Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

An open letter to the LA Planning Commission about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave

Dear Commissioners,

It was a little over five years ago that this commission rejected the city’s first attempt to update it’s bike plan, demanding a more robust network that would protect the safety of people riding bikes and encourage more people to get on their bicycles instead of driving.

That led to the city council’s unanimous adoption of the 2010 bike plan. A well-designed network that established three levels of bikeways to encourage and protect riders of all types, from families and recreational riders to bike commuters on their way to school or work — many of whom have no other viable means of transportation.

One that was again approved by the Planning Commission, and later the full city council, as part of LA’s Mobility Plan 2035.

Now you are being asked to weaken that plan.

The Mobility Plan that was adopted by the city is the result of at least six years of public process, including dozens of public meetings and countless comments and emails. The streets which were selected for bikeways weren’t chosen on whim, but because the public demanded them and city planners and engineers concluded they were the best routes to enable bike riders to travel to and from key locations in the city.

Yet you are being asked to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave without any public process whatsoever. Somehow, the desires of the relative few opposing bike lanes on these two streets are expected to outweigh the needs of all those who participated in developing these plans.

We’re told that the reason for removing these bike lanes from the plan is that the streets are too dangerous for bicycles. But you can’t improve safety by keeping them dangerous.

Numerous studies have shown that bike lanes both increase ridership, and improve safety for all road users — pedestrians and motorists, as well as people riding bicycles. Yet not one single study has been conducted to determine whether bike lanes on these streets would increase the danger to bicyclists or anyone else, as their opponents claim.

In other words, you’re being asked to remove these streets from the plan based on the suppositions and prejudices of a handful of people, with no factual basis to support them.

Studies also show that bike lanes are good for business, which would benefit the many commercial establishments along these corridors.

Westwood Blvd currently carries an average of 800 bike riders a day, a number that will only increase when the Expo Line extension opens in May, and the boulevard forms the first mile/last mile connection between the Westwood Expo Station, and the UCLA campus, VA and job centers along the Wilshire Corridor.

Meanwhile, Central Ave already carries approximately 60 bike riders per hour at peak times, despite a reputation as one of the city’s most dangerous streets. A bike lane there can only improve safety by giving people on bicycles a safe place to ride, while slowing traffic and reducing risk to pedestrians.

While alternate routes may eventually be identified that would be more enjoyable to recreational riders, they would not meet the demands of those who need to get to work or school.

Removing these streets from the Mobility Plan would continue to expose these people to needless risk, and continue the degradation of what should be two of the city’s finest and most livable streets.

I strongly urge you to support the recommendations of your staff, and the desires of the people of Los Angeles who participated in this process, and keep both Westwood Boulevard and Central Avenue in the Mobility Plan 2035.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Morning Links: Beach bike path closed, slap on wrist in Glendale hit-and-run, and six years for drunken OC driver

Last Sunday’s storm wreaked havoc on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

According to the LA County Department of Public Works, the winds drifted sand up to two feet deep on the path, resulting in its closure along Venice Beach, as well as from Ballona Creek south to Torrance Beach.

Work began on clearing the path on Tuesday, but it’s not expected to open until Friday. Just in time for what’s expected to be a warm and sunny weekend.

The Daily Breeze offers photos of riders trudging through the sand with their bikes.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A Glendale man gets just 360 days — less than a full year — after pleading no contest in the hit-and-run death of a four-year old girl.

A slap on the wrist for leaving a little girl to die in the street in front of her own family. If that.

And to top the outrage, the judge ordered his driver’s license suspended for just six months after his release.

Six whole months.

Never mind that he violated one of the most basic rules of driving, let alone human decency, by failing to stop at the scene of a collision and render aid as the law requires.

The law has to be changed. Now.

Let’s write our state representatives, and demand that any driver who leaves the scene of a collision should have his or her license automatically revoked. Not suspended.

And not for a limited period, but permanently.

Make them appear before a judge, after any sentence has been completed, to explain their actions and beg for the chance to apply for a new one.

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There’s finally been justice in the case of fallen cyclist Matthew Liechty.

If you can call it that.

Michael Liechty reports that Antonio Magdaleno Jr. accepted a plea on Friday, nearly two years after he fled on three wheels from the DUI collision that killed Liechty’s brother while he was riding in a Newport Beach bike lane.

Magdaleno was originally charged with felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury; he had a BAC nearly two times the legal limit at the time of his arrest.

He received a six-year sentence after pleading to two felony counts, and was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his time behind bars. However, the DA handling the case reportedly said he can expect to serve just half that.

This is yet another case of California’s weak traffic laws allowing drivers back out on the streets after just a brief sentence, despite taking a human life with depraved indifference. And despite the best efforts of the Orange County DA’s office, which is one of the few in Southern California that actually takes traffic crimes seriously.

Liechty suggests that the law should be changed to mandate a charge of second degree murder for killing someone while driving under the influence.

I couldn’t agree more.

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Make your reservations for March 1st, when Metro is hosting their 2016 Active Transportation Summit.

2016 Active Transportation Summit Flyer

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Cyclelicious has created a real-time map of California bike collisions based on CHP dispatches. Which means that it includes reports that come into the CHP’s 911 dispatchers, but may not include those handled by local jurisdictions.

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Once again, a cyclist celebrates prematurely, thinking he’s won the world U-23 ‘cross title even though there’s still a lap to go.

And the father and brother of that Dutch rider who figuratively gave the cycling world the bird by motor doping are charged with literally stealing a few.

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Local

LAist explains why LA is a great city for bikeshare.

