Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

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Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

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Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

Morning Links: The perils of cable locks, Rose City cycle track meeting, and how to greet a fellow bicyclist

David Drexler strikes a cautionary note in warning about the dangers of even the best cable locks. Even when firmly attached to your car in public spaces.

They almost had my bike yesterday.

Parked in the In-N-Out Burger on Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach for 30 min.  Parked right in front in a high traffic area at the entrance .

My hybrid bike was on the hitch rack with the tires and the downtube clamped in.  For added security I wrapped the pictured thickest Kryptonite cable through the tires and the rack frame.

DD Bike Cable

Hanging by a thread

In the time I was in the store, thieves unlatched the two tire clamps and cut the cable pictured, in one more minute they could have had the bike but something scared them off?

Brazen for them to be working in such a high profile visible location.

He added this in a follow-up email.

Sunday was a real wake up call—I let my guard down and left my hybrid bike on a rack unattended twice for more than 30 minutes each time with just a cable lock on it.  I would never do that if it was not on a car rack. I felt comfortable in Huntington Beach in a high profile parking space and cable locked. I did not believe that someone would approach my car with tools and attempt to take a bike in a busy parking lot with me close by inside.  The rack is new—just got it three weeks ago and I will adjust my security accordingly.  The bike will be both cable locked and u-locked on the rack if I need to leave the bike unattended–same as I do when locking it up around LA and the OC to go in stores.

Bike chained to car rack

Bike chained to car rack

What the thieves were after

What the thieves were after

 

It seems like overkill sometimes, but I try to keep my bike with me whenever I can.

If not, I field strip my bike, removing anything that can be easily stolen. Then take off my front wheel, and lock it to my rear wheel with a heavy U-lock through the frame, then wrap the whole thing with a cable lock.

And never, ever leave it unattended on a car.

It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worked so far.

Knock on wood.

And don’t forget to register your bike, just in case.

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Wesley Reutimann forwards word of an informational meeting to discuss the proposed Union Street Cycle Track in Pasadena next week.

Want to weigh in on the Union Ave Cycle Track project?  The City of Pasadena will be hosting two meetings on the same day Tuesday August 16th (one AM, one PM), following a request by the Pasadena Playhouse District Association.

Union Street Cycle Track Informational Meeting

Pasadena’s newly-adopted Bicycle Transportation Action Plan identifies a two-way cycle track along Union Street between Hill and Arroyo Parkway. Learn about project design, implementation, potential impacts, and funding at meetings hosted by the City of Pasadena.

  1. WHERE: Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Gamble Lounge, 585 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
  2. WHEN: Tuesday, August 16, 2016
  3. TIMES: 8:30 – 9:30 am or 5 pm – 6 pm

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to participate in the process, please contact Rich Dilluvio, Pasadena Department of Transportation, at (626) 744-7254 or rdilluvio@cityofpasadena.net.

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Thanks to Dave R for forwarding this video offering six ways to greet a fellow cyclist, which garnered nearly 60,000 views in its first day online. And is sure to bring a smile to even the most curmudgeonly rider.

I’m a master of the quick nod and handlebar hand raise, myself.

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The head of UCI, bike racing’s governing body, says don’t blame us for the dangerous road course in Rio, blame all those injured bike riders for screwing up, although others may beg to differ. Then again, safe courses reduce the risk of rider error. Not to mention it couldn’t hurt to allow a few practice runs on the course without having to share the roads with vehicular traffic.

Good news from one of those injured cyclists, as Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten says she’ll be fine, despite suffering a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. Thank goodness she has some random guy on Twitter to tell her how to ride a bike properly.

Cycling Weekly questions whether Peter Sagan did the right thing in dropping out of Saturday’s road race. Greg Van Avermaet’s victory says no, while the injuries to van Vleuten, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali, et al, say yes.

Meanwhile, an Aussie track cyclist was hospitalized after her pursuit team crashed while training.

NBC previews tomorrow’s men’s time trial. Lets hope they do a better job covering the women’s time trial, also on Wednesday, than they did the women’s road race.

New York Magazine says doping is only going to get harder to detect, especially when gene splicing becomes a thing in the very near future. Although that sounds a lot better than dosing with whiskey, egg whites, and strychnine.

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Local

CiclaValley takes a look at what cyclists lost in the recent Sand Fire.

Arizona’s Kimberly Lucie won the women’s pro race at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix on Sunday, while LA’s Justin Williams took the men’s title.

The San Diego Reader suggests biking along the beachfront bike path to visit Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, which it calls LA’s last real beach towns.

Long Beach officially cuts the ribbon on the first segment of what will eventually be two miles of parking-protected bike lanes on the city’s North Side.

 

State

Orange County puts its money where its mouth is, approving nearly $20 million to fund 13 bicycle corridor projects in the county and six OC cities; an additional bicycle boulevard in Huntington Beach could be funded if they can keep the cost of the project below $488,000.

Anaheim’s draft bike plan calls for 120 miles of additional bikeways. Of course, as we’ve repeatedly seen in LA, any plan is only as good as the city’s commitment to it.

San Diego’s Bike the Bay rolls at the end of this month, allowing 3,500 participants a once-a-year opportunity to ride over the sweeping Coronado Bay Bridge. And arrive in the city where bike lanes make people dizzy.

A proposal would give Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco a bike and people friendly makeover, converting it “from yet another auto sewer into a car-free pedestrian-transit-bicycle mall.”

The Department of DIY strikes in the Bay Area, as San Francisco bicyclists take safety improvements into their own hands.

Forget making America great again. The new director of the UC Davis Bicycle Program wants to make riding a bike fun again. They also offer a smart program to store students’ bicycles for the summer, safe from thieves and out of the elements, for just $20.

 

National

Co-Exist says protected bike lanes and bikeshare systems are the key to making cities safer.

Bike riders on Hawaii’s Big Island are turning to bike cams for protection, in a story that reads like a press release for the Fly6 and Fly12 cams, which it probably is. Seriously, they could have at least mentioned any of the other numerous bike and helmet mountable action cams on the market. GoPro, anyone?

The Colorado State Patrol blames the victim in Sunday’s fatal Ironman crash, saying she swerved out of a lane blocked off for competitors and hit a truck in the next lane.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Minnesota woman rides 660 miles to attend her 60th high school reunion in Cheyenne WY. Except I have no interest in attending a high school reunion. Or living in Minnesota.

A federal appeals court rules against a Michigan woman who sued Target for selling her a bike with defective brakes after she fell off and hurt her shoulder; the court said she’s entitled to a fair jury, but “not one that believes whatever she says.”

New York considers a proposal to add wider bike and pedestrian lanes to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Drivers using bike lanes as de facto passing lanes seems to be a universal problem, even in Greensboro NC.

No bias here. A Miami bike rider gets the blame for colliding with a police cruiser, even though the cops were making a U-turn in the middle of a causeway.

 

International

OMG! The Brit press freaks out when One Direction’s Harry Styles is caught riding without a bike helmet, which is perfectly legal in the country. And perfectly safe, as long as you manage to stay upright.

It’s better not to hit a bike rider than to try and save his life afterwards. Just a suggestion.

The UK’s Radio X lists the greatest songs about bicycling. Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song apparently didn’t make the cut.

A Dublin woman calls on the city to make immediate safety improvements after too many near-death experiences riding her bike to work. The photo illustrating the story of a rider squeezing between city buses is truly terrifying.

After carrying them nearly 25,000 miles around the world, an English couple’s bikes go missing at Ireland’s Shannon Airport, along with the rest of their belongings.

