Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Bikeshare in the news, no justice for a fallen Brooklyn rider, and crowdfunding a kids bike book

Once again, today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Dockless bikeshare continues to boom in Seattle, as the city’s two providers increase to 3,000 bikes apiece.

Baltimore’s bikeshare system is sort of back, with just 50 bikes at nine stations; a much larger system was shut down a few months ago due to problems with vandalism and theft.

DC could soon pass Portland as the nation’s bicycling capital, thanks in part to thriving bikeshare, though advocates question whether it has the infrastructure to support it.

Melbourne has new rules for dockless bikeshare to keep bikes from ending up in the river.

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A New York woman concludes her hard-hitting series of articles on the death of her sister in a Brooklyn collision. And the runaround her family received from the NYPD and judicial system in trying to learn what happened and getting any sort of justice.

If you can call a 90-day license suspension justice.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for heads-up.

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You have just 13 days to help fund a new children’s book about bicycles, and the animals that ride them.

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Bicycling says the cobblestoned 2018 Tour de France could be the best in recent history.

The LA Times says Chris Froome could face a challenge from Tom Dumoulin as he goes for a record-tying fifth win in the Tour de France. Could have sworn I once watched some guy win seven consecutive tours, but I must have been on something.

Speaking of Froome, he was awarded the Velo d’Or as the best cyclist of 2017.

A new documentary about pro cyclist Rose Osborne proves it is possible to quit happily.

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Local

Sad news from Boyle Heights, where one bike rider was killed and another injured in a shooting early yesterday morning.

South Pasadena will consider improvements to Monterrey Road at tonight’s council meeting, including bike lanes and better sidewalks. Thanks to Bike SGV for the tip.

West Hollywood’s Community Development Department has created a plan to increase business and livability in the city’s Eastside, including bike and pedestrian improvements. Although proposals to add parking are more likely to induce traffic.

 

State

Garden Grove’s Hazard Ave will get a pop-up separated bike lane this Saturday, along with other activities for adults and kids designed to spark a conversation about how the street can be improved to make walking and biking safer and more fun.

The 450-mile Project Hero Road 2 Recovery Bike Tour stops in Salinas on its way down the coast; the ride raises awareness of PTSD and other mental illnesses faced by veterans.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer is helping send 1,000 kids bikes to Sonoma County to replace bicycles lost in the recent fires — despite losing his own home.

An Op-Ed in the Sacramento Bee says the city must become more pro-bicycle if it’s going to have any chance of landing the new Amazon headquarters. Which is why Los Angeles doesn’t have a prayer.

 

National

Bloomberg says government data is missing the mark when it comes to distracted driving, suggesting it’s the most likely cause of the recent spike in traffic fatalities involving bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

Soon your solar powered helmet could call for help when you crash. Or if you throw your helmet at the car that just ran you off the road.

Strava is now turning into even more of a social media, allowing members to post to the site just like the pros do.

Men’s Journal lists the ten best places to ride your bike this fall. None of which are in California.

City Lab says if you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you’re better off using Uber or Lyft than owning a car. Or you could just, you know, ride a bike, instead.

Chicago is finally completing a bike and pedestrian bridge that had been blocked by long–serving alderman, possibly for racial reasons.

 

International

British Columbia bike advocates propose higher penalties for negligent and aggressive drivers, as well as drivers who door or harass bike riders. Maybe we can copy it here in California.

The CBC profiles a Manitoba maker of custom adaptive bicycles, who changes lives by giving disabled people a chance to ride.

A kindhearted Canadian bike shop owner gives a six-year old girl a new bike and helmet after hers was destroyed in a collision that left her seriously injured.

An American man could face charges for the death of a rising young bike racer in Toronto earlier this month.

A new report says Toronto courier and delivery companies should use more cargo bikes. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

Britain’s rabid tabloid press is likely to seize on a new survey showing half of all respondents think bicyclists should have to take a proficiency test; 86% want harsher penalties for scofflaw cyclists, and 59% think bikes should have license plates.

Speaking of the British press, the media distorts the risk bike riders pose to pedestrians, while downplaying the risks riders face.

British police are looking for a road raging bicyclist who tried to stop a motorcycle and snatch the keys, then pushed the rider off his bike, breaking both his legs.

A Dutch city opens what may be the world’s first 3D printed bike bridge.

When the new BMW is set in semi-autonomous mode, it’s designed to pass bicyclists at a dangerously close distance unless drivers use their turn signals. Which LA drivers seem to be pathologically incapable of doing.

New research shows that people in Australia’s Victoria state don’t ride bikes for exactly the same reasons people just about anywhere else don’t.

Caught on video: Aussie police are looking for an idiot driver — and I use the term advisedly — who drove up on the sidewalk to pass slower traffic, nearly running down a bike rider in the process.

 

Finally…

Always carry a selfie stick to defend yourself from creepy clowns when riding your bike. Don’t ask drivers to put down their phones; just spray yourself with reflective paint until you glow like a clown, creepy or otherwise, so maybe they’ll see you anyway.

And evidently, cyclocross isn’t just a ride in the park.

 

Morning Links: Second LA River Valley Bikeway meeting tonight, and protesters go nuts over Nazi bike lanes

CiclaValley reminds us about tonight’s public meeting to consider the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway project.

The project, which will link Universal City to Canoga Park along the LA River channel, is a key step in plans for a continuous bikeway along the entire length of the LA River.

But as he points out, some of the sections are a little problematic, to say the least. And as always, there are those who oppose any sort of bikeway, anywhere.

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In what has to be the most absurd bikelash story of the decade, twenty people and a dog turned out to protest bike lanes in Minneapolis, calling them Nazi lanes and Mafia lanes.

Seriously?

A little white stripe of paint on the side of the roadway is somehow comparable to the hate-based regime that murdered millions of innocent men, women and children?

It makes a little more sense you consider that the protest began as a hoax before sucking in the kind of people who apparently believe everything they read online, including a pair of city council candidates.

Although something tells me the dog wasn’t there by choice.

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After that, let’s take just a moment to regain our sanity and consider the thoughts of a professional truck driver from the UK regarding those of us on two wheels.

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Local

Evidently, once cars can drive themselves, traffic congestion will cease to exist.

LADOT proposes the latest round of speed limit adjustments mandated by the deadly 85th percentile law; surprisingly, there are a number of decreases, as well as the expected increases.

A writer in the LA Times relates the challenges of dating with a carfree lifestyle.

Caltrans and LA County consider reopening Highway 39 through San Gabriel Canyon, which has been closed since it was shut down by a rock slide in 1978.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system has begun installing sensors to help avoid collisions with bike riders.

