Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: CABO opposes protected bikeway bill; Brit driver kills 5-year old, then says shit happens

Once again, CABO — the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, not to be confused with the California Bicycle Coalition — has come out in opposition to a measure that would benefit the overwhelming majority of bike riders in the state.

AB 1193 would legalize protected bike lanes, which are currently considered experimental under California law, creating a fourth class of bikeways in the state to go along with Class 1 off-road bike paths, Class 2 bike lanes, and Class 3 bike routes.

The bill, sponsored by the CBC, would require Caltrans to work with local jurisdictions to establish minimum safety requirements for protected, or separated, bike lanes, rather than rely on Caltrans’ antiquated rules that have severely limited innovation and safety.

I have no doubt CABO is sincere in their opposition, which appears to be based on maintaining the overly conservative Caltrans standards they helped create.

But their opposition stands in the way of encouraging more people to get on their bikes, and improving safety for all road users. And gives needless support to those in the legislature who oppose bicycling and bike infrastructure in general.

Instead of opposing a very good and necessary bill, they should find a way to support it. Or at the very least, stay neutral.

Or they will continue to find themselves out of step with most riders, and further marginalized in a state where the CBC has become the voice of mainstream bicycling.

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Local

Richard Risemberg asks what part of traffic calming doesn’t councilmember Gil Cedillo understand?

A Pasadena bike rider is assualted and robbed by passing motorists, possibly at gunpoint.

Nice. LA’s Milestone Rides prepares to ride from Vancouver to San Francisco.

 

State

San Diego City Beat goes drinking with BikeSD advocate Sam Ollinger.

The inaugural Big Bear Cycling Festival rolls at the end of next month.

A pipe bomb is found next to a Pacific Grove bike trail. The question is, did someone just hide it here, or were they targeting bike riders?

 

National

Good read, as Vice Sports says you can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don’t really mean it.

Great ideas never die. Okay, sometimes. But the self-inflating bike tire is back after a six year absence.

Utah will put rolling billboards on six semi-trucks to promote the state’s three-foot passing law. But will the drivers practice what they preach?

Two New Mexico bike riders find a missing 9-year old girl.

Biased much? A Denver TV station says cyclists are at fault in several bike vs car collisions, but fails to back it up in any way.

If you want to get away with murder, use a car. A Philadelphia judge acquits a driver of vehicular manslaughter for running down his bike-riding romantic rival.

A North Carolina bike lawyer explains why it’s often safer to ride abreast.

 

International

Paris’ Velib bike share system has added kids bikes to their rental fleet.

German bike rider poses for photos atop wrecked cars.

The Deutschland high court wisely rules that not wearing a helmet is not contributory negligence in the event of a collision; I’m told some American juries are starting to find otherwise.

 

Finally…

Sidi unveils a new camo mountain bike shoe. You know, for all those cyclists who want to be even less visible when they ride. Then again, whenever I see someone wearing camo, I want to walk up to them and say “I can totally see you.”

And a Brit lawyer insists his client really is remorseful, despite saying “Shit happens, life goes on” after being convicted of killing a five-year old bike rider while driving at over twice the speed limit.

Big heart, that guy.

 

Morning Links: Figueroa for All comes to a head tonight; Bloomberg looks at the Biking (and Transit) Black Hole

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg accuses Councilmember Gil Cedillo of lying — again — in his opposition to bike lanes on North Figueroa.

Which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the resentment many riders and NELA community members seem to feel over the Councilman’s apparent attempts to tip the scales in opposition to the planned North Fig road diet and bike lanes.

And all for reasons known only to Cedillo, who has yet to take a public stand on the issue despite the obvious efforts of his office to torpedo the already approved, funded and shovel-ready project designed to improve safety and livability for everyone along the corridor.

It’s scheduled to come to a head tonight as yet another public hearing will be held to consider the matter.

The project enjoyed overwhelming public support at the last meeting on the subject, even though Cedillo and his staff refused to let most supporters be heard in a bizarre attempt at balancing those in favor and against the project. Which only served to amplify the voices of the minority opposition far beyond the limited support they actually had.

