Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: Bike lane advice for the mayor, dueling Idaho Stop Op-Eds, and a Cannibal-themed beer in DTLA

So far, Mayor Eric Garcetti has talked a good game when it comes to bicycling.

But as a recent Op-Ed by Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald made clear, he’s failed to translate that talk into paint on the street.

Let alone protected bike lanes.

In fact, implementation of the city’s hard-fought bike plan has fallen precipitously since former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left office four years ago, from a high of 251 lane miles — a single side of a roadway — to just 17 lane miles in the last fiscal year.

Although it should be pointed out that sharrows were included in Villaraigosa’s total.

Now Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is offering advice on what Garcetti can do to make LA bike friendly, with nearly 23 miles of bike lanes and road diets that could be implemented right away, along with another 30.8 miles that could be easily converted from bike lanes to protected lanes.

That’s if Garcetti is serious, of course.

I would have included Hollywood Blvd in that list, which desperately needs safety improvements to protect the millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year, as well as providing a much needed east-west route for local bike riders.

In fact, there’s not currently a single safe route in or out of Hollywood in any direction. A situation that will only get worse when the Metro Bike bikeshare arrives within a few years.

LA cyclists have long supported Eric Garcetti, both during his time on council, and in his run for mayor four years ago.

It’s time he returned the favor.

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While the LA Times has virtually ignored the subject, the Times-owned San Diego Union-Tribune has taken the lead on covering California’s consideration of the proposed Idaho Stop Law.

Today, they offer a pair of dueling Op-Eds on the matter.

The executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says it’s smart policy for California to adopt an Idaho Stop Law.

Meanwhile, a former Oceanside councilmember says it would be bad for kids who lack the judgment to make those quick decisions — and says it’s really about Strava users not wanting to stop, anyway.

She makes a valid point about kids. Although there’s nothing that says you can’t come to a full stop if you want, which might be a better option for kids under driving age.

But let’s be honest.

This law isn’t so much about the spandex-clad than it is the everyday riders who are faced with the prospect of choosing between dangerous traffic-clogged streets on their commutes or recreational rides, or taking side streets where they’re forced to stop every block or two.

And while riders would be allowed to treat stop signs as yields, they would still be required to slow down and observe the right of way, and yield to opposing traffic when appropriate.

In other words, pretty much what most drivers already do.

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DTLA’s Mumford Brewing now has a barrel-aged brew named after the legendary Eddy Merckx. Just because.

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Talk about a great looking poster. This is for Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament campaign, something we might want to seriously consider replicating here.

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Belgian’s one-day Dwars Door Vlaanderen cobble classic made its first appearance in the UCI WorldTour on Wednesday; American rider Kiel Reijnen appeared to avoid serious injury when the peloton squeezed him off the road and into a ditch.

A 55-year old British amateur cyclist was banned for doping, but at least he had an excuse.

Former pro Phil Gaimon suggests that podium girls be replaced with podium puppies. Now there’s an idea we can all get behind. And clean up after.

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Local

How to get your bike, or other possessions, back if you leave it on a Metro bus or train. Not that you would ever do that, of course.

The Argonaut says the future has two wheels, as it looks forward to Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, as well as efforts to make Mar Vista safer and more inviting to people walking and on bikes.

Pasadena will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan. Which should include a heavy reliance on walking and bicycling to help get people out of their cars.

 

State

An OC supervisor has a massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail removed. And judging by the riprap installed in its place, doesn’t want it to return, either.

An Arizona couple describe what its like to watch their cell phones, IDs, credit cards and cash go up in smoke when a newly purchased ebike caught fire on the sand in Newport Beach.

Carpenteria will host its first Open Streets festival on April Fools Day, closing over a mile of downtown streets to motor vehicles.

Santa Barbara is already getting started implementing their 2016 bike plan, with three new projects set to open by this summer. Unlike, say, a certain city to the south.

Still more bad news from up north. Fresno police are investigating Tuesday’s hit-and-run death of a bike rider as a homicide instead of a traffic collision, suggesting they have reason to believe the death may have been intentional.

The Mercury News looks at why people in San Jose are reluctant to bike to work. Spoiler alert: They’re afraid of cars.

An El Cerrito couple got more than they bargained for when they left a bike in their yard with a “free” sign, and retuned home to find the bike gone, a man in their backyard, and their home burglarized.

San Francisco moves to regulate app-based, Chinese-style bikeshare systems.

Oakland city commissioners are angry that bikeshare plans didn’t include bikes for people with disabilities.

A Napa Valley letter writer asks why the woman who right hooked him in a rush to get to church didn’t care enough to stop or find out if he was okay.

 

National

Now you, too, can ride dressed like the Simpsons.

Bicycling wants to help you master the art of the paceline. Which will undoubtedly come in handy for your next bike train commute.

Now that’s more like it. A Nevada man faces up to 40 years in prison following his conviction for fleeing the scene after crashing into an 11-year old girl who was riding her bike in a Reno trailer park; he was twice the legal limit when he was arrested. The same crime in California probably wouldn’t result in more than a few years, if that.

A bike-riding Denver letter writer reminds drivers that you’ll get home a lot later if you hit someone.

The University of Iowa profiles a bicycle-riding associate who’s using her fellowship to learn how bike safety research can influence public policy and improve rider safety.

Houston approves a new bike plan calling for nearly 1,800 miles of bikeways, adding to the current 500 miles of lanes and trails, half of which are separated from traffic in some way.

Grieving family members release balloons to honor a Little Rock AK man killed by a wrong way driver as he rode his bike last week. Nice gesture, but never release balloons — especially Mylar ones; stick with a ghost bike instead.

Two years after Memphis yanked bike lanes off the city’s Riverside Drive due to complaints from motorists, they’re planning to try again.

Pittsburgh bicyclists would rather share the road with a robot than with a human being behind the wheel. And who can blame them?

Ten young cyclists have been chosen to follow the infamous 950-mile Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

Mississippi’s 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway will soon be getting Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, as well as signs telling drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders.

 

International

Tern isn’t just about foldies anymore.