Cycling in the South Bay reveals the winners of Saturday’s 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

 

State

Transit has languished in San Diego as driving mode share increases; bike commuting has decreased by a third since 1990.

A couple were both stabbed as they searched for a stolen bicycle in Coachella early Saturday; fortunately, they should recover.

Johnny Cash’s daughter Cindy officially opened Folsom’s new Johnny Cash Trail.

A San Francisco columnist goes undercover to discover if cyclists really are jerks like some drivers think we are. And discovers happy, healthy people, without a single jerk in the bunch.

We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth repeating for anyone who missed it, as a Santa Rosa woman escaped the Sonoma County wildfires by bicycle, with her 70-pound dog in a duffel bag. Thanks to Doug Moore for the reminder.

 

National

If you’re in the market for a new job, VeloNews is looking for a pro cycling reporter with limitless energy and an inquisitive mind. Both of which count me out.

Bicycling explores the reasons people started riding their bikes, including thank you letters to Greg LeMond, and Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law comes with a $260 fine for a first offense, rising to $435 for a second offense or one causing a crash, and up to six months in jail for a third. That compares to California, which has a measly $20 fine for the first offense, and $50 for each additional offense, thanks to Jerry Brown’s veto of a bill that would have increased the absurdly low penalties.

Phoenix installs its first protected bike lane. If you consider a few flimsy plastic posts protection.

A Colorado man rode and biked to the summit of each of the state’s 100 highest peaks in just 60 days.

An Idaho baby visited ten states by bike before she’s even a year old.

A Milwaukee writer says his problem with a proposed bike boulevard is that it isn’t about bikes, it’s about a mindset that historically favors people on four wheels.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d intentionally shoot a 12-year old Chicago boy as he was riding his bike.

A Chicago-area writer says bicycling to work in the suburbs requires more risk and effort, but it’s worth it. Meanwhile, the Washington Post says bike commuting means better health and a longer life. But you already knew that, right?

A Michigan man faces up to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of a nun riding her bicycle; he claimed he had hit a deer.

A former Tennessee hall of fame basketball player is riding nearly 1,100 miles to honor her late coach, and raise money to fight Alzheimer’s.

Police in a Massachusetts town plan a crackdown on packs of teen bicyclists who swarm cars and block traffic.

Don’t blame a van for trying to strike a South Carolina bike rider twice, it was the effing jerk behind the wheel.

A group of Atlanta lawyers formed an organization called Cycling for Good to deliver food, toiletry and personal items to areas frequented by homeless people.

 

International

You’d think cops would know enough not to door someone, but evidently, you would be mistaken, as Toronto police officers hit a passing bicyclist with the door of their cruiser.

Also in Toronto, the debate over bike lanes goes on, as a writer says we got used to traffic lanes for motor vehicles, and we’ll get used to bike lanes, too. Meanwhile, another writer says enough with the data, we already know bike lanes work. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

In celebrity news, Ed Sheeran broke his arm when he was hit by a car while riding his bike in London. And Taylor Swift is one of us, riding a bike on London’s Millennium Bridge as she films her latest video.

An Op-Ed in the Guardian says we need fewer cars, not cleaner ones.

Caught on video: A British bike rider learns the dangers of riding salmon around a blind curve the hard way.

A British writer asks why some people hate cyclists, concluding that the solution lies in less pontificating and more mutual understanding.

Killer drivers in England and Wales could face life in prison under a proposed new law, however, it would not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Copenhagen’s bike boom hits a speed bump, as bike commuting rates have dropped 4% since 2014.

A French website says Lance brought dishonor to the Legion of Honor; he was removed, while Mussolini and Vladimir Putin — and so far, Harvey Weinstein — remain on the list.

In a photo that’s gone viral around the world, the new prime minister of the Netherlands locks his bicycle up on his way to meet the king; a Pakistan website seems to like the idea. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A South African website asks if violent attacks on bicyclists are increasing in the country.

A change in the law allowing bicyclists to share footpaths in Australia has not resulted in any additional problems, although one paper looks at the same stats and sees a lack of enforcement.

An Aussie pro cyclist tells Viennese border guards to Google him after a visa mix-up leaves him in danger of deportation.

 

Finally…

LA bicyclists hardly ever have to worry about kangaroo crashes. If you’re going to steal a bike, it’s only polite to leave another one in its place.

And if you insist on running down the jerk who stole your bicycle, try not to hit a pedestrian and ruin your own bike in the process.

 

Morning Links: Person behind fake advocacy group outed, and SCAG takes a deep dive into traffic safety data

Once again, Peter Flax has written a great piece, as he investigates the fake, Twitter-based advocacy group LA Westside Walkers.

And outs the person behind it as a Playa del Rey music video and documentary director Justin Purser, who lives steps from the initial Vista del Mar road diet.

Purser admits to being the person who started the account, although he bizarrely contends that he handed it off to a group of people he refuses to name after it was mentioned on this site, following his equally bizarre claim to have co-founded BikinginLA.

You can probably count the number of people who actually believe that on a closed fist, however.

Flax digs into the account, which continues its misleading, false-flag form of fake advocacy.

All the while, the barrage of strange tweets from the Westside Walkers account continues, a maddening mélange of dubious facts and falsely earnest advocacy, leveraging a completely faked identity to convince unsuspecting readers that measures meant to save lives are not working. It’s a total cesspool of bullshit distracting people from an actual life-and-death issue.

Meanwhile, someone from Playa del Rey forwarded screenshots in the upper left corner and below, showing comment by Purser from around the time the Westside Walkers account was started.

His point seems to be that the real goal of people who supported the road diets was to make the streets more dangerous, not less.

If that’s supposed to be a joke, it’s in very poor taste.

And says a lot more about the person who made it than it does anyone else.

Let’s hope his attitude really has changed, as Flax’s article suggests.

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The Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, has prepared an in-depth look at traffic safety conditions for the six-county region, as well as each of the individual counties.

Needless to say, it’s not a pretty picture.

A few graphic highlights —

 

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As we mentioned yesterday, Bike SGV is hosting their BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tonight. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow in La Puente and Montebello, respectively, to provide input on the SGV Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (scroll down).

The October Slow Ride: Revive Gateway Park! will be held tomorrow, hosted by the Elysian Valley Slow Ride.

AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides beginning at Balboa Park this Saturday to start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast.

The South Bay Cycling Awards will be held in Torrance tomorrow; you can see a list of nominees here.

Bike SGV will hold a memorial ride on Sunday to honor staff member Brian Velez, who recently passed away unexpectedly.

Helen’s Cycles will hold a number of rides this weekend, as well as a women’s bike maintenance clinic this coming Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the LACBC will host a City Cycling Class to develop urban riding skills.