Anyone who lives, works or rides in the area is urged to attend. And wear green to show which side you stand with, even if they try to muzzle supporters once again.

6 pm to 8 pm
Franklin High School
820 North Avenue 54

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Local

In the wake of the recent video showing a bike rider deliberately buzzed by a Metro bus driver, the Source offers advice on how to share the road with buses.

KCET says the road to better health runs through the city’s proposed Mobility Plan. Maybe so, but only if we can stop rogue councilmembers from blocking bike lanes before they can get into it.

Bloomberg looks at the bike and transit unfriendly Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, and finds it an obstacle to progress in neighboring cities.

Santa Monica votes to lower speed limits on some streets.

Long Beach bike shop The Bicycle Stand moves to a new, improved location half a mile away.

Streetsblog — and BikinginLA ­— sponsor Jim Pocrass is taking your legal questions to answer on the site next week.

 

State

Corona del Mar becomes a little more bike friendly, as new bike racks are installed in the city’s Business District.

The bike riding Silicon Valley tech exec charged with severely beating a motorist pleads not guilty in the alleged road rage case.

Streetsblog SF says the rear-end collision that injured a San Francisco cycling instructor shows sharrows don’t cut it.

 

National

Train your dog to ride on your bike.

Too much bad news on the national front today, as a 70-year old German tourist riding across the US is killed in Walla Walla WA; the driver claimed he was blinded by the sun, which should be excuse enough to avoid any adverse consequences.

Boise Idaho rips out their six-week old buffered bike lanes despite support from the mayor and city council.

Very sad. The 2012 US masters national points race champ is killed when his wheel overlaps another rider’s in a Colorado Springs velodrome collision; tragically, his daughter, the current 15-16 national track champ, was competing in the same race.

Dallas finally repeals its helmet law, at least for adult cyclists.

A Brooklyn DJ is killed in a collision on his way to a job interview as a bike messenger, yet the NYPD doesn’t seem to know anything about it.

 

International

The owner of a Vancouver bike shop is shot in the street in front of his store; police take the 61-year old shooter into custody.

A Toronto paper says you belong in the bike lane if one or both of your hands are holding a bicycle handlebar; if not, not so much.

London bike safety improves as serious injuries drop sharply in 2013, though fatalities are unchanged.

The ultimate guide to cross-county cycling. If the country you’re cycling across is Russia.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike from a bike shop, don’t break it on the way out and don’t run into a passing homicide detective. And a writer for the Times looks forward to this weekend’s LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, though noting that most folks should never be naked after birth; must make for some awkward showers at his place.

 

Morning Links: Is this the smoking gun? Leaked email behind Koretz’ 2013 veto of Westwood Blvd bike lanes

Email addressed have been removed to protect recipients' privacy.

Email addresses have been removed to protect recipients’ privacy.

This will be a sad week for Westside cyclists.

Even if they don’t know it yet.

As I was out on Sunday, I discovered a freshly repaved Westwood Blvd from Santa Monica Blvd south to at least Pico.

Normally that would be good news, as bike riders benefit from smooth pavement as much as drivers do. If not more, since cars are at little risk from the pits and cracks in the roadway that can throw riders dangerously to the street.

But the problem comes when the traffic lanes on Westwood are restriped. Because they won’t include the bike lanes promised in the 2010 bike plan, thanks to the apparent whim of CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz.

In an email recently forwarded to me, dated November 11, 2013, Koretz announces to bike lane opponents that he is on their side, and that no amount of information will ever convince him to support bike lanes on the boulevard. And so he is killing the project, rather than wait on the results of an LADOT feasibility study of the proposed floating bike lanes.

And even though I’m told the nearly completed study would have showed no negative impact on traffic or local businesses.

After all, why wait for the facts if they might conflict with his already made-up mind?

The self-proclaimed “big fan of bike lanes” and strong supporter of bicycling somehow seems to think bike riders traveling between the new Westwood Expo Line Station and the UCLA campus will go blocks, if not miles, out of their way for bike lanes on Sepulveda Blvd — which currently exist only in sporadic pieces — or in Century City far to the east, which don’t exist at all.

Let alone Westwood-area side streets, which have yet to be proposed by anyone.

