new record for riding the full breadth of Europe, covering 3980 miles in 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes, beating the old record by nine hours.

 

Finally…

How can we miss Lance if he won’t go away? Going after the one hour record — on a Penny Farthing.

And if potholes make the roads a deathtrap, putting a bell on your bike isn’t going to help.

 

Morning Links: Still more upcoming bike events, a look at LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, and maybe they are out to get us

Before we start, allow me to offer a special thanks to Todd R, whose extremely generous donation to the unofficial BikinginLA Dead Laptop Replacement Fund will allow me to finally get a new laptop to replace this balky borrowed one I’ve been working on since January. 

And thanks to everyone who donated to help get me back and working again. Once again, the generosity of the people who read this site has left me stunned and speechless. 

So please accept my humble gratitude, and let’s get on with today’s news.

………

Let’s catch up with some of the upcoming events we haven’t mentioned yet.

The East Side Riders bike club will hold their annual bike show in conjunction with the Watts Community Fun Day and Car Show tomorrow.

Santa Monica Spoke, Metro and the LACBC will hold a Community Garden Bike Tour on Saturday.

Santa Clarita residents are invited to hit the trail for the city’s community bike ride tomorrow.

CycloFemme LA will ride through Los Feliz on Sunday as part of the global women’s CycloFemme rides.

Bike Month peaks in Long Beach with the start of Amgen Tour of California on Sunday. A bike valet will be available for fans behind the Art Theater on 4th Street.

Long Beach will hold a Ride of Silence on Saturday the 19th, three days after the international ride.

Metro’s Pedals and Pit Stops ride will visit Artists & Fleas LA in Venice on May 26th.

………

Good piece from the Bike Citizens website, as they speak with Chapman University law professor and bicyclist Ernesto Hernández-López about how LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 is designed to get people out of their cars instead of increasing road space.

Although in order for that to work, the city would actually have to build it, which seems pretty unlikely these days.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at Los Ryder’s six years of community building and reclaiming the streets in Watts.

Mar Vista’s traffic safety denying dermatologist accuses Mayor Garcetti and LADOT’s Nat Gale of stonewalling and politicizing the city Department of Transportation. It’s not politicizing LADOT if you simply choose not to believe any stats that refute your predetermined position. 

London’s Independent says you don’t actually need a car to enjoy Los Angeles.

Top Chef-winning West Hollywood chef Michael Voltaggio says bicycling helped him break his addiction to cigarettes.

Pasadena Now reports on Wednesday’s Pasadena workshop to discuss plans for a lane reduction on Union Street. Although someone should explain that increased density reduces the need for street parking because more people are able to walk or bike to local businesses.

 

State

Santa Cruz celebrates NorCal’s Bike Week by unveiling a new dockless e-bikeshare system.

Thousands turn out to ride and chow down on bananas at San Francisco’s Bike to Work Day, as the city promotes its new protected bike lanes on a very political dayLA’s version takes place next Thursday, though sadly, without new protected bike lanes to promote. Although we can expect the city’s nominally bike-friendly leaders to spend the day patting themselves on the back.

Sacramento will get a dockless e-bikeshare system next week.

 

National

Bicycling says knowing your cycling personality can help you love riding even more. But evidently, none of those personalities includes people who just want to get from here to there in one piece.

The Wall Street Journal looks at cycling guides for major cities — even, they oddly claim, Los Angeles.

A US appeals court tells a Tucson woman it’s her own damn fault she got hurt when her tire got caught in a streetcar track, since it was designed to applicable design and engineering standards.

My hometown offers classes for drivers on how the operate their vehicles safely around bicyclists, in what People for Bikes calls the nations’ most bike-friendly town. Which is probably No. 1 on the list the things you’re not likely to ever see in auto-centric Los Angeles.

The two German tourists killed in a Kansas crash were experienced cyclists who flew to the US to ride the legendary Route 66; authorities say they were riding legally when they were run down from behind by a 23-year old woman.

A North Carolina woman was injured after rounding a corner and getting her front wheel snagged in communication cables that had fallen onto the roadway.

I want to be like her when I grow up. After a newspaper reported an 83-year old Alabama woman was riding salmon when she was hit by a driver, she responded “I’ve put 84,000 miles on this bike, I know which side of the road I’m supposed to be on.”

Good advice. A Florida paper says teach your kids how to ride safely by setting an example for them.

A Florida Op-Ed says we’d all be happier and better off if people would bike more.

 

International

City Metric asks what self-driving cars will mean for bike riders, concluding that traffic deaths could get worse before they get better.

The Guardian looks at guerrilla DIY bike activism around the world.