A bike industry news site looks at ten cities around the world that are building bicycling into everyday life. None of which are Los Angeles. Or in North America, for that matter.

Nice gesture from the builder of LA’s StoopidTall Bike, who’s in Cuba with 30 pounds of bike parts to help a man’s quest to set a new record for the world’s tallest bicycle.

Don’t ride your bike in an anti-social manner in the UK.

Former Brit heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is one of us, riding a bike with his daughter in a child seat as he talks about making a comeback, after losing his titles following a failed drug test.

A British bike rider gets six years, eight months behind bars for slashing a man across the face with a box cutter when the victim asked him for a cigarette.

Chinese bikeshare is booming, and it’s headed your way. And so are efforts to scam users out of their money.

India and Bangladesh attempt to build peace through bicycles, with an 11 day joint military ride through both countries.

A San Francisco writer goes on a bicycle tour of New Zealand looking for an actual kiwi, and comes up empty. But discovers the journey was really the whole point.

Aussie riders call for new laws protecting bicyclists from having items thrown at them from passing cars, as well as prohibiting tacks and other items left on bikeways; as it is now, someone who leaves tacks on a bike path usually faces nothing more than a littering charge.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you can’t afford a two-wheeled Bugatti, either — or ride it around the block, for that matter. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got a rattlesnake?

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle from a former Marine, don’t leave yours behind. And if you do, don’t come back for it.

 

Morning Links: Cedillo and Bray-Ali in CD1 runoff, and Santa Monica writer attacks Lincoln Blvd plans — and you

It’s semi official.

The latest vote count shows CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo with just 49.4% of the vote, putting him under the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff with second place finisher Joe Bray-Ali.

Which means Bray-Ali and Cedillo will likely face off in a winner-take-all vote on May 16th that will determine, not just whether the district will continue to be represented by a disinterested career politician, but whether it will see a safer and more livable future.

The final vote totals should be certified tomorrow.

If Bray-Ali wins, it will be the first time an incumbent councilmember has been defeated since 2003.

Meanwhile, LA’s famed Wolfpack Hustle has nothing but good things to say about him.

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A writer of for the Santa Monica Observer explains street planning from the perspective of someone who has no idea how street planning works, predicting that a road diet planned for Lincoln Blvd will bring traffic to a screeching halt while making the surrounding community unlivable.

Actually, it should have exactly the opposite effect, taming an exceptionally dangerous street that has long depressed the local community and forced businesses along its way to struggle. The plans call for a more livable, walkable street that should help the area thrive for the first time in decades.

He also apparently has never been to a public meeting to discuss a community project, predicting that “…ten bicycle riders will show up and tell them they’re godlike. Bicyclists who live in mom’s basement have time to attend public meetings.”

Funny, the meetings I’ve attended have usually been filled with people trying to shout down those bike riders, who often have to take time off from their jobs and families to attend.

Not that he would know. Or care, evidently.

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Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski outsprinted Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphilippe in a photo finish to win the 108th edition of the Milan – San Remo classic on Saturday.

Deadspin says the gray areas in cycling doping rules aren’t helping anyone.

Roger Pingeon, winner of the 1967 Tour de France, passed away after suffering a heart attack; he was 76.

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Local

An LA bicyclist is asking for $2 million in damages after being injured by an FBI agent making an illegal U-turn while the rider was participating in a charity ride.

LA Curbed offers more details on the state grants to build bikeways in the LA area, including nearly $15 million for DTLA’s Arts District.

The Daily News Group’s Steve Scauzillo experiences what we’ve all felt at our first ciclovía at the recent 626 Golden Streets.

The LA Weekly previewed Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride.

Long Beach celebrates the first anniversary of its bikeshare system, while introducing a branded “unicorn bike” program with prizes available for people who find it.

 

State

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be stepping up enforcement of traffic violations that can endanger cyclists and pedestrians today. You know the drill; obey the letter of the law in any area they patrol today.

Yes, she’s tougher than you are. An OC woman paralyzed from the waist down plans to hand-cycle her way to the North Pole in a solo marathon attempt.

Evidently, it runs in the family. A San Diego woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a high school student as he walked with a friend; her sister is doing eight years for a fatal DUI.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult three-wheeled bike from a 69-year old Fresno veteran who used it for his only form of transportation; the bike was given to him by a stranger to replace a bike that was stolen when he rode to the market. The good news is a Fresno couple bought him a new bike after seeing the story on the news.

It was a bad weekend in Northern California. A 43-year old bike rider was killed in a Stockton hit-and-run, and a 65-year old man died when his bicycle was struck by a truck in Auburn. Meanwhile, a Sacramento man turned himself in for a hit-and-run last week, after apparently giving himself a few days to sober up.

A Palo Alto bike rider was seriously injured when she was struck by a wrong-way driver who was fleeing from police; police arrested all five people in the car after an extensive search of the downtown area.

Nice story from Santa Clara, where a former county supervisor sort of got his stolen Steyr Clubman bicycle back 34 years later.

Dozens of NorCal bicyclists rode to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

 

National

Maybe racing 100 miles through the wilds of Alaska by bike, foot or skis in 40 degree below zero weather is your idea of a good time. Unless maybe you’d rather do 1,000 miles, instead.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where the hit-and-run death of an off-duty firefighter as he rode his bike is only worth a lousy 90 days in jail; the driver claimed she fell asleep at the wheel. Although she was presumably fully awake when she fled the scene afterwards.

Iowa’s famed RAGBRAI, and tourism in general, may be taking a hit because of Iowa Congressman Steve King’s recent comments about “someone else’s babies.”

Sadly, no surprise here. Chicago bicyclists suffer from the Biking While Black syndrome, as minority areas receive the most bike tickets. Something that seems to be true in many major cities, including Los Angeles.

Seriously, if someone can use a bike rack to jump over the fence at the White House, maybe its time to move it.

The local paper in Hilton Head SC calls for better lighting to improve safety for cyclists on the popular resort island.

 

International

Residents throughout Costa Rica are asking their elected officials to build promised bike paths that remain stuck on the drawing board.