His reasoning in killing the bike lanes is that he didn’t want them to be included in the city’s new Mobility Plan, where they might take on a life of their own. Even though his own words cite the need to include bicycling in the Mobility Plan as a way to travel to and from the Expo Line.

After all, why allow the lives and safety of cyclists to take precedence over the convenience of motorists and the preferences of overly entitled local home and business owners?

It’s one of the great flaws of LA city government that a single elected official has veto power over a project contained in a plan that was unanimously approved by the city council — including Koretz himself — in 2011.

Just as CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo has taken it upon himself to delay, if not kill, the shovel-ready road diet and bike lanes previously approved for North Figueroa.

This email isn’t quite the smoking gun bike lane supporters have been looking for.

But it makes it clear that Koretz’ talk about listening to all sides and trying to find a workable solution for Westwood was exactly that.

Talk.

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Local

The LA Police Commission hosts a series of three meetings to gather input on the re-appointment of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. In the five years he’s been chief, relations between cyclists and the LAPD have improved dramatically over the dark days of the relatively recent past.

The LACBC reports that a public records request confirms the road diet and bike lanes planned  for North Figueroa will have no impact on emergency response times.

Malibu and other cities surrounding the Malibu/Agoura Hills seek input on their proposed bike plan, including possible routes through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Eastside Bike Club founder Carlos Morales organizes a Riff Raff Ride into exclusive — and bike unfriendly — San Marino next month.

Pedal Love’s Melissa Balmer hosts an upcoming webinar on developing effective media strategies for bike advocacy.

 

State

Newport Beach bike cops go ebike.

Pedacabs come to downtown Bakersfield.

San Francisco attempts to crack down on bicycle chop shops.

 

National

I want to be like her when I grow up. Ninety-year old bike-riding founder of a Utah charity ride encourages others to take up bicycling.

A Colorado teenager with cystic fibrosis — and a huge heart — is riding 1,000 miles to raise funds for the state’s Children’s Hospital.

Chicago is halfway to the mayor’s goal of installing 100 miles of protected bikeways, though not all are finding approval from riders.

Florida continues to be a dangerous place for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

International

An 86-year old Saskatoon competitive cyclist calls for a more bike-friendly city after a groove in the pavement throws him off his bike, most likely ending his riding career.

A UK study shows texting behind the wheel is even more dangerous than drunk driving.

Road raging Brit driver attempts to run over a cyclist, and misses. And crashes into a hair salon instead.

A Yorkshire farmer plans to watch the local stage of the Tour de France somewhere else after catching a naked cyclist pooping in his field.

 

Finally…

Bicycling magazine patiently explains why you’re not riding in the Tour de France. And a letter writer explains how local planners can ensure cyclists continue to ride dangerously in highway traffic; vetoing planned bike lanes is a good way to start.

 

Morning Links: New study shows benefits of protected bike lanes; OC cyclist threatened and harassed on PCH

Any debate over the benefits of protected bike lanes should end today.

In what’s being called a groundbreaking study of nine bike lanes (pdf) in five cities across the US, researchers funded by People for Bikes found big benefits for protected lanes.

According to Bike Portland,

The facilities included in the sample — hand-picked bikeways from Austin, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and Portland — showed a massive increase in bike traffic, received high marks for improving safety of all road users, and have won over the hearts and minds of people whether they use them or not.

The story goes on to say a quarter of riders say they ride more because of the protected lanes, while protected lanes increase bike traffic an average of 72% in the first year alone. In addition, 96% of people using the lanes felt safer, and 76% of people living nearby support building additional protected lanes, whether they use them or not.

Meanwhile, 10% of the riders switched from other modes of transportation.

And most significant of all, in an analysis of 144 hours of video footage, nearly 12,900 cyclists passed through the intersections under study without a single collision.

Or even a near collision, for that matter.

Game, set, match.

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Caught on video: Despite riding in a separated bike lane on PCH, an Orange County cyclist is threatened and harassed by jerks in a pickup, who throw water bottles at him and try to run him off the road; KCAL-9 offers a detailed report.