Bicycling offers nine lessons learned from riding in the Swiss Alps. Or you could take the road less travelled and explore the Tatra Mountains between Slovakia and Poland.

Caught on video: Copenhagen somehow manages to keep a bikeway open next to a construction site, despite a road crew lifting hundreds of pounds of dirt over riders’ heads. Maybe they could teach us something about being a less litigious society, as well as being more welcoming to bike riders. Because something like that would never fly here.

 

Finally…

Don’t Pokémon GO on the go in Taiwan. The Rio road course may have been dangerous, but at least there weren’t any wallabies.

And please, can we just give the whole “Be a Roll Model” thing a rest, already?

 

Morning Links: Backlash to Palisades road diet, shooting of unarmed Castaic man protested, and bike events

No surprise.

The proposal to install a road diet on Temescal Canyon Road, with a parking protected bike lane on the uphill side and a buffered lane downhill, ran into opposition at the Pacific Palisades Community Council last week. (“Proposal to Take Away Downhill Temescal Lane;” right column, bottom of first page)

People tend to be very defensive of their traffic lanes — almost as much as they are parking. And anything that promises to improve safety usually takes a back seat to fears of traffic congestion, warranted or not.

Hopefully, local residents will come around once the benefits of the project are actually explained.

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A group of mostly African-American civil rights leaders is stepping up to protest the shooting of an unarmed bike rider by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic Tuesday night.

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The Ovarian Psychos’ 5th annual Clitoral Mass ride rolls tomorrow for riders who identify as female.

The LACBC is teaming with Just Ride LA for this month’s Sunday Funday Ride in DTLA on Sunday, regardless of how you identify.

Also on Sunday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

West Hollywood will have a soft-launch of their new smart-bike bikeshare system on Tuesday.

Long Beach will celebrate the opening of a new parking protected bike lane on Artesia Blvd this Thursday.

And don’t forget the return of CicLAvia to iconic Wilshire Blvd next Sunday, albeit in a shorter version due to construction of the Purple Line.

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Megan Guarnier has gone from doing risk assessment in nuclear plants to America’s best hope for cycling gold in Rio; she describes the road race as the hardest single-day course she’s seen, stray dogs and slick surfaces included.

Cycling Weekly looks at the favorites in the Olympic men’s road race, none of whom are American.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis was nearly out of the games before they started after crashing on a bad surface on the road course.

The good news is, there’s less doping in the women’s peloton than in the men’s; the bad news is, there’s doping in the women’s peloton.

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Local

The LA Times looks at the popularity of fixies, saying they’ve gone from hipster status symbols to being found everywhere. Although I question whether the too-frequent stories of cyclists injured after recklessly blowing through stop signs in front of oncoming traffic results from the inability of beginning fixed-gear riders to safely stop their bikes.

Atwater Village residents demand the removal of flood control barriers along their stretch of the LA River bike path, after the barriers have been removed everywhere else.

CiclaValley concludes his list of the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

 

State

A Santa Ana man told police he was shot in the chest when he struggled with an armed gang member trying to steal his bike. Once again, if there’s a weapon involved, just let your bike go. Your life is worth more.

A new UC Riverside study concludes that low income bicyclists who ride out of necessity are largely ignored by SoCal communities, where bike paths and policies favor recreational and upper-income riders.

Salinas ranks among the worst in the state for pedestrian and bike safety.

San Francisco’s mayor announces increased efforts to improve safety on the city’s streets in the wake of recent deaths and criticism by bike advocates.

 

National

A new premium Strava feature will tell your friends exactly where you are so they can meet up, or find you if you don’t get home on time.

An off-duty Oklahoma officer is credited with saving a bike rider from being shot by an admitted killer.

The family of a bike messenger who was killed by a Chicago tour bus have filed suit, alleging the driver blew through the red light.

A Staten Island mom uses Facebook to get her son’s stolen bike back.

The New York Times talks to the hero bicyclist who saved a young man from jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

A New Jersey mountain bike trail is the latest to be sabotaged by anti-bike terrorists who planted barbed wire, broken bottles and boards embedded with screws and nails along the path. The scumbags who did this deserve to have the book thrown at them. But probably won’t, since they’re only targeting people on bicycles.

A full 40% of people in Baton Rouge LA say they would consider riding to work if the city had dedicated bike paths.

 

International

A transportation consulting firm says the cyclists cities should target are the ones who don’t ride yet.

Vancouver’s new bikeshare system has proven more popular than expected just two weeks after its launch.

Bighearted Victoria, Canada police pitch in to ship a boy’s stolen bike back to Alberta after it was stolen while his family was visiting the city.

The mayor of Edmonton, Canada says the racist rants telling a black bike rider to get off the street demonstrates the need for better infrastructure. It also demonstrates the need for fewer racist drivers.

There’s a special place in hell for the Ontario, Canada jackass who dragged a dog behind an ebike; fortunately, the dog is okay, while the driver faces charges including DUI.

Toronto drivers didn’t even wait for a new bike lane to be finished to before they started parking in it.

An Ottawa, Canada woman filed an assault complaint with the police after a male rider slapped her ass for riding too slow. Seriously, let other people ride their own way. And keep your damn hands to yourself.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever stole the bike used by a British father to take his seriously ill five-year old daughter out for rides, and raise money to fight the disease that will eventually take her life.

The Guardian recounts the tale of bikeshare inventor Luud Schimmelpennink, and the failure of his hometown of Amsterdam to embrace the idea.

Romania wants to install new cycling routes to encourage bike tourism, including bike paths, public roads where cars are banned, and streets where traffic is limited to 18 mph.

Hyerabad, India will install a 300 station, 10,000 bike bikeshare system along the city’s railways.

The Israeli border guards caught on video confiscating a Palestinian girl’s bicycle and tossing it into the bushes say they did it to protect her. Sure, let’s go with that.

 

Finally…

Forget cornering or descending; the most important cycling skill you need is riding the right speed to catch Pokémon. Your next bikeshare helmet could be made of paper.

And a clunky looking bike bell promises to turn any bike into a smart bike; a smart rider is another matter.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lane proposed for Temescal Cyn, and former LA hip-hop artist attacked in St. Louis

This time, they can blame me.

It was just a few days before Christmas in 2013 when James Rapley went for a bike ride while on an extended layover at LAX on his way home to Australia for the holidays.

He turned up Temescal Canyon Rd, where he was killed by a stoned driver while riding in the uphill bike lane.

The more I learned about the crash, the more my stomach sank.

Because I’ve ridden that road countless times looking for a little challenge after riding along the beach — which is probably exactly what he was doing that morning. And had suffered a number of close calls myself as speeding drivers drifted into the unprotected bike lane after they failed to negotiate the road’s sweeping curves.

I had thought many times that the solution was a protected bike lane to separate riders from those speeding cars and careless drivers.

But kept the thought to myself, until it was too late.

So I began contacting city officials, calling for a parking-protected bike lane on Temescal between PCH and Sunset Blvd. Calls that repeatedly fell on deaf ears.

Until last year, when the BAC’s David Wolfberg and Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes LA and Empact Long Beach joined me in asking newly installed LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds for a meeting, in order to make the request one more time.

We never got that meeting.

Instead, we received an email saying not only did she like the idea, but that staff engineers were already at work designing the project.

We decided not to say anything at the time to avoid stirring up opposition before a design was even ready to discuss.

But the time has come.

The first public meeting to discuss the plan is scheduled to take place at 7 pm Thursday night in the Pacific Palisades Community Library, 861 Alma Real Drive, with CD 11 Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer presenting.