A Canadian city is considering offering bike riders free bus rides up a steep hill to promote cycling and improve safety for riders.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the roads until she killed someone, as a Calgary driver was sentenced to 30 months for the distracted driving death of a cyclist. It’s not like her seven prior speeding and careless driving convictions might have been a red flag or anything.

Windsor, Ontario bike riders are up in arms after the city plans to use funds that were promised for bikeways for roadwork, instead.

A British bike rider suffered a broken pelvis when he was “rugby tackled” by a drunk 280 pound man as he rode by; unfortunately, the only description police have to go by is a six-foot tall man in a brown suit.

A pair of Brit cyclists are just days away from completing a record-setting tandem journey around the world.

Caught on video: A rider in a UK bike lane is lucky to get home in one piece after a painfully close pass.

Luxembourg installs two new bike counters in the capital city, bringing the total number in the city to thirteen.

An Indian man who was partially paralyzed by an electric shock was forced to ride a child’s toy tricycle in the hospital ward because he couldn’t afford a bribe to get a wheelchair.

A newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh says it’s time that the city embraced the bicycle, in hopes that a more bike-friendly approach could improve the quality of life in one of the world’s most unlivable cities.

The world may be going to hell, but at least Arnold is wearing a bike helmet as he pedals around Melbourne.

Justin Bieber is sort of one of us, riding through Auckland, New Zealand, in a pedal-powered rickshaw.

Bicycles donated by a nonprofit group are a passport to a better life for women in Nepal.

After weeks of victim blaming by the Malaysian media, the driver who killed eight teenage cyclists and injured eight others in a late night crash is expected to be charged with reckless driving.

 

Finally…

Enjoy that vanilla half-caf latte while you can. Anything that starts with a truck parked on a bike path isn’t likely to end well.

And riding your bike could give you the heart of a non-bike riding Amazonian tribesman.

But take good care of it, because he might need it later.

Morning Links: LA River bike path reopens, and app-based bikeshare could pose a challenge for Metro

Today’s big news is the reopening of the LA River bike path.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the bike path was finally reopened following months of repair and maintenance on the stretch below Griffith Park, after it was closed to install needless flood barricades for the storms that never came last winter.

Now weekday riders can finally stop following that circuitous and bike-unfriendly detour that was put in place to get around the construction work. Or more likely, start riding the path again after finding other routes or modes of transportation for the past several months.

Here’s the link to the Corps LA River page that was included in the above tweet.

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Another Chinese-style app-based bikeshare system is coming to the US, as San Mateo’s LimeBike has raised over $12 million in venture capital funding. The company says its bikes will rent for $1 for 30 minutes, and can be picked up and left anywhere, rather than at a dock.

That could pose a significant challenge to the more traditional bikeshare programs — if you can call something that only gained significant US acceptance in this decade “traditional.”

Programs like LA’s Metro Bike, which costs nearly three times as much if you don’t have a membership while offering less flexibility, could struggle to compete against cheaper competition that will inevitably arrive within the next few years — at a significant cost to the taxpayers footing the bill.

If Metro Bike, and others like Santa Monica’s Breeze and West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals, are to succeed, they will have to expand quickly into currently unserved areas, while somehow addressing the issue of affordability.

Because, as the taxi industry has learned the hard way, it’s a lot more convenient to just pick up your phone to find and pay for a ride.

Whether you’re on four wheels. Or soon, two.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine offers advice on how to keep ridership surging on the Expo Line, including a call for better pedestrian access. The same could be said for bicycles, as Westside bikeways leading to and from the Expo Line aren’t just bad, they’re virtually nonexistent.

Santa Monica will have four bike valets for the LA Marathon on Sunday; however, three Breeze bikeshare stations will be disabled for the day.

Grab your bike, hop on Metro and hit the bars.

CiclaValley is starting a campaign to bring a former LACBC intern from the Netherlands back to compete in the Amgen Tour of California.

The Street Librarians will hold their monthly ride to restock street libraries on the 26th, while reading selections from the poet Rumi.

 

State

Speaking of app-based bikeshare, San Francisco approves rules for the dock-less systems, which seem more like an attempt to regulate them out of business.

A San Francisco driver faces charges for attempting to flee the scene after hitting a bike rider; fortunately, the victim is expected to recover.

 

National

Bicycling, the magazine, gets it right, as contributors say bicycling, the sport/transportation/activity, is the key to a lifetime of pure, unadulterated joy. Although my personal joy has been adulterated on numerous occasions by angry drivers, bad roads and bees on the beach. Not to mention my own damn carelessness from time to time.

Speaking of Bicycling, after the magazine offered seven reasons why bicycling was better than running, Running, the magazine, responds with a whopping 37 reasons why they think their sport is better.

A writer for a design site says building the new Ikea bike was the worst hour of his life. Besides dental work and real emotional loss, that is.

A new Portland bicycling collective composed of women of color is attempting to crack the city’s overwhelmingly white and male cycling scene. And doing it with a donut ride, which is always a smart move.

WaPo belatedly discovers the glowing Texas bikeway everyone was talking about last month. Or last year, even.

Instant karma strikes hard in Little Rock AR, where a wrong way truck driver fleeing a previous hit-and-run was killed in a collision with a bike rider, who also died in the crash.

Caught on video: A Minnesota driver faces charges after brake checking a bike rider, then threatening to kill him before nearly running over his foot. All for the crime of being in the driver’s way at a red light.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a judge refuses to reconsider her original sentence of just one year in county jail for a killer drunk driver who was over twice the legal limit when he ran down a bike rider; sentencing guidelines called for a minimum of nearly two and a half years in state prison, with a max of 15 years.

Indiana homeowners — and passing bike riders — have to literally dodge bullets escaping from a nearby gun range.

Courses were unveiled for the US national road cycling championships in Knoxville KY this June.

An Ohio letter writer says it’s unfair to segregate bike riders onto bike paths, because people on bikes have to get to businesses and residences just like anyone else.

New York releases plans to make bicycling safer for commuters looking for an alternative after the L train shuts down for 18 months of repair work.

 

International

A new study shows bicycling really does improve your memory.

A Philippine actor tells fans he’s okay after he was injured in a bicycling crash.