Hopefully authorities will be able to make out the license and press charges for assault. And hopefully they’ll take it as seriously as they say they will.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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Local

Mayor Garcetti will announce the city’s first 15 Great Streets on Tuesday, one for each council district. Including North Figueroa, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has been actively blocking the bike lanes and road diet that would help make it great.

Bicycling interviews LA Bike Train’s Nona Varnado, even though the LA Weekly says LA is still a car town, and it’s damn well going to stay that way. So there.

The LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride rolls on Saturday, June 14th. I’d go but I don’t have a thing to wear.

Registration opens Thursday for Wolfpack Hustle’s Civic Center Crit 2 on July 12th.

A new white paper examines how Santa Monica’s school district can embrace bicycling; thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the link.

Evidently, Burbank Congressman Adam Shiff really is one of us; he’s on this year’s edition of the AIDS/LifeCycle ride as we speak.

A group of cyclists will depart from Malibu on Wednesday on a cross-country tour to raise money and awareness for Hope for Warriors.

 

State

Calbike releases their summer report.

Speaking of the AIDS/LifeCycle ride, four participants were right hooked by a driver Monday morning; fortunately, none appear to be seriously injured.

A high school exchange student learns the hard way that Shasta Lake is no Holland when it comes to bikes.

 

National

It’s been a bad week for Wyoming cyclists, as two riders are killed by suspected drunk drivers in three days, and a third rider — the wife of one of the victims — was seriously injured. The state is in freefall when it comes to bike-friendliness, dropping 25 spots in just four years.

San Antonio votes to throw $1.74 million down the toilet by removing new bike lanes, even though they don’t slow traffic flow.

Despite gloom and doom predictions, not one person has died using New York’s Citi Bike bike share program in over 8.75 million journeys.

Bike Snob astutely asks when the hell a bike lane ever stopped a cab driver from parking, and who do you think will police blame when a driverless car hits a cyclist, since they already blame the rider anyway?

A DC father invents an add-on kid seat for bike share bikes, and gets a cease-and-desist order for his trouble.

 

International

A new Canadian study says bike helmets do what they’re supposed to do, while an Aussie study says cyclists really do make better drivers, at least around other riders.

A road raging driver repeatedly punches a teenage Brit cyclist, who declines to press charges.

France experiments with paying commuters to bike to work; thanks to new LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the tip.

Even in car-choked Rome, the new mayor promotes bicycling as a viable option.

Bike racing’s governing body enters bicycle advocacy. After all, they’ve done so well running the dope-free world of racing, right?

 

Finally…

When a father tries to teach his daughter to ride a bike, a neighbor comes out to offer his advice. Then threatens him with a shotgun when he doesn’t take it. And evidently, drivers aren’t the only ones who hate bikes, as a deer follows an employee into a bike shop before knocking him down and trashing the place.

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Don’t forget to go out and Bike the Vote today. It’s only when bike riders stay home — or don’t vote their interests — that we get the sort of elected leaders who actively stand in the way of safer streets.

Morning Links: Help fund a People St plaza for Granada Hills, and a documentary on a bike-riding comic

Now here’s a project we can get behind.

Granada Hills resident Linda Williamson proposes transforming a right turn lane into a bike and pedestrian friendly plaza, like the popular Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake.

The plaza would be build under the city’s new People St program, which is dedicated towards helping local residents reclaim underused roadways as public spaces. Oddly, though, some people don’t seem to get it, fearing that a turn lane allowing motorists to drive past their storefronts would somehow be better for business than a plaza that would draw people to them.

Which is a pretty good indication of just how auto-addled our city has become.

And even though it would only be built on a 12-month trial basis, allowing the decision to be reversed if it didn’t work out.

As if.

You can show your support by signing a petition backing the project, and contributing to a Kickstarter project to raise $11,000 to fund construction of the plaza.

And if you live or ride in the area, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by some of the local businesses that would directly benefit from the plaza — whether they realize it or not — to encourage them to back the project.

Because you’ll probably be back a lot more often and spend more money if they just make it more inviting to come and stay awhile.

………

Meanwhile, a new Kickstarter project funds a documentary about a bike-riding comedian’s attempts to kickstart his comedy career.