The design work has moved along slowly due to the limited staff at LADOT.

But the last I heard, the plan called for a parking protected bike lane replacing the existing lane on the uphill side, and a buffered bike lane on the downhill side.

A protected lane isn’t practical heading downhill, where bike speeds can easily reach 30 mph or higher, to avoid trapping riders in the event of an emergency. But uphill, speeds are slow enough that even a fast climber should be able to easily brake to a stop without needing to exit the lane.

If the protected bike lane had been in place in 2013, there still might not have been enough parked cars present that early on a Sunday morning to block the car that drifted into the bike lane to take Rapley’s life. But even just moving the bike lane from the door zone to the curb might have provided enough separation to let him get back home to Australia with nothing more than a tale to tell.

Unfortunately, I can’t make the meeting tomorrow night.

But if you live, work or ride anywhere in the area, I urge you to attend to voice your support for the plan, and offer any suggestions you think could improve it.

Because the best memorial we can give James Rapley is to make sure it never happens again.

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Streetsblog covers last night’s community engagement meeting in Hollywood to solicit input on LA’s Vision Zero plan, due to be released by the end of next month.

I was there, along with a couple dozen highly engaged community and safety advocates.

And even though I was highly skeptical when I walked in, I left feeling like LADOT and Vision Zero LA may really be committed to doing what it takes to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths.

Although the lack of representation from the mayor’s office, or either of the city councilmembers representing the Hollywood area, doesn’t not speak well of the city’s commitment to support, let alone actually implement, the plan.

As always, the question is whether Los Angeles is willing to make the tough choices necessary to reduce serious injuries and fatalities, if that means eliminating parking, increasing congestion or standing up to community opposition.

I had been asked not to publicize the meetings, in order to maintain small working groups and keep them from devolving into the usual raucous conflicts between advocates and NIMBYs.

But you can find the full schedule on the Streetsblog piece; it’s worth attending if you can make it to one of the remaining meetings.

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In sickening news from St. Louis, a former Los Angeles resident was attacked while riding his bike earlier this month.

Hip-hop artist and motivational speaker Jah Orah was lucky to escape with just a broken clavicle and sprained feet when a carful of youths attempted to rob him a gunpoint, then chased him down in their BMW, striking him at full speed while shouting “get that nigga” as he tried to ride away.

A gofundme account has raised over $10,000 of the $15,000 goal to help defray his expenses.

And hopefully, the kids responsible will soon be behind bars. For a very long time.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Nice long read from Bicycling profiling an Aussie pro known as the Bob Dylan of cycling, who would rather ride across the country — here or there — with his brother than train for his next race.

An international sports site says it’s time for a women’s Tour de France, running concurrently with the men’s race. To which I wholeheartedly agree.

Tour winner Chris Froome will ride the Vuelta following the Olympics, where former teammate Bradley Wiggins expects him to take the gold. One of the leading criticisms of Lance Armstrong — aside from the whole doping thing — was he didn’t take part in any of the classics, or any of the Grand Tours aside from the Tour de France; nice to see Froome isn’t a similar one-race wonder.

………

Local

Strong Towns member Josef Bray-Ali explains why he’s running for LA city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

Starting Monday, you can rent one of the new Metro Bike bikeshare bikes using a credit card.

The LACBC writes that bike infrastructure and education are working in tandem to improve safety.

CiclaValley says the site of the massive Sand Canyon fire is a familiar one for cyclists.

After being cancelled due to last weekend’s bad air as smoke from the fire drifted over the LA Basin, the third annual Tour de Laemmle has been rescheduled for August 21st.

The LA Weekly visits Culver City’s new meat-centric, bike-themed restaurant The Cannibal, and finds it lacking.

Long Beach announces plans for the city’s third Beach Streets open streets event in November.

 

State

Random attacks on homeless people continue in San Diego, as a man on a bike swung a hammer at a homeless man.

Santa Barbara approves a new Bicycle Master Plan designed to close gaps in the city’s existing bike network.

A Santa Cruz bike shop owner reports seeing a road-raging driver intentionally knock a cyclist off his bike, then run over the bicycle with the rider still underneath it.

Sacramento decides to ban bikes from certain sidewalks, but fails to decide which sidewalks those should be. Riders who break the law could be sent to a newly approved bike traffic school.

 

National

Bicycling says the country’s first, and so far, only bikeshare death highlights the need for better infrastructure.

A Spokane cyclist explains why he carries a gun for self-defense when he rides to work.

A Colorado driver was high on dope when he killed an eight-year old girl as she rode her bicycle with her step-father; marijuana is legal in the state, but driving under the influence of anything isn’t.

A Dallas driver gets five years in jail and ten years probation for smashing into a bike rider, then driving half a mile with the victim’s body embedded in his windshield before unceremoniously dumping him in an alley.

Corpus Christie TX looks at improving bike safety in the downtown area before launching a bikeshare program; a local rider captures some of the problems on his helmet cam.

The tour director for a Michigan bike advocacy group suffered multiple broken bones in hit-and-run on Saturday; the driver could face charges ranging from DUI to attempted homicide.

Tragic news from Ohio, as a young college student who disappeared while riding her bike home has been found dead; police have arrested a suspect who was convicted of a nearly identical crime 26 years earlier, except in that case, the bike-riding victim got away.

New York is going the wrong way on Vision Zero, while a Gotham website says the city’s Vision Zero plan would be better off without the NYPD’s involvement.

Tragic news from South Carolina, as a pregnant woman and her baby died after a head-on collision with a bike rider. This is why you always have to ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re often unpredictable, and the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

 

International

Go ahead, have that Coke after your ride.

A Canadian cyclist turns to profanity in an attempt to get her stolen bike back.

In a new study from the University of Duh, British Columbia researchers conclude that streetcar tracks increase the risk of bike crashes, while separated bike routes could cut the risk.

Evidently, Anarchy in the UK is more than just a Sex Pistols song, as swarms of scofflaw cyclists bring Central London to a halt.

A British Shakespearean company is riding across the UK to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Yet another bike rider has been spotted riding on a British freeway, passing stalled traffic as he rode with no hands.

Bike riders in Denmark will now be allowed to turn right on red lights, but drivers still can’t.

Never mind philandering spouses or evil twins. An Aussie soap opera features a bike safety advocate painting his own DIY bike lanes to protest government inaction.

A teenaged Philippine cyclist was killed and his girlfriend wounded when a dispute over a near collision escalated into a fist fight, before the driver got a gun from his car and shot both of them. Which is why it’s always smarter to just ride away. Even if I have trouble doing that myself.

Caught on video: A Chinese distracted driver captured the crash that killed him on his dash cam as he fled from a fatal collision with a bike rider; a post mortem exam showed he was 15 times the legal alcohol limit.

 

Finally…

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe when they’re sleeping in a tent. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got bees?

And I don’t care if it makes you ride faster, I’ll take EPO over chewing animal testicles any day.

 

Morning Links: Lowrider bikes on Whittier Blvd, Rapley memorial bike, and banning bikes in Palos Verdes

Lowriders have always brought a smile to my face.

Especially when they’re not cars.

Photographer and blogger Aurelio Jose Barrera recently did a photo essay on the rebirth of an Eastside tradition as the lowriders return to Whittier Blvd.

But he also captured a family riding their grownup and child-sized lowrider bicycles to take in, and be a part of, the scene unfolding on the street.

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera

………

Apparently, the memorial for fallen cyclist James Rapley on Temescal Canyon Park is getting noticed.