Helen’s Cycles in Arcadia is sponsoring a No Drop Group Ride next Saturday, October 21st.

Also on the 21st, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house to discuss much needed safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

West Hollywood will be holding a WeHo Pedals Bike Share Basics workshop on October 26th.

Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share is celebrating its second birthday with a ride with the mayor on November 4th.

CicLAvia will hold their 2nd annual Play Day in LA fundraiser om November 5th.

The very busy Bike SGV will hold their annual “Noche de las Luminarias” awards ceremony on December 2nd.

And CicLAvia returns to iconic Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

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Local

Long Beach bike advocates met with former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michele Mowery, now the city’s new mobility and healthy living programs officer.

The seven-day Pablove Across American fundraising ride will end in Malibu tomorrow; the ride raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Calabasas unveils a new and improved Las Virgenes Road, complete with two lanes in each direction, bike lanes and continuous sidewalks.

 

State

The bike lanes on El Toro Road will be closed for construction work Monday between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 tollway.

Joshua Tree residents complain that new bike lanes installed by Caltrans in the downtown area don’t go anywhere.

Half Moon Bay drops plans for a bike bridge and pathways after giving up on funding from Caltrans.

After getting caught in a traffic jam caused by people escaping the Sonoma County wildfires, a Santa Rosa woman went back home and got her bicycle, carrying her 70-pound dog to safety in a duffel bag.

A drunk hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to five years for killing a Suisun City cyclist; he fled the scene on foot, abandoning his car after he crashed again while fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycling offers five GoPro hacks to make your videos worth watching. Most important: Install some editing software and learn how to use it. No one wants sit through five minutes of video to get to the 30 seconds where something actually happens.

Caught on video: A Seattle bicyclist was the victim of a punishment pass for having the audacity to ride outside the bike lane to pass another rider; the city’s former mayor calls it assault, even if the police don’t.

A writer for a Colorado company asks if employers should pay workers to leave their cars at home. California has a parking cash-out program designed to compensate employees who give up their parking spaces to bike, walk or take transit to work, but the program is so narrowly drawn it only applies to three percent of the state’s workers.

A Colorado writer says he’s never seen a bicyclist display animosity towards a motorist that wasn’t in response to the driver’s actions. And that drivers need to check their “vehicular privilege” at the door to their vehicle.

A New York man says getting run over by a dump truck while riding his bike was the last straw, and he’s officially done with the city. Getting run over by anything can have that effect on you.

Lobbyists descend on DC to convince lawmakers that bikeshare is bipartisan.

Baltimore’s bikeshare returns with a reduced fleet of bikes, now equipped with GPS, after it was shut down due to excessive thefts and maintenance backups.

 

International

A 72-year old writer says what cyclists over 60 really want is protected bike parking. Oddly, that’s exactly what cyclists under 60 want, too.

Caught on video too: A British driver has been fined the equivalent of $932 and lost his license for six months for forcing a bike rider off the road.

Caught on video three: A Scottish newspaper sees an out-of-control, brakeless bike rider barrel into a toddler; others may see a toddler suddenly dart in front of the bicyclist.

A Scottish writer wonders what can be done to get more women on bicycles, and concludes that better safety matters more than sweaty clothes or helmet hair.

Paris moves to ban all gas and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2030.

A new Swiss conversion kit promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike.

A Cape Town, South African cyclist was robbed of his bicycle, just days after armed thieves stole three bikes from a group of riders on the same roadway.

A 77-year old Australian man needed over a dozen stiches after he was the victim of a random attack by a man who stepped out from behind a tree, and beat the vicim’s face with a bottle as he was riding with his wife.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could run on strings. Nothing like getting your stolen bike back, and getting it stolen again on the way home.

And apparently, Metro really doesn’t want your bike blocking the aisles.

Although I’m still waiting to see a superhero zap the people blocking the bike area so you don’t have to block the aisle with your bike.

 

Morning Links: Mar Vista Great Streets success, 6th Street safety open house, and road rage around the world

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

My hard drive cable failed just as I was finishing yesterday’s post. Fortunately, I was able to get it replaced, and recovered most, though not all, of what I had written.

As a result, today’s post includes news from both days. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

And come back tomorrow, when we’ll have even more bike and safety news we couldn’t squeeze into today’s post.

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It’s working.

Despite the claims of road diet opponents, the three-month safety stats show the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista is working exactly as promised, with collisions, injuries and speeding down, while resulting in what should be an easily tolerable delay in rush hour traffic.

Which should put the debate to rest, but probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a new Toronto study shows what Mar Vista has to look forward to, as controversial separated bike lanes on a downtown Toronto street have significantly improved safety, while boosting business in the surrounding area.

Like Mar Vista’s Venice Blvd Great Streets Project, Toronto faced near-constant demands from drivers to remove the Bloor Street bike lanes, as well as merchants angry over the loss of parking spaces.

It’s been successful in Toronto.

And it will be in Mar Vista, if local leaders can fight off the demands to remove them.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for link to the Toronto study.

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Speaking of traffic safety improvements, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 21st, to discuss the desperately needed changes to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

As we’ve noted before, even though the Mid City West Community Council has voted unanimously to support lane reductions on 6th, Ryu has dragged his feet on the project, despite his oft-stated promises to listen to the local community.

He has suggested an alternative that would keep two lanes in each direction, while adding left turn bays at several intersections and removing parking spaces near intersections.

This would actually have the opposite effect of the safety improvements the local community has been begging for, speeding the flow of traffic rather than slowing it, while increasing the risk to bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

It’s important that everyone who uses the street in any way, or cares about traffic safety, attend to if you can to demand a safer 6th Street.

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Long Beach bike advocate and Pedal Love founder Melissa Balmer teamed with Minnesota writer and consultant Jay Walljasper to author a new study on the Surprising Promise of Bicycling to be released today.

The study focuses on the “untapped demographic potential, growth of bike share and infrastructure, the deepening influence of grass roots advocacy,” as well as the promise of ebikes.

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Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

And bike riders, too.

An Arkansas man faces charges for crashing into a man on a bike — evidently intentionally — then threatening him with a machete, apparently because the rider sprayed a couple dogs with a water bottle when they chased after him.

Witnesses say a driver appeared to intentionally cross over the yellow line to smash into Georgia teenager as the boy signaled for a left turn on his bike.

The Chicago bike rider who was hit with a drum by a road raging driver — after smashing the man’s rear window with his U-lock — has started a crowdfunding campaign to get his damaged teeth fixed.

An Ohio lawyer could face disbarment for brake-checking a bike rider and smashing his cellphone in a road rage incident.