Tomorrow KPCC will feature the results of a rush hour race from Union Station to the Santa Monica pier by bike, transit and motor vehicle, to determine if the car is still king on the streets of LA. Here’s betting it isn’t.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for more dedicated bus — and bike — lanes prior to a possible 2024 LA Olympics, despite blowback from groups like the Westwood Neighborhood Council.

Facebook is expanding into new creative space in Playa Vista, complete with bike racks. Seriously? A development that large should be required to install a bike hub as part of the permitting process to encourage workers to leave their cars at home.

An OpEd in the Santa Monica Mirror says give the new Expo Line a chance. And put lights on your bike if you’ll be riding home from the station after dark.

A former bank building will be demolished to widen Newport Blvd in Newport Beach and make room to extend the bike lanes two blocks south to 32nd street.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition invites you to Ride Around Pomona this Saturday, and the first Saturday of every month.

 

State

Cyclists and government officials met with officials from Miramar to discuss why the Marines are confiscating bikes from trespassing riders. The official version is they don’t want you to get shot or blown up, and that warning signs on the trails get torn down as soon as they go up.

Someone stole a $2,000, three-wheeled pedicab from a Vietnamese community group in San Diego, who consider it a priceless cultural artwork.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A San Francisco woman planted herself in front of a van after a road rage assault, refusing to move until the police showed up. But all the police did was ticket the driver for violating the three-foot passing law, and ignored the threats and assault from the car’s passenger, who bravely ran away before the cops came.

A Berkeley bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit and dragged by a car.

A city planning consultant presents a bold vision for Oakland, suggesting it tear down a freeway that represents a “great gash” through the city, and replace it with a grand boulevard for walkers, cyclists and cars. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of thinking here.

 

National

A Denver driver faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty for the DUI death of a cyclist; he was two and a half times the legal alcohol limit when he crossed the double yellow line to pass at least two cars on a blind curve, hitting the 38-year old father head-on.

A Cincinnati cyclist says the city needs to take its bike plan off the shelf and stop treating bicycle safety like a line item in the budget.

Unlike LA, where too many neighborhood groups fight bike lanes tooth and nail, a New York community board approves taking away a traffic lane to install a protected bike lane on Amsterdam Ave; Streetsblog explains why arguments against it don’t hold up.

Philadelphia gets its first Complete Streets Commissioner.

Sounds like fun. Washington DC plans a massive 17-mile ride around the city’s many monuments this May.

A former New Orleans police recruit is charged with second degree murder for firing his gun six times as he chased a bike thief down the street, eventually shooting him in the back of the head; his lawyer says he somehow felt threatened by the man who ran away after attempting to take his bike. Listen, I hate bike thieves as much as anyone, but seriously, don’t kill them.

 

International

Caught on video: A rear view camera catches a driver speeding up to deliberately run down a cyclist before fleeing the scene; despite clear video evidence, the authorities declined to prosecute, saying they can’t prove who was behind the wheel.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill takes to the snow.

Afghanistan’s women cycling federation has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. You know it sucks in a country when just having the courage to ride a bike is enough to win international recognition.

After his son was killed when he hit a pothole while riding a bike, a Mumbai man takes it upon himself to fill potholes on the city’s streets. And yes, it was probably a motorbike, but that doesn’t lessen what the father is doing to keep it from happening to anyone else.

A writer says Malta is dangerously trapped in the auto-centric ‘50s, instead of emulating other cities where bicycling is as natural as walking.

 

Finally…

Some of our bike lanes may be useless, but at least they’re more than six feet long. People find lots of things while riding their bikes; like a human skull, for instance.

And now you can pedal away the pounds with your very own sitNcycle for just $19.95, including shipping and handling.

No, really.

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One last note.

When I announced the winner of our bike contest giveaway, I lamented that we only had one bike to give away, despite two very deserving people.

So I’m happy to report that a very generous anonymous donor has volunteered to buy a bicycle for the second place finisher, and that she’s in the process of picking out her new bike.

Which makes this a win/win in the best possible sense.

 

Morning Links: Pendleton registration begins, Monrovia talks bike plan, and more doping news, motor & otherwise

It’s official.

As we’ve discussed recently, bike riders will be required to register in advance and undergo a background check before being allowed to ride on Camp Pendleton as of March first.

You can read the base’s rules for cyclists and apply for an access permit here. Riders without permits can still cross the base, if less pleasantly, on the shoulders of I-5. Thanks to Cyclelicious for the permit link.

Meanwhile, the Battle of Miramar goes on, as a pair of hikers received a $525 ticket for trespassing on the Marine base; as we noted recently, several cyclists had their bikes seized for riding on the base.

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Monrovia is hosting a public workshop to provide input on the city’s bicycle master plan this Wednesday.

CaKtToWUAAA3fZG

 

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Sad news from New Zealand, as 33-year old freeride mountain biking legend Kelly McGarry collapsed and died from a heart attack while riding.

You may know him from this vertigo-inducing singletrack ride, complete with a backflip over 72-foot canyon.

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Italian bike maker Wilier Triestina says it will sue the Belgian ‘cross rider who was caught with a motor in her bike for damaging the company’s reputation. Uh, right.

Meanwhile, Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig says he’s not laughing at motor doping anymore, while Cycling Tips says it should bring an automatic lifetime ban.

And Spanish rider Roberto Heras was awarded the equivalent of over $790,000 when he sued the Spanish government after his suspension for doping was overturned due to testing irregularities.

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Local

CiclaValley wants to show you how to get to March’s CicLAvia this Sunday. And he promises to get you home in time for that football game.

More anger in Santa Monica, where the city encourages everyone else to bike, walk or take transit, while giving its own employees free parking.

 

State

San Luis Obispo will become the latest city to crack down on traffic violations that affect bicyclists this Thursday.