The editor of the Palisades news writes about the white, bicycle-shaped bike rack that was placed in the park earlier this year. It was designed to look like a ghost bike, in addition to serving as a functional bike rack, as a reminder to everyone to bike and drive safely.

And sober, unlike the stoned driver who took his life.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been on a roll lately as he works to stay on top of the rapidly changing developments affecting bicyclists in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

This time, he reports on a group of over-privileged homeowners attempting, illegally, to ban bicycles from their street.

Under California law, bicycles are allowed to use any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of most limited access highways.

So they’re more than welcome to ban bikes.

They just have to ban their own cars and SUVs, as well.

………

As soon as you drive a stake through the heart of one bike-hating Facebook group, another one pops up.

………

Reuters says Chris Froome’s third victory seals his status as one of the greats of the Tour de France, while he’s finally getting some respect from the crowds. Meanwhile, a British writer says the only way to save the Tour is to get fans to back off.

A Hollywood website offers five things to know about the repeat winner, while the Guardian says Froome is a role model for clean cycling in a sport that needed one.

Then again, doping wasn’t always frowned on; some people still don’t think it’s that big a deal.

An English cycling club founded by suffragettes celebrates one of their own, as 23-year old Adam Yates claims the white jersey as the Tour’s best young rider.

Rivals riders consider points winner Peter Sagan one of the best cyclists in the peloton.

And a writer for women’s magazine Marie Claire says it’s time for women to compete equally with men at the Tour, either in a parallel race on the same routes, or allowing them to actually compete in the race.

………

Local

Evidently, they feel our pain. CiclaValley captures a pair of motorcycle cops who finally give up on getting a traffic light to change for them, and blow the light.

CicLAvia is hosting a $100 Play Day in LA fundraiser on September 17th.

Stephen Corwin offers nine things game-changing things you won’t understand about the new Metro Bike bikeshare until you try it.

A 20-year old UCLA student from Chico is riding nearly 4,000 miles across the US with the Bike and Build program.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to a free block party on South Beverly Drive this Saturday. In other words, taking the city’s virtually non-existent bike lanes to get to the virtually non-existent bike parking.

 

State

A San Diego website says the San Diego Bicycle Coalition will host a discussion of the Coastal Rail Trail at a Bikes on Tap bike-in happy hour. But fails to mention when and where it will take place.

Brilliant idea, as the owner of several San Francisco ice cream bikes collects donations to pay for ice cream for kids who can’t afford it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Someone vandalized Portland’s new bikeshare bikes as soon as they hit the ground, possibly because they were seen as a symbol of gentrification.

A Colorado cyclist continues to ride up to 50 miles a day, seven days a week, despite being in his 26th round of chemo for stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs.

Iowa’s annual RAGBRAI ride started Sunday with a Mile of Silence in honor of bicyclists injured or killed in the state; sadly, they added one more name to that list before the memorial ride even got started.

An Op-Ed in an Iowa paper says it’s time to build protected bike lanes in the state.

Pittsburgh appears to be bucking the safety in numbers trend, as bicycling collisions increase along with ridership.

An analyst for right-wing think tank says bike lanes in Raleigh NC are social engineering at expense of those poor drivers, and accuses elected leaders of arrogance for thinking they know better than the people they’re elected to represent. Which, of course, is exactly why they were elected in the first place. Meanwhile, a local rider refutes her arguments; thanks to DOORZONE for the link.

 

International

Canada Bikes is hiring a new executive director. Just in case you plan to leave the country if the wrong candidate wins this fall’s election.

Support has been pouring in for a Canadian Paralympic cyclist after both of her bikes were stolen.

Two British brothers save their overweight, diabetic father’s life through bicycling.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider uses his helmet cam to catch a man playing Pokémon GO as he drove his BMW.

Police in one English town ban bike riders from the central city due to incidents of an “anti-social manner” from a few cyclists, which pose a danger to pedestrians. By that standard, all drivers would be banned from every road, everywhere.

 

Finally…

Wearing a hoodie when you ride is okay, but put some pants on, too. The approved used for bike locks does not include attacking taxis for no apparent reason.

And if you’re going to ride with a loaded rifle on your back, make sure you’re legally allowed to own one.

Although that’s one way to make sure drivers give you some space.

 

Morning Links: LA River Greenway to expand through the Valley, Louisiana lawmaker says don’t play in the street

Good news on the LA River front.

A design firm has been selected to build a bike and pedestrian path along a 12-mile segment of the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, from Vanalden in the West Valley to Forest Lawn and Zoo Drives in Griffith Park.

Which means, if the seemingly endless series of closures and construction projects finally wrap up, you’ll be able to ride uninterrupted from the West Valley through Elysian Park.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any word on when we can expect an extension of the bike path through DTLA and points south, to connect with the pathway leading up from Long Beach.

Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to combine bikes, bagels and beer on the newly re-opened segment of the LA River bike path in Frogtown.

………

This is the sort of attitude we have to deal with.

A Louisiana state legislator actually said “If you don’t want to overdose, don’t do drugs. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, don’t play in the street,” in quashing the state’s proposed vulnerable user law, out of fear his constituents could go to jail for “accidently” killing someone.

‘Cause you know, these things just happen, right?

Then again, this is the same public servant who tried to pass a law prohibiting strippers from being too fat or too old, then claimed it was just a joke.

Apparently, so is he.

………

Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France in order to focus on the Rio Olympics.

Two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana faces his last chance to overtake leader Chris Froome as the race enters the Alps, while second-place Nairo Quintana has been in this position before.

If you can’t shave any more weight off the bike, shave a few seconds off your time with a 3D-printed skinsuit.

And women’s cycling is taking a big step forward with the creation of the first all-black African women’s cycling team.

………

Local

The Source’s Steve Hyman demonstrates remarkable restraint when an impatient driver tells him to get on the sidewalk as he rides on Cordova Street — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

Downtown News says DTLA’s new Metro Bike bikeshare system is better late than never; over 1,600 people bought passes by the end of the first week.

KPCC wants to know what traffic laws should be enforced more vigorously, including violations by those darn scofflaw cyclists. Remarkably, they include cars driving below the speed limit, which isn’t against the law, but fail to include speeding, which is.

 

State

Eighty-five year old Apple Valley cyclist and community advocate Chuck Hanson passed away from cancer over the weekend; he had ridden nearly half a million miles over his lifetime.

Apparently, the San Francisco DA takes traffic crime seriously. A 19-year old man has been charged with murder in the hit-and run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car last month. He faces additional charges of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and auto burglary, and is being held on $1 million bail.

A new bike shop, café and social club is due to open in downtown Oakland, serving beer and advocacy without the pressures of a “jerk bike shop.”

A Redding man was able to hold onto his bike when he was attacked by two teenagers while riding on a bike path.

 

National

Portland joins the bikeshare revolution, unveiling a new system with 1,000 smart bikes at 100 stations.

Great idea. A Wichita KS program will donate bikes recovered by the police to provide homeless people with a form of transportation.

Life is cheap in Nebraska, where a careless driver gets a whopping 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for killing a bike rider.

Cleveland is using bike cops to keep the peace at this week’s Republican National Convention.

A Wisconsin writer learns the hard way that no one is impervious to injury, as he describes firsthand what it’s like to break your collarbone falling off your bike.

A Minnesota family finally finds closure as the hit-and-run driver who killed a 24-year old woman as she rode a bike has been sentenced to 39 months in prison.

Michigan proposes a five-foot passing law in the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre.

Massachusetts considers a bill that would make it illegal to park in bike lanes statewide.