Don’t bother biking to the airport in Bangkok for the next seven months.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want the cops to shoot at you, put a damn light on your bike — and don’t flee when they try to stop you. If you have to pee while you ride, try not to do it in view of the breathless British press.

And why settle for a time trial when you can have a six-legged obstacle course?

Morning Links: CA needs big bike boost to meet climate goals, screw the Rules, and riding on glass through NYC

It’s election day. Get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already.

And if you haven’t made a final decision in where to put your X, check out the voting guide from Bike the Vote LA.

I’m voting no on Measure S and yes on H. And wishing I was in CD1 to vote for Joe Bray-Ali, or still in CD5 to vote for Jesse Creed.

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California will require a nine-fold increase in the rate of bike ridership, along with dramatic increases in walking and transit use, to meet the state’s 2030 climate change according to the LA Times.

Not to mention a corresponding decrease in driving rates, and an increase in density — which would be blocked if Measure S passes.

But it will take more than denser neighborhoods to get people out on their bikes.

Like a real commitment to building out the bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets contained in the Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035. A commitment we’ve yet to see from our certain to be re-elected mayor or the city’s Department of Transportation.

And one that will have to be replicated in cities and towns up and down the state.

Not to mention a genuine commitment to LA’s Vision Zero Plan, which the people in charge of implementing it still see as “aspirational.”

That suggests they’re not willing to make the tough choices necessary to actually end traffic deaths, but will gladly settle for merely reducing them.

Which means people may still not feel safe on the streets unless they’re wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass. And as long as they don’t feel safe, those lofty bike and walking goals won’t be met in the next 13 years.

Or maybe ever.

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Another great piece from former Bicycling editor in chief and current Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax, who says the Velominati’s Rules were funny at first, but it’s time to give them a rest.

Seriously. Just get out on your bike and ride. Everything else is just details. And if someone else doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, this may be the coolest video you’ll see all day. Or maybe all week.

Bored New Yorker magazine illustrator Christoph Niemann sketched a simple illustration of a bike rider on the inside of a car window as he rode in the backseat. And filmed it as the rider appears to magically come to life, riding alongside as they travel through the city.

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More news from around the world about the Para-cycling Track World Championships that took place in our own backyard. But which no one seems to know about, since the local news media hasn’t bothered to mention it.

The US won its first-ever gold in the men’s team sprint event as the meet came to a close, with American Joseph Berenyi claiming double gold in the sprint and scratch C1-C2-C3 events.

Britain dominated day three with six medals, including a sweep of the tandem time trial; Brit rider Jon Gildea won two golds and a silver.

Slovak cyclist Jozef Metelka defended his title in the individual time trial.

And after so much bad news from Malaysia lately, it’s nice to see the country’s athletes shine in LA, taking bronze in the 200 meter sprint.

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The US and the UK are finalizing plans for an every-other-year Olympic-style competition involving a half-dozen sports, including cycling; the first could take place in 2019.

After months of accusations of sexism and doping, Britain’s governing body for cycling has chosen a female soccer executive to head the organization.

Cycling Weekly hunts for the truth about the prevalence of asthma in the peloton, and the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.

You should be able to see the inaugural four-day Colorado Classic bike race, as NBC Sports has agreed to broadcast it and stream it live online.

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Local

KPCC reports on plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in DTLA. The streets will eventually get concrete islands and curbs to protect riders and pedestrians at intersections.

The Source offers great photos of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley. Streetsblog reports on the event and solicits comments from readers who attended it.

 

State

Helmet cam video from the Santa Ana River trail shows it’s becoming a homeless encampment for several hundred people, potentially putting riders at risk. This is a lose/lose for everyone involved. A bike path should be safe for the people who use it. And everyone should have the right to have a roof over their heads, something Measure H will help accomplish in LA County.

San Francisco’s bike coalition object to the sudden removal of protected bike lanes from plans to improve safety on Upper Market Street. Maybe city officials want to improve safety, just not that much.

The San Francisco Weekly questions whether a proposal to put an end to bike chop shops in the city targets the most vulnerable. So, they’re saying stealing bikes is okay if you’re poor?

A Berkeley ghost bike memorializes a 78-year old man who had been riding in the city since he was a child.

 

National

Popular Mechanics says gravel cycling is terrifying — and exhilarating.

Legislation was introduced by California Representative Tom McClintock that would end the blanket ban on bicycles in federal Wilderness areas. Since it’s sponsored by a Republican, it might actually have a chance of passing in the current GOP dominated Congress.

The official report has been released into the death of a Montana Forest Service officer who was mauled by a grizzly bear, after crashing his mountain bike into it while rounding a blind curve at high speed.

Billings MT is struggling to find a way to pay for the city’s bike and pedestrian plan as federal funding dries up.

Austin TX has embarked on a three-year plan to reduce traffic congestion by doubling the number of people on bikes.

Muhammad Ali started boxing after his bike was stolen in Louisville KY; if he was still around this summer, he could just take the city’s new bikeshare, instead.

Bike Portland looks at day one of the first National Bike Summit of the Trump era.

 

International

Good news and bad news when it comes to the effects of bicycling on your sex life.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Carlos Vives and Shakira say their song La Bicicleta wasn’t copied from a Cuban singer.

Winnipeg officially decides it’s up to you whether or not to wear a helmet.

Bizarre tragedy from great Britain, where a bike rider died days after suffering a broken leg when he fell on a descent.

A British driver gets eight months for a “catastrophic error of judgment” for passing a bicyclist at the wrong time, even though the rider was wearing more hi-viz clothing than is “normally necessary.” So just how much is necessary?

Odd posters of a faceless boy on a balance bike have got residents of an English town talking.

Berlin is the latest city to plan a network of bicycle superhighways. You’ll note that Los Angeles is not rushing to join them.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to fuck someone in the bushes, get off your bike first — and maybe don’t do it in full view of a passing bus. If you’re going to steal a bike, promising to return it later probably isn’t going to work.

And no, sneaking your gun past airport security hidden in your bicycle probably isn’t the smarted move, either.