Mexico City is on the way to meeting its ambitious greenhouse gas goals thanks to an increase in walking and biking, for a minimal investment.

The Boston Globe falls in love at first sight with bikeable Buenos Aires.

Ottawa, Canada’s bike network is full of gaps. Not unlike a certain SoCal city we could name.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 90-year old British woman still rides her bike two and a half miles to a neighboring town every week to review planning applications.

Just in time for the Giro, London’s Telegraph looks at Italy’s greatest bicycling vacations. Unless maybe you’d rather go riding in France.

A Malta writer say bike lanes aren’t for bicyclists, they’re for drivers who are afraid to give up their cars and ride a bike.

A Nepali newspaper says Kathmandu is no city for cyclists, after cars drove bikes off the roads in the ’70s, pointing out roads that lack bike lanes while failing to mention that they also lack pavement.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly asks how long Australia’s Rohan Dennis can hold onto the leader’s pink jersey in the Giro.

CiclaValley offers a preview of the Amgen Tour of California.

A Highland newspaper describes the Redlands Classic as the race that saved a city in decline, while pointing out that no one has ever been disqualified for doping at the race. Which is really just another way of saying no one has ever been caught.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can be an Instagram famous artistic cyclist. At last, a helmet to match your foldie.

And it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

 

Morning Links: LA area bikelash spreads, free Bike Hub memberships, and SUVs are built to kill

In the fight for safe streets, the streets are fighting back.

Or at least, the people trying to keep them dangerous are.

According to City Lab, the bikelash against redesigning streets to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians is spreading nationwide.

And Pasadena and Los Angeles are prime bad examples.

For several hours, opponents voiced their objections into the auditorium’s sound system. Shedding lanes, one said, would be an “unmitigated traffic disaster.” Not only would residents who live along the road never again be able to back out of their driveways, bicycle accidents would increase (because the new lanes would attract more riders). At one point, a city councilmember decided to hold a “voice vote” on the issue. Though several dozen shouted their support for the reconfiguration, their cries were drowned out by hundreds who bellowed their opposition.

The next day, the City of Pasadena announced that a second scheduled meeting on the issue was cancelled. And so ended the road diet of Orange Grove Boulevard.

And then there’s this from the City of Angels.

John Russo, one of Keep LA Moving’s organizers, bristles at this safety argument. “It makes me laugh when people say we’re anti-safety. You’d have to be a psychopath to be anti-safety,” he said. “We’re here to remind the city how most Angelenos use the road. Overall, we don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a step back and think long and hard about how Vision Zero is being implemented in Los Angeles…”

In addition to these kinds of grassroots efforts, UCLA’s Brozen is looking for more assertive leadership from the city’s political class. And so far, she’s not seeing it. “There’s a little bit of a void in the pro-transportation change space in L.A., and it seems like this anti-change backlash is filling that void,” she said. “There’s a lack of understanding as to why these projects are needed. Without that understanding, it gets really personal and very nasty very quickly.”

That is why I’m crashing city hall on May 18th to demand safer streets.

Far too often, our elected leaders listen to traffic safety deniers like Russo, and forget that some of their constituents are drivers. But all of them are people, everyone of whom use the streets in some way.

And it’s long past time we prioritized the needs and safety of people before cars, to create a safe, livable and prosperous city that benefits everyone.

I hope you’ll join me as we crash the 10 am city council meeting one week from tomorrow, and ask our elected officials to have the courage to do the right thing.

Because they already know what that is. We just have to make them to do it.

Photo from FHWA.

………

If you can’t join me on the 18th — or even if you can — feel free to send a letter demanding for safer streets for you, me and everyone else. Just email your letter by Wednesday, May 16th to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor, containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips if you plan to write a letter.

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter. I’ll be happy to put it on here as a guest post leading up to Friday’s meeting.

………

Now here’s a great deal.

To celebrate Bike Month, Metro is offering free one-year Bike Hub memberships through the end of this month.

It’s worth signing up if only to have a safe, free place to lock your bike when you take transit or ride to DTLA, Hollywood or El Monte.

………

More fallout from the Insurance Institute study we mentioned yesterday, which blames SUV design, as well as bad road design, for the dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths.

The study suggests that the high, flat grills on most SUVs strike a person higher, with greater force and trauma than most cars would.

In other words, those massive SUVs we share the road with are just as deadly as you thought they were.

Never mind the distracted drivers in them.

………

Speaking of Bike Month, there’s no better way to celebrate than watching the start of the Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach this Sunday.

Except for getting out and riding your own bike there, of course.