Philadelphia police are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who has violently attacked three prostitutes, killing one.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to tell if you’re addicted to cycling.

A new Brazilian study says 72 hours may not be long enough for your body to recover from an 80-mile race. And yet professional cyclists are expect to compete on much longer routes every day, with no recovery time.

A Vancouver planning consultant says the way to reign in those annoying scofflaw cyclists is to make bike couriers ride three-speed upright bikes. No, really.

Also in Vancouver, a writer says it doesn’t look right when a Nigerian-Canadian bike rider is detained by six police officers for over an hour, apparently for the crime of riding on the sidewalk while black.

A ten-year old British hit-and-run victim asks how anyone could just leave him lying in the street.

Caught on video: A London cyclist suffers the equivalent of a left cross, hit-and-run crash the first time he used his new GoPro.

A proposed five and a half mile protected bike lane would run under a bridge to connect East and West Berlin.

Now that’s more like it. An Aussie telecom company is offering employees $1,000 to buy the bicycle of their choice and ride it to work. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

The General-Secretary of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who also serves as chair of the Japan Cycling Association, was injured while riding his bicycle on Saturday; official reports are he was just slightly injured, but other sources say his injuries may be serious.

 

Finally…

The way to improve safety is to tame motor vehicle traffic, not helmets that turn bicyclists into hi-viz mini-cars. The Tron-inspired spokeless bicycle has met its Kickstarter goal, but no, it is not the future of bicycling.

And it’s one thing to promote veganism by riding your bike, another to break all the rules doing it. Seriously, Strava only encourages you to ride like a jackass; it’s your fault if you actually do.

 

Morning Links: Anti-bike PVE strikes back, from freeway to bikeway, and ridiculously road raging Ramona driver

Just days after the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee voted to improve bike safety signage, local residents rose up with their metaphorical pitchforks and torches to demand that bikes be banned from some public roads in the seaside community.

Never mind that it would be illegal.

Under state law, bicycles are allowed on any public street where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited access freeways.

So they’re welcome to have bicycles banned.

As long as they’re willing to ban their own cars, trucks and SUVs while they’re at it.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson notes that it’s surely just a coincidence that days after the cyclists’ victory at the committee meeting, a PVE police officer lurked on a side street waiting for a popular group ride to blow a stop sign. Then drove his squad car directly into the middle of the riders to stop them — needlessly risking their safety when he could have just as easily pulled them over with a red light and siren.

Maybe someone should tell him civilians can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for doing the virtually the same thing (see road raging Ramona driver, below).

Davidson urges everyone who can make it to attend this evening’s Palos Verdes Estates city council meeting to show your support for bike safety and the improved signage. Because the anti-bike forces have already made it known they will come out in farce.

Excuse me, force.

………

A Harvard landscape architecture professor takes the LA Time’s Christopher Hawthorne up on his challenge to envision a new use for the currently useless mile-long spur of the 5 Freeway that ends in Silver Lake and Echo Park.

The plan would include features to clean the air and replenish groundwater, while providing parks, elevated bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

New Zealand took a similar approach in converting an unused offramp into an award-winning, Pepto Bismol pink bikeway.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Ramona SUV driver faces charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor battery and vandalism for a bizarre confrontation filmed by a professional photographer.

Even though they were doing a photo shoot on quiet, pubic road in San Diego’s sparsely populated East County, the man claimed they were on a private road and blocking his non-existent driveway, and repeatedly tried to run them over.

He ordered them to leave in an expletive-filled tirade, culminating in the driver knocking the photographer’s phone out of his hand to stop him from filming the confrontation.

When the photographer demanded $200 for his broken phone, the man dropped his pants and said “Suck the $200 out of my d**k.”

Real classy.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Not only does the US have the highest rate of traffic fatalities compared to other high-income countries — whether measured per capita or by vehicle ownership — it has also shown the slowest rate of improvement over the last 13 years, as much of the world has gotten significantly safer.

………

Chris Froome grabbed the leader’s jersey at the Tour de France on Saturday with an awkward, high-speed decent that looked he was humping his handlebar stem, just one day after he was fined for punching an overly aggressive fan who probably deserved it. Bicycling questions the tactics of Froome’s Team Sky, but no one seems to question bike art made entirely of tractors.

Alberto Contador blamed a virus for pulling out of the race, while Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez announced his retirement from pro cycling at the end of this season.

American Megan Guarnier edged teammate Evelyn Stevens to claim the biggest win of her career at Italy’s Giro Rosa; the two women dominated the race, along with fellow American Mara Abbott. Meanwhile, Stevens describes her journey from investment broker to the Rio Olympics.

A group of German cyclists call for safety improvements in pro cycling, such as replacing motorcycles with mopeds and banning them from overtaking riders.

And Los Angeles cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Thorfinn-Sassquatch, owner of many of the area’s Strava KOMs — as well as a now defunct performance-enhancing dope dealing website — accepts a lifetime cycling ban.

………

Local

Flying Pigeon owner and LA city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali explains how he got his stolen bakfiets back.

CiclaValley displays his not-insignificant bicycling photography skills.

Santa Clarita offers a complimentary bike valet service at the city’s summer Concert in the Park program.

Santa Monica lowers rates for pass holders for its Breeze bikeshare program, while raising pay-as-you-go rates to $7 to match fees for the Beverly Hills, WeHo, UCLA and Long Beach bikeshares.

Bike-friendly Long Beach Councilmember and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal is stepping down after ten years; she was a driving force in making the city a leader in SoCal bicycling.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Cantrans’ new Chief of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, who says the organization needs a shift in thinking. The state DOT has committed to tripling bicycling levels and doubling pedestrian and transit trips by 2020, while calling for an underwhelming 10% decrease in fatalities. Think small and you get small results; think big and you might actually accomplish something.

A San Bernardino woman was badly mauled by an unleashed German shepherd accompanying a woman on a bicycle; authorities are presumably looking for the bike-riding dog owner, despite failing to respond when the victim was bitten.

A Redlands couple reach Minnesota on the first leg of a 10,000-mile tandem journey around the US.

A Palm Springs writer says residents will come to appreciate the 50-mile CV Link bikeway circling the Coachella Valley if they just let them build it.

Needless to say, auto-centric Atascadero residents question the need and advisability for a Complete Streets makeover along a busy highway.

When San Francisco police learned the bike a man relied on for work had been stolen, they immediately took up a collection to buy him a new one. Then took him to Target, where the store managers gave it to him, allowing the cops to spend their money on a lock and helmet.

A two-year experiment will convert half of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Boulevard to bikes and pedestrians only, while leaving the other half for cars.

A Sonoma paper says the county’s roads have something for every kind of bike rider.

The law enforcement exemption from California’s distracted driving law has claimed yet another life, as a CHP officer failed to notice the cars ahead had slowed while he looked down at his computer screen, killing a 15-year old boy. Thanks to Colin Bogart for the link.

 

National

A new project on Kickstarter will allow you to convert your bike to a Dutch-style cargo bike in just minutes. And for just $725 if you order now.

Tom Hanks is one of us, as he celebrates his 60th birthday with an offroad ride. Life is like a mountain bike; you never know where it’s going to take you.

My hometown continues to make the streets I used to ride safer decades after I left.

Sad news from Colorado, as a Good Samaritan who stopped to help a motorist retrieve a bicycle that fell off his car was killed when his own car was rear-ended.

Montana public radio talks with the editor of a new book about the cross-country TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.

Davide Martello, the piano-towing bike rider who performed in Paris following the terrorist attacks, plays Imagine outside the Dallas police headquarters.