If you had a bike stolen around Santa Cruz, you may be in luck, as police have recovered a cache of hot bikes.

 

National

Way to set a good example. A Super Bowl car commercial features actor Ryan Reynolds riding salmon on a bike.

City Lab provides the urban family’s guide to living carfree.

Good advice. A heart surgeon offers five life-saving signs of heart trouble every cyclist should know.

A Seattle radio host calls for letting the city’s troubled bikeshare program die a natural death.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Tennessee burglar gets away with two flat screen TVs and a laptop, even if it does take him three trips.

A New York radio station says the city’s delivery riders continue to take risks, despite laws attempting to rein them in.

A Florida man was killed in a slip and fall after stumbling across a street, a month before he was scheduled to go on trial for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

The UK’s Evening Standard says the way to get over your broken resolutions is to get back on your bike.

Caught on camera:

  1. A British cyclist gets buzzed by a wrong way driver who turned directly into him and had to swerve out of the way.
  2. At least he avoided a collision, unlike one of his countrymen who captured his head-on collision with a driver who turned onto the wrong side of the road.
  3. And a another Brit took himself out after giving a driver an obscene gesture. Rule #1: Always maintain control over your own bike.

An Aussie rider offers 10 things motorists need to know about cyclists. Including that we’re people too.

Once again, someone has tried to sabotage an Australian riding route, this time by spreading gravel on the roadway across downhill sections and near corners.

 

Finally…

Forget motor doping; all the cool kids are using electromagnetic wheels. Seriously, if you’re carrying a knife, pipe and loaded gun on your bike, ride on the right side of the damn street, already.

And you know you’ve made the big time when Cheech turns your huge pink cowboy hat and upturned pointed boots riding attire into a meme.

 

All hands on deck! Planning Comm to consider anti-bike LA Mobility Plan amendments Feb. 11th

My apologies.

Due to health problems after attending an event last night, there won’t be a Morning Links today. I’ll try to pull it together and get the Weekend Links for you tomorrow.

However, one important item came through my inbox Thursday.

The Planning Commission meeting to consider amendments to LA’s recently adopted Mobility Plan 2035 will be held at City Hall on Thursday, Feb 11 at 8:30 am.

This is the one where opponents to the plan will try to remove key streets, such as Westwood Blvd and North Figueroa — as well as most of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s CD1 — from the Mobility Plan.

Which means it’s an all-hands on deck meeting for anyone who cares about bicycling and safe streets in the City of Angels. Let alone Vision Zero.

Which should be just about everyone who reads this in LA.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 1.23.43 AM

Morning Links: Bad weekend for pro cyclists, a crib sheet on protected bike lanes, and OCR’s David Whiting nails it

It was a bad weekend for pro cyclists.

Movistar rider Adriano Malori was hospitalized in intensive care after a massive crash due to a pothole in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina; he was the second place finisher in the time trial at last year’s Worlds.

Meanwhile, six members of the Giant-Alpecin team were injured when they were hit by a wrong-way driver while training in Spain; riders Chad Haga and John Degenkolb were the most seriously injured. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

And former French pro and world track champion Robert Sassone died far too young at age 37.

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I usually avoid linking to items sent to me by businesses, let alone embedding them, since they’re often nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at SEO marketing.

However, this infographic offers some great information about physically separated bike lanes, gathered from a number of studies. And clearly shows that protected bike lanes increase ridership while reducing crashes and injuries.

Consider it a crib sheet for your next public meeting.

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Local

A “crowd” of people turned out for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s third annual Community Bike Ride on Saturday, followed by a workshop to highlight the Sherman Way Concept Plan.

Burglaries and bike thefts are up in LA’s upscale Brentwood neighborhood; the LAPD’s senior lead officer for the area urges residents to keep their bikes inside, and lock them up even if you keep yours inside a garage.

Richard Risemberg offers a noir tale involving private dicks, a nasty crack and an injured cyclist. All that’s missing is a femme fatale.

A Long Beach woman plans to raise funds and awareness by biking and walking the LA River from the coast to the tributaries in the San Gabriel Mountains.

 

State

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting nails it with a column saying too many bicyclists have died on the county’s streets, and it only takes two seconds off your life to help ensure a longer one for someone on a bike. Although we’ve got to get him back on his own bike after the loss of a friend.

The LA Times looks at the recent crackdown on mountain bikers at Miramar.

Oceanside approves a road diet, complete with wider bike lanes and buffers along the Coast Highway. Calling safety improvements a pilot study is a great way to overcome initial opposition and give it a chance to prove it works.

Nearly 7,000 bike riders took part in Sunday’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Bakersfield cyclists host a monthly full moon ride.

San Francisco police arrest one suspect and search for another following a brief pursuit when an officer saw the driver flee after hitting a bicyclist; however, the rider was gone when police went back to look for him.

A bighearted Stockton driver — yes, that’s sarcastic — checks his car for damage after rear-ending a 15-year old bike rider, asks if he’s okay, then just drives off after agreeing the bike was seriously messed up in the wreck.

The Chico newspaper calls for banning bikes from the city’s Esplanade and its frontage roads, apparently unaware that would be illegal. CA state law allows bicycles on any public roadway where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited-access highways. So if they want to ban bikes, they’d have to ban cars, too.

 

National

A Denver writer says bike lanes serve to improve safety and livability for everyone, not just bike riders.

Now that’s a bike-friendly university. My hometown college is boosting campus bike parking to 18,000 spaces, as well as offering showers for bike riders in the new chemistry and biology buildings and the soon-to-be-built on-campus stadium.

A Buffalo NY couple open a year-round cargo bike delivery service.

Plain white rapper Vanilla Ice dodges jail for burglary and bike theft by completing 100 hours of community service in Florida.