After all, as the title of the piece says, what’s the worst that could happen?

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Local

More on the next year’s first Valley CicLAvia.

Streetsblog says the bike lanes on Grand Avenue in DTLA are getting even grander with an extension into South Los Angeles.

Most candidates for the Glendale city council oppose more bike lanes within the city, apparently preferring a return to auto-centricity. Meanwhile, both Glendale and Burbank failed to apply for funding to host an open streets event.

I love it. The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a Riff Raff Ride into San Marino, whose residents — some, anyway — worry bike lanes would bring outsiders into their overly exclusive community.

Redondo Beach’s Catalina Coffee Co. is recognized as the South Bay’s first bike-friendly business.

Downey joins the 21st Century by ditching a 1958 law requiring bike licenses.

Gizmodo interviews former LA and current Long Beach transportation planner Nate Baird.

 

State

In a closely watched case from the Bay Area, a teen driver who killed a Pleasanton cyclist and injured her husband while driving at 83 mph — in a 40-mile zone, no less — gets nine well-deserved years.

Surprisingly, though, he’s not one of the motorheads backing a San Francisco ballot measure to maintain automotive hegemony over the streets. I’m only surprised no one has proposed something like that here yet.

 

National

In a major disconnect, the US House Appropriations Committee calls on the Department of Transportation to cut bike and pedestrian deaths at the same time the House is trying to gut active transportation funding.

Good for them. Members of my old fraternity are riding from San Francisco to DC to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities, while People for Bikes rides on Chicago to raise funds and awareness.

A 93-year old Idaho cyclist puts safety first, and isn’t afraid to correct other riders. If he can catch them.

As usual, when bus, bike and car commuters race, the bike wins. Even in Des Moines.

What is it with self-absorbed young women who don’t seem to care about the harm they cause? In yet another example, an Ohio judge nearly doubles the sentence of a 20-year old driver who killed a cyclist while high on dope because of her lack of remorse.

A driver is charged with murder in a Louisiana cold case after police conclude the death of a cyclist was an intentional act.

A Clemson University study says people who ride bikes are happier than other commuters. But you already knew that, right?

 

International

It’s seldom a bike lane in Toronto if everyone else is parking in it.

A London neurosurgeon goes against the grain of the medical community by saying bike helmets are worthless.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Australian cities are years behind others around the world in providing bike infrastructure.

Kiwi drivers speed down bike lanes. Then again, Kentucky drivers don’t do any better.

 

Finally…

Proof you can carry anything on a bike. Even a goat. And pro cyclist Peter Sagan does some impressive mountain biking.

But seriously, can he carry a goat?

 

Morning Links: A slightly less sucky Westside intersection, victory for cyclists on PCH, and spreading ciclovias

It still sucks.

Although maybe a little less.

Despite the city’s best efforts — that would be Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills — the dangerously convoluted intersection of Burton Way and San Vicente and La Cienega Boulevards near the Beverly Center remains a confusing and dangerous place to ride a bike.

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg notes that Los Angeles has added a bike lane along northbound San Vicente, with sharrows directing cyclists riding through to Burton Way.

The southbound side, which evidently is within the Beverly Hills city limits, currently has none. Nor am I aware of any plans to paint any bike lanes anywhere within the city other than the two already in existence, including one that matches up with LA’s lanes on Burton Way.

As it turns out, I found myself riding home from a meeting Downtown on Wednesday night, so I gave the newly restriped intersection a try.

To be honest, the bike lane on San Vicente was a significant improvement. While you still need eyes in the back of your head to watch out for speeding drivers on the overly wide lanes, I was able to ride more comfortably on the street than I ever have before — especially since parking is confined to an access road, eliminating the risk of dooring.

The problem comes in attempting to continue through the intersection on San Vicente or navigate the turn onto Burton Way.

Either of which requires contending with busy traffic on the multi-laned intersection, while somehow avoiding vehicles jockeying for position to end up reasonably close to where they want to go.