Indiana police officers will join others in riding 1000 miles around the state over the next 13 days to honor fallen officers and raise funds for their families.

A Boston bicyclist tells the story of the road rage assault that left him with serious facial injuries, and probably could have been avoided if the street had a protected bike lane instead of a painted lane.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York is considering safety improvements to an intersection where a woman was killed riding on a bike path.

Relax, New Yorkers. Hordes of bike riders will not be invading Queens cemeteries.

 

International

Toronto will consider a Vision Zero plan, after initially proposing to reduce causalities just 20%. Which was already double what Caltrans is aiming for.

The Toronto paper gets it, saying it’s time to kill the pointless idea of bike licenses once and for all.

It’s against the law to ride your bike on the sidewalk in one Ontario city. Unless you can pass the small-wheeled bicycle exemption.

Bike-riding London paramedics rush in to save local residents from minor emergencies.

If you build it, they will come. A new Cambridge study attributes 85% of the increase in bicycling to the use of new infrastructure.

The Telegraph asks if Andorra is cycling’s best kept secret.

A Singapore ebike rider gets five weeks in jail for running down a woman while illegally riding on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

Please don’t urinate on historical landmarks. Bikes may take the full lane, so keep your horn to yourself.

And if you’re going to carry a gun on your bike, put the damn safety on.

 

Morning Links: Bike race-inspired wallpaper, and bikelash begins to newly bike friendly Caltrans

Just in time for today’s start of Italy’s Giro Rosa and tomorrow’s Tour de France kickoff, a Brit company wants to paper your walls with Tour de France-inspired images.

Great Britain’s Murals Wallpaper offers images of classic bicycles with the headings Grand Tour, Vélo and Peloton.

All that’s missing is Le Doping. Motor and otherwise.

Tour-De-France-Grand-Tour-Web

Tour-De-France-Pelaton-Web

Tour-De-France-Velo-Web

Seriously, if I still had an office, one or more of these would go up as soon as I could have them shipped overseas.

………

Now that Caltrans has finally embraced bicycling and walking, the inevitable bikelash has begun.

A writer for the Spectator calls the agency’s 2040 transportation plan more of a social-engineering than transportation-engineering document, complaining that we need to fix the “roads, freeways, and bridges that most of us actually rely on to get places” instead of building bike lanes.

………

The Santa Monica Spoke says your voice is needed to get the Feds to count bikes when determining performance measures for our national transportation system.

………

Mark your calendar for Bike With Your Dog Day on July 10th.

Seriously, the Corgi would flip my bike the first time she saw a squirrel or motorcycle. Let alone a sandwich lying in the street.

………

On the eve of the Tour de France, the Wall Street Journal calls Peter Sagan the rock star of cycling.

French rider Nacer Bouhanni will miss the tour after injuring his hand punching out some loud drunks in the next hotel room.

Nineteen-year old Roseville CA cyclist Neilson Powless is being compared favorably to Lance and LeMond as the future of American cycling. Hopefully more like the drug-free latter than the former.

American BMX rider Amanda Carr will be competing in the Rio Olympics. Just not for the US.

And Cycling Tips remembers a time when Donald Trump didn’t ridicule government officials for riding a bike, but actually sponsored a bike race back when he still had hair.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine provides an in-depth profile of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti; unfortunately, it barely touches on transportation, let alone bicycling.

Los Angeles offers a $50,000 reward for the person who mistakenly shot a ten-year old girl in the head while aiming for a man on a bicycle in Boyle Heights last month.

LAist wants to know if you live car-free in LA.

Discover Los Angeles rides from Playa del Rey to Torrance Beach along the beachfront Marvin Bruade bike path.

The LACBC is hosting a pre-4th of July Sunday Funday Ride through the Westside this weekend.

Palos Verdes Estates officials promise they’re already working on plans to improve safety for cyclists in the community.

 

State

Bike-friendly Newport Beach city councilmember Tony Petros will step down at the end of his first term.

KPBS asks how blocking bike lanes is good for the environment, as plans for San Diego’s North Park neighborhood call for widening roads to alleviate congestion.

Celebrate the 4th with a little Mammoth Mountain downhill, on skis and two wheels.

An off-duty Santa Barbara cop interrupts his bike ride home from work to stop a racially charged knife attack on a homeless man.

A Fresno bike shop relocates to nearby Hanford after the owner gets fed up with break-ins at the former downtown location.

No bias here, as a San Jose paper says Atherton is about to be invaded by hundreds of bike riders.

San Francisco cyclists call for safer streets at a meeting of the city’s Vision Zero committee, after two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; one of the victims was remembered as a rising star in the tech world.

In the wake of the deaths, San Francisco’s mayor announces 57 new high priority Vision Zero projects.

CamelBak teams with local groups to give away 80 kid’s bikes and helmets in Petaluma.

 

National

People for Bikes is taking applications for a new program to double or triple bike ridership in select city neighborhoods while reducing crashes. I’d like to nominate Hollywood, thank you. That leaves nine others.

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington DC, still have contributory negligence laws that keep cyclists from recovering any damages in a crash if they’re found just one percent responsible.

Portland’s bikeshare system will offer adaptive bikes for disabled riders starting next year.

A Washington appeals court rules that bicycles are an integral part of the state’s multimodal transportation plan, so cities must make streets safe for bike riders. Now if we can only get California courts to follow their precedence.

More bighearted cops, as Fairbanks AK police replace an autistic man’s stolen bike.

Colorado authorities widen the shoulder of a highway after a cyclist was critically injured while riding on the fog line; fortunately, the victim is slowly recovering.

A 15-year old Nebraska boy tows his lawn mowing business in a trailer behind his bike.

San Antonio TX is facing a lawsuit for diverting funds from a transportation sales tax to build sidewalks and bikeways.

Good news from Kalamazoo, as the most seriously injured survivor of the hit-and-run DUI wreck that killed five riders and injured four others is released from the hospital.

The Boston Globe looks at the ritual of installing ghost bike memorials. Which are needed far too often, there and here.

Caught on video: New York’s 8th Street bike lane is consistently filled with everything and everyone but bike riders.

Pastors of Black churches in DC’s Shaw neighborhood continue to fight plans for bike lanes. Evidently, African Americans must not ride bikes to church in DC. Then again, they might if they had a safe way to get there.

A CNN reporter samples the coffee-infused business bikewear from the Ministry of Supply.

Santa Monica’s CycleHop is one of three companies still in the running to build the planned New Orleans bikeshare system.

 

International

This is why you have to lock up a ghost bike. A Canadian man simply walks off with one, claiming he didn’t know its significance. On the other hand, he probably did know it didn’t belong to him.

Windsor, Ontario’s mayor enjoys his first bike ride to work so much he promises to keep riding over the summer.

Former Brit pro David Millar ranks the world’s ten best places for a bicycling vacation. Surprisingly, he puts Boulder and Aspen CO number two, ahead of Tuscany and anywhere in France, while Maui checks in at number ten.

UK fashion designer Paul Smith discusses his lifelong love of cycling, as well as his new line of bikewear.

Bike riders aren’t always the good guys. A BBC presenter is the victim of a racist attack after she intervenes with a bicyclist who was telling an Asian man to go home. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the UK these days?

Vice offers photos of Berlin’s brutal Bike Wars competition, which one of the founders describes as a destruction derby with bicycles.

The Guardian asks if inter-city bikeways like Germany’s coming bicycle autobahn could revolutionize our daily commute. I’d settle for a decent bikeway connecting Los Angeles with itself. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Aussie woman is in critical condition after colliding with a bicyclist.