 

International

Here’s another reason to register your bike. An English rider who was unable to tell rescuers who he was following a collision was identified through the registration on his bicycle. You should always carry multiple forms of ID when you ride; unscrupulous people have been known to steal wallets from cyclists after collisions or solo falls. Personally, I never leave the house without my Road ID, whether or not I’m on my bike.

Belfast embarks on a “radical” plan to remake the city’s streets by improving existing infrastructure, building a bike-only street, and replacing car parking with cycle tracks.

In the ongoing saga of bike-riding Syrian refugees who exploited a loophole to cross the border into Norway from Russia, the latter country refuses to take them back after the former decided to boot them out. Nice to see so much human compassion for people fleeing the proxy wars in their battle-scared county.

Now that’s a bikeshare program. Hangzhou, China’s eight-year old program offers over 3,500 stations with 84,000 bikes.

 

Finally…

Sure, it was cycling commentator Phil Liggett who made Lance a star; evidently, winning all those bike races had nothing to do with it. Talk about windshield bias; even on a cycle track, it’s the cyclist’s responsibility to avoid the drivers using it.

And it’s better to have people think you’re a Trump supporter than let them know you only have one bike.

 

Morning Links: Possible murder on Irvine bike path; public meeting tonight to discuss traffic in Griffith Park

A bike rider may have been murdered along a popular bike path in Irvine.

Police responded to a report of a man lying on the San Diego Creek Trail, which parallels the 405 Freeway, around 7 am Tuesday.

They found a man death from multiple injuries; a bicycle was lying nearby, but it was unclear if it belonged to the victim.

According to KNBC-4, the victim was later identified as 51-year old Irvine resident Sidney Siemens. Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

The station reports that a resident in a nearby apartment complex hear a loud argument around 4 am and realized something was wrong, but didn’t do anything because it wasn’t her problem.

Nice.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

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The Parks Department has come up with a plan to ease congestion in Griffith Park, by providing a free shuttle service to encourage people to park at underutilized lots at the base of the park.

The downside is that the plan calls for running the shuttles along Mt. Hollywood Drive, which has been closed to motor vehicle traffic for the last few decades. CiclaValley explains why this could be a disaster for bike riders.

A meeting will be held at 7 pm tonight to discuss the plan at the Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Dr.

Be there if you ride or hike in Griffith park, since this could directly affect your safety and enjoyment of the park. Or if you can’t attend, email your thoughts to the officials listed on the CiclaValley link.

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You’re invited to attend a Bicycle Awareness Event hosted by the LAPD’s South Traffic Division from 10 am to 1 pm today at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Hoover near the USC campus.

Officers from the South Traffic Division will be accompanied by Southwest Division Senior Lead Officers and representatives of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to educate students and bike riders about bicycle and motorist safety, as well as the laws affecting bicyclists.

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The man killed by a train while walking his bike along the tracks near Oxnard on Monday has been identified as 18-year old Oxnard resident Lisandro Licea; the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death an accident.

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A national consumer watchdog group calls the proposed tunnel to complete the 710 Freeway one of 12 highway boondoggles in the US. Glendale’s mayor prefers an option that would convert the current freeway stubs into great streets, including bike lanes and transit.

The group is no fan of the failed 405 widening project either, which added HOV lanes through the Sepulveda pass at a cost of $1 billion without improving traffic.

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Local

Not too surprisingly, as Downtown LA has boomed, so has crime, including bike thefts. So always lock your bike securely, and in a highly visable public place whenever possible.

Bicycling talks with the president of Los Angeles-based Bike Angels, which loans bikes to people participating in charity rides.

Pierce Brosnan and family are one, uh, three of us, as they go for a beachy bike ride in the ‘Bu.

Santa Monica Spoke invite you to welcome New York’s Jeffrey Tanenhaus as he completes his cross-country journey on a bikeshare bike.

The route has been announced for Long Beach’s Beach Streets Downtown ciclovía, aka open streets event, on March 19th; parts of Fourth Street, as well as Pine, Linden and Cherry Avenues will be opened to non-motorized traffic.

 

State

Oceanside officials consider a road diet on the Coast Highway in response to the death of a 12-year old boy riding his bike to school last year.

The count is now up to 53 bicycles and three motorcycles confiscated for riding on a San Diego Marine base.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted off a Thousand Oaks hiking trail Tuesday morning; no word on the rider’s condition.

 

National

It probably won’t come as a surprise to most bike riders that many drivers think “share the road” signs mean you’re supposed to get the hell out of their way.

City Lab looks at the worldwide boom in bikeshare, which will now include downtown Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a new study shows bikeshare systems in the US aren’t reaching the poor. Not too surprising, when you consider that most require a credit card and membership fees.

A Texas driver gets nine years after being convicted of drunk driving for the ninth time. Evidently, the other eight weren’t enough to convince authorities he doesn’t belong on the streets.

Minneapolis cyclists call for lowering speed limits to 25 mph.

An Ohio man gets nine years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist last year.

New York’s mayor says Vision Zero is working, even if others think the city isn’t moving fast enough. Meanwhile, a cyclist says sometimes conflict zones aren’t the fault of a bad bike lane, but rather an inadequate sidewalk.

WaPo looks at what riders need to know to keep riding through the winter.

 

International

Norway has begun deporting refugees who exploited a loophole by bicycling across the border with Russia.

While Copenhagen moves forward with a series of bike and pedestrian bridges, some complain they’re focusing on spectacular designs over practicality.

A 59-year old Italian jazz musician with a passion for cycling has been banned from the latter for doping.

A drug-sniffing Swiss police dog travels via his own custom cargo bike. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A South African cyclist is recovering from severe injuries he received when someone shoved a stick through his spokes, then hit him with a brick to steal his cellphone.