Meanwhile making the turn onto Burton Way requires crossing over three traffic lanes, then waiting for the light to change on sharrows in the middle of the street — which disappear in the middle of the intersection where you need them most to let drivers know you are, in fact, in the right place, and not just riding in the middle of the damned intersection for the hell of it.

It was bad enough at 10 pm when light traffic allows drivers to turn San Vicente into their own private speedway. I can’t imagine attempting it in the unforgiving traffic at rush hour.

I applaud the city for trying.

But unless and until bike-specific signalization is installed to give riders a head-start before motorized traffic is released, this will remain a dangerous place for bikes to be.

And I will continue my long standing practice of avoiding the intersection entirely by turning left at Colgate, then right on Holt to illegally, but safely, cross over to westbound Burton.

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After a cyclist on a group ride is illegally ticketed by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies for the unforgivable crime of riding abreast in an unsharable traffic lane on PCH, Cycling in the South Bay teams with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins to win the right riders should have already had.

And got the ticket dismissed when the officer fails to appear in court.

……..

CicLAvia-style Open Streets events will soon be spreading throughout LA County, including the long-rumored San Fernando Valley CicLAvia and a possible 50-mile(!) CicloSGVia through the San Gabriel Valley.

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Local

The LA City Council votes to sponsor a California-wide Medina alert to notify the public about serious hit-and-runs. Hopefully, this one wasn’t serious enough to qualify.

LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bike riders — meets Tuesday at Pan Pacific Park. Meanwhile, the next community meeting to discuss the inexplicably troubled North Figueroa bike lanes is scheduled for June 12th.

A new Facebook group has been formed to Bike the Vote in Los Angeles.

KCET looks at getting your bike ready to ride with a visit the Bicycle Kitchen.

Turns out Angelenos are sort of fit, after all.

The LAPD offers advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen.

Plans to save the old Riverside Drive Bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians goes down in flames.

Beverly Hills’ Parks and Recreation director says local kids have no safe places to ride a bike in the city. Then again, adults don’t have many, either.

Long Beach gets new sharrows by the shore.

 

State

The Newport Bay Conservancy won’t back a ban on cars on the Back Bay; oddly, they didn’t seem to have a problem restricting bike use, though.

San Diego cyclists raise $425,000 for cancer research.

The road-raging San Diego driver who seriously injured a cyclist on a charity ride is bound over for trial. The aptly named Douglas Lane, who failed to remain in his, could face up to three years behind bars.

Riverside County authorities ask for the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver who took the life of an Eastvale bike rider.

In attempting to reopen a long-settled matter of law, a professor argues that San Francisco’s bait bikes are a form of entrapment designed to target poor people. As long as those poor people happen to carry bolt-cutters with them.

Cyclelicious notes “the sun was in my eyes” is the not-so-secret password of the vehicle code. Oddly, it only seems to work for drivers, though.

 

National

Motor vehicle crashes cost every American an average of nearly $900 a year. And $871 billion to American society.

Bicycling is the fastest-growing mode of commuter travel.

Elly Blue examines what it really costs to ride a bike.

What would it cost to make the whole country as bikeable as Minneapolis.

New York City gets serious about Vision Zero, passing 11 bills to improve traffic safety.

Pro cycling scion Taylor Phinney has a second successful surgery to repair injuries he suffered during Monday’s national road championship.

 

International

A London writer says police inaction jeopardizes every cyclist.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks if bike racing is the world’s worst spectator sport.

Adelaide cyclists cause gridlock by riding the streets at rush hour; clearly, all those cars had nothing to do with it.

Seriously? An Aussie woman calls the country’s helmet law sexist because it forces women to suffer helmet hair.

 

Finally…

Champion cyclist at 18, international drug kingpin at 32. If you’re riding under the influence, just stop for the damn stop sign. Or at least, for the cops chasing you.

And eHarmony offers 15 reasons to date a cyclist. I’ve always wondered why riders aren’t in greater demand, since anyone who can spend several hours in the saddle isn’t likely to collapse in exhaustion after five minutes of usuallly less strenuous exercise in bed. I’m just saying.

……..

Please forgive the lack of Morning Links yesterday; between Wednesday night’s meeting followed by a bad bout with bouncing blood sugar levels, writing just wasn’t an option. Hopefully today’s extended version will make up for it.