Evidently, there’s no shortage of road rage in Asheville NC. Police are looking for a bicyclist who allegedly hit a driver several times with his helmet, kicked him, and stole his eyeglasses and $80. This comes just two weeks after a driver was caught on dashcam video punching a cyclist.

A London cab driver tells a bike rider to “go back to f***ing Poland” or wherever he’s from after the rider complains about the driver stopping in a bike box.

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We’ll catch up with a long list of bike events tomorrow, but I want to mention just a couple today due to the tight timelines.

Bike SGV is hosting the BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tomorrow night, offering a free two-wheeled tour of the Pasadena art fest with stops at several venues.

And AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides starting at Balboa Park this Saturday, to officially start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast. You can choose from rides of 14 or 43.7 miles, with a free lunch provided for registered participants.

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Local

In what’s just the latest multimillion dollar settlement due to the city’s dangerous streets, the LA city council voted to pay $15 million to a man who suffered permanent brain damage due to a substandard Hollywood crosswalk. That’s $15 million they could have used to fix several dangerous intersections, instead of paying for not fixing one.

Paramedics at LAX will now make their way through the terminals by bicycle.

Volunteers are needed for the tenth annual Long Beach bike count.

Sports Illustrated reviews the new book Draft Animals from LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon.

The SGV Connect podcast remembers Bike SGV staff member Brian Velez, who passed away unexpectedly last month. A memorial ride will be held in his honor this Sunday.

 

State

Governor Brown once again pulls out his veto pen to strike down a bike bill, negating a law that would have required the California Department of General Services to expand an employee bikeshare program it currently runs for staffers in Sacramento to other departments, and other areas of the state.

Goleta considers building a separated bike and pedestrian path through the city.

The very cool new Johnny Cash Art Trail officially opens in Folsom this Saturday.

San Francisco is preparing to issue permits to an e-bikeshare operator, portentially violating the non-compete agreement they have with Ford’s GoBike.

Oakland explores a new approach to fixing a dangerous intersection with paint and bollards, by adding bike lanes and a widened median for pedestrians, in just ten weeks for a mere $30,000. The result has been a 7% drop in speeding with no decrease in median speeds, and a whopping 86% increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A seven-year old Oakland bike shop provides local youth with job training and affordable transportation.

A Marin writer questions the wisdom of reopening a closed-off tunnel for bike and pedestrian use.

A new study from UC Davis shows that many trips that could be made by foot, bike or transit are now being made by Uber and Lyft, adding to the congestion on our streets.

 

National

Doctors call for cities to do more to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe, as the US faces its biggest jump in traffic deaths in 50 years.

If you’ve spent much time walking or riding a bike, you may be surprised to learn that traffic engineers have an ethical duty to protect public safety, which they’ve too often ignored. Okay, maybe shocked is a better word.

Yes, it is possible to ride a bike from the airport in major cities around the US, including Los Angeles.

An article in Bicycle Times calls bicycling the ultimate social sport.

No irony here. A Nebraska bike rider was hit by a car on the way home from a bicycle safety meeting; needless to say, the driver wasn’t ticketed.

A retired Wisconsin legislator says the state’s governor is no friend to bicycling.

A pair of Detroit men have been arrested for at least three separate daylight abductions and sexual assaults of women as they rode their bicycles. Let’s hope they get thrown into a deep pit for a very long time.

An Indianapolis man entertains passing drivers by juggling and riding his bike backwards in a parking lot.

Massachusetts’ abolition-themed 1854 Cycling Company hires recently released inmates, giving them a second chance in life; the owner grew up in South Central LA.

New York police are targeting people on bikes, rather than focusing on the operators of more dangerous vehicles.

Lawyers are challenging a recent New York Vision Zero law making right-of-way violations a misdemeanor offense; three judges have found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that people can’t be held accountable for violations they don’t know they’re committing.

There’s a special place in hell for the guys who tried to jack a New York bikeshare bike from a 13-year old Hasidic boy; police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Delaware is now officially the second state to authorized the Idaho Stop law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields on two-lane streets.

Officials say a proposal to build a bikeway alongside a North Carolina freeway could reduce congestion while boosting the local economy.

There is something seriously wrong when a soldier can receive multiple Purple Hearts on four overseas deployments, only to be killed in a collision while riding a bicycle back to his Georgia base; he was an advocate for wounded vets through the Operation Enduring Warrior program.

 

International

This is what happens when people who ride bicycles get involved in the political process, as both major candidates in Montreal’s mayoral election court the bike vote. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where bicyclists should be a major political block, but aren’t.

A writer for a Canadian university says traffic laws apply to those cocky cyclists too, while apparently confusing the rate of fatalities caused by bicyclists with those caused by motorists.

An independent commission has urged London’s mayor to be bold in reducing congestion and air pollution, and create transportation system centered on walking, bicycling and transit.

A British bike rider has been jailed for three weeks for crashing into a four-year old kid while riding brakeless.

Britain’s Chris Boardman offers a ten-point plan to enjoy bicycling in your middle age. I can shorten that to two points: 1) get on your bike, and 2) ride it.

A councilmember in Bengaluru, India has demanded that the city fix the streets and make it pothole-free within 15 days. Let us know if it works; I know a few other cities that could use it.

A writer for the Nikkei Asian Review says a simple formula can reflect the affluence of a country by measuring those who ride a bike because they choose to, as compared to those who ride because they have no alternative.

 

Finally…

No, attaching a flashing light to your helmet will not ward off magpie attacks. Forget Pinarellas and Conalgos; if you really want to impress the guys on your club ride, show up on a gold-plated Giant.

And your new $4,000 BMW ebike would offer as much torque as a small car.

Okay, a very small car.

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A special thank you to Linda Campbell for her generous contribution to help support this site. Or maybe to the BikinginLA computer repair fund.

 

Morning Links: Worldwide war on bikes, and suicide prevention fundraising team honors SD advocate Bill Davidson

Let’s start with a few dispatches from the war on bikes raging on our streets.

Streetsblog recaps Sunday’s horrific Petaluma hit-and-run in which a pickup driver apparently rammed four cyclists on purpose before speeding away. As they point out, this case is a reminder why it’s so important to ride with a bike cam if you can afford one.

A road raging British driver is on trial for tackling a female triathlete as she rode her bike; afterwards, he sort of apologized, telling her he thought she was “a bloke.”

After an angry Chicago bicyclist broke the rear window of a van following a dispute, the driver returned the favor by smashing the rider over the head with a drum. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

As the late Rodney King said, can’t we all just get along?