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help support this site. And a special thanks to Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for another year.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Weekend Links: Great Streets Challenge winners announced, SCAG active trans projects approved

Los Angeles announced the winners of the latest Great Streets Challenge, providing up to $13,000 to help show what our streets can be.

Besides a steady conduit for speeding drivers, that is.

The seven winning proposals include four temporary pop-up projects, and three permanent installations, offering a mix of pedestrian and bicycling improvements, as well as attempts at transformative community space building.

………

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, approved funding for 26 active transportation and sustainability projects throughout LA County on Thursday.

The projects, which total $4.6 million, range from an Open Streets event in South El Monte, to support for Vision Zero community outreach and media development in Los Angeles, as well as developing a Vision Zero action plan for the county.

………

Finally, someone is taking the most important issue of our time seriously, as Bike Radar examines the best bikes for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls the new Riverside Drive Bridge “wider straighter faster deadlier,” and inappropriate for the spot where the City of Los Angeles was born, although he says the two-way bike path was a small victory in a losing battle.

Los Angeles Magazine recommends biking as one option for Expo Line commuters to get to the Culver City station, now that the parking garage is being replaced with a mixed-use development. Although I’m told those bike lockers they mention have a wait list.

 

State

Irvine-based bikemaker Felt Racing has been purchased by French ski-maker Rossignol.

The Orange County Register recommends the 28.5-mile Santa Ana River Trail to ride from the hills of Yorba Linda to the beach.

The wife of San Diego Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw is opening a bicycle-themed coffee shop in the city’s Point Loma district.

In an absolutely horrifying attack, a Riverside driver is under arrest on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon for deliberately running down a homeless man he’d never met, for no apparent reason, as the victim stood near the edge of a parking lot.

This is what those subway-style bike maps look like in a city with an actual bike network, like San Francisco.

 

National

A self-described green car website crunches the numbers, and concluded that driving a Nissan Leaf is cleaner than riding a bicycle — if the rider only eats beef. And only if the power for the car comes from non-coal fired plants. In other words, not really.

Gizmodo reviews a belt-drive bike that replaces the derailleur with a continuously variable transmission, which they claim offers an infinite spectrum of gears.

A St. Louis driver gets seven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police.

An Op-Ed from Kentucky’s capital calls on the state to adopt a safe-passing law for bicycles; two bills under consideration would require drivers to change lanes to pass bikes, or give at least three feet passing distance if that’s not possible. It would also allow drivers to briefly cross a yellow line to pass bike riders if there’s no traffic, something Jerry Brown vetoed as part of an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law.

Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff is one of us.

 

International

Business Insider looks at 12 major cities around the world that are starting to go carfree. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

The owner of a Vancouver driving school says we all have to get along on the roads, so drivers need to watch for bike riders and bike riders need to obey traffic laws. Meanwhile, Vancouver drivers are peeved that bike lanes were plowed following a recent snow.

“Persnickety” residents of a Toronto neighborhood complain about bikeshare besmirching their park; a writer for the Toronto Star calls their petty objections “a rejection of what it means to live in a shared city.”

A British man is riding around the world dressed as Superman, and fixes his bike’s broken fork with chopsticks.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to hit a bike rider at 25 mph, from the driver’s perspective; fortunately, the victim wasn’t injured. Warning, use discretion in deciding whether to click the link, because this one is really hard to watch. I wish I hadn’t.

Dutch smart bike maker VanMoof chases down their stolen bikes across Europe to return them to their owners.

Outside looks at what we can learn from 105-year old French cyclist Robert Marchard, as scientists conclude there is no upper age limit for training.

You can charge your phone or laptop for free at Brisbane’s International Airport, as long as you’re willing to pedal for it.

 

Finally…

Walking on water may be a miracle, pedaling on it not so much. Your next bike could have a 3D-printed honeycomb steel frame.

And if you cause a traffic pileup, just keep walking.

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As you’re no doubt aware, the Super Bowl takes place this Sunday. Time your ride for after kickoff if you want to enjoy rare peaceful, empty streets. But try to get home before the game’s over, when you can reasonably assume any driver you see will be drunk.

And if you plan on watching the game, leave your car at home if you’re going to be drinking.

 

Morning Links: Help make Union Station bikeable, donate used tubes in Ventura, and motor doping on CBS

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA is supporting local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

………

You have just two days left to comment on Metro’s plans to make the entrance to LA’s Union Station more walkable and bikeable.

Although there’s some concern about the removal of a bike lane on Los Angeles St, and dismount zones where riders will be required to walk their bikes.

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If you’re in the Ventura area, stop by BikeVentura at 1150 N Ventura Ave to drop off your old inner tubes; they’ll patch them and pass them on to people in need.

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Now that 60 Minutes has taken up the case, it seems like the whole world is talking about motor doping. The original designer of the hidden motors says he thinks pro cyclists have been using them to cheat since he sold the first one for $2 million in 1998, while America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says he can’t trust cycling victories as a result.

Dutch great Marianne Vos slipped on a wet corner, creating an opening for Belgian Sanne Cant to win her first World cyclocross championship, while denying Vos her eighth.

Deadspin offers a history cyclists taking wrong turns or getting lost in the middle of a race.

A 30-year old Philadelphia bike race has been canceled due to a lack of sponsors.

Lance is still around and kicking, finishing second in a Texas gravel bike race after his ban on cycling was partially lifted last year.

Former Spanish pro and U-23 world road champ Iván Gutiérrez says he tried to hurt himself eleven times as a result of depression. Pro teams focus a lot of attention on physical condition of their riders; maybe more needs to be paid to their mental and emotional health.

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Local

Los Angeles agreed to purchase a large property on the LA River, which should help revitalize the river while making space for parks and bike trails.

Pure Cycles looks at the recent Draft: a People for Bikes Meetup that they hosted.

Work continues on the Ocean Blvd road diet in Long Beach, which will include bike lanes once it’s finished.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is hosting a bikeshare ride to next Saturday’s 118th Golden Dragon Parade in LA’s Chinatown.

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride will explore LA’s Super Bowl history on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

State

Ventura police are looking for a 60-something, bike-riding arsonist.