 

Finally…

Maybe if you didn’t call it the Loop of Doom it might go better next time. Probably not the best idea to throw a knife at — let alone try to shoot — the bike-riding acquaintance you owe money to.

And whatever you do, don’t slap a fireman if he tells you to stop your bike.

Just… don’t.

Thanks to Helper for the link.

 

Morning Links: Planning Comm says Westwood and Central are out; 626 Golden Streets postponed due to fires

Something stinks in City Hall.

As expected, the LA City Planning Commission gritted its teeth and went along with amendments to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, clearly against their better judgment.

This, after rumors have circulated that councilmembers have made an agreement to throw bike riders on those streets under the bus. Perhaps literally.

I’m told the commissioners seemed to get the absurdity arguments that the best way to deal with the dangers along those corridors is to keep them dangerous, while making an attempt at social engineering by trying to shunt cyclist onto side streets where they clearly don’t want to go.

Which is the best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway.

And that, of course, leads to the same old circular thinking that says “see, we gave cyclists a bike lane and they didn’t use it, so clearly bike lanes don’t work and there’s no reason to build any more.”

Fortunately, the commissioners had the sense to make sure the removal of these lanes from the Mobility Plan doesn’t preclude studying, and perhaps building, them at a later date.

Like when Paul Koretz is out of office, which can’t happen soon enough.

Now the amendments go back to city hall, where they will be rubber stamped by the council, though we can hope at least a few councilmember have the courage to vote no.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a great report from commission meeting.

……….

626 Golden StreetsDisappointing news, as the long-planned 626 Golden Streets open streets event scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed to due to smoke from a pair of fires in the San Gabriels, as well as the need to keep streets clear for firefighters.

The event, which would have been the longest ciclovía in the US, is expected be rescheduled for another date, although the logistics of working out a schedule with seven cities may make that challenging.

Sorry, Gabe.

………

Let’s catch up with some other upcoming events.

Dine for a great cause today, when Burbank’s Bob’s Big Boy is the site of a fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery; the restaurant will donate 20% of your meal ticket if you present the flyer you can pick up at the fundraiser booth outside. Fifteen-year old Michelle Morlock is raising $3,000 in donations to take part in next year’s ride, which helps veterans and active duty military personnel recover from emotional and physical wounds through bicycling. If you can’t make it, send ‘em a few bucks — or maybe a lot of bucks — at the address on the link.

This is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for LA Critical Mass, billed as the largest community bike ride in the US.

The LA Design Festival is teaming with Flying Pigeon LA for the eighth annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is holding their Monthly Group Ride next Saturday, complete with an optional dirt section to kick off your 4th of July weekend.

Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding on Sunday, July 3rd.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop will host the second annual Tour de Tacos on Saturday, July 16th; the 25-mile family friendly ride promises at least four taco breaks along the way.

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on the third annual Tour de Laemmle on Sunday, July 24th. Greg will ride 125 miles to visit all nine Laemmle Theaters in a single day; you can register to join him for all or part of the ride.

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Yesterday we shared a photo of what was left after thieves pried open a U-lock securing a bicycle on my block; today, the other bike locked up on my block suffered the same fate.

This is all that was left.

SAMSUNG

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Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter will represent the US for road cycling in the Olympic games, along with Megan Guarnier, Kristin Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott on the women’s side.

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Local

Metro votes to put a transportation sales tax extension on the November ballot, which would including bicycling and walking projects along with transit and highway work.

East Long Beach is dealing with the same increase in homelessness being seen throughout Southern California; residents are warned to secure their bikes to protect them from chop shops popping up in the area.

 

State

Menlo Park backpedals on plans to install bike lanes and make other needed safety improvements on El Camino Real.

Facebook’s new Frank Gehry-designed Menlo Park headquarters will also include a bicycle bridge designed in Gehry’s typically asymmetrical style. Although it looks more like it was designed by Picasso. Or maybe just someone who has never ridden a bicycle before.

The mayor of San Francisco was outraged by Wednesday’s twin hit-and-runs that left two cyclists dead; however, the SF Bicycle Coalition called his words hollow. Meanwhile, there was a third fatal bike crash in the Bay Area on Thursday morning, this time in Pleasanton.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a beginners guide to picking the perfect first bike.

A new reflective, neon-colored bike safety triangle is now raising funds on Kickstarter. It will probably make you more visible, but shouldn’t the onus be on drivers to look where they’re going, rather than on cyclists to light themselves up with virtual neon signs to get their damn attention?

Denver cyclists were welcomed to that city’s Bike to Work Day with a series of blocked bike lanes.

Even though Ohio allows bicyclists to ride two abreast, a Cincinnati suburb considers requiring them to ride single file.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to convert your existing ride into an ebike.

New bike path surfaces could help you bounce back from a fall. No, literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says a tourist guide is right that bicyclists will be “challenged and amazed” riding on a local highway — challenged to stay on it in the heavy traffic, and amazed they survived the experience.

A writer in the UK says she used to be one of the good ones back when everyone obeyed the law, but now that she doesn’t ride a bike anymore, people on bicycles have somehow morphed into a horrifying menace that threatens all those poor, bike-afflicted motorists and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in Ireland. A speeding, unlicensed driver gets a whole two and a half years in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist he struck while attempting a four-wheel drift around a turn; the 27-year old driver, who never bothered to get a driver’s license, had been barred from driving three times in the previous five years, but still managed to stay behind the wheel until he killed someone.

China’s Xiaomi unveils a $450 folding ebike, which you can get there, but not here.

 

Finally…

Who needs a kite eating tree when Idaho has a bike eating one? Anyone can carry groceries home on a bike; try towing a sofa.

And make your getaway on the back of a bicycle after robbing a donut shop, and you could end up in the trash.

And then behind bars.

 

Morning Links: Homeowner opposition to Westwood bike lanes may be a lie, and the CHP gets it wrong again

As I write this, the LA City Planning Commission is just hours away from a vote that could lead to the removal of Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, over the strenuous objections of virtually everyone who rides a bike on those streets.

Westwood resident Calla Wiemer has written a detailed, insightful and highly persuasive letter to the Commission arguing for keeping Westwood in the plan, which she has kindly agreed to let me share with you.

Regardless of how the commission votes, you should forward this to your councilmember before the city council takes up the matter in a few weeks.

Especially since only 42 of the roughly 3,000 homeowners in the area were concerned enough to oppose removing parking or traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes.

But those 42 are the only ones Paul Koretz seems to care about.

Dear LA CPC,

The proposed amendment to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility 2035 Plan and to replace it with a Gayley-Midvale route is ill-conceived. The argument in favor of such a change to the plan was articulated in a 6/22 email “Blast” from the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association. The flaws in the case presented in this email Blast, however, are numerous. First, the claim that the alternative route “both maintains and respects the connectivity of the Bicycle Enhanced Network” is false. Westwood Blvd provides a through connection directly from UCLA to Westwood Station on the Expo Line and on to points south. Midvale, by contrast, truncates with a T-intersection at Santa Monica Blvd from which point riders moving in a north-south direction would need to make their way to or from Westwood Blvd to continue on course.

Second, the suggestion that a “growing presence of bicycle commuters on Westwood”, which will “slow traffic” and “create added conflicts”, can be averted by designating an inconvenient alternative route is a fantasy. A growing presence of bicycle riders on Westwood Blvd is the reality. Bike riders choose Westwood Blvd because it’s the most direct route to their destinations – destinations which are often located on Westwood Blvd for the many who shop, work, or live there. As much as non-cyclists might wish to impose an alternative route on those who ride, they simply do not have the authority to do so. The best way to avoid the conflicts the WSSM leadership is so concerned about is to provide accommodation for bike riders.