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Brian Nilsen forwards news of a fundraising walk for suicide prevention, and the Ride on for Bill Team that’s raised over $6,000 in honor of well-known San Diego cyclist and advocate Bill Davidson, who took his own life last year.

If you have a few extra dollars you can spare, I can’t think of a better cause.

………

Reports indicate the man who killed pro cyclist Michele Scarponi last April was watching a video on his smartphone when he ran the Italian rider down.

That didn’t last long. Alberto Contador’s retirement from pro cycling lasted a whole month, as he comes back to compete in a Chinese crit at the end of the month.

LA’s Phil Gaimon answers the nine things you’ve always wanted to ask a pro cyclist, and reflects on why he doesn’t miss the sport; his new book Draft Animals gets released today.

Reverting to form, Lance doesn’t miss a chance to get back at the Irish sports writer who helped uncover his cheating, after the journalist receives a well-deserved backlash for writing a character reference for a friend who had been convicted of sexually abusing a 16-year old girl.

………

Local

A writer in the LA Times complains about all the traffic on Angeles Crest Highway, never seeming to recognize that he’s part of it, despite jamming on the brakes to avoid running over cyclists.

Streetsblog looks at Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

A Skid row activist and reformed street robber uses his custom, handmade low-rider bicycles to call attention to his cause.

Important topic from SoCal Cycling, offering advice on what to do if you suffer a head injury while riding.

 

State

While everyone else was struggling to evacuate from a fire in the Anaheim Hills, one man made his escape by ebike, passing out masks and water bottles to stranded residents.

Only one percent of San Diego city employees bike to work on a regular basis; 81% drive.

Streetsblog offers a wrap-up of last week’s Calbike California Bicycle Summit.

 

National

Bicycling is set to get a new parent company.

Dirt Rag talks with mountain biking legend Gary Fisher.

Bike Sob explains how to find cycling bliss, which mostly seems to involve finding excuses to stop for food and drinks along the way.

A Portland driver was still legally drunk 17 hours after he killed a bike rider while street racing, even though he told police he’d only had two drinks.

The Seattle Times offers advice on how to be seen now that the days are getting shorter. Although sometimes it seems like the best way to guarantee that every driver sees you is to ride through a stop sign or commit some other traffic infraction.

An Idaho driver whines about whining, freeloading cyclists. You know, the ones who pay more than their share in taxes to maintain the roads, even though they only get a tiny fraction of dedicated road space and cause virtually no wear and tear on the streets.

Sad news from Colorado, where triathlete Dan Hohs died after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking in the mountains; he had written recently about how he was saved from his bi-polar disorder by endurance sports.

A Detroit woman was abducted while riding her bicycle in broad daylight; it’s the second time a woman has been abducted while riding a bike in the city in just over a week.

Passes for the Pittsburg transit system now include free use of the city’s bikeshare system.

A New Jersey non-profit raised enough funds to give 130 bike and helmets to kids this holiday season.

A Philadelphia paper asks if bicycles parked in handicapped spaces should be towed. It’s pretty damn jerkish behavior to leave a bike or anything else in a handicap space.

Louisiana property owners are blocking access to construction crews hired to build a bike path along the Mississippi River levee.

 

International

Chances are, you will never ride around the world in 78 days. But you can own the bike that did.

Guardian readers offer breathtaking photos of their favorite rides from around the world. Thanks to Jon for the link.

Paris’ famed Velib bikeshare system is getting competition from a home-grown dockless bikeshare system.

Unlike some countries we could name, it’s actually hard to get a driver’s license in France. And not cheap, either. Thanks to Steve Katz for the tip.

After introducing the world to dockless bikeshare, several Chinese cities are putting the brakes on further expansion.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride salmon if you’re carrying crack cocaine on your bike — and put a light on it, already. How to get that healthy glow when you ride.

And if you’re going to make fun of bicyclists while discussing haute couture bike shorts, at least spell pedaller right.

 

Morning Links: Marin driver arrested for swerving into 4 cyclists, and traffic deaths up in US, including bicyclists

Call it attempted murder.

In just the latest horrifying attack on the streets, four cyclists participating in the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin were injured when a driver allegedly swerved his truck into them.

The pickup driver fled the scene after smashing into them from behind, in an attack that witnesses described as intentional.

One of the riders is in stable condition after suffering major injuries; the other three were not seriously injured.

It’s probably not what any of them expected when they signed up to ride with cycling legend Jens Voigt.

Police later arrested 21-year old Novato resident Aaron Michael Paff, an off-duty maintenance worker for the Marin Municipal Water District.

He was taken into custody roughly 12 hours after the attack, and released on $50,000 bond. There was no word on possible charges as of Sunday night.

However, this should be a case of assault with a deadly weapon, at the bare minimum.

Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years in state prison for a similar assault, in which he intentionally brake-checked a pair of riders on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.

Photo of suspect vehicle from CHP. Thanks to everyone who let me know about this case.

………

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that our streets are getting even deadlier.

In the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up another 5.6% in the US last year, coming on the heels of an 8.4% increase the year before.

According to the report, there was an increase in almost every category, from pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to DUIs and day versus night crashes.

A total of 37,461 people were killed on American streets last year, up from 35,485 the year before.

Four hundred ninety-two pedestrians lost their lives, the highest figure since 1990. And 840 bicyclists were killed, a 1.3% increase and the most since 1991.

It’s worth noting, especially in light of the next item, that an average of over 102 people died in crashes in the US every day — dwarfing the 58 killed in Las Vegas last week.

But no one is holding vigils. No one is sending thoughts and prayers.

And hardly anyone even seems to notice.

Or care.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has written a hard-hitting piece comparing gun violence with the violence on our streets.

In the first instance, Americans have decided that mass shootings are a reasonable and acceptable cost of being able to easily and legally obtain weapons of virtually any kind. In the second, Californians have decided that individual killings of cyclists are a reasonable and acceptable cost for being able to drive as fast as possible to get where they want to go.

Whether or not you agree with his premise, it’s worth the read. Because this is a conversation our country will have to have sooner or later.

And it’s already a lot later than it should be.

………

A Belgian cyclist is lucky to walk away after flipping over a barrier at the Giro di Lombardia, as Vincenzo Nibali takes his 50th career win.

………

Local

An LA company presents its vision for a four-mile section of the LA River, calling it the LA River Gateway.

One letter writer in the LA Times asks if drivers who object to bike lanes have a better solution, while another says traffic has always been bad in Playa del Rey, and it’s not the bike lanes’ fault.

 

State

New bicycle wayfinding signs go up in Highland.

The Southern California Association of Governments has approved nearly $10 million in funding for active transportation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Ventura County approves construction of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Lake Sherwood.