Streetsblog looks at a soon-to-be unveiled protected bike lane through the city’s McLaren Park.

A Marin County equestrian says conflicts on trails are caused by a small percentage of aggressive cyclists, and never happened before mountain bikes were invented. Funny, I’ve been run off trails by horseback riders while hiking more than once, before and after mountain bikes came into widespread use.

Sad news from Northern California, where an Oroville bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

A Chico man lost $15,000 worth of bicycles and parts when a burglar broke into his garage and stole six bikes.

 

National

If you have a Pro-Tec City Life bike helmet, send it back; they’re being recalled after failing routine tests by Consumer Reports.

Fast Coexist looks at a simple fix that could keep bike riders’ tires from getting caught in streetcar tracks.

A writer for Strong Towns says she’s not a cyclist, she’s just someone who rides a bike. While I understand the sentiment, I have to respectfully disagree; saying cyclists are only people who wear spandex and ride for sport, as opposed to others who ride casually or for transportation, just creates an us vs. them mentality, instead of standing up for the rights of everyone who rides a bicycle.

An Op-Ed in the Austin TX paper says it’s time to respect cyclists humanity and rightful place on the road.

A suspect turned himself in for the hit-and-run death of a young Texas bike racer, whose mother found his body the next day when he didn’t return home from a ride; the driver turned himself in on Friday, following the collision last Monday. Which gave him plenty of time to sober up and come up with a good excuse. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Bike advocates and friends of a fallen Chicago bike rider express their outrage over the ten day sentence given a killer drunk driver. Streetsblog says the politically connected driver was twice charged with DUI in high school, but had the charges dismissed. This is why people continue to die on our streets; too often there are no consequences for dangerous behavior, even when someone gets hurt — or worse. Especially if they can afford a good lawyer.

A Minnesota TV station looks at the intersection of bicycling and President Trump, who hasn’t been on one since he was a kid. Which probably explains a lot.

Not surprisingly, bike riders aren’t reacting well to a Minnesota legislator’s proposal to require bicyclists to pay a $5 fee and pass a road safety course before they’re allowed to use the state’s bike lanes. Which would just push riders into the traffic lanes, defeating the whole purpose.

The New York co-founder of the CycloFemme movement offers her advice on commuting by bike year-round in city traffic.

The New York Times says innovations in the cycling world, including mobile bike shops and online ordering, are threatening local bike shops. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

 

International

If you’re going to get into bicycling, the first thing you’ll need is a bicycle. Just about everything else the story mentions is optional to a greater or lesser degree; yes, you should have a spare tube and patch kit, but countless riders somehow manage to get along without a bike computer, as useful as they may be.

A 230 mile long abandoned railroad in Paraguay could soon be the longest bike path in South America.

Bike parking sheds are fine on the streets of London’s Westminster district, as long as they look like luxury cars.

Caught on video, sort of: It takes a real schmuck to punch a disabled London cyclist, knocking him out, after blocking the rider’s path with his double-parked Uber car.

Hero Cycles, which claims to be the world’s largest bike maker, is opening an R&D center in Manchester, England. Except it isn’t the biggest.

Antonio Banderas is one of us, riding through the woods behind his English home; he made the news after suffering a heart scare.

Seriously, how oblivious do you have to be to not even know you hit someone with your car? A British driver claims his had his music turned up so loud he didn’t even know he’d hit a bike rider until he got home and saw the damage to his car. But how is it that he didn’t even feel the impact?

A Scottish lawyer says the country has to make bicycling safer, as too many people are afraid to get out on their bikes, resulting in a public health crisis.

PeopleForBikes says the latest edition of the Netherland’s bikeway design manual, which they call the world’s best, is available now. And in English.

An Indian bus driver rode his bike nearly 700 miles to call for the expansion of a two lane highway.

 

Finally…

Your next helmet could signal your turns for you. LA riders may have gotten caught in the rain lately, but that’s better than frostbite and burned bronchial tubes.

And you may be able to outsprint the other riders, but can you drop a giraffe?

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Thanks to an anonymous giver for a generous donation to support this site. The kindness and generosity of BikinginLA readers is always welcome.

And appreciated.

 

Breaking News: Los Angeles selected as part of new PeopleForBikes initiative to boost bike ridership

News has just come in that Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten cities to participate in the Big Jump Project.

The new initiative from PeopleForBikes is aimed at doubling or tripling bike ridership in specific neighborhoods by improving bike infrastructure.

As part of the Big Jump Project, Los Angeles will focus on improving bike infrastructure in downtown LA and University Park, the city’s business core. As a participant in the program, Los Angeles will annually receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from PeopleForBikes, as well as an additional $50,000 in matching funds or financial commitments from local organizations….

Over the course of the next three years, the Big Jump Project cities will be laboratories for innovation, ultimately illustrating the ways in which U.S. cities and towns can tap into bicycles to radically improve the health and vitality of their communities.

The project is part of PeopleForBikes’ new PlacesForBikes program, a three-part plan including an easy-to-understand, data-driven system for rating bike-friendly cities; how-to resources for communities and businesses; and an annual conference for city and business leaders.

Los Angeles was selected along with New York City, Baltimore MD, Portland OR, Memphis TN, Providence RI, New Orleans LA,  Austin TX, Tucson AZ and my hometown of Fort Collins, CO.

While it’s great that Los Angeles has been selected as one of the initial cities, it’s unfortunate that it is limited to the Downtown area, which has already seen a jump in ridership, and the area north of USC, which could definitely use the help.

It would have been nice to see infrastructure-starved areas like South LA, Highland Park and Hollywood included in the program, as well as other often ignored regions of the city.

However, as always, the problem in Los Angeles is political will, and the courage of local councilmembers to stand up to the inevitable NIMBY anti-bike backlash.

Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

Hopefully, when people see what can be done to make our streets safer and more inviting for everyone, they’ll demand improvements in their own neighborhoods, as well. And elect representatives who will respond to that demand.

The other concern is whether LA will finally provide adequate staffing and funding for LADOT to meet the requirements of our streets, so this doesn’t result in ignoring the urgent needs of other areas while attention is focused on just two neighborhoods.