Third, the premise that “Most local residents do not feel comfortable riding through Westwood Village on Westwood Blvd” is true enough but serves better as an argument for bike lanes than against them. Westwood Blvd in its present form is a dangerous and scary place to ride a bike. Making it safer will raise the comfort level of local residents. Consider as well that most local residents similarly do not feel comfortable riding a bike on Midvale or Gayley as those streets are currently constituted. The concept in designating these alternative streets as bike routes would be to make them more inviting for bike riding. But we are better off applying such effort to Westwood Blvd which already has the cycling presence to justify it.

Fourth, continuing to speak for “most local residents” the WSSM leadership’s presumption that our ranks “have looked to our City’s planning and transportation experts to fashion” a biking alternative to Westwood Blvd is not borne out by the Association’s own survey research. The survey was conducted in June of 2014 and garnered 135 responses from the roughly 3000 homeowners in the neighborhood. Asked to express opposition to or support for “Removal of traffic or parking lanes on busy arterials for dedicated bike lanes”, only 42 respondents ticked opposition to the degree of “important” or “very important”. The number in support of removal was 18 while 59 declined to respond to such a broadly worded question and 16 others who opposed removal did not see the issue as “important” or “very important”. A more telling manifestation of local opinion on bike lanes for Westwood Blvd has been the consistently large turnout of advocates at public hearings conducted by government and civic organizations over the last few years. Of particular note, the Westwood Village Improvement Association (BID) held a series of three public hearings drawing packed houses of supporters and only a few opponents. As a result of that consultation with the community, the BID submitted a request to the city government and Councilmember Koretz that a study be conducted of bike lane designs for Westwood Blvd.

What in truth can be said about most local residents is that we are exasperated by the traffic, and yes, we look to the city’s planning and transportation experts to come up with strategies to mitigate it and to improve safety. Please let us not exclude Westwood Blvd from that process. If any street is in need of a re-envisioning, it is Westwood Blvd. Do let us keep it in the Bicycle Enhanced Network so that the planners can give us a vision of a street that works for people and businesses, not just one that is clogged with motor vehicles.

Respectfully,

Calla Wiemer

Homeowner, Westwood South of Santa Monica

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Once again, the CHP gets bike law wrong when a San Luis Obispo driver asks for advice on whether to cross the yellow line or slow down to obey the three foot passing law, forgetting that drivers are allowed to pass closer than three feet as long as they slow down and pass safely.

And despite the officer’s assertions, there is no requirement under California law that cyclists have to ride single file — especially not in a bike lane.

Nor are they required to ride to the right in a bike lane under any circumstances, ever.

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Not surprisingly, the Kalamazoo driver who ran down nine bicyclists has been charged with five counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as four counts of causing serious injury while intoxicated; blood tests showed he was under the influence of an undisclosed substance.

Meanwhile, another survivor has been released from the hospital; two other victims remain hospitalized.

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Now that’s a close pass. Credit the rider for staying upright rather than overreacting to it.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; unfortunately, I’ve lost any record of who that was.

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A driver of one of London’s famous black cabs records himself chasing down and apprehending a hit-and-run driver who knocked a cyclist off his bike. Although he must have scared the crap out of all the other riders as he cut in and out of a bike lane to catch up to the fleeing driver.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

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Yesterday there was a bike attached to this lock on Hollywood Blvd; today there isn’t. A reminder to buy a quality lock, and lock your bike securely.

And register the damn thing, already.

SAMSUNG

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Lael Wilcox smashes the women’s record to win the Trans Am race across the US. The Alaskan cyclist becomes the first woman and the first American to win the solo, unsupported 4,200 mile race, finishing in 18 days.

Not to be confused with the better known, fully supported RAAM, going on now.

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Local

Organizers of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets event say it may have to be postponed if unhealthy air quality caused by the San Gabriel Complex fire doesn’t improve. Let’s hope not; the logistics of arranging another date with seven separate cities could prove challenging.

Universal announces plans to reorient their production facilities, including making way for a park and the previously announced extension of the LA River bike path through their property.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says city council committee meetings are Dante’s tenth circle of hell; but in this case, a successful one, as the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Committee votes to formulate a bike plan to improve safety and connect with other cities in the area.

LADOT reminds everyone to submit their rides and other activities to the department’s calendar of upcoming bike events. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have our own list of bike events.

A British cyclist takes a “blockbuster” ride through the San Gabriels before making his way up Mt. Baldy.

 

State

Now that’s more like it. Orange police impound 16 high-end cars for street racing after a GoPro shows one that hit a bike rider was traveling at 50 mph, rather than 25 mph as the driver claimed. It’s also a reminder to always assume you’re injured following a collision; the cyclist initially said he wasn’t hurt, but later found out he had a broken clavicle and finger, as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

A bighearted Tustin cop buys a new adult tricycle for a woman with cerebral palsy after hers was stolen last month.

San Clemente plans a number of changes to improve bike safety, including a two-way bikeway on El Camino Real, sharrows on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and buffered bike lanes on Avenida Pico.

Palm Springs police are trying to identify a thief who stole an $1,800 bicycle; fortunately, the bike was eventually recovered.

The family of Ventura teenager Jonathan Hernandez files a wrongful death suit against the tow truck driver who kept going after hitting him as he rode his bike last February, leaving him in the road to be struck by another driver, who also fled the scene. The Ventura County DA still hasn’t filed any charges against the driver, who has close business ties with city and county, and the Ventura PD. Leaving us to wonder once again if the DA is justice challenged when it comes to traffic victims.

Tragic news from San Francisco, as two bike riders were killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents. A suspect was arrested in one crash in which a driver ran a red light before striking the rider, while a woman was killed by a speeding driver who hit her bike head-on in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Davis approves 36 housing units to provide funding for a bike path, even though the city is having trouble negotiating a necessary easement.

A Sacramento paper offers suggestions on taking the train to ride Bay Area bike trails.

 

National

VeloNews looks at a form of arterial disease that is increasingly affecting cyclists, including pro racer Joe Dombrowsky.

HuffPo offers five tips for better bicycling.

Bicycling provides nine tips from readers on how to get your family and friends hooked on bike riding.

An Illinois teacher and her husband were killed when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year old boy, who turned out to be one of her former students.

An unlicensed and uninsured Louisville KY driver faces two murder charges for running down three girls who were standing in a bike lane; he had a BAC two and a half times the legal limit following the crash.

It’s back to the drawing board for New York’s DOT, as the debate over bike lanes in the city’s Clinton Hill neighborhood was won by the side that yelled the most. And needless to say, it wasn’t the bike riders.

A $4,200 e-cargo bike races a New York subway.

A pair of medical professionals say a contentious bike lane on a Charleston SC bridge would enhance livability and health; evidently, you don’t have to convince local bicyclists.

 

International

A Montreal writer says vehicular cycling is dead, even if it isn’t.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the research behind bike helmets, concluding that whether you wear one or not is up to you.

Australia’s Canberra region finally makes it illegal to throw things at bike riders. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone here.

An Aussie writer discovers bicycling can help with grief and depression after his own father died of cancer.

 

Finally…

Evidently, not even the dead are safe from bike thieves. Who needs wheels when your bike can have spider legs?

And no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the bicycle.

But he probably wishes he did.

 

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