Sad news from Arroyo Grande, where a woman was killed while riding her bike on the popular Corbett Canyon Road; the driver played a variation of the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes. Even though admitting something like that should be a confession, not an alibi. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

A drunk San Francisco salmon cyclist was responsible for one of the 13 crashes involving GM’s driverless cars when he crashed into the car’s bumper after its human operator had stopped the vehicle.

 

National

A Spokane WA woman is considering a civil suit after a bike rider plowed into her on a multi-use trial; the rider yelled “hot pizza” as a warning, somehow thinking that would make her get out of his way. Pedestrians are unpredictable. So slow the f*** down around them and pass carefully. It’s not that hard.

Dozens of wounded vets joined 71-year old former president George W. Bush on his annual Warrior 100K mountain bike ride.

A driver in Austin TX says he only drove drunk, ran down a cyclist and fled the scene because there was a two-hour wait for a cab.

A Montana man is working to send bikes to Central America to be converted to pedal-powered machines.

An Indiana man rode 2,800 miles from Portland, Oregon to his home state, despite suffering from epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Facing 35 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, a Kentucky driver tries to withdraw his guilty plea, saying it wasn’t fair because the crash wasn’t intentional. And the drinking — and getting behind the wheel afterwards — was probably an accident, too.

Over one thousand bicyclists turned out to ride with actor Patrick Dempsey at his annual fundraiser ride in Maine.

A New York man died a week after he was attacked with a hammer by five teenagers who were trying to steal his bike. We’ve said it many times before — no bicycle is worth your life, so just let it go.

A New York woman has died a month after she was struck by a drunk, unlicensed driver who plowed into several bicyclists who were on a fundraising ride. As I recall, there were allegation that this crash may have been intentional, as well.

A homeless man in Florida has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a man who was riding his bike from Connecticut to Miami to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A Toronto columnist asks if there’s a war on cars in the city, why are drivers the only ones racking up a body count? It’s a question we should be asking here, and every city where drivers claim ownership of the streets. Which is pretty much everywhere. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail offers a breathless headline saying two pedestrians are killed or maimed by bicyclists every week. Then in smaller type mentions that there’s no information on who was at fault, and that it still amounts to less than 1% of pedestrian injuries each year on British roads.

Caught on video: A road raging London driver loses it because a bike rider had the audacity to be in front of him.

A London priest is urging his parishioners to pray to stop a bikeway from being installed in front of the church, claiming it would do more harm that the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

Caught on video too: A British man learns why you don’t ride under crossing gates.

A man in the UK rode his bike 450 miles through France and Great Britain to deliver a petition to the prime minister’s office to cancel Brexit.

A new Scottish study shows riding a bike on bad roads for as little as 16 minutes is enough to cause nerve damage in the hands and arms. Which means that most LA bike riders could have trouble just picking up a pencil.

An Australian state supreme court justice is one of us, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a boat. Any band can travel by bike between gigs, but how many perform along the way?

And if you’re going to suffer a heart attack while riding, do it in front of a restaurant full of medical professionals.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikinginLA.com

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).

………

Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.

………

A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.

………

In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.

………

VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?

………

Local

Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.

 

State

San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.

 

National

A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.

 

International

A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.

 

Morning Links: Backsliding on road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, and dockless bikeshare in LA

So much for that.

Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced plans to scrap the road diet on Jefferson and Culver Blvds in Playa del Rey. New plans call for removing the bike lanes and restoring one westbound lane; bikes and pedestrians will now share a single “protected” shoulder on one side.

Needless to say, the anti-road diet forces were quick to claim victory.

Which means we might as well give up on Vision Zero and the mobility plan; they mean absolutely nothing if every safety improvement can get reversed if drivers don’t like it.

Photo of Culver Blvd from Streetsblog LA.

………

Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion that could allow dockless bikeshare in the City of Los Angeles.

Ryu’s motion would instruct LADOT and Bureau of Street Services to work with the City Attorney to develop a pilot program to test dockless bikeshare in the city; according to LAist, LADOT has already been in discussions with various bikeshare providers.

 

The problem with that is the people using those bikes will need safe places to ride, which they won’t find in Ryu’s district.

While he hasn’t actively opposed key bike lanes like some of his colleagues, he’s also done little or nothing to move them forward, in a distract starved for safe bicycle access.

And he has blocked implementation of a long planned and desperately needed road diet on 6th Street between Fairfax and LaBrea, despite the strong support of the local neighborhood council.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

………

Heal the Bay is hosting a free, casual bike ride to explore Ballona Creek and the Ballona Wetlands this Saturday.

………

Today’s common theme, collisions between people on bikes and on foot.

A woman in Spokane WA says she was run down by a bike rider while walking on a trail, and claims it may have been intentional because he was angry afterwards.

Two people — most likely a bicyclist and pedestrian — were injured in a crash on a popular Chicago pathway.

A British man is criticizing the police investigation of the collision that killed his wife, even though the bike rider who crashed into her as she crossed the street appears to have been riding legally at the time of the crash.

………

The war on bikes goes on.

In a horrifying case, a Kansas driver is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge after admitting that he intentionally sped up to run a bike rider down.

A North Carolina driver has been charged with simple assault for repeatedly punching a cyclist in the face after attempting to run him off the road; the one-sided fisticuffs were caught on dashcam video.

And a road raging driver drove onto a bike path in an attempt to deliberately run down an Australian bike rider, then made a U-turn to come after her again before she escaped by riding into traffic and hiding in the bushes.

………

In non-bike news, Streetsblog LA founder Damien Newton has formed a group attempting to raise $1 million to buy the Santa Monica Daily Press, and run it as a non-profit.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse with your money.

………

Once again, a cyclist blows a win by celebrating too soon. Though the site’s description of him as cocky and showboating seem pretty far off base.

Italian cyclist Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years for doping before the Giro d’Italia, joining a long line recent busted dopers. Which begs the question of whether the doping era is really over, or if cycling teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

Busted French motor doper Cyril Fontayne says he’s not the only one cheating by using a small electric motor hidden inside a bike frame, although he claims he was only using it to help his sciatica.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new 130-bike bikeshare system.

LA Magazine says changes have to be made to make walking to the Grove and Beverly Center from the coming Purple Line a less frightening and dangerous experience. The same goes for riding a bike, as well.

Santa Monica has installed new bike boxes at the intersections of Broadway and 11th and Ocean and California.

The Santa Monica College student paper offers advice on how to get started and stay safe riding a bike.

Long Beach bike shop City Grounds has closed down it East Village retail outlet after nine years.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill making it legal to cross in a crosswalk while the timer is counting down, as long as you get to the other side before it expires. However, the law does not apply to older crossing signals without a timer.