When Brisbane’s city council refuses to take action to improve a dangerous intersection, cyclists commission their own plan for a $5 million bikeway.

Not content to hurl abuse, a carful of Aussie jerks came back to hurl a 1.25 liter soda bottle at a cyclist, denting her helmet and knocking her off her bike.

 

Finally…

If you still haven’t gotten your 2016 calendar, how about one featuring sober naked male cyclists? Who says bike helmets don’t grow on trees?

And maybe you could be a little more gracious when you ride your bike.

 

Weekend Links: 15 to life for heroin-fueled hit-and-run, and Northvale Gap Expo Line bikeway meeting

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so grab your coffee and settle in.

And don’t forget, just three more days to nominate someone to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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For once, the punishment fits the crime.

And not surprisingly, it comes from Orange County, where the DA and courts take traffic crime seriously, especially when it involves the loss of an innocent life.

Neil Storm Stephany, who killed 30-year old Fountain Valley cyclist Shaun Eagleson in a heroin-fueled 2014 Newport Beach hit-and-run, was sentenced Friday to 15-years to life behind bars.

Yes, life.

Despite signing a statement following a 2011 DUI conviction that he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence, Eagleson shot up with heroin before getting behind the wheel with two additional drugs in his system that may have amplified the effects of the illegal narcotic.

Witnesses reported seeing him weaving dangerously along PCH. But before police could respond, he plowed into Eagleson’s bike, leaving him to die in the street as he drove on; Stephany’s lawyer claimed he was too high to comprehend what had happened.

He also says the self-described substance abuse counselor had planned to enter rehab the next day, too late for everyone concerned.

Stephany’s actions, piled atop a long string of priors, left Eagleson’s wife without a husband, and dashed their plans to have a child together after she had long been told she would never be able to. And left his mother grieving a son taken away too soon, and hoping his killer never again sees the light of day.

As the judge put it in handing out his sentence,

Shooting heroin and getting into a car after being through several rehabs and after being warned of the consequences is mind blowing,” the judge said.

“Yes, Mr. Stephany (you) did not set out to kill again that day, but when you act with such disregard for the safety of others, this can happen.

The sad fact is that two lives were ended that day, and two families shattered. One life lost on the side of the road, through no fault of his own, and the other lost behind bars through his own actions, his parents left to grieve a son lost to drugs.

Despite the possible life term, it’s likely that Stephany will get out of prison one day. Whether he will come out a better man is highly debatable.

Thanks to Louis, Edward M. Rubinstein and our anonymous OC source for the heads-up.

Neil-Stephany-sentence

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a full report on Wednesday’s meeting on closing the Northvale Gap in the new Expo Line bike path.

In a case of major irony, two of the proposals would run on Northvale Road, directly in front of the homeowners who fought to keep the bike path from running behind their homes. Although the street has a steep hill that could cause many riders to seek an alternate route.

It’s also ironic that the price tag to complete the .7 mile gap runs between $13 million and $52 million.

It was only six years ago that some cyclists rose up to oppose a $30 million plan to extend the beachfront bike path two miles from Will Rogers State Beach nearly to Malibu, bypassing the narrow section of PCH where riders are currently forced to take the lane in front of often speeding traffic.

At $15 million per mile, it would actually have been cheaper than the least expensive option for closing the Northvale Gap.

The obvious choice, given the hill on Northvale, is to place the bike path next to the train line, precisely where the small group of homeowners fought to prevent it.

But where the $52 million to pay for it will come from is a very good question.

As is whether building the most expensive sub-one-mile of bikeway in the city is the best use for funds that could build many more miles somewhere else.

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Let’s help a guy out. And possibly help ourselves in the process.

Former San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staffer and current Bike the Vote LA volunteer Marc Caswell is conducting a study of the many Peak Hour Lanes throughout the City of Los Angeles to determine if they affect safety.

For my Masters in Urban Planning, I’m trying to determine if LA’s Peak Hour Tow Away Zones (PHTAZ) have an impact on street safety.

We know that the city has implemented these policies with no attention to safety — but simply to move cars. And they automatically preclude a street from the ability to have a bike lane (since the curb lane becomes traffic) — or from having pedestrian bulb-outs.  So, they are inherently prohibiting safety improvements.

But — I want to know if these unexpected, temporary, and erratic parking restrictions are creating driver confusion and/or increasing the rates of crashes — for all modes.

When I chose this project, I planned to map the crashes to the streets and assumed that the LADOT would have a map of all these zones — but they don’t.  They don’t even have a list.  I’ve had to use Google Street View and my own knowledge to find the 211 miles I’ve found so far…

But, now I need to open it up to the rest of the region and crowdsource the information.  So, I’ve published the map — and am calling on the public to help me identify the blocks I may have missed.

I have a public Google map here — with all the details and instructions.

Take a look. And if you see one missing, add it to the map.

The results could make a real difference in how our streets look in the future.

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Recently, we featured a guest post from Harv describing his ride through the streets of NELA for some pre-Christmas shopping.

Today he offers his first attempt at a bike-building video, capturing what he calls a typical (for him) project, taking a vintage lugged steel road bike frame and making it into an urban bike to navigate the busy streets of LA.

And here’s the finished product.

ral assembled 2_003

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In the USA Network’s new show Colony, the people of Los Angeles travel by bicycle following an occupation by invading aliens. Except for the bad guys, who travel in massive SUVs.

Sounds about right.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins explains why Metro needs to dedicate 10% of a possible Measure R sequel to funding active transportation.

The bike-themed Wheelhouse coffee shop is now open in Downtown’s Arts District.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton will talk parking, CicLAvia, Vision Zero, rail construction, bike lanes, bike-share, speed, safety, trade-offs and more on Sunday morning when he’s interviewed on classic rock station The Sound at 100.3 FM.

A podcast from Streetsblog USA offers a tourist guide on how to visit Los Angeles without a car and where to go if you do.

Calbike VP and former Long Beach bike guru Charlie Gandy discusses the power of asking.

 

State

Anaheim cyclists are invited to participate in a series of workshops for the city’s draft bicycle master plan starting this Tuesday.

An Oxnard bike rider was wacked in the back with a stick by two men, knocking her off her bike so they could steal her backpack.

California restores funding for a bike and pedestrian path needed to get Castroville students over a dangerous set of train tracks.

Horrible news from San Jose, as a bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver who hit him, then backed over him again in what police describe as an intentional act. That should result in at least a second degree murder charge once they find the bastard.

 

National

It’s six years behind bars for a Seattle man in the drunken death of a bicyclist; the driver admitted to downing four beers and an Adderall before driving. Meanwhile, a Delaware driver gets eight years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider — with his three kids in the car, no less — after downing as many as seven drinks before getting behind the wheel.

LA will soon get its first pro football team in decades. But how many of them will ride their bikes and drive beat up cars like the pro players in DC?

Savannah GA cyclists turn out to fight a proposed ban on bikes in a park used as a popular riding route.

 

International

The good news is, bicycling isn’t the world’s dirtiest sport; the bad news is, it seems like almost every sport has a drug problem. Even curling.

A cyclist travels Bolivia’s Death Road and lives to tell the tale.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where the death of a bike rider barely merits a weak caress on the wrist.

Bike commuting rates appear to be dropping in most English cities, with a handful of notable exceptions.

The crowdfunding campaign to buy Britain’s bike-riding Labour Party leader a new bike is now up to £5,745 — the equivalent of nearly $8200 — which is just a tad over the £475 goal. Cycling Weekly looks at five bikes he could buy with that.

A British Good Samaritan ran to help a cyclist who was hit from behind by a van, only to discover he was colleague from her work at a local hospital.

Fat bikes come to the Swiss Alps.

An Arizona man takes his first bike ride in 30 years, a three-day, 87-mile trip through the Champagne region of France just 16 weeks after surgery for prostate cancer.

A new Berlin-based bike registry offers near-impossible to remove titanium micro-tags to identify your bike if it’s stolen.

Great piece from a British woman who left her London flat last July to bike to, and through, the Middle East in order to better understand it. One key point in our refugee-fearing times — she says she hasn’t met a single Muslim with the slightest sympathy for ISIS on her travels.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t body check a security guard just because he asks you to rack your bike. Climb hills and drop your friends the easy way, while still passing your urine test.

And did someone lose a giant plastic orange?

 

Morning Links: Koretz aid promises Westwood bike lane removal, and the Bieb nearly takes out bikers in the ‘Bu

Don’t forget, there’s just four more days to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

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Do they know something we don’t?

A field deputy for Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz assured the Westwood Neighborhood Council that a bike lane slated for Westwood Blvd north of Wilshire Blvd in the Village will be removed from the new Mobility Plan.

Even though he doesn’t have the authority to do that. And even though a proposal to remove it, or any other bike lane, from the plan must first be approved by the city Planning Commission, then face a hearing by the city council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees, before being voted on by the full council.

To this point, there have been no public discussions of the matter by any of those bodies.

Any secret discussions or backroom deals attempting to bypass that process would be a violation of the state’s Brown Act, which requires that all meetings of official bodies be held in public. And would likely invalidate any decisions resulting from it.

So let’s hope that she just misspoke or was misquoted, and meant to say that Koretz will attempt to have the bike lane removed from the plan.

Because we all have a right to be heard before any decision is made.

Especially the wrong one.

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CiclaValley catches up on the latest details of the LA River bike path closure. The good news is most of the barriers will be on the opposite side of the river from the bike path. However, he says the path will close for construction of the barriers between Riverside and Glendale Blvd for two weeks starting on the 26th; no word yet on whether it will reopen in full or in part once the work is finished.

Meanwhile, LADOT Bike Blog fills in the history and the background of the flood control efforts on LA’s concrete river.

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Tres shock! A new study shows what we already knew — sharrows don’t improve safety, and they don’t seem to increase ridership, either.

Meanwhile, another study suggests that biking infrastructure and gentrification mirror one another, making it difficult to say which one causes the other.

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Semi-reformed celeb bad boy Justin Bieber nearly takes out an entire cycling team that was training in the ‘Bu, inexplicably running out in front of the riders waving his arms while they cruised down PCH at 25 mph.

However, all was forgiven when he posed for selfies with the riders, who forgot to ask why he did it in the first place.

Maybe he just wanted their autographs.

Although one site seems to blame the guys in the tight shorts, saying they should have stuck with SoulCycle.

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Local

The petition to remove bike lanes from York Blvd in Northeast LA has 304 supporters as of this writing; the petition to keep them has 454.

There’s now more hope on Hope Street, as the DTLA street gets a new parklet.

A UCLA alum is filming a documentary about the problems bike riders face, focusing on last year’s Emmy Ride; the film’s executive producer is former Ad Men producer Tom Smuts, who started the ride.

Another former UCLA student writes that she has continued to ride after graduating, commuting to work, leading rides and volunteering as an advocate for safer streets. And it all began with the school’s program to rent out commuter bikes to students for $45 a quarter.

That guy riding one of New York’s Citi Bikes across the US has now made it to Claremont; Santa Monica Spoke invites you to welcome him when he ends his journey at the end of Route 66 on the 23rd.

Long Beach firefighters rescue a woman who injured her head when she somehow fell off the San Gabriel River bike path.

Mark your calendar. BikeSGV lists the seven — count ‘em — open streets events scheduled for the LA area this year.

 

State

Three Leucadia coffee shops will soon get bike corrals in the North San Diego County community.

Sad news from the Bay Area, as an 80-year old Novato sidewalk cyclist was killed in a collision with a 16-year old driver who was making a left turn out of a parking lot.

Streetsblog talks with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s new interim ED.

Best wishes to one of last year’s AIDS Lifecycle riders, Sonoma-area winemaker Chuck Hovey, who is recovering from a massive stroke he suffered just a week after finishing the ride.

In a crime that appears to be getting more common, a Sacramento cyclist is bike-jacked at knifepoint. Expanding the city’s bait bike program won’t help with that kind of theft, even though it lead to around 60 busts last year.

 

National

Nice. An Albuquerque program gives bikes to the homeless to help them get back on their feet.

An Oklahoma driver will face a felony manslaughter charge for the distracted driving death of a cyclist, who was biking across the country building and repairing homes; the woman who was riding with him is still recovering from her injuries.

Even the sponsor of the Missouri bill which would require every bicycle to have a 15-foot orange fluorescent flag agrees that it’s ridiculous; he claims he just wanted to get people talking about bike safety. He previously co-sponsored a bill that would have banned bikes from state roads if there was a bike trail within two miles of the highway.

Chicago is ticketing more drivers for parking in bike lanes, while expanding its bikeshare into predominantly African American and low-to-moderate income communities.

A 50-mile Kentucky bike ride will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the bike-riding Buffalo Soldiers in 1896.

A Massachusetts eighth grader testifies in front of a state legislative committee in support of a pair of bike safety bills, after his father was nearly caught between a bus and a row of parked cars when it cut into the bike lane as they were riding together.

Boston’s Bikeface compares bikes to shoes to explain why you always seem to need one more.

You still have a chance to win a bike ride with Bono through New York’s Central Park, who is tempting fate by returning to the scene of his solo crash.

A Georgia nurse who just happened to by passing by saved the life of a bike rider when he collapsed from a heart attack in the middle of an intersection.

Despite doomsday predictions, there have been no bike crashes on a Florida bridge two years after a ban on bikes was lifted.

 

International

Caught on video: An angry Brit bike rider confronts a driver inside a supermarket after a dangerously close punishment pass.

Supporters of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn raise funds to give him his dream bike, a sub-$700 Raleigh Criterium — even though a writer for the Telegraph criticized him for coveting such an “expensive” bike.

It took four cops to put an “arrogant” Irish bike rider in a squad car after he was busted for insisting on his “right to cycle in the manner in which he insisted he cycled;” during the incident, he called the Irish equivalent of 911 in an effort to report the police to the police.

So much for that friendly welcome to Europe. Norway is sending bike-riding Syrian refugees back to Russia the same way they came after they exploited a loophole banning anyone from walking or driving across the border.

The National continues its recent coverage of bicycling in the United Arab Emirates and beyond, this time offering a look at riding in Rwanda.

Dutch bank ING donates pedicabs to Philippine hurricane survivors to help lift them out of poverty.

 

Finally…

No matter how angry you get, don’t take it out on your bike. Speaking of tres shock!, LA bike thieves learn the hard way not to steal bikes. Or sit on them, anyway.

And it’s a common tactic for bike thieves to lock another bike to yours so they can come back later to take it. But what does it mean when someone ties a cute little dog up to your bike?

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions are always welcome in any amount, for any reason.

 

Morning Links: Alleged drunk hit-and-run driver faces charges, and Che Garcetti leads urban streets revolution

Unfortunately, I was tied up in a meeting last night, and didn’t have time to write the usual daily bike news roundup. But there are too many good stories to skip entirely, so let’s call this Morning Links Lite.

And come back later today, when we’ll have a different take on Describe Your Ride.

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Don’t forget, there’s less than one week to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

………

Twenty-five-year old Glendora resident Presley Rodriguez pled not guilty to a felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with special enhancement for fleeing the scene, in the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of Jose De Jesus Ruiz-Villanueva as he rode his bike to work last fall.

A police officer heard the collision, and stopped Rodriguez after seeing the damaged car speed away; a second officer found Ruiz-Villanueva lying dead at the scene.

She faces a well-deserved 15 year behind bars if she’s convicted, though the DA will most likely plead the case out for far less.

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Newsweek calls LA Mayor Eric Garcetti the Che Guevara of SoCal infrastructure as he leads an urban revolution that, if successful, could spread across the country.

However, the story also relies on the old misleading stat that only 1% of Angelenos commute by bike, which fails to include other transportation riders such as students, shoppers or anyone who uses a bike for just part of their commute.

And it neglects to mention the huge jump in Santa Monica ridership after the city built a complete bike network, which should serve as a model for LA, and prove that people here will ride if they’re just given a share of the streets.

………

Speaking of remaking our streets — and the inevitable blowback cited in the Newsweek story — a petition on Change.org calls for the removal of bike lanes on York Blvd, claiming they cause major congestion at rush hour, overflow traffic on side streets and lost sales for local businesses.

Meanwhile, a counter petition says au contraire, most people want keep the bike lanes right where they are. Sign the latter if you live, work or ride in the area.

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On top of all the other bad news yesterday, a man was murdered while riding his bike in Carson Tuesday evening. Police are looking for two suspects who ran away after shooting him; motive is unknown.

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Police bust a career petty thief living in Leisure World in Seal Beach; the area saw a jump in stolen bicycles after he moved into the community following his latest release from jail.

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A gofundme account has been started to raise funds for a memorial for Stephen Craig Ortiz, the Loma Linda rider killed recently when he was left crossed by a 92-year old driver.

But in a very generous gesture, his family has requested that any further donations go the Inland Empire Biking Alliance, even though the fund has raised only $305 of the $2,000 goal.

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A San Francisco bike rider was pepper sprayed by a driver who had just buzzed her when she knocked on the car’s window at a red light to complain.

Something similar happened to a cyclist right here in LA recently; we should have the story soon.

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Also in the Bagdad by the Bay, a bike deliveryman says he was brutally beaten by a cop, apparently for using his cellphone while cycling, which isn’t illegal.

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After Utah firefighters save the life of a college student who was nearly killed in a collision, they take up a collection to buy him a new bike.

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Cyclelicious reports that a proposed law in Missouri would require all bike riders to have a 15-foot tall orange fluorescent flag attached to their bicycles, apparently to protect riders from low-flying aircraft.

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Look mom, no handlebars!

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Edinburgh police are on the lookout for a “scruffy” bike rider with dark circles around his eyes who allegedly kicked a toddler as he rode by on his mountain bike.

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We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry crashing into a sheep on a high speed descent.

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An Aussie motorcycle cop rode up next to a moving bicyclist and pushed him off his bike in the middle of a busy intersection, allegedly for the crime of riding through a red light and not wearing a helmet.

Police claim the rider had refused to stop when the cop tried to pull him over, but witnesses told a different story.

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And don’t try this at home. A Barcelona bicyclist drafts just inches behind a bus at 50 mph.

Morning Links: Bike lanes on WeHo’s Fairfax, news from the ‘cross Nats, and bike riding kung fu Buddhist nuns

scholar_womens_44276c94-aece-4b4e-8573-e68d4cdda98f_1024x1024Just one more week to help someone you know win a new bicycle. Read more about our first-ever bike giveaway and suggest who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

Even if that person is you.

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Fairfax Ave could soon have a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose Ave.

West Hollywood is moving forward with plans to place bike lanes on that city’s section of Fairfax between Fountain and Willoughby Aves, transforming this…

Fairfax south of Santa Monica

Fairfax south of Santa Monica

…into this.

Fairfax south of SaMo 2

The lanes would connect with existing bike lanes on Fairfax north of Fountain, as well as planned lanes between Willoughby and Melrose in the City of LA. The WeHo website suggests they might even extend below Melrose; however, that would likely require removing parking from the narrow, small business-lined street.

Which isn’t likely to happen given the city’s risk-averse culture.

Still, it’s nice to see a little coordination between the two cities to provide a badly needed north-south route for bike riders in that part of town.

Thanks to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for the link.

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The amazing Katie Compton wins her 12th national cyclocross championship; Jeremy Powers only has nine more to go after winning his third straight men’s title.

Cyclocross Magazine offers full coverage.

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Local

Santa Monica will create a new coastal zoning plan, taking into account the new bikeshare program, as well as future sea level rises due to global warming.

The Daily News looks at Winnetka’s five-year old Girlz Gone Riding mountain bike club, which has grown to include chapters in San Diego and the Inland Empire. Note to Daily News: 1,000 Facebook members sounds impressive, but chances are, they’re no more real than Facebook friends.

 

State

An Oxnard cyclist was critically injured in a broadside collision Sunday afternoon.

A musician’s cross-country bike trip from West Virginia to Santa Paula inspires a web series and a new album.

Palo Alto’s My City Bikes is trying to encourage people to save money and stay fit by riding bikes.

 

National

NPR looks at Kurt Searvogel, the new holder of the year record.

A bike-riding TV news producer says older riders need to encourage the next generation of bicyclists.

The Austin TX Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, named after the patron saint of cyclists, teaches older adults to ride three-wheel bikes to provide them with better health and greater mobility.

A Mississippi physician bikes the route of the Underground Railroad north to Canada.

Orlando FL gets its first sharrows. Which work a lot better for wayfinding than they do for improving safety or encouraging drivers to share the lane.

 

International

In a shameful assault, a Canadian man rode his bike past a group of Syrian refugees attending a Vancouver welcome event, and pepper sprayed at least 30 men, women and children.

If you build it, they don’t always come. A bikeshare program operated by a British rail system has averaged only one rental per station every six days.

Remarkably, all five candidates for London mayor have endorsed banning cars from one of the city’s busiest, and most polluted, streets, as well as implementing an Idaho stop law. Maybe we could get the losers to run for office here.

A road raging Brit bike rider is confined to a curfew for attacking a driver who allegedly passed too close. Seriously, keep your anger and your fists to yourself, no matter how much you think the other party might deserve it. On the other hand, if a bike rider is smashing in your window and threatening to kill you, you may not have given “ample room” after all.

Now that’s a good dog. A British police dog sniffs out a stolen mountain bike worth over $4,300.

This could be the last year for the Tour of Oman.

Officials of the United Arab Emirates get on their bikes to encourage their citizens to bike to work this Tuesday, though some of those citizens say the streets of Abu Dhabi are too dangerous to ride.

Adventure Journal relates the story of Polish cyclist Kazimierz Nowak, who twice rode the full length of Africa in the 1930s as the world was building up to global war.

A Kiwi expat competes in 14 mile time trial on Friday and goes a 46 mile bike ride on Saturday, then gets married that night.

The death of a young bike-riding mother leads to a campaign for more and safer bike lanes in the Philippines.

A Singapore cyclist offers a whopping $10 to forget the whole thing after crashing into a three-year old and knocking out his tooth.

 

Finally…

A bike for people who aren’t ready to give up the car. The world needs more bike riding kung fu Buddhist nuns.

And go ahead and fire it up; a new study shows weed won’t affect your ability to ride a bike.

Though you may want to pack more munchies for the ride.

 

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