As former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan stresses in her book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, cities must be able to respond quickly to needs and opportunities on the streets, rather than taking years to design — and redesign in response to local opposition and lack of leadership backbone — before even thinking about implementation.

Something Los Angeles sadly lacks, and seems unlikely to change.

Maybe this will be the kick in the ass the city so desperately needs.

You can see the full press release here.

 

Morning Links: Active Trans grants approved for LA County, and fight goes on for carfree Mt. Hollywood Drive

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA will support local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

………

It looks like change is finally coming to LA area streets.

Streetsblog reports that thirteen new bike and pedestrian projects totaling $33.6 million have been funded through California’s Active Transportation Program, with another eight grants worth $28.78 million scheduled to be approved by SCAG — the Southern California Association of Governments — next month.

You can find a full listing of the projects, scattered throughout LA County, on the Streetsblog story.

But don’t hold your breath. As they note, the funding won’t actually be available for another two to three years.

………

CiclaValley asks you to turn out for today’s special meeting of the LA City Council’s Arts, Parks, and River Committee to demand that Mount Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park be kept carfree.

The committee meets at 3 pm in room 1060 of City Hall in DTLA; if you can’t make it, he has a sample email and email addresses to send it to.

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Still more tragedy in the cycling world, as Ukrainian former U-23 world champ Dmitry Grabovskyy died of a suspected heart attack at 31. Meanwhile, tributes have flowed in for the 15-year old British cyclocross champ who died in his sleep over the weekend.

Now that’s more like it. Britain will offer equal prize money to both the men’s and women’s winners of the country’s national racing series.

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Local

As we noted yesterday, it wasn’t just Coyote Creek that was flooded by the recent rains; the LA River wasn’t exactly the safest place to ride, either.

Metro is holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss plans to improve access to Downtown’s Union Station, including a bike and pedestrian esplanade on Alameda Street.

The LACBC’s Ask An Officer panel discussion has been rescheduled for this coming Monday.

An editor with the USC paper says there’s a silver lining to having her bike stolen, forcing her to slow down and notice things she used to ride past. Although you’d think a fine university like USC would teach the difference between breaks and brakes before the senior year.

 

State

A Stanford physician and casual cyclist raised $10,000 to fight breast cancer by surviving the 2016 Death Ride, a 129-mile timed endurance ride with 15,000 feet of climbing over five mountain passes.

Speaking of Stanford, a professor there is looking for more participants for a study of bike saddles; currently over 1,000 cyclists are enrolled, but they’d like to have 10,000.

Streetsblog tries out the new dockless, app-based bikeshare bikes from Bluegogo; the company is making a soft launch with a few hundred bikes in San Francisco by locating them on private parking spaces to get around city regulations and objecting officials. Thanks to Eric Weinstein for the heads-up.

San Francisco leads the state as the most dangerous place to drive a car, and ranks second in the nation for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. None of which suggests it’s exactly a great place to ride a bike, either.

A mudslide caused by Sunday’s storm in Northern California has blocked, if not destroyed, a popular bike trail at Lake Natoma.

 

National

The new PlacesForBikes project from PeopleForBikes — who have evidently decided to save money by removing the spaces from their names — will encourage bike-friendly cities by providing an alternative to the Bike League’s rating system.

The last remaining founder of Adventure Cycling will turn 71 on Sunday and retire from the organization; Greg Siple also helped inspire the 1976 Bikecentennial cross-country ride.

A bill that would ban bike riders from most of Montana’s two-lane highways is being rewritten in committee following an outcry from advocates, but no word on exactly what changes are being made.

A proposed Iowa bill would require bike riders to have a red LED taillight on their bikes, apparently even during daylight hours; the law was suggested by a blame-shifting driver who crashed into five — count ‘em, five — bicyclists with his motorcycle as the sun was setting, insisting he would have seen them if only they’d had flashing lights on their bikes. Sure, let’s go with that.

A new study shows Minnesota residents took 96 million bike trips totaling 139 million miles last year, and generated nearly $800 million throughout the state.

University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to make materials change from hard to soft, which would allow bike tires to automatically adjust to different surface conditions, among other applications. Yes, there’s an obvious joke there, and no, I’m not going to make it.

A group of bicyclist will follow a mostly offroad route on a ride from Seattle to Boston later this year to raise funds for a local alternative high school.

New York deployed 50 bike cops to control crowds at Saturday’s peaceful Women’s March, with one source saying a single officer on a bike can do the job of three cops.

 

International

Bike-powered machines made from discarded parts are changing lives in Guatemala.

Bike Biz talks with the CEO of Zwift about whether virtual reality is the future of indoor cycling. A Scottish man used a similar system to virtually bike the length of Britain.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where an off-duty Mounty walks with just a $1,500 fine for killing a five-year old bike rider with his jacked-up pickup; he claimed he couldn’t see the boy, who was riding with the light in a marked crosswalk with his father and brother, as he turned right. If you can’t see a little boy directly in front of your truck, it doesn’t belong on the damn roads.

Caught on video: A British newspaper seems to take great glee in watching a bike rider flip over a curb after flipping off a motorist.

A bike advocate on the Isle of Man calls for reforming traffic laws, claiming drivers cause 90% of all collisions with bicyclists.

A former assistant professor is riding over 6,200 miles across India to raise awareness of climate change and encourage people and organizations to take responsibility for reducing their carbon footprint.

A Johannesburg mountain biker nearly lost an eye when he ran into an unmarked wire that had been left across the entrance to a pathway, despite verifying that the trail was open to bicycles.

China has completed construction on a 4.7 mile elevated bikeway in the city of Xiamen, a first for the country.

 

Finally…

No, a Holocaust memorial is not the place to hop about on your bike. It wasn’t easy going onstage after a bike-riding Robin Williams.

And you don’t want to risk offending the tweeter-in-chief.

 

Morning Links: Creed calls for a safer Westwood, SaMo PD gets Share the Road wrong, and bike rap & Corgi bikes

Maybe there’s still hope.

Yesterday morning, Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Paul Kortetz in LA’s 5th Council District, announced that his one of his first actions as a councilmember will be to call for a safety study of Westwood Blvd, saying “a safer, better Westwood will the bedrock of a more vibrant Westwood Village.”

Photo by Eric Bruins

While it’s not an outright endorsement of the shovel-ready bike lanes Koretz singlehandedly killed at the behest of wealthy homeowners, it’s a huge step towards improving the dangerous street following its shameful removal from the city’s Mobility Plan.

It should be noted that a study of the proposed bike lanes was already underway when Koretz halted it, insisting that they would not be built no matter what the study showed. And even though I’ve been told by multiple sources that it would have shown the bike lanes would improve safety, with no significant impact on travel times or parking.

While Westwood is part of LA’s Great Streets program, it’s also part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network, indicating that it’s one of the city’s most dangerous streets — especially for pedestrians and the many bike riders who have no other viable route to get to Westwood Village from the Expo Line or other areas further south.

As Creed notes, despite the Great Streets designation, nothing has changed on the street under Koretz’ watch, unlike some of the others which have made great strides since receiving the designation. And despite the councilmember’s apparent belief that the best solution to a dangerous street is to keep it that way.

Creed seems to get that Westwood — or any other street, for that matter — can’t be a Great Street if it’s not safe and inviting for everyone who uses it, and that it needs to serve more than just a handful of local residents who claim it as their own.

You can see video of the full press conference on the Bike the Vote LA Facebook page.

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Santa Monica police revive a three-year old victim blaming bike safety spot that twists the meaning of Share the Road; the ad ran on yesterday’s KABC-7 evening news.

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Now get the bad taste that left you with out with a little nerdcore bike rap from Santa Monica’s Public Bikes.

And somehow, I’d forgotten about their Corgi-themed holiday video, which is still worth a watch even if the holidays are over.

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VeloNews profiles the slow and steady rise of Megan Guarnier, calling her America’s best cyclist, male or female.

A final verdict may never be reached in the Italian pay-to-race cycling scandal after lawyers and officials were driven from the hearing room by a broken heating system.

After taking up cycling to keep up her fitness in the offseason, a Canadian skier became the first from her country to compete at three different Olympics in three different sports; now she’s set her sights on becoming just the sixth person to medal at both the summer and winter games.

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Local

Evidently, LA had an ulterior motive in agreeing to host the world para-cycling championships at the last minute, hoping it would boost the city’s chances of winning the 2024 Olympics.

After experiencing the walkable streets and pedestrian plazas of New York, DTLA Rising’s Brigham Yen calls on LA to cut the backward bullshit and focus on road diets to create a more walkable — and by extension, bikeable — city.

The LACBC will host their rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion, featuring representatives from the LAPD, LA County Sheriff’s Department and the CHP, along with bike lawyer and BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, on the 30th of this month.

LA’s Groundwork Coffee opens in NoHo’s restored Historic Train Depot, offering a bike repair and accessories shop, and plenty of bike parking.

Pasadena will likely approve bikeshare next month, but the locations are still to be determined following public workshops.

Speaking of the City of Roses, the Brooklyn Bicycle Company offers a photo bike tour of the city. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

 

State

Despite projections of a budget shortfall, Governor Jerry Brown proposes increasing funding for active transportation by $1 billion over the next ten years; Calbike notes that the funds are prioritized for disadvantaged communities.

A New Jersey website recommends Orange County as a cyclist’s mecca for riders trying to escape the state’s cold winter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune wants your bike commuting stories. Actually, they want everyone’s commuting stories, which means they’ll need bicyclists and pedestrians to balance out all those people in cars.

Riverside plans to use a state grant to repair trails on Mt. Rubidoux, while installing benches, bike racks and a water fountain for cyclists along the Santa Ana River Trail in nearby Carlson Park.

 

National

New bike composites that blend polypropylene, polyethylene or steel with carbon fiber offer light weight and strength with less fragility.

Continuing their recent focus on clickbait, Bicycling recommends six ways to make sure you’re seen on the streets.

Like Ikea, modern furniture company Blu Dot is offering their own bicycle; the company will donate a bicycle to World Bicycle Relief for every one of the Handsome Cycles-made single speed bikes made by they sell.

It was nice while it lasted. Colorado Springs CO caves to NIMBY’s demanding they undo a road diet and remove buffered bike lanes on a formerly six lane street, even though it carried less than half the traffic it was designed for.

After failing to hire an engineer to oversee the city’s bike plan, Dallas spends $171,000 in bike lane funding to hire a consultant to design eight miles of bike lanes.

A new Minnesota study shows bikes are good for the economy and the people who ride them.

An Indiana couple who built a bike park in honor of their son after he was killed in Afghanistan receive an invitation to the presidential inauguration from bike-riding VP Elect Mike Pence.

Nice story from Cincinnati, where a cyclist spotted a familiar bike in unfamiliar hands, and assuming it was stolen, bought it from them and set out to find the real owner.

Nashville plans a low-stress bike network designed to make the city’s scary streets inviting to everyone.

A former soldier came back from serving in Kuwait with a back injury that kept him from riding a bike; now he runs a New York-based company building pedal-assist ebikes for others with disabilities.

A Canadian man depended on the kindness of strangers as he rode his bike from Montreal to Mexico, until one of those strangers stole his bike and all his belongings in Philadelphia.

Thrillist looks at New Orleans’ unique bike culture as the city takes steps to become more inviting for bike riders.

 

International

Road rage, yes; assault, yes; hit-and-run, only in the most literal sense, as Scottish police are looking for a cyclist who punched a driver through an open window following an altercation.

The UK’s Cyclist site offers advice on how to avoid solo crashes.

In a truly bizarre ruling, a British court gives a motorcyclist a year behind bars for speeding while fleeing from police, but only six months for actually killing another human being on a bicycle by riding carelessly in another case.

Indian politicians are battling over who gets to use the bicycle as a symbol of their support for the common people. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a driver is appealing his three-week sentence for killing a cyclist instead of thanking the judge for the gentle caress on the wrist.

 

Finally…

Police rescue a purloined bike cow. If police try to stop you for riding without a headlight, just stop already.

And your next bike computer could do everything but fix your flats for you.

 

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