San Francisco passes an otherwise toothless ordinance allowing authorities to confiscate bikes from bicycle chop shops, but without any legal consequences; homeless advocates object because selling bicycles that may or may not belong to them is one of the few ways homeless people can earn money.

A new pilot program will allow ebikes on three paved trails in the East Bay area.

Bike advocates from around the state are converging on Sacramento for Calbike’s annual California Bicycle Summit.

 

National

Bad ideas never die. A new bike is renewing the idea of a propelling a bicycle by moving the handlebars as well as pedaling, despite other failed attempts.

A bike-riding Illinois boy is a hero, after riding for help when he spotted a neighbor’s house on fire.

A Detroit woman out for an early morning bike ride was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted by two men in a van. A tragic reminder that women face risks on the road that male riders don’t.

AAA is now offering bicycle services in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, SoCal AAA still doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too — and they might have more customers if they did.

The New York Times considers how to bike commute and stay fashionably dressed at work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly shares stories of bike riders who came to the rescue of others.

A British Columbia deer could face charges for assault on a bike-riding police officer, however, it may be hard to find without a license plate.

No surprise here. A new report shows half of the collisions on an Ottawa, Canada bike path result from right hooks; a Toronto paper offers advice on how to avoid those, and other road hazards.

Caught on video: A mountain biker takes a knife-edge ride across an Austrian mountain ridge.

In a landmark case, a South African driver has been sentenced to three years for a fatal hit-and-run; it marks the first time a driver has been sentenced for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in that country.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not riding your bike really can drive you crazy. Seriously, don’t believe the navigation system on your phone.

And Chinese dockless bikeshare giants Mobike and Ofo are in merger talks.

Let’s hope they do. And call the new company Mofo.

 

Morning Links: Nefarious plot to make people bike, induced demand school parking, and French motor doping

He’s back.

The latest piece from the apparently non-existent LA lawyer Richard Lee Abrams describes the city’s mobility plan as being an evil plot to force people out of their cars and onto transportation appropriate for 1895 New York.

He also accuses the city of capitalizing on pedestrian deaths to meet that nefarious goal, rather than just, say, trying to keep anyone else from getting killed.

Never mind that the easy solution he recommends for improving safety on Vista del Mar is exactly what the city tried. And then undid when South Bay commuters were revolting.

………

Induced demand applies to parking garages, too. Yet Studio City’s exclusive Harvard-Westlake school wants to build a 750-space parking garage anyway, instead of encouraging alternative transportation and demanding safe routes to school.

………

Leading Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu Grmay will be competing for Trek on the WorldTour next year.

The French Cat 3 racer busted for motor doping over the weekend tried to escape after noticing officials were watching him, leading to a brief car chase; he could face fraud charges. Note to cheaters: always try to hide the wire leading from the battery hidden in your water bottle.

Fans saved the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, which will be back next year under a new name.

………

Local

Vision Zero LA says a record 177 LA area schools will participate in Wednesday’s National Walk & Bike to School Day.

Jim Shanman posts a photo showing the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed between 8 am and 4 pm between Duquesne and Overland in Culver City through the 5th.

Streetsblog offers photos of Sunday’s Coast open streets event in Santa Monica.

The Long Beach Marathon runs this Sunday, including a 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

CiclaValley says bicycling from Ventura to Santa Barbara is the perfect ride for all cyclists.

The Morongo Basin is developing its first active transportation plan, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Southern California Association of Governments.

An Op-Ed in the Mercury News calls for ensuring that active transportation funds from a Santa Clara County transportation sales tax are used for projects that actually work.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition unveils a new Ride With Respect campaign to encourage bicyclists to show more respect for others navigating the roads with us.

Sacramento will show how it intends to improve safety with a pop-up demonstration of its first parking-protected bike lane, along a reduction from three to two lanes to slow traffic. The plan appears to be a mirror image of the Venice Great Streets project that has led to near rebellion by some Westside drivers.

 

National

Bicycling has tips on what to consider before you buy a bicycle-shaped object bike at Walmart. Although you’re usually better off visiting your local bike shop, instead.

Great photo from the Seattle Times shows a BMX rider catching some serious air in mid-flip.

A Colorado Springs CO bike rider was killed in a collision with an unmarked police car; it’s the third bicycling fatality in the city this year, after none the previous two years.

Drivers in Dearborn MI now have to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance.

New York’s DA refuses to prosecute a bike rider who crashed into pedestrian last summer, even though the victim was crossing in the crosswalk with the walk signal. For once a bike rider has been held to the same standard most motorists are after a crash. None.

Four hundred New York cyclists raised over $650,000 to support mental health, domestic violence and supportive housing programs sponsored by the Jewish Board on a ride preceding the high holidays.

Even in New York, where lane reductions and bike lanes have successfully increased safety and livability, new plans are still getting pushback in neighborhoods where residents prefer parking, instead.

DC’s bikeshare system plans a $5 million expansion next year, even as competition from dockless bikeshare systems flood the market.

Florida announces plans for a massive eight-lane bridge in Tampa Bay, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane and an option for future rail.

 

International

The new leader of Canada’s third-largest political party is one of us. New Democratic Party leader and Brompton owner Jagmeet Singh calls for the country to develop a National Cycling Strategy. Which is something the US has never even considered.

Great idea. A women’s business site talks to the founder of a British company that’s solved the problem of children outgrowing bicycles by leasing bikes, then exchanging them for a new bike as your child grows.

UK police are looking for a man who crashed his bicycle into three people while illegally riding on the sidewalk, then got up and attacked them, leaving one man unconscious and breaking a woman’s nose.

Paris took open streets to the max on Sunday, banning motor vehicles from most of the city in an effort to fight pollution and encourage cleaner transportation.

European ebike makers have complained to the European Commission, accusing Chinese ebike makers of dumping their bikes below the cost of production.

The arrival of a Chinese dockless bikeshare company could mean the end of a free, city-owned bikeshare system in Adelaide, Australia.

You’ll still be able to ruin your lungs by smoking on a nearly 10-mile Australian inter-city bike path.

Sidney, Australia calls for a crackdown on rogue scofflaw delivery cyclists.

 

Finally…

Your next DIY bike could have front wheel drive — and you sit on the handlebars. And if you’re unemployed, just “get on your bike and find a job” with gorgeous EU women.

Or so says a British MP.

 

Morning Links: Bike SGV advocate Brian Velez passes away, new Vision Zero ad, and tips on videoing cops

More tragic news.

As if there wasn’t enough last week, the Los Angeles bicycling community suffered another big loss when one of the area’s leading advocates passed away unexpectedly.

