Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

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To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: Green bike lanes coming to Beverly Hills, and windshield bias from Pepperdine economics prof

Hell is about to freeze over.

After years of telling us it was impossible and repeatedly voting it down, Beverly Hills has given final approval for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, between Wilshire Blvd and Doheny Drive.

The city council also overrode a staff recommendation for white striped lanes with a little green paint at key conflict zones, instead voting for green lanes the entire length, at a cost of around $100,000 — nearly triple the staff’s $35,000 budget.

Which should give you an idea just how cheap bike lanes really are.

The work should be done sometime this spring.

Thanks should go to Beverly Hills’ bike-friendly Mayor Lili Bosse, as well as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who continued a quixotic and nearly solitary fight for the lanes, long after others had given up.

Myself included.

Photo from Beverly Hills website.

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I’d give this econ professor an F.

In an Op-Ed for the Orange County Register, Pepperdine’s Gary Galles writes that transit use is down because cars remain popular.

And that the reason they are so popular is because they are “vastly superior” transit and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

Many things are already in motion to solve transit agencies’ problems. For instance, in 2015, Los Angeles began a 20-year plan to remove auto lanes for bus and protected bike lanes, as well as pedestrian enhancements, diverting transportation funds raised from drivers and heightening congestion for the vast majority who planners already know will continue to drive.

Such less than effective attempts to cut driving by creating gridlock purgatory suggest we ask a largely ignored question. Why do planners’ attempts to force residents into walking, cycling and mass transit, supposedly improving their quality of life, attract so few away from driving?

The reason is simple — cars are vastly superior to alternatives for the vast majority of individuals and circumstances.

Of course, what he fails to consider from his windshield-perspective perch overlooking PCH is that drivers around Southern California already complain about massive traffic congestion.

And, in fact, one of the reasons bus use is less attractive that driving is that bus schedules are constantly thrown off by all those people in cars jamming streets beyond their practical capacity.

So what traffic planners are attempting isn’t to create a gridlock purgatory.

It’s dealing with the traffic congestion hell we already find ourselves in, and preparing for an otherwise dystopian future in which more and more people try to jam themselves into an already built-out traffic system that can no longer be expanded.

So unless we provide those people with safe, practical alternatives to driving, our streets will continue to get worse with every new car added to the grid.

That means more frequent and reliable transit, and safer walking and biking. Which in some cases will require making traffic worse in the short term in order to make it better in the long term.

As an economics professor, he should understand that.

But as a shill for the motor vehicle industry, he’s doing a damn good job.

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The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council will discuss the draft Hollywood Community Plan at the William & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 West Sunset Blvd on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 pm.

If you live, work or ride in bikeway-challenged Hollywood, you’ll want to be there to support the bike lanes described in Section 6 of the plan.

Because the Hollywood Hills homeowners will undoubtedly turn out in force once again to complain about density and traffic congestion. As well as bike lanes, if they think it will contribute to either one.

Thanks to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

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Local

A Pacoima square will be dedicated in honor of fallen cyclist Saul Lopez, the 15-year old boy who was collateral damage in a crash between two cars at Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street after one of the drivers ran a red light.

 

State

Coronado, where bike lanes give residents vertigo, considers improving bike safety by replacing stop signs with roundabouts; needless to say, not everyone approves.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this weekend, and a letter writer says it’s rude to ride two or more abreast and force drivers to change lanes (scroll down) to go around them. Even though that’s exactly what drivers are supposed to do, unless there’s a solid yellow line.

A Bakersfield columnist shares the joys of his regular Saturday morning group ride, which has been riding together for over 20 years.

Not so fast on the bike boulevard in San Luis Obispo, as the cycle track portion of the project has been put on hold after residents rise up to demand their God-given right to free street parking.

The former mayor of SLO tries to out-crazy the Coronado NIMBY’s, describing the planned bikeway as “urban rape … not to be performed by a male penis, but by thousands of inanimate bicycles … .” No, seriously.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan will host a pair of California fondos, starting with a gravel ride in Truckee this May, and a road ride in a city TBD in November.

 

National

Nice idea. In an attempt to support sustainable transportation, a Washington couple builds a small Bike Hut on the edge of their property, providing riders in need with spare tubes, chain lube and other small necessities.

A Montana paper looks at the efforts of rural towns to capitalize on bicycle tourism.

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance in Minneapolis.

After moving off campus, a Johns Hopkins University student discovers the joys of bicycling in Baltimore and the city’s monthly Bike Party.

A writer from Los Angeles falls head-over-heels — literally — for mountain biking just a few hours outside Atlanta. And wonders why he doesn’t do it more here in California.

 

International

A couple of British pub owners ride the length of South America, covering over 3,000 miles from Chile to Argentina.

A London physician gets it, saying the city’s Camden neighborhood won’t meet its smog reduction goals without a greater emphasis on bicycling and presumed liability. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, presumed liability assumes the operator of the more dangerous vehicle is at fault in any collision, unless it can be proven that the other party is at fault, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid crashes due to their ability to cause greater harm.

A British coroner rules that a velodrome did not follow safety guidelines when a cyclist was killed in a 35 mph crash with another rider in 2014.

An Aussie letter writer says bicycles should be required to have bells, since there’s apparently no other way to politely warn others a bike is approaching. And seems to be under the illusion that drivers politely yield to people on bikes and on foot.

 

Competitive Cycling

An entre Italian amateur team gets busted for systematic doping (scroll down) following the heart attack death of a 21-year old cyclist last May. But sure, tell us again how the era of doping is over.

VeloNews previews this year’s Amgen Tour of California, and says the key stages will be the famed Gibraltar climb and the time trial in Morgan Hill. And looks at how the pros overcome the fear of failure and getting hurt.

 

Finally…

Evidently, I’m not actually a road cyclist. Maybe someday you’ll ride wearing an inflatable flak jacket.

And today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

So pat yourself on the back if you were able to somehow endure Southern California’s sunny winter weather on your way to work this morning.

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

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CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

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CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

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As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

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Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

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Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

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Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

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Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

………

A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

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We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

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A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

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An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

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Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: 6th Street meeting draws complaints, hit-and-run BOLO alert, and bike to the World Series

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s neighborhood meeting to discuss much-needed safety improvements on 6th Street.

Despite the unanimous support of the local neighborhood council, as well as other area councils and groups, Ryu appears to be dismissing calls for a 6th Street road diet to improve safety.

Instead, he has come back with his own plan, which would remove parking and add one or more left turn bays. Which would only increase the speeding local residents blame for the numerous crashes and multiple deaths on what should be a relatively quiet commuter street.

The people I’ve heard from have described the meeting as a waste of time, saying Ryu’s staffers seemed angry and tried to steer people towards his plan, rather than listening to area residents, as the councilmember has promised to do.

It’s hard to imagine Ryu approving any road diet after the disaster in Playa del Rey, on 6th Street or anywhere else.

But it’s also hard to imagine Vision Zero succeeding if he won’t listen to the concerns of the people in his district, and take concrete steps to improve safety for everyone.

………

The LAPD has sent out an alert to be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man riding his bicycle on Victory Blvd near Van Alden earlier this month.

………

Yes, you can ride your bike to the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

Just don’t expect a bike valet when you get there.

………

Adding insult to injury, Belgian pro cyclist Jan Bakelants was lifted to safety after tumbling over a guard rail and failing into a ditch during the Il Lombardia race earlier this month. Only to be run over by a race moped after they laid him down on the roadway.

Twenty-year old French cyclist Mathieu Riebel was killed in a head-on collision with an ambulance while competing in the Tour of New Caledonia last Friday.

Columbian Tour de France contender Rigoberto Uran says forget fame, he just loves racing his bike.

Cycling Tips looks at the whys behind China’s new WorldTour race, and what the future holds for the event.

Researchers try to quantify what it means to suffer while racing a bike.

………

Local

The LAPD has arrested a woman suspected of being the bike-riding North Hollywood arsonist.

LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, is raffling a Raleigh ebike worth $3,199. And no, a raffle is not the same as an auction.

The semi-regular Draft Meetup is back at Pure Cycles this Thursday, offering bike talk combined with free food and beer.

Pasadena’s Metro bikeshare has seen nearly 14,000 rides since it opened in July.

West Covina is holding a meeting tomorrow to unveil their draft Active Transportation Master Plan. Although they might have better luck if they rescheduled for a night that didn’t conflict with the World Series.

No surprise here. The parents of 13-year old Ciara Smith have filed a lawsuit against Metro, as well as the bus driver, Los Angeles County and Caltrans, after she was killed by a bus as she rode her bike along PCH in Redondo Beach last May.

 

State

The man charged with stabbing two people as they looked for a stolen bicycle in Coachella is still being held without bail, and will undergo a psych evaluation.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for a strong statewide law prohibiting drivers from harassing bicyclists. As the story notes, Los Angeles has an anti-harassment ordinance that allows riders to sue in civil court, but it has proven to be difficult to use. And it’s no use if the incident occurs outside the city limits.

Danville police are looking for what may be a single hit-and-run driver who crashed into three bike riders in two separate incidents on the same road 40 minutes apart.

Napa is planning to widen the main road leading into town, but only intends to place a bike lane in one direction; the city says they need to wait until a bike and pedestrian bridge is built to accommodate riders, even though plans for the bridge haven’t even come up for a vote yet.

 

National

Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger, was famed for his BMX stunts.

Restock your bunker, and gird yourself for the coming bikeshare wars.

Bicycling tells you how to make a left turn.

Another candidate for the parent of the year award. A Montana woman could soon be staying at the same detention center where she works, after she intentionally chased down and ran over her boyfriend as he tried to escape on his bicycle after a fight, with her four young kids in the car watching the whole thing.

An 83-year old Michigan driver will avoid jail time in the death of one bike rider and injuring another, after he was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and forbidden to ever drive again. Once again raising the issue of how to get older people off the road after they’ve lost the ability to drive safely. And before they kill someone.

A state senator says a pair of New York bikes lanes are continuing to cause crashes. After all, it couldn’t be the fault of careless or distracted drivers who can’t manage to follow the lines on the street banging their cars together.

A health columnist for the New York Times says riding a bike without a properly fitted helmet is stupid.

New York’s Prospect Park is going permanently carfree next year. I’d like to say maybe there’s hope for LA’s Griffith Park, but that would imply that Los Angeles would finally coming to grips with its automotive addiction, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

Baltimore police are investigating a series of attacks by groups of teens who swarm bicyclists and steal their bikes.

 

International

A Montreal cop is on trial for fatally backing over a bike rider when he tried to stop the victim for riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

The BBC talks with LA’s own Phil Gaimon about his new book Draft Animals.

A British bicyclist suffered a massive hematoma on his hip after being knocked off his bike by a road raging driver. Actually, his hip looks pretty much like mine did following my run-in with the beachfront bike path bees.

The governor of a Nigerian state has ordered truck drivers who break traffic laws to see a shrink if they cause a crash. Maybe we could offer that here instead of traffic school.

Nothing crazy about a first-time unicyclist pledging to ride across New Zealand’s largest farm to raise funds for mental health issues.

Singapore is planning to fight congestion and smog by capping the number of vehicles on its streets. A solution that makes so much sense that we can rest assured it will never be tried here. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise nearly $4,000 to send the body of a world travelling bike rider back home to China after he was killed in an Argentine car crash. Thanks to The Bicycle Wars for the link.

Nothing like a little North Korean propaganda to start your day, revealing that women “is forbidden to ride a Bicycle” because a “skirt should always cover the knees, and wear pants ladies is impossible.” Though you’d think a piece authored by someone named Bill Cooke would demonstrate a somewhat better grasp of the English language.

 

Finally…

Just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bike — or get attacked by a drunk tourist. You too can have your very own 3D-printed Slovakian e-mountain bike for the low, low price of just $24,000.

And this is why Kardashians shouldn’t bike after drinking.

 

Morning Links: A struggle for lights on the Orange Line bike path, and more Playa del Rey road diet madness

Maybe someone can find a solution to this one.

Last week I was forwarded an email from Robert Cable, asking for help solving a seemingly intractable problem getting help with a dark and dangerous section of the Orange Line bike path.

He gave me permission to share this in hopes that someone who reads it might be able to point him to some person, anyone, who could help get lights installed and make the Orange Line bikeway a safer and more practical alternative for people who commute after dark.

Especially in light of the many homeless encampments now dotting — and sometimes blocking — the San Fernando Valley’s longest and most important east-west bikeway.

And after getting bounced repeatedly between Metro, the city, the county, the local councilmember’s office, and back again.

My name is Robert Cable.  I had the good fortune to meet with several LAPD officers over the past two days.  They suggested I reach out to you after I told them how I tried to get some lighting installed on a short stretch of the Orange Line Bike Path but was completely shot down by my district reps.

Most of the path from Chandler to the 405, and then west of White Oak has lighting.  There is one area just west of the 405 at Haskell to Balboa (but mostly to Woodley) that is unlit and gets extremely dark at night.  The path is set back from Victory, rides thru areas of thick trees, has low visibility and feels unsafe for many reasons.  Additionally, along with the lack of lighting, lights from oncoming cars makes it even more difficult to see.

Originally, after reaching out to District 6 for help, Lauren Padick told me it was metro’s jurisdiction.  Metro responded that it was city.  After going back to Padick with that information, she immediately responded, and I am talking two minutes, with this,

Robert,

“There is no existing poles besides Metro’s. At this point, the City would be unable to install lighting.”

Since then, I learned that a colleague of mine who also commutes by bike, departs the bike path at that section and rides in the street.  Well it turns out that one night, he was hit by a car over there as a direct result of feeling unsafe on the path.

So, who can help me?  Who can I contact about this?  There is no reason that a small, less then half mile stretch of path shouldn’t have the same lighting as the rest of the run.  Coincidentally, I believe this to be the same area where the Rabbi whose family sued and settled a multi million dollar suit with the city, was hit.  Lastly, Hotchkiss thought that solar lights, like those installed in Glendale would be a good solution.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Best,

Robert Cable

………

The LA Weekly looks at the insanity in Playa del Rey, where Mike Bonin announced Wednesday that Vista del Mar will be returned to two lanes in each direction.

KPCC’s Take Two talks with Bonin about traffic safety, and why the changes on Vista del Mar had to be made right away, in an unusually balanced report.

The Daily Breeze notes that this weekend’s planned meeting to discuss the lane reductions has been postponed until further notice.

And The Argonaut reports on KFI shock jocks John and Ken’s efforts to trim up anger over the road changes with a rally in Playa del Rey last week.

………

Great news, as Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti has awakened from a medically induced coma and starting to recover from the near-fatal brain injury she suffered in a crash during the Giro Rosa earlier this month.

Chris Froome targets rare back-to-back titles, competing in next month’s Vuelta after winning the Tour de France for the fourth time.

Twenty years after winning the Tour, Jan Ullrich suggests cycling’s doping past is just that. Or maybe they’ve just gotten better at hiding it.

Next month’s inaugural Colorado Classic will feature second place Tour de France finisher Rigoberto Uran, Taylor Phinney and other top riders.

Cycling in the South Bay looks forward to Sunday’s 56th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

……….

Local

This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride brought in $15.1 million for the HIV/AIDS services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

LA Curbed looks at Gil Cedillo’s efforts to effectively ban road diets by any name in his district.

The LACBC provides a wrap-up on last year’s successful Operation Firefly light distribution program.

 

State

After an eight-year old boy was killed riding his bike in Newport Heights last year, residents chose sidewalk improvements over a bike lane, condemning 35 trees to death.

No bias here. It wasn’t a bicyclist who bit and attempt to rob a San Diego woman at gunpoint; it was a thief who happened to be riding a bike.

A San Diego review board rules sheriff’s deputies were justified in shooting an unarmed ex-con as he worked on his bicycle in his own garage, even though deputies gave three different versions of what happened.

An anonymous artist is decorating an abandoned bicycle in Northern San Luis Obispo County.

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler will be the keynote speaker at the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s annual Bike Summit next month.

Vallejo police arrested a man on a charge of vehicular manslaughter for killing a 16-year old boy as he and his dad were riding their bikes together two weeks ago.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to offer bicycling advice.

The Bike League looks at the many problems with the new Oregon bike tax.

A writer for the Chicago Tribune goes mountain biking in Moab, Utah.

A Colorado newspaper says maybe bikes should be taxed at $25 or $50 a year, with the funds dedicated to building and maintaining bikeways. Except an annual fee — especially that high — would only serve to discourage more people from bicycling, and result in more unused bikes remaining in garages.

A Houston driver describes the attack by a bicyclist who allegedly scratched the man’s car with his bike, then reached in and beat him through an open window. While violence is never the answer, something tells me there’s another side to this story; a violent attack on a totally innocent driver just doesn’t add up.

A trio of Texas brothers finish a 52-day, 3,500 mile ride across the US to raise funds for charity.

This is what heroes look like. A Chicago firefighter is retiring after 27 years on the job, and 25 years after starting a program that promised kids a refurbished bicycle if they came in with a report card showing good grades and perfect attendance — boosting attendance at a local school from 20% to 92% in a single year.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a recumbent tricycle from an Illinois teenager suffering from a degenerative muscular disorder.

After just 30 days of sobriety, a recovering Kentucky junkie is riding his bike 500 miles to DC with his mother to call for an end to the opioid epidemic.

A Rhode Island public service campaign suggests waving at others on the roads to improve safety. At least if they wave back, you know they’ve seen you. Unless they’re waving at someone behind you.

New York Streetsblog says ticketing bike riders after a man was killed riding his bike isn’t doing anything to fix the dangerous streets.

He gets it. Instead of just calling for more bike helmets, a New York chief of emergency medicine says the best way to prevent traumatic brain injuries is to slow traffic, as well as improving lighting, widening medians and building more bike lanes.

A financial writer goes for a New York bikeshare ride with non-obnoxious cyclist and hedge fund founder Mark Carhart, who spends his spare time riding tandems with blind bicyclists.

If you build it, they will come. When Macon GA installed a temporary eight-mile bike lane network, average ridership shot up over 800%.

 

International

A Canadian woman says riding solo around the world is seldom lonely.

London’s transportation department announced it will spend the equivalent of $112 million dollars on creating livable streets, with an emphasis on transportation cycling.

A British couple is celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, after choosing a wedding over buying a bicycle. Tough choice, but it seems to have worked out okay.

A new survey shows riding a bike on the sidewalk ranked number seven on a list of the top minor laws broken by people in the UK; riding through a red light only ranked 35th out of 40. Number one was singing Happy Birthday in a public restaurant.

The Washington Post goes for a birthday ride along the Danube.

 

Finally…

More proof you can use a bike to commute from work — even if your work is robbing banks. Evidently, bike theft is as old as bicycling.

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle, you might as well leave your old one in its place.

After all, it’s only polite.

………

Photo of Orange Line bike path taken from the LADOT Bike Blog.

 

Morning Links: Insights on the Venice Great Streets debate, and Complete Streets discussions in the South Bay

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Mar Vista Community Council debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The quasi-governmental body defeated a motion to reject the Venice Great Streets project and return the street to its previous six-lane configuration, before voting 10-1 to support Vision Zero and a six-month reassessment of the project.

Two hours of public comment were roughly evenly divided, with nearly 60 speakers on each side.

Project proponents emphasized the need for safety in response to personal histories of collisions, injuries, and relatives’ traffic deaths. Speakers also brought up climate change, noise pollution, excessive space still dedicated to cars, and improved conditions for seniors and disabled. Proponents emphasized giving the recently opened project a chance to prove itself.

Project opponents raised issues of impacted commute times, emergency response delays, tsunami evacuation routes, disabled access, scofflaw cyclists, excessive Westside development, worsened air quality, and untrustworthy city data – questioning whether the project actually makes the street safer. Ironically, supporters held up orange paper signs stating “stop the unsafe streets project.” Opponent statements included “we want our lane back now,” “L.A. runs on four tires and an internal combustion engine” and “this is not Amsterdam, this is Mar Vista.”

After the meeting, one supporter offered these thoughts after finding himself surrounded by opponents of the Great Streets project, which provide some valuable insights going forward.

(I’m withholding his name due to the vitriol and anger displayed by some of the opponents, and have edited his comments slightly).

The anti crowd was for the most part older, and extremely entrenched in their viewpoints. Their perceptions, accurate or not, will supersede anything put forward by any of us, but especially those of Councilmember Bonin and the LADOT. It doesn’t matter that these perceptions were most likely forged while the project was under construction and therefore the most disruptive. I believe that the way forward is not through this crowd. They will not be moved regardless of how well the project proceeds. At best they’ll quietly subside over time.

Even before the meeting began I heard repeatedly that bicyclists are lawless, always running stop signs and red lights, have no regard for the rules of the road, and “if I hit one I’ll be to blame.” This sentiment was expressed in varying forms every time a professed bicyclist spoke to the council. Being a bicyclist in their minds somehow qualifies one as an activist and therefore not entitled to voicing an opinion. Never mind that pretty much everyone in attendance was an activist simply by attending.

Simply put, I believe the anti crowd feels they are the victims through all this. They see themselves as being overrun by an “elite” bent on making war with their entitled right of dominance of access. It’s almost impossible for them to fathom that a grown person would use a bicycle as anything other than recreation.

However, aside from a few disparaging remarks about victims of traffic, it was clear that the pedestrian safety component of the project transcends the divisions on the other issues. While I have my personal opinions about their concerns over safety, it was heartening to feel even a tiny bit of consensus.

Then again, those opposed to the Great Streets project might want to consider the results of this road diet in Orlando FL before making any rash decisions.

Because of this project, College Park’s main street has become a thriving corridor. Safety greatly improved after the project: total collisions dropped by 40 percent, injury rates declined 71 percent, and traffic counts briefly dropped 12 percent before returning to original levels. Pedestrian counts increased by 23 percent, bicycling activity by 30 percent, and on-street parking—which buffers the sidewalks from automobile traffic—by 41 percent.

In addition, the corridor has gained 77 new businesses and an additional 560 jobs since 2008.

The value of property adjacent to Edgewater and within a half mile of the corridor rose 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

That’s what Mar Vista residents have to look forward to, if they just have the patience to let it happen.

………

Hermosa Beach will discuss the city’s Bicycle Transportation Network at a special city council meeting next Monday, as part of the PLAN Hermosa (scroll to bottom).

The same night, there will be a public workshop in Manhattan Beach to discuss Living Streets and Complete Streets in the South Bay.

Although you might ask them why complete, livable streets are okay for the South Bay, but not Playa del Rey.

………

CNN takes a look at bicycling travel destinations around the world, starting with ten bicycling international routes that will take your breath away, including the Great Divide trail and a rail-to-trail conversion in Montana and Idaho. As well as the five best bike paths in Sydney, Australia.

And follow up by offering their own listing of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

None of which are named Los Angeles.

………

No surprise who won the sprint finish in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, which Bike Snob says has outlived it’s usefulness.

Bike Radar writes about trained boxer turned cyclist Nacer Bouhanni throwing a punch during Tuesday’s 10th stage, but all they really seem to care about is his new bike.

Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang will continue in the Tour, despite suffering two small fractures in his left arm after colliding with a teammate on Wednesday; the San Francisco Chronicle responds to all the injuries this year by calling the race a full-contact sport.

A ceremony will be held today on the slopes of Mont Ventoux to honor fallen cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the ascent during the 1967 Tour de France; race leader Chris Froome plans to honor him during Thursday’s stage.

Former pro Danny Summerhill accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail for firing his gun into a hill between two Colorado homes because he was having a bad day on a training ride. Of course, the unanswered question is why he had a gun on his bike, and where he kept it.

Now that’s the right kind of podium girl. German cyclist Florenz Knauer got down on one knee on the podium to propose to his girlfriend after winning a British Columbia grand prix.

A writer for the Guardian says Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st Century, following her transition from Scottish cyclist and journalist Robert Millar.

………

Local

The LA Weekly considers why there are no bike lanes in Skid Row, as residents call on the city to treat them fairly.

The SCV Bicycle Coalition is providing a free bike valet at Saturday’s Concert in the Park by an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band in Santa Clarita.

A dozen people learned mountain biking skills and etiquette at a free month clinic offered by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) at Malibu Creek State Park.

CiclaValley has a blast descending Old Topanga Canyon.

 

State

San Clemente has opened a new two-way cycle track along El Camino Real, along with a separate pedestrian walkway.

Former world champ and Olympic cyclist Amber Neben worked with special needs kids in Riverside to learn how to ride an adaptive bicycle.

Ventura County is planning to install three miles of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Thousand Oaks.

Caltrans proposes filling a gap in a Shasta bike trail in hopes of bringing more tourism to the town.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study shows that people who live in areas with more transportation options have better health.

Strider has formed a non-profit to help distribute their balance bikes to children with mental, physical, or financial challenges.

A Gold Star mother and father stopped in Albuquerque on their four-month bike tour across the US to honor their sons, and all the military men and women killed since 9/11.

Sounds like fun. A Wichita KS bar hosts a show for “freak bikes” or “rat bikes” — aka any funky, weird or unusual bike.

A Wisconsin airman is back to serving as an MP, after two years of training fulltime as a cyclist as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

In a sign of just how seriously authorities don’t take traffic crimes, a Wisconsin man was held on a ridiculously low $1,500 bond after he was arrested for attempting to intentionally run over a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A Michigan driver lost control and rolled his car down an embankment. So naturally, the guy on the bike gets the blame.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway originally told police a man and a woman on the side of the road threw a bicycle at him.

City Lab looks at the battle over bike lanes in Baltimore, where the mayor had threatened to remove a protected bike lane before being stopped by a court order.

 

International

The crowdfunding campaign we mentioned yesterday for a Calgary cyclist clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail has been frozen after the victim closed the account; a police sweep of the trail found no safety issues. And yes, something smells very fishy.

There’s a special place in hell for the men who stole a nine-year old Winnipeg boy’s bicycle, then dragged him behind their pickup when he tried to stop them.

A Halifax randonneur became the first woman to complete a 621-mile Nova Scotia brevet in 74 hours or less, finishing with 10 hours to spare.

Singapore-based Obike becomes the first dockless bikeshare system to open in London, competing with the well-established Boris Bikes.

 

Finally…

Bicycling can make you a better surfer. No need to worry about road debris when you have your own leaf blower bike to blow it away.

And clearly, nothing has changed on LA streets in the past 96 years.

Morning Links: Lawyer says mayor criminally liable for bike lanes, and meetings on Venice and Temple

Try to read this one without laughing.

I dare you.

A lawyer and regular contributor to City Watch insists that Mayor Garcetti could face criminal liability for a Mobility Plan that places bike lanes on city streets. Where riders are forced to suck in the air pollution from passing cars in what he describes as a violation of California’s CEQA laws.

He even says city officials may be held criminally liable for battery and homicide, comparing the situation to the tainted water in Flint, Michigan.

Which almost sounds sort-of semi-reasonable, until you consider just how far off base it really is.

Starting with the fact that it was the City Council, not Garcetti, which was responsible for the city’s Mobility Plan and the bike lanes proposed therein.

And that several studies have shown that the air inside motor vehicles is dirtier than the air bike riders breathe. Or that the health benefits of bicycling far outweigh the risk posed by bad air.

Not to mention that bike lanes are found on busy city streets in virtually every major city around the world, with no apparent mass die-off of bike riders gasping their last due to auto exhaust.

And never mind that Los Angeles already conducted an environmental review of the city’s bike plan following the debacle in San Francisco, where a single disgruntled man held up implantation of the city’s bike plan for years using a CEQA challenge, until a judge finally threw the case out.

Or that bike lanes were exempted from CEQA review four years ago when Governor Brown signed AB 417 as a result of that case.

Although you’d think a decent lawyer might have looked that up.

But if you ever need someone to file a writ ordering kids to get off your lawn, he may be your guy.

………

If you’re not completely burned out after tonight’s argument over friendly discussion of the Venice Great Streets project at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting, you can do it all over again tomorrow when the Palms Neighborhood Council takes up the subject.

And a public safety meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss a planned road diet on Temple Street in Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown; the Vision Zero project would reduce the street to one lane in each direction, with bike lanes and a center turn lane.

………

The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start just slightly outside the county — in Jerusalem.

Only a handful of riders can still challenge Chris Froome in the Tour de France. And he denies barging into one of them.

Polish rider Rafal Majka abandoned the Tour de France after falling in Sunday’s ninth stage.

Italian cyclist Adriano Malori announced his retirement from racing on Monday, nearly two years after being placed in a medically coma following a crash in Argentina’s Tour de San Luis.

Cycling industry insiders set up a fake motor doping website to see who’d be interested; cycling team managers, industry publications and individual cyclists who wanted to cheat their fellow racers took the bait.

Scottish track cyclist Katie Ford set new records for the greatest distance covered in both six and eight hours, despite suffering from epilepsy.

………

Local

LA County has agreed to settle the case of an unarmed man killed by sheriff’s deputies for $2.9 million; 23-year old Noel Aguilar was shot when he fled after deputies tried to stop him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

LA Downtown News looks at the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare program, noting it costs more than similar programs in other cities and doesn’t have a discount program for low-income users.

Architects present plans to revitalize the LA River.

 

State

Solano Beach will raise funds for bike lanes and pedestrian paths by adding a $15,714 fee to the cost of every new single-family home and $11,206 for each new apartment. Which means improving alternative transportation at the expense of desperately needed new affordable housing.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a BMX-riding booze shoplifter who punched a Rite Aid employee in the face to make his getaway.

Bakersfield police somehow mistake a 5’2”, 115 pound, 19-year old bike-riding black woman for a bald, 5’10”, 170 pound machete-wielding man. So they pulled a gun on her, punched her in the mouth and set a police dog on her.

Santa Cruz installs its first bike box to improve visibility and safety for bicyclists.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition opposes a proposed ordinance that would ban bike chop shops in an effort to reduce bicycle theft, saying it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The roots of the problem are addiction and homelessness, which are much more difficult to solve. And neither of which are helped by looking the other way while addicts deal in stolen bicycles.

Sacramento is preparing to boot bikes off some sidewalks in the downtown area. But not all of them, since they don’t have money to build bike lanes. Which means, unless they post it on every block, people will have no idea whether or not they can legally ride on any given sidewalk.

The Lake Tahoe basin is transforming itself with 50 miles of existing shared-use trails and another 6.5 miles currently under construction, with plans for nearly 26 miles more over the next five years.

 

National

Ford patents a retractable bike rack that would actually be built into your vehicle. Or you could just forget the car and ride your bike.

A woman is riding from California to Maine to collect stories from inspiring women.

A group of cops and other first responders will ride 500 miles from Dallas to Baton Rouge to honor the eight officers killed in the two cities last year.

Caught on video: This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign; a thief simply removes the bolts holding a sign in place and lifts it up to steal an expensive ebike.

A candidate for governor of Massachusetts is one of us, suffering minor injuries when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole.

She gets it. A writer from Massachusetts says the car is not king, and instead of stenciling sidewalks to ban riding bikes, the city should improve bike lanes so people don’t feel compelled to use them.

New York bicyclists are banned from a popular bike path so electric cars can race, instead.

Virginia officials decide to squeeze a bike trail between an expanded freeway and a sound wall, since neighbors won’t allow the bikeway on their side of the wall.

 

International

A poignant story, as a bike-riding former Ottawa, Canada heroin addict who saved the lives of 130 drug overdose victims has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $12,000 to send him home to see his parents one last time.

Caught on video too: A pair of British riders are taken down by “yobs” who rolled an old bike into their path. Warning: You may have to sit through an interminable movie trailer to get to it.

A UK police inspector sticks up for officers who intentionally doored a bike-riding theft suspect to make an arrest, even though the helmetless rider could have been seriously injured.

 

Finally…

Either a Virginia newspaper is in desperate need of punctuation, or a bicyclist crashed into a disregarded stop sign. If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to pee on the cop who busts you for it.

And seriously, don’t try this at home, especially not at 62 mph.

In flip-flops.

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

………

Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

………

Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

………

The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

………

Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

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