………

Local

13th CD Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is hosting a community conference this Saturday, which will discuss pedestrian safety among other issues. Apparently he forgot to include a workshop on bike safety; maybe you should go and remind him. And tell him that cancelling the Temple Street road diet hurts everyone.

LA’s Jewish Journal asks if the Giro’s Jerusalem start makes Israelis the People of the Bike.

Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem invites everyone to come out and enjoy Bike Month on the city’s 63 miles of trails.

A Streetsblog Op-Ed says that Santa Monica officials and employees have to start paying for parking if the city is serious about using it to discourage driving.

 

State

Today is Bike to Work Day by the Bay, as NorCal celebrates a week earlier than we do.

San Franciscans will now be able to rent ebikes through the Ford Go Bikes docked bikeshare. Let’s hope LA’s Metro Bike catches up soon.

San Francisco’s effort to allow people to report traffic and parking violations through a 311 app turns out to be a disappointment. We tried to get a similar program going here in LA several years ago, but couldn’t get approval from the LAPD and city attorney.

Larkspur is using eminent domain to close a gap in a bike path and make the “path to nowhere” actually go somewhere.

No surprise that San Raphael bike riders and business owners are split over a pilot protected bike lane, since business people usually seem to prefer parking spaces to customers. Although I’ve never heard anyone say “Why do we need a road here, since there’s another one just a block over.”

A Stockton ministry is using bicycles to help people find jobs and housing.

 

National

Ebikes are now free to roam county trails surrounding Aspen CO.

More on the two German bike riders who were run down from behind on a Kansas highway; authorities are still trying to inform their next of kin. There’s something seriously wrong when people can’t visit this country without being sent back home in a box, just because they chose to ride a bicycle.

You have to give this Michigan letter writer credit. It takes skill to turn a proposed $10 annual fee on kayaks and canoes into an attack on bicycles.

Apparently not understanding how westerns work, Nashville tells Bird scooters they’ve got 15 days to get out of town, Although some people want to save the Birds. Any fan of cowboy movies could tell you they’re supposed get out of town by sunset.

A small New Jersey town has restricted access to a number of its streets during rush hour to keep New York-bound Waze users off them. Although a better solution would be to install traffic diverters and convert the streets to bike boulevards, which would eliminate cut-through traffic while preserving local access.

Curbed features a one-week diary from a multi-modal Boston city councilor and mom. Show that to the next person who tells you every mom needs a minivan.

 

International

Nice piece from Singletrack, as a writer uses elderly neighbor as an example to make the point that planners should talk about walking, bicycling and driving, rather than pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, because each is a choice that should be an option for everyone, rather than who we are.

Bike Radar examines the six great mysteries of cycling, including why do bicyclists litter — which I’ve often wondered myself — and is it all just a cover for cake addicts?

My favorite story of the day: Costa Rica’s new president rides to his inauguration in a hydrogen powered bus, escorted by people on bicycles, including the new head of the national assembly. And with another bike on the bus rack for good measure.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Montreal mother pleads for drivers to show a little patience, be polite and take responsibility for their actions, as spokeswoman for the city’s Ride of Silence just seven months after her teenage son was killed in a collision with a U-turning driver. Needless to say, the driver wasn’t charged.

HuffPo UK says bicycling can improve mental health. Which anyone who has ever started a bike ride in a bad mood can probably attest to.

London’s hugely successful Mini Holland bikeway has been shortlisted for a people’s choice civil engineering award, even if opponents consider the recognition a joke.

Glasgow is planning to turn a fashionable district into the city’s first bicycle village.

So much for being bike friendly. A bike-riding Indian actor is turned away from six out of seven luxury hotels in Mumbai, which evidently didn’t want bicycles besmirching their parking.

After a two-year trial period, violations of the 1.5 meter passing law in Australia’s New South Wales state — the equivalent of a 3-foot passing law in the US — will now result in a $330 fine and two points off a driver’s license. That compares to just $35 in California, although that rises to $235 once all the court and admin fees are tacked on.

You can now rent an ebike all over Tokyo, as well as reserve maps, guidebooks and helmets in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was Italian day in the Giro d’Italia.

The Giro remembered Wouter Weylandt on Wednesday’s stage of the race, seven years after he was killed in a tragic crash.

Lance says cycling shouldn’t try so hard to stop doping, because it isn’t working. Problem is, he’s probably right; while pro cycling brags about ending the doping era, it’s more likely teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t go swimming with the dolphins, try riding with the emus. When a bike helmet turns into an attack ad.

And doesn’t everyone warm up for a WorldTour race by hosting a gravel gran fondo?

 

%d bloggers like this: