Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: Another reason to ride, as traffic congestion costs LA drivers; Flying Pigeon calls out Tom LaBonge

As if you needed another incentive to ride a bike.

The LA Weekly says the city’s traffic congestion costs motorists $5,700 a year, compared to an average of just $1,700 nationwide. And that’s in addition to the estimated $2,458 LA drivers lose due to bad roads.

On the other hand, traffic congestion doesn’t cost bike riders a dime. Although those bad roads can bust wheels and frames.

And bones.

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Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg says as if anti-Fig4All City Councilmember Gil Cedillo isn’t bad enough, CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge manages to insert himself into bike photo ops while blocking much needed bike safety projects.

Tom LaBonge intrudes his bulky self into every bike-related photo op anywhere in or near his district, often wearing his signature red sweater to catch the eye (and the cameras). But he has stopped the Fourth Street Neighborhood Greenway, is trying hard to stop the Lankershim Boulevard road diet, and stands stubbornly against a community-friendly Glendale/Hyperion bridge rebuild.

And now, Sixth Street in the Miracle Mile, a narrow four-lane that impatient scofflaws use as a fast alternative to Wilshire one block away, sometimes hitting speeds of 60 and 70 miles per hour…

Sixth Street was slated to receive a road diet, but—yes, you guessed right!—Tom LaBonge chose to “defer” it. His rationale? Road work on Wilshire might send more traffic onto Sixth. But his presumptions have led him into error: road diets, while they restrain top speeds, often smooth out traffic flow and result in quicker, if calmer, A to B transits of a street.

Something is seriously wrong when a single councilmember can derail already-approved road treatments designed by people actually qualified and paid to make those decisions.

If Mayor Garcetti really wants to do something about our dysfunctional city government, this would be a damn good place to start.

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In pro cycling news, the Astana cycling team risks losing its license for the pro tour after yet another rider is caught doping. Good thing the sport has cleaned itself up.

Meanwhile, VeloNews attempts to fit injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney for next year’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France, even though he’s still working on his comeback and has never ridden — let alone won — a single stage of the Tour.

Give the man a little time, already.

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Local

Metro moves forward with a mealy-mouthed, weak-ass Complete Streets policy.

Flying Pigeon hosts another of their popular Get Sum Dim Sum rides on Sunday.

The 2nd annual Long Beach AIDS Ride rolls on November 15th with rides of 40 and 70 miles, along with an eight mile family ride.

 

State

BikeSD reports bike and livability advocates in the Hillcrest neighborhood are subject to death threats.

San Francisco’s police investigate a series of attacks on bike riders in the city’s Panhandle.

 

National

A new government study confirms Millennials are driving less and biking and walking more.

A Kickstarter project promises jeans cut to accommodate the massive thighs of serious cyclists, which won’t always fit in regular jeans. A problem I once had, and sincerely hope I will again someday.

Grist gushes over the beautiful bike freeways in Minneapolis.

Three years ago, the NYPD recommended a mandatory helmet law for cyclists, but can’t be bothered to enforce traffic laws to protect them.

Nice. Atlanta’s working on a citywide network of protected bike lanes.

 

International

A Calgary writer explains why he rides in the road when there’s a bike path nearby.

Seriously? An Edmonton city councilor wants to discourage bike commuting by requiring licenses for anyone who rides to work.

The Guardian says bicycling is good for everyone; mass cycling could save the National Health Service £17 billion — the equivalent of $27 billion — over 20 years, and prevent 500 road deaths a year.

Britain’s Department for Transport calls for doubling cycling by 2025, but lacks the funding to do it.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen discusses how cities around the world are adapting to bike riders.

A group of cycling physicians call for more to be done to improve bike safety in Perth, but the equivalent of a three-foot law fails in West Australia.

 

Finally…

A Scot cyclist goes for an unplanned swim after swerving to avoid a dog. You thought LA potholes were bad — a New Zealand cyclist rides into a sinkhole and can’t get out; his dog stayed with him until help finally arrived.

And a road raging Kiwi cyclist goes off on the driver who rear–ended him following a roadside dispute; something tells me there are no innocent victims in this one.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lanes are now legal; WeHo considers removing crosswalks to improve ped safety

It’s perfect bike weather in LA.

And the tourists are gone, most of them, anyway. Which means it’s relatively safe to return to our usually over-congested bike paths.

So tell your boss you’re coming down with a bad case of bike flu. And hit the road to show your bike some much needed love for a few hours.

Work will wait.

And so will today’s post. I promise we’ll still be here when you get back.

As for my bike, it’s still sitting in the corner of my office feeling neglected, waiting sadly for the day I can get back on it.

And so am I.

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Governor Brown signed two new bike bills, one permitting protected bikeways — which are currently considered experimental under state law — and another allowing voters to add a $5 fee to car registration on a local basis to fund bike infrastructure.

AB 1193 directs Caltrans to develop standards for protected bike lanes, while at the same time allowing cities to use guidelines included in the NACTO guide, rather than rely on Caltrans, which tends to be overly conservative and decades behind the times.

SB 1183 allows local governments to impose an additional $5 fee on car registrations to fund bicycle networks. However, it requires approval by a two-thirds majority. And getting two-thirds of voters, almost all of whom are drivers, to tax themselves to pay for bike lanes seems pretty damned unlikely.

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Under the heading of they just don’t get it, West Hollywood authorities consider removing crosswalks and increasing traffic speeds to improve pedestrian safety. No, really.

Maybe someone can explain it to them.

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Very sad news from Portland, as Kerry Kunsman, a League Cycling Instructor and board member of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, is critically injured in a rear-end collision while on border to border bike ride. The SDCBC asks for your prayers for his recovery from a severe brain injury.

Update: The news gets even sadder, as I’m told Kerry Kunsman passed away this morning. My deepest sympathy and prayers for him and for all his family and friends.  

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According to the New York Post, bikes kill; a bike-hating writer for the paper calls even average cyclists assassins on wheels — neglecting the fact that cars kill roughly 5,000 times more people than the average of six people killed in collisions with bicycles in the US each year.

Meanwhile, the paper is still raging over the recent collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian, who sadly passed away over the weekend.

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Bike racing’s governing body will try out on-bike cameras and real-time GPS positioning at this week’s road cycling world championships.

BMC wins the men’s time trial at the world championships; Teejay van Garderen says it’s the highlight of his young career. Specialized-Lululemon takes the women’s title for the third year in a row.

And pro cycling’s God of Thunder calls is a career.

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Local

Hats off to the LACBC, which filed a public records request with the LA County DA’s office for information on the Milt Olin case.

Bicyclists respond to the anti-bike letters in the LA Times. Meanwhile, Walk Bike Burbank responds to anti-bike letters in the Burbank paper.

A Glendale letter writer says bicyclists should pay a “fairness fee,” failing to realize that cyclists and other non-drivers subsidize our streets for the benefit of motorists; what would be fair is giving every bicyclist, pedestrian and transit user a refund on the portion of their taxes spent on roadwork.

 

State

Orange County opens another two-mile segment of the planed OC Loop, which will eventually create a continuous 66 mile bikeway through the county.

A Fountain Valley woman barely avoids falling debris from a crippled airliner as she rode along the bike path in Huntington Beach.

A helmetless San Diego area cyclist suffers a fractured skull in a solo fall. This is one of the rare instances when whether the victim wore a helmet is actually worth reporting, since relatively slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Yes, you’re required to pull over when five or more vehicles back up behind you and are unable to pass, just like any other slow moving vehicle. But only when it’s safe and there’s space to do so.

 

National

Elly Blue looks at the future of bicycling and how to ensure everyone has a seat at the table. Or on a bike, anyway. Which brings us to the good, the bad and the ugly of marketing bicycling to women.

Bicycling offers the 10-best car-free bike paths in the US, and calls the newly combined Bike Index and National Stolen Bike Registry the most powerful tool to fight bike theft.

A survivor of the horrific 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Wichita State University football team plans to ride from the school’s football stadium to the site of the crash in Colorado.

If you’re going to steal a bike, probably not the best choice to snatch one from a San Antonio bike cop. Or one in Zimbabwe for that matter — especially not if you’re a fellow cop.

Delaware is the nation’s second most dangerous state for cyclists on a per capita basis.

What will it take to make Macon GA safe for cyclists and pedestrians?

 

International

A shift to bicycling, walking and transit could save 1.4 million lives by 2050; Hamburg Germany plans to go car-free in 20 years; could other cities follow suit?

The oldest Tour de France stage winner in the post-war era passed away in Belgium on Saturday at age 92, 51 years after he won he race’s ninth stage.

An Aussie take on exploring The Hague by bike.

Explore Israeli history by bike. Though you might want to wait until things settle down just a tad.

British bike advocacy group Sustrans applauds an Australian state’s consideration of bike safety reforms. But why does even a bike website think the Idaho stop law is radical?

 

Finally…

As if cyclists didn’t have a bad enough reputation, are we ready for the Bieb on the bike? For God’s sake, someone buy that boy a belt, already.

And caught on video: a Russian bike rider barely avoids becoming collateral damage in a traffic collision — twice.

 

 

Morning Links: Pasadena bike club refuses to support Gran Fondo in bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills

I’ve made the same argument more than once.

While I’m normally willing to back any event that promotes bicycling, it just doesn’t make sense to support a bike event in a city that doesn’t support us.

Like the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, for instance, which hosts the Gran Fondo Italia at the end of this month. And where anti-bike councilmembers have blocked plans for desperately needed bike lanes on a soon-to-be-reconstructed Santa Monica Blvd.

Nice to see I’m not alone.

Wesley Reutimann, president of the Pasadena Athletic Association bike club, forwards an email he sent in response to a request that the club actively promote the event among its members.

Thank you for reaching out to our club.

As President of PAA cycling, a 350 member bike club, I am unable to promote this event or any other in the City of Beverly Hills as long as its elected leaders and City staff do not take the safety of ALL road users seriously.

Over the past few years the City of Beverly Hills has repeatedly failed to support local efforts to improve the safety of its streets. At the same time neighboring LA, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica have made significant investments to protect vulnerable road users like bicyclists (e.g., bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd).

Until the City can address these issues (e.g., existing bike lane gap on Santa Monica Blvd), I will be compelled to take my business elsewhere, as well as encourage that of our entire membership to do so as well.

Please feel free to relay my message to your contacts in the City.

Best regards,

-Wes

Exactly.

Meanwhile, Better Bike offers their typically insightful take on the same subject.

Update: Just to clarify, I’m not asking anyone to boycott Beverly Hills or the Gran Fondo; I trust you to make your own decisions.

However, if you haven’t already registered for the ride, consider planning your own ride with friends or your club that day, and donate the money you would have spent on registration to Better Bike or the LACBC to keep up the fight for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

If you have registered, or want to ride the Gran Fondo anyway, ask ride officials to use their influence to demand better accommodations for bikes in Beverly Hills.

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Semi-equality at last? Both the Amgen Tour of California and Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge consider multi-day women’s races.

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Local

KPCC’s Larry Mantle talks about the new three-foot passing law, and eventually gets it mostly right, while the Times offers one last look before it takes effect today.

Watts wears pink on October 4th as the East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz ride for cancer awareness with LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino.

Yet another bike rider is injured in a collision on PCH in Malibu over the weekend.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition hosts a meet and greet from 6 pm to 8 pm this Thursday.

 

State

San Diego’s long delayed bike share program may be the most expensive in the US.

A Sacramento writer says if cyclists want respect, we need to act like we deserve it — something no one ever says that about motorists, no matter how many laws they may break. And someone should tell him that bike riders are already subject to all existing traffic laws, including hit-and-run.

A San Francisco supervisor suggests making the NACTO Design Guides the official policy of the city.

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue looks at the Kentucky cyclist wrongly convicted for riding in the traffic lane, and offers advice on how to prevent future miscarriages of justice.

Bicycling says the worst city for cycling isn’t a city at all. And only 40 miles from their pick for the best.

Writing for City Lab, Sarah Goodyear says a little bikelash may be a good thing.

A new bike helmet is designed to act like a black box in a crash.

Kansas City considers a new law banning harassment of cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

A blues musician is pedaling a 1,200 pound piano bike the length of the Mississippi.

Louisville KY plans the world’s largest underground bike park.

A New York TV station disputes claims that bike lanes improved traffic times.

 

International

A UK writer says cars are the real wheeled pests, not bikes.

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers their uniquely comprehensive roundup of bike blogs, here, there and everywhere.

An Aussie writer says there is no war between motorists and cyclists because many of us have a foot in both camps.

 

Finally…

Turns out the Columbia men’s cycling kit sucks almost as much as the women’s. Nice way to celebrate the big day, as a Des Moines wedding party attacks a 68-year old bike rider.

And Omaha police refuse to charge a driver for hitting a cyclist because he didn’t have lights or reflectors on his bike — four minutes after sunset.

 

Morning Links: How to file a claim for pothole damage; La Habra rider injured crashing into street sign

An interesting question came up on Monday, when someone asked me who to contact if a pothole on a city street damages a rim on your bike, or worse.

Fortunately, KNBC-4 answered that question earlier this year, if from an auto-centric perspective. And yes, it’s the same process if you were injured, as well.

Step No. 1 is to fill out a claim form. Click here to begin the process, then mail the document to:

Office of the City Clerk
200 North Spring St.
Room 395, City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The office will accept originals only. Don’t try to fax it or mail in a copy.

You can also deliver it in person to that same address anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 213-978-1133.

Be sure to document the damage to your bike, along with any resulting injuries, as well as possible. That means photos and receipts for repair work, parts and/or medical care, or at the very least, a signed estimate for the cost of repair if you can’t afford to have it done.

As the story implies, it can be a long and complicated process, and one that can often end in a rejection of your claim.

But by going through the process and documenting your claim, you at least set the stage for filing a case in small claims court if it’s denied.

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Sad news, as a La Habra cyclist is in a medically induced coma after suffering a major head injury when he somehow crashed into a street sign while riding on the sidewalk.

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Nice to see new bike racks in front of my favorite Mexican restaurant; evidently, they recognize bikes are good for business.

Or maybe they just like bikes.

SAMSUNG

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Local

Nice piece on life lessons learned on a bike from an undocumented perspective.

A new petition calls on CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo to allow bike lanes on North Figueroa.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a family bike ride to the Ballona Wetlands on Saturday.

A look at track racing at the Encino Velodrome.

 

State

The Daily Breeze offers a detailed look at the state’s new three-foot passing law, even if they can’t quite manage to get all the facts straight. It was one governor who vetoed the law twice, not the other way around. And while the first version of the law would have allowed drivers to cross the center line to pass a cyclist, no version of the law ever required them to do so.

A memorial was held for Chula Vista randonneur Matthew O’Neill, who was killed while riding in Santa Maria by a son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado.

The Voice of San Diego looks at the city’s new Bicycle Advisory Committee, while the city’s planned bike share program hits the skids once again.

San Bernardino County gets $13.7 million for transportation projects, including Safe Routes to School and bike/ped improvements at train stations.

 

National

Injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney hasn’t lost his sense of humor, referring to his surgically repaired limb as his Frankenleg.

Nashville cyclists get their first bike box.

Downtown Mobile AL gets its first bike lane.

 

International

Interesting column in the London Telegraph, as a writer says motorists have ruined England, and it’s time they paid the price.

A British family files a lawsuit against their local bike shop after their 14-year old son crashed into a van when his brakes failed just hours after his bike was repaired.

Riding the green glens of Scotland, as I hope to do some day.

A truck driver gets eight-and-a-half years for killing two cyclists who had just begun a cross-country tour of the UK when he fell asleep at the wheel. In the US, that would probably be written off as an “oops.” Thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Six Norwegian cyclists are hospitalized after failing to read the label on a sample bottle, and mistaking laundry detergent for a sports drink.

A new Ikea in Hamburg, Germany invites you to bike your purchase home with the free loan of a cargo bike.

An urgently needed New Zealand bikeway still hasn’t been built six years later.

 

Finally…

A drunken Indian constable steals a police car and crashes into a bicyclist, pedestrian and an auto-rickshaw before he’s arrested. A reminder not to text and drive, as a Colorado motorist slams into a guard rail, which penetrates the car’s headlight and impales her butt cheek before jamming into the back seat.

And no, you can’t inject yourself with noble gasses any more. Although in my experience, ignoble gas emissions are more of a problem for most cyclists.

 

Morning Links: Wolfpack Hustle debates bike lanes with John & Ken, and Calbike forms state’s 1st bike PAC

Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward — aka Roadblock — debates bike lanes with KFI-640’s bike-hating John and Ken.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to this one myself yet, but knowing Don, it should be well worth the listen. If you can tolerate the willful indignorance of the hosts, anyway. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers constructive criticism of the Times’ pro-bike plan editorial criticizing District 1 councilmember Gil Cedillo’s veto of the North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes.

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Is there a problem with racism in the Tour de France peloton?

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Local

The Times looks at the proposed law to create a much needed alert system for serious hit-and-runs.

Books on bikes could be coming to Boyle Heights.

Culver City Safe Routes to School hosts a family-friendly Bike, Walk & Scoot Festival this Saturday.

Santa Monica will install new green bike lanes on 2nd Street.

 

State

Calbike forms a political action committee to intervene in elections on behalf of bike riders. Maybe they can finance a recall in CD1.

Costa Mesa police are looking for a bike riding purse snatcher.

A Rialto cyclist is seriously injured in a collision with a dump truck.

Big Bear will host a bike festival and Gran Fondo on upcoming weekends.

The Bay Area’s largest bike festival comes to Oakland.

 

National

Bicycling reviews performance popsicles for cyclists.

New self-powered bike trailer takes the work out of towing.

Portland plans to rely on bicycles in case of disaster.

Evidently, it’s open season on pedestrians and bicyclists in NYC.

New York’s financially troubled Citi Bike is on a the verge of a large cash infusion and expansion.

 

International

Studies from around the world show investing in bicycling pays.

A letter writer says Montreal cyclists put up with a lot from drivers, while another asks what about pedestrians?

A British roadie website offers five reasons to become a cyclist. And then there’s cake.

Designed to be deadly? An Irish girl is the latest child to be impaled by the handlebars of her bike, a so-called freak accident that seems to happen on a regular basis.

Amazing idea, as the Cold War-era Iron Curtain is being turned into a 4,225 mile bike trail. Those of us old enough to remember the bad old days could never have imagined something like this.

Cyclists are trying to claim a piece of the road in Dar es Salaam.

A Brisbane rider looks at mirrors for bike riders.

 

Finally…

A merry band of beery brothers bikes 426 miles through the Colorado Rockies. And caught on video: A truly horrifying first person view of the UK equivalent of a left cross; amazingly, the rider walked away.

 

Morning Links: LA Times catches up on Fig4All, Timbuk2 opening on Venice’s bike-friendly Abbot Kinney

The LA Times finally picks up the story of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s single-handed decision to kill the already approved, funded and shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa.

They get most of it right in what reads like an attempt to be overly even-handed. Although they incorrectly frame the debate as being over bike lanes, when the lanes themselves are just one tool in a plan to reduce the roadway’s overcapacity in an attempt to slow traffic and improve safety.

They also fail to challenge Cedillo’s unsupported claim that the road diet would increase emergency response times, even though that is not the position of either the LAPD or LA Fire Department. Or his bizarre claim that the city’s bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council — before Cedillo sat on it — was developed by just 1,000 people, despite numerous public meetings and presentations, as well as months of online comment.

And since when are bike riders who simply want a safe route through Northeast LA considered “activists” — a loaded word most likely to be used in a disparaging manner by those opposing the project?

But it’s a lot better than the Boulevard Sentinel’s labeling them “extremists,” I suppose.

Meanwhile, LA Biz offers their own look at the controversy, while the Times provides an interactive map demonstrating just how dangerous the area is for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Popular custom bike bag manufacturer Timbuk2 opens their first SoCal store next week, across from Linus Bike on increasingly bike friendly Abbot Kinney.

The store has a soft opening next Saturday, July 26th, at 1410 Abbot Kinney, with an official Grand Opening celebration scheduled for the weekend of August 16th and 17th.

Designed by award-winning design and architecture firm Gensler, the new store will include features such as

  • Custom design workshop with over 60 fabrics options.
  • Floor to ceiling street-facing glass wall, bicycle and product design art installation and custom-crafted display tables and fixtures.
  • A designated hub for community events and group bike rides.
  • San Francisco-inspired indoor parklet for relaxing and refueling.
  • Access to bike tools, bike pumps, bike maps and extra tubes for community cyclists.

Sounds like they’ll fit right in on the trendy street. And be a great addition to the LA bike scene.

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Nibali continues to hold the yellow jersey as the Tour de France heads into the Alps, with a lead of more than two minutes over his nearest competitor.

Meanwhile, Brit rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is banned for two years and fired from Team Sky for doping. Nice to know the sport has cleaned itself up and no one would ever dream of cheating anymore, right?

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Local

Advocates — not “activists,” thank you — gather to learn about CicLAvia coming to Leimert Park.

Neon Tommy looks at three local groups supporting LA’s “fearless” cyclists.

Bike riders and pedestrian advocates make a statement in calling for fair funding for active transportation from Metro.

 

State

One hundred cyclists storm the Laguna Beach City Council to demand safer streets.

Caltrans surprisingly invites cyclists to consult on a realignment project for Highway 1 in Cambria.

Catch up on everything Calbike is working on in their latest report.

 

National

Bixi’s bankruptcy means no expansion for Alta-operated bike share programs this year.

Caught on video: A Texas rider captures the hit-and-run truck driver who Jerry Browned him and left him lying on the side of the road.

Trek president John Burke calls on Wisconsin’s governor to take down a campaign ad that allegedly defames the company; the governor is running for re-election against Burke’s sister.

Pro cyclist Ted King introduces pure maple syrup energy gels, promising natural vitamins and minerals with a lower glycemic index than other gels.

An Atlanta man faces charges including attempted murder for intentionally running down a bike rider; his girlfriend is charged with evidence tampering.

 

International

Canadian letter carrier goes postal on a woman who stopped to complain about his parking in a bike lane.

In a bizarre accident, a British cyclist barely survives getting impaled with her brake lever.

Three-quarters of Scot cyclists report a near miss on the roads.

Italy honors legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, aka Gino the Pius, for his role in saving hundreds of Jews from the Nazis in WWII. Isn’t it time the Vatican honored the devout Catholic?

German cyclists lost over 300,000 bikes to thieves last year; naturally, police blame the victims.

To encourage more cycling, Qatar’s bicycle master plan requires dedicated bike infrastructure, including separated bikeways, on all major roads when possible.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying hash oil and marijuana on your bike, and already wanted on multiple active warrants, put a damn light on it, already. And amazingly, a very lucky 17-year old Russian bike rider walks away after being run over by a large truck in a terrifying video.

 

Weekend Links: An Orwellian death to Fig4All, TV news is all over Olin case delay, and a South Bay bike theft bust

“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”

— George Orwell, 1984

I thought I’d seen the height of hypocrisy a few weeks ago when Westside city councilmember Paul Koretz called on the city to slash greenhouse gasses just months after he unceremoniously killed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd that would have helped do just that.

But I was wrong.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo did him one better with a textbook example of Orwellian doublethink by killing the road diet and bike lanes on North Figueroa Blvd, citing the need to ensure safety for everyone as his justification.

Cedillo Fig4All Letter

Scan courtesy of Northeast L.A. Bikes

The only problem is, the long-planned, funded and shovel-ready road diet is a safety improvement project designed to make one of LA’s more dangerous streets significantly safer for everyone — pedestrians, drivers and bike riders included.

And even though a New Zealand study shows a combination of traffic calming and separated bike lanes — in other words, a road diet — cut car use 40% while increasing cycling rates a matching 40%. And brought in a whopping $24 return on investment for every dollar spent.

A benefit that, along with improving safety, will now bypass all those who live or work along the boulevard, as well as traverse it. As Cedillo ensures that the street will remain dangerous for everyone, despite modest improvements, while speeding traffic past local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Boulevard Sentinel celebrates the victory over bike riding extremists like you and me.

And LADOT, which proposed it.

And the city council that unanimously approved the bike plan that includes the North Fig road diet.

Yeah, those are what I’d call extremists, all right.

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Evidently, we’re not the only ones asking what’s going on with the investigation into the death of cyclist Milt Olin, killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Mulholland Highway last December.

Fox-11 asks why it’s taking so long to find out the results of the investigation, while KCAL-9 questions whether the DA will press charges.

Actually, I think we’d all like to know that.

Meanwhile, Olin’s ghost bike has gone missing a second time, just a week after a new one was installed.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to update the Calendar. But meanwhile, here are a few quick bike events coming up this week.

The streets around the civic center turn into a crit course with an international field Saturday when Wolfpack Hustle brings brakeless bike racing to DTLA, with the blessing of city officials.

Sunday morning you’re invited on a slow paced urban expedition and community bike ride through West Long Beach sponsored by Empact LB.

And Metro proposes taking a giant leap into the past by failing to provide a reasonable level of funding for bike and pedestrian projects in their 10-Year Short Sighted Short Range Transportation Plan. Santa Monica Spoke invites you to show up at a Metro committee meeting next Wednesday to point out the error of their ways.

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A Redondo Beach man has been arrested with 11 high-end stolen bikes after being turned in by someone who discovered he had purchased a hot bike from him.

Turns out there’s more to the story.

Starting with a friend of a friend who recognized the thief in the story as the same guy he caught “admiring” his locked-up bike last weekend, before driving away in a van after being confronted.

But that’s just the start.

Come back next week for the real scoop from the inside.

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Local

Sunset Blvd could get a 3.2 mile green bike lane; thanks to new LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

The LA Bike Explorers Club journeys into the forgotten eras of LA’s past, starting with a ride in Downtown LA on Sunday the 20th.

Community stakeholders discuss the possibility of bike lanes on Boyle and Soto with city planners.

Cynergy Cycles wants your unwanted spandex for the Antigua Cycling Association.

The Argonaut offers a detailed look at the growth of bicycling on the Westside.

A Glendale letter writer says if bike riders are demanding equal rights, we need to be held accountable. Problem is, he gets most of it wrong. And we already have equal rights under the law; we just need the people we share the roads with to recognize that.

A Pomona bike rider is seriously injured in a collision on Thursday.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer calls on the city to improve safety by building out the bike improvements that were already approved.

An eighth grader could identify the Newport Beach intersections that need improvement, says Bike Newport Beach’s Frank Peters. The real question is what to do about it.

San Francisco supervisors commend LADOT’s new mobility maven.

A Sacramento area cyclist is killed by a suspected drunk driver.

 

National

Bike haters are a sign of bicycling’s success. Then again, you can ride legally 100% of the time and still be hated by some drivers.

The amount of protected bike lanes doubles since 2011 as cities attempt to attract younger residents.

The simple act of getting on a bike opens women up to unwanted comments, sexual advances and possible violence.

CNN’s Miles O’Brien leaves today on a 300-mile fundraising ride to fight cancer, less than five months after losing his arm in an accident.

 

International

A Toronto writer who doesn’t even like bicycling explains five things he’s learned by bike commuting.

The popular Cannondale Pro Cycling team is reportedly merging with Garmin-Sharp after this season.

The week of July 20th is officially Women’s Cycling Week.

New Delhi is India’s leading city for bikes. And its most deadly.

 

Finally…

Apparently, women in stock photos don’t know how to ride their bikes. And People for Bikes offers up nine reasons to date a bike advocate; sorry ladies, but my heart belongs to another.

Attentive Sienna

Morning Links: CD5’s Paul Koretz’ credibility questioned; CABO president calls bike lane advocates Uncle Toms

Westside councilmember Paul Koretz seems to be catching it from all sides lately.

Just days after many bicyclists — yours truly included — reacted negatively to his call for slashing greenhouse gases after killing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, the UCLA Bicycling Academy falls just short of calling the councilmember a liar.

Consulting Economist Calla Wiemer writes that Koretz appeared before the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association recently to explain his decision to kill the bike lanes, after promising the same group last year that the city would study them.

The Councilmember offered two justifications for the cancellation. One was that he realized that incorporating bike lanes into Westwood Boulevard would only make the situation more dangerous. The other was that he recognized an “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. In light of these considerations, he determined that regardless of any LADOT findings, he would not approve bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard. There was thus no point wasting time with a study.

Yet as Wiemer explains, the bike lanes would have improved safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets for bike riders, while moving riders out of the way of impatient motorists.

In fact, I’m told the safety portion of the study Koretz cancelled was virtually complete when he pulled the plug, and would have shown that the proposal would have no negative impact on safety — something he undoubtedly knew, despite proclaiming just the opposite as a justification for killing the project.

Which could explain his timing in killing the study last year before the results could be released.

As for his other excuse,

Koretz’s second justification for canceling the LADOT study was an ostensible “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. The hundreds of riders who brave Westwood Boulevard daily on bikes would surely be surprised to discover the ease with which their interests can be overwhelmed in the view of the Councilmember. Moreover, those in favor of bike lanes extend well beyond the cycling community, or even the would-be cycling community taken to encompass those who would like to ride Westwood Boulevard but are deterred by present conditions. All who drive Westwood Boulevard regularly have the experience of getting stuck behind cyclists and wishing them out of the way. For motorists too, then, bike lanes are the answer….

With support of bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard so much in evidence, an “overwhelming consensus” in opposition would require a counterforce of a scale difficult to imagine. UCLA is, after all, the largest employer in Los Angeles after government and contributes $12.7 billion a year to the local economy. To understand the influences at work on the Councilmember, a group of UCLA students filed a public records request for all communications of the District 5 Council office pertaining to bike lanes. Covering the period February 24, 2010 to November 22, 2013, the file runs to 1035 pages. It is tough to read through all this material let alone infer any consensus from it. Views are presented on both sides of the issue with a relatively small number of people dominating the input. The most vocal opposition comes from the leadership of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association.

One problem with this whole scenario is that the few who run the WSSM HOA carry such disproportionate weight in the Councilmember’s assessment of public opinion. Another problem is that a group constituted on the basis of homeownership in a diverse neighborhood of single family homes and condominiums, young and old, cyclists and non-cyclists would take such a strident position on bike lanes. As a member of this homeowners association myself, I am an indication of the range of opinion that exists in the neighborhood with regard to bike lanes.

It should be deeply troubling to anyone that a single councilmember can, let alone would, derail the democratic process to satisfy an unelected homeowner’s group — not even the Neighborhood Council elected to represent all those who live, work and shop in the area, rather than just the privileged few who can afford homes in the area.

The late Dale Carnegie once wrote that there are two reasons for anything a person says or does — a reason that sounds good, and the real reason.

Koretz has given us two reasons that sound good, but don’t stand up to even the most basic scrutiny.

Which leaves us to wonder just what his real reason is.

………

Recently we discussed CABO’s opposition to AB 1193, a popular bill before the state legislature that would legalize protected bike lanes in California, which are currently prohibited under restrictive state law.

Jim Baross, president of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, wrote in response that the group didn’t oppose the lanes, but simply wanted to maintain standards that he said would ensure their safety.

Yet the following comment from Baross, left on the Cycling in the South Bay blog in response to a story about harassment from motorists on PCH, doesn’t sound like someone who supports bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

It is so similar it’s difficult not to menton (sic) the similarity to racists’ treatment of those they consider not to belong – though nothing nearly as pervasive or violent; bicyclists are not lynched, but we are certainly being discouraged from exercising our rights – equal or less than equal. Disturbing to me is the Uncle-Tom response seeking, in effect, separate and usually inferior facilities – the back of the bus may be safer and using shoulder space may be more comfortable, bit (sic) it shouldn’t be forced on anyone by harrasment (sic) or misapplication of laws.

He’s got a valid point that no one’s choice of where to ride should be forced on them at the end of a bumper.

But to call anyone who wants safe infrastructure that doesn’t require us to share the lane with motorists an Uncle Tom couldn’t be more offensive.

Whether to bicycling advocates who disagree with his apparent opposition to anything but the same vehicular cycling approach that has stymied the growth of bicycling for the past 40 years, or to those who have suffered from real racism for the last 300.

Jim, you’ve got some serious explaining to do.

Thanks to Bike SD’sSam Ollinger for finding the comment.

……..

Local

The Cypress Park Neighborhood Council meets tonight to discuss the already approved, funded and shovel-ready North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes, inexplicably halted by CD1 Councilmember — and apparent Koretz emulator — Gil Cedillo.

It only took two years, but a dangerous intersection on the Expo Bikeway has finally been fixed.

Yet another stolen bike, this time in Echo Park.

This is what an unsafe pass looks like captured from behind; thanks to topomodesto for the link.

More on LA Streetsblog’s winning night at the SoCal press awards.

 

State

A Federal court jury awarded $1.9 million to the parents of a cyclist shot by Indio police. No surprise, as this case stunk from the beginning.

A Petaluma bike building project helps steer kids from a life of crime.

A St. Helena columnist questions whether society is best served by sentencing a driver convicted of killing a cyclist in a left cross to prison. I can’t answer that question; I just know that people will continue to die on our streets until we start taking traffic crime seriously.

 

National

Bicycling says you need to lube more than just your chain.

A new national association of bicycling educators has been formed; thanks to Karen Karabell for the heads-up.

New rechargeable bike light allows you to light the road and recharge your cell at the same time.

Ninety-four percent of Oregon cyclists stop for red lights, compared to up to 77% of drivers who break the speed limit.

It’s been a bad year for cyclists in central Wyoming, as a rider from New York is killed while turning left across a highway. A letter writer suggests the solution is to let cyclists ride salmon; uh, no.

A Wisconsin writer says go ahead and ride to work, but buy a waterproof messenger bag first. And never try to race the rain.

A group of bystanders lift a taxi off an elderly New York bike rider.

 

International

A heartless UK thief steals a bike that was left to a woman after her father was killed in a plane crash.

Most Brits think the county’s roads are too risky for bicyclists; thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Scot pro David Millar is booted from his team for this year’s Tour de France.

Belgium’s soccer team prepares to lose to play the US in the World Cup by going for a leisurely bike ride.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying meth, ammunition and a practice mortar round on your bike, don’t give police an excuse to stop you.

And guess who doesn’t think the doping investigation that brought down Lance Armstrong was good for cycling? That’s right, Lance.

 

Weekend Links: Environmental hypocrisy rears its ugly head in Westwood; CICLE gets a new director

I’ve been seriously under the weather the past few days, which means we’ve got a lot of news to catch up on.

……..

No hypocrisy here, as Westside City Councilmember Paul Koretz proposes slashing greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

This after unilaterally killing proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

And he somehow seems to think the city can cut those emissions by 80% without cutting back on car traffic. Or even mentioning cars in his announcement, let alone offering safe alternatives to driving to reduce traffic congestion.

So let’s be honest.

The only way Los Angeles will ever see a significant reduction in emissions or traffic congestion is to provide residents with viable alternatives that will allow those who choose not to drive to leave their cars at home.

And with his single-handed veto of the Westwood lanes, Koretz has shown himself to be one of the biggest obstacles to accomplishing that.

But at least he talks a good game.

……..

Sad to see Dan Dabek leave after doing so much to revitalize the organization. But congratulations to Vanessa Gray as the new Director of C.I.C.L.E.

Sounds like the group will be in good hands.

……..

Big news from Metro this past week, as the agency antes up $3.7 million to expand CicLAvia-style open streets events throughout LA County. But Long Beach sees just one of two proposed events funded.

Meanwhile, Metro finally adds active transportation representatives to the agency’s Technical Advisory Committee, which should bring a better voice for bicyclists to LA County’s leading transportation authority.

And preliminary plans are in the works for the long-delayed rail connection to LAX, which will include a plush new station connected to the Green and Crenshaw lines, with a mile-plus people mover leading to the airport. Maybe those new TAC members can push for a bike center to be included in the plans to finally make it practical for employees and passengers to ride to LAX.

And Metro honors Steven Nancarrow for transforming his life through bicycling.

……..

Laguna Beach’s Coastline Pilot offers a sad remembrance of fallen cyclist John Colvin; tragically, both his wife and daughter drove by the collision scene only to discover later that the victim was their own loved one.

……..

Local

Messenger bag maker Timbuk2 will open their first LA-area store across from Linus Bikes on Abbot Kinney next month.

After a lot of pushing from Richard Risemberg, among others, the LA River bike path finally gets wayfinding signs through Elysium Valley.

Unlike some councilmembers we could mention, CD15’s Joe Buscaino has turned out to be surprisingly supportive of bicycling, including naming Watts Cyclery as his Business of the Month.

Better Bike offers an update on the embattled proposal for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills; no action is expected before September. Meanwhile, Beverly Hills NIMBY’s try to raise fears of out-of-town cyclists destroying their precious parks; I wonder if they also object to all those out-of-town motorists besmirching their boulevard and fouling their air?

Curbed misses the mark, as maps based on Strava data don’t show the best bike routes through the city, just the most popular ones for riders who use Strava.

Celebrate Damian Kevitt’s birthday in North Hollywood on July 14th, with a party benefitting Finish the Ride.

A local writer tells cyclists to get off the sidewalk and stop riding salmon.

 

State

After a successful introduction in Corona del Mar, new bike racks are coming to OC’s Balboa Island.

Bike Newport Beach rolls out the first installment of a bootleg bike master plan to replace the long-delayed official one.

Cyclists, joggers and equestrians jockey for space in a Bakersfield culvert.

Streetsblog offers an update on bike and transportation-related bills in Sacramento, with things looking good so far. Meanwhile, bills to battle hit-and-run move forward; Santa Monica offers its support, as well.

 

National

How many bike riders does it take for the oft-cited safety in numbers effect? According to a new study from the University of Colorado-Denver, the answer is 200.

More on that study showing drivers give bike riders in bike lanes more space when passing.

Good news from injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney, whose recovery is ahead of schedule.

As Spokane becomes more bike-friendly, cyclists still face harassment on the roads.

Chicago cyclists get the nation’s first bike footrest.

A DC TV station offers 13 tips every bike rider should remember to avoid bike theft; good advice, since we seem to be suffering a rash of them lately.

Virginia’s three-foot passing law takes effect July 1st; our won’t be enforced until mid-September.

 

International

Calgary cyclists face criticism for bombing down a busy highway.

Is Britain on the verge of becoming a bicycling nation?

A bike path in Ireland’s County Limerick sees a big boost after a visit by Kim and Kanye.

This year’s Tour de France will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of WWI.

Former world champ Thor Hushovd prepares to call it quits at the end of this season after suffering from mononucleosis.

Over 10,000 Moscow cyclists will ride in support of better bicycling infrastructure.

South African cyclist sells everything he owns to ride through 70 countries on all seven continents.

 

Finally…

A Brit writer says it’s irresponsible to encourage cycling on the country’s dangerous roads; after all, there’s no point in trying to make those roads any safer. And don’t swear at a group of children in a crosswalk, especially if you’re the jerk who jumped the light. Just don’t.

……..

On a personal note, before anyone gets too concerned, my diabetes in under control. Despite being told by my doctors it would be impossible, I’ve managed to get my blood sugar levels down to the normal levels without insulin; in fact, I’m having more of a problem with low blood sugar these days. 

On the other hand, I appear to be having a bad reaction to one or more of the medications that have helped me get things under control, which has knocked me on my ass in recent days and left me unable to do much more than try to stay awake long enough to watch the World Cup from the relative discomfort of my couch.

Hopefully, they’ll get my meds adjusted soon.

And this too shall pass. 

 

Morning Links: Segways and scooters banned from Venice Boardwalk — and possibly the Venice bike path

Good news.

I think.

If I’m reading this right, the LA City Council not only voted unanimously to ban Segways on the Venice boardwalk, but on the LA segments of the adjacent Marvin Braude bike path through Venice, as well.

And since the ban applies to other “multiple-wheeled motor scooter-type devices“ and “multiple-wheeled electric personal assistive mobility-type devices,” it should also apply to those damn rental e-tricycles too often piloted by clueless tourists too drunk, and children too young, to operate them safely.

Let’s hope that’s really the case.

Because it could make the crowded bike path safer for the bike riders it was designed for, as well as the pedestrians who use it anyway, despite the numerous bike-only stencils on the pathway.

And don’t even get me started on that one.

It’s a lost cause.

Note: I have an email in to someone at Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, who represents the Venice area, for clarification. I’ll let you know what I find out.

Update: An article from the Santa Monica Mirror says Segways and similar devices will still be allowed on the bike path.

Update 2: Just heard from Paul Backstrom at Bonin’s office, who says Segways are still allowed on the bike path; presumably, that extends to other mobility devices, as well.

………

Local

Bike liability lawyer — and BikinginLA sponsor and sometimes guest writer — Jim Pocrass answers reader’s questions on Streetsblog; first up is advice on what to do following a collision, whether or not you’re in it.

Not all road diets reduce parking; some can actually increase parking spaces.

New LADOT head Seleta Reynolds faces her first committee confirmation hearing today.

Ovarian Psychos are hosting a bike-in movie night to screen two ghost bike documentaries in Boyle Heights tonight.

Another Perfect Day has a near perfect day at the LA River Ride. Meanwhile, Greenway 2020 is working to complete the LA River Bike path from the Valley to Long Beach within the next six years.

Longtime Santa Clarita resident, cyclist and 2014 River Ride participant Kevin Korenthal applies for that city’s Parks Commission.

The new bike and pedestrian friendly Gerald Desmond Bridge is already at least a year behind schedule.

 

State

A Bakersfield man is competing with 42 other bike riders in the cross country Trans Am Race from Oregon to Virginia; can’t say I ever heard of that one.

Actually, there’s no reason for drivers not to signal, even in the rare situations where it’s not required. The same goes for bike riders as long as removing a hand from your brakes or handlebars won’t pose an unnecessary risk.

 

National

Bicycling tours a baker’s dozen of the nation’s most unusual velodromes; none in California and only one on the left coast. Is it just me, or is the magazine showing a decided East Coast bias these days?

A new bike horn allows you to sample any sounds you want. I’ll take the Flight of the Valkyries at maximum volume, thank you.

Nice. Reconstruction plans for a major Colorado highway include a 15-mile, 12-foot wide separated bikeway.

Possibly the world’s oldest paperboy passes away; the 91-year old bike-riding Illinois newsie insisted on finishing his route even after he fell ill.

Riding across the country to save the life of an Alabama boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Florida increases penalties for hit-and-run to remove the incentive for drunk drivers to flee, something we desperately need to do here. Assuming we can even get authorities to care enough prosecute it.

Riding on a sidewalk is no protection from Florida’s out of control killer drivers.

 

International

A Brit study shows most bike injuries don’t involve cars; those that do could be prevented by increasing separation.

That absurd ban on Scottish TV ads depicting helmetless bike riders has been officially overturned.

The LA Times looks at Paris’ new Velib kids bike share.

Ex-doper Ángel Vázquez is unceremoniously jerked from a Spanish Gran Fondo. And yes, I copied that name from the website to capture those cool Spanish accent marks.

 

Finally…

If you’re dealing heroin out of your Glendale home, don’t steal a bike from an underground parking garage. Or don’t get caught riding it by the victim’s sister, anyway.

And an alligator lying in the middle of the road photobombs a Louisiana bike rider, causing him to take a tumble to the pavement. I dodged a few myself when I lived and rode down there, and bigger ones at that. Fortunately, alligators on land are slow and don’t have a taste for bike tires.

 

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