Bike SGV reports that Brian Velez, outreach coordinator for the San Gabriel Valley advocacy group, died last Wednesday from an undiagnosed illness.

Velez also served as the co-host of Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast, as well as creating artwork for his blog.

He was just 33.

He is survived by his parents and his sister Diane, who worked with him as the Safe Routes coordinator for Bike SGV.

A scholarship fund is beingcreated in his name, and a memorial ride will be held in his honor on October 15th; you can find information on both on the Bike SGV website.

I hope you’ll join me in offering our deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Velez, and all those who loved him.

………

Vision Zero Los Angeles punts on its first TV spot, using LA Rams punter Johnny Hekker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to call on drivers to watch their speed and pay more attention to people walking and biking.

Not exactly the hard-hitting ad some of us were hoping for.

But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton reminds us, maybe it will mark a turning point in steering the conversation back to safety.

………

The LAPD offers tips reaffirming your 1st Amendment right to film and photograph police officers in public, and how to avoid getting into trouble in the process.

Which is not to say every officer has gotten the memo, or agrees with it. So you may want to copy print this out and carry it with you or commit it to memory.

………

A couple items were inadvertently left out of last week’s listing of upcoming bike events.

Starting with the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards, hosted by Cycling in the South Bay author and bike lawyer Seth Davidson. If you make it, say hi to everyone; a great group of people and some very dedicated advocates down there.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is holding their 5th Annual Pumpkin Patch Pedal this Sunday.

And the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tomorrow night in Hollywood.

………

Once again, today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Bikeshare has officially opened on the UCLA campus. Your move, USC.

A Venice writer tries out the area’s new Metro Bike bikeshare, and ends up loaning it to a stranger who tried to wrestle it away from her.

As bikeshare flourishes in DC, questions arise of whether the city has the infrastructure to support it.

A bikeshare bike stopped a teenage Australian boy who was terrorizing the public when a bystander threw it under the boy’s SUV, to keep him from running over people on the street.

An Australian professor explains how dockless bikeshare providers actually make money.

………

Another case of motor doping has been uncovered, as a French amateur rider was caught using a motor hidden inside his bicycle.

Former world team time trial champ Carmen Small retired after suffering her third major concussion since 2006.

Retired Spanish cyclist Oscar Freire says pro racing was much harder back in his day. After which he yelled at the kids to get off his lawn.

Trek is credited with giving men and women equal prize money for a recent cyclocross cup, even though cycling’s international governing body doesn’t believe in equal pay for equal results.

Ventura officials see virtually unlimited potential in hosting next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Malibu Times reports on last month’s Malibu Triathlon.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about her experience with the LACBC’s recent bike and pedestrian count in South LA.

LAist says Angelenos need to atone for routinely driving a half mile when they could walk, bike or take a bus.

New plans to restore the Ballona Wetlands include options that would remove the concrete and restore Ballona Creek to a more natural state, requiring a realignment of the bike path.

Funding for the $20 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge connecting Glendale and Griffith Park has been approved by the state legislature, and is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.

South Pasadena will establish a Bicycle Friendly Business District (pdf) in the downtown area, as part of the Bike Friendly San Gabriel Valley program. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up and pdf.

Santa Clarita has installed a solar-powered bike counter along a commuter bike trail.

 

State

San Clemente proposes narrowing existing traffic lanes and installing eight-foot wide buffered bike lanes on Calle Saluda.

San Francisco announces another plan to clear the homeless off a popular bikeway known as the Hairball, after encampments made it nearly impossible to ride through.

Kindhearted Antioch cops teamed with a local bike shop to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year old hit-and-run victim.

A Marin hiker says he was beaten by a trio of mountain bikers who were illegally using a singletrack trail where bikes are prohibited. Seriously, never resort, or respond, to violence except to defend yourself or others.

Modesto plans to sell a $9,000 trained police dog to the family of his handler for just $1, after the officer was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

Ford has patented a method to maintain stability on a bicycle and help keep the rider upright. Which in theory could allow countless people who aren’t comfortable balancing on two wheels to get out and ride.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a truck driver who killed a bike rider was fined just $90 — yes, nine zero — for “inattentive driving;” the victim’s wife was not even allowed to tell the jury her husband had died as a result of the crash.

Country music star Luke Bryan is one of us, as he takes a tour of Austin TX with America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

An Ohio woman rode 1,900 miles from Ohio to Arizona, recreating the route her son took before he died of Ewing’s sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

A New Hampshire city appoints the country’s first bike mayor.

Buffalo NY bicyclists ride to raise funds and awareness for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

More New York bike couriers are mistakenly riding through the Lincoln tunnel, riding past the signs indicating no bikes in the process.

An 84-year old Virginia man faces charges after making a wide turn at high speed and crashing into a woman carrying three children on her bicycle. Once again bringing up the difficult question of how old is too old to safely drive. And how to get older people off the road once they’ve lost their ability to drive safely, which varies from one person to another.

 

International

A NASA astronaut will join a pair of scientists in bicycling 600 miles across the Amazon to document the effects of climate change.

City Lab reports that bicycles and parks were lifelines for people affected by last month’s Mexico City earthquake. A reminder that owning a bike with durable tires could be a lifesaver for those of us who live in earthquake country.

A hard-hitting piece by a Toronto columnist says the city’s streets are deadly by design. Not unlike the streets of Los Angeles, which some Westside and South Bay drivers are fighting to keep that way.

British bike advocates have mapped out every bicycling fatality in the UK from 2005 to 2016, discovering in the process that roundabouts are risky for bike riders.

Not a hint of eccentricity here. A Welshman is riding 5,000 miles to Africa to follow the swallows that live in his shed.

A UK cyclist calls out his fellow riders for leaving their trash behind on the road. He’s got a point; it always saddens me to see gel wrappers, blown tubes and spent CO2 cartridges littering popular riding routes.

A bicyclist from Malta says he started bike commuting because he wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And lost 30 pounds in the process.

Athletes in Turkmenistan gave the country’s president a golden bicycle, which inexplicably appears to be painted green. Although it’s hard to tell what the story’s really trying to say in its broken English.

Brilliant idea from a South African writer, who says drivers should be given an automatic 15-minute timeout on the side of the road when they get pulled over by police for bad driving. Although here in LA, that could result in a massive traffic jam of stopped cars on the side of the roads.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to do a good deed, at least keep an eye on your bike. Go to your next Halloween party as a self-driving car.

And congrats, roadies. Your spandex bike shorts are now fashion forward.

………

Thanks to John Hall for his very generous donation to help support this site.

And let’s all take a moment to remember the victims of last night’s shootings in Las Vegas. And dedicate ourselves to keep things like this from happening again.

 

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