Morning Links: Hidden danger on the Coyote Creek Trail, and the Bike League analyzes cycling fatalities

I’m just getting word of a dangerous situation on the Coyote Creek Trail in Los Alamitos.

Orange County cyclist Bob Masuzumi writes that he was riding south on the trail with a small group of riders between Wardlow Road and Los Alamitos Blvd, just before a bridge that crosses a secondary creek next to the high school.

As he tells it,

The rider in the lead didn’t realize the trail, which is poorly marked, curved away from the creek and that you had to cross the creek using the bridge.  Unfortunately, he rode off the trail and ended up at the bottom of Coyote Creek, sustaining a serious concussion resulting in 3 days in the ICU.  He was then transferred to their rehab facility from which he should be released tomorrow.  However, he will continue to receive therapy as an out-patient for an unknown length of time.

I believe that not only does it need proper markings, but there should be a fence extending from the bridge past the curve, so that other riders do not make the same mistake.  Also, a fence needs to be added on the other side of the bridge.  Currently, a rider, after crossing the bridge, needs to make a 90 degree right turn, otherwise they  will end up going down the embankment toward the high school.  This area does not seem to be very safe for cyclists at all & we believe should be corrected to prevent anything similar happening to another cyclist.

I can’t say I’m familiar with the area, even though we’ve discussed problems on the trail before. Including the fact that Los Alamitos has failed to adequately maintain its section of the pathway.

But if you know the part of the trail he’s talking about, what do you think?

Is this as dangerous as it sounds, and does it need corrective measures — or at least a warning sign to comply with state law regarding known dangers on off-road trails?

And is anyone familiar with any other riders who may have been hurt there?

………

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists offers a detailed analysis of bicycling fatalities over a recent 12-month period.

We learned, for example, that a much higher percentage of fatal crashes than expected — 40% of fatal crashes with a reported collision type — were “hit from behind” incidents — that’s important to know for our education program. Not surprisingly, high-speed urban and suburban arterial streets with no provisions for bicyclists are an over-represented location — representing 56% of all bicyclist fatalities — that’s good information to share with our Bicycle Friendly Community partners.

We found important new information about why crashes happen, how they are reported, and the scope of enforcement actions taken against motorists — including common felonies charged and average sentences for 77 convictions related to bicyclist fatalities

Overwhelmingly, however, we were struck by the lack of information, the lack of action, and the lack of a sense of outrage over these deaths, even in communities where this kind of tragedy is relatively common.

It’s something I plan to dive into over the next few days. Because the better we understand how and why these tragedies occur, the more we can do to prevent them.

As they say in asking us all to call on the US Department of Transportation to demand action — and as I’ve argued many times before — there’s only one acceptable number of traffic fatalities when it comes to cyclists and pedestrians. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Zero.

………

Local

Metro honors Sweeyoke Ooi for their monthly Why We Ride series. Because, as they say, Bike Week never ends for many Angelenos. And they offer photos from their Bike Week Guided Ride Day, which evidently did. End, that is.

The Times astutely notes that it’s time to retire the myth that Los Angeles has a love affair with cars, despite what our state’s senior Senator says.

Rick Risemberg attends Sunday’s Reinventing the Wheel: the Future of Mobility in LA sponsored by Santa Monica public radio station KCRW and finds it sadly auto-focused. And out of beer.

Surprisingly, LA doesn’t make the list of the 20 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, though the Riverside/SanBernardino/Ontario region does.

Michael Wagner of CLR Effect confronts Death at the Tour of California. Twice, in fact.

I missed this one last week, as Cycling in the South Bay says being nice has nothing to do with how we’re treated on the road.

 

State

A seven-hour bike ride along the Orange County coast.

The new Napa County Bike Commuter of the Year just got back on his this January after suffering a broken leg in a dooring.

A new infographic lists the top eight American cities for cyclists. Bagdad by the Bay makes the list; LA, not surprisingly, doesn’t.

 

National

Sixteen drunk driving arrests, nine convictions, and the maximum sentence allowed under Washington law is three lousy years. This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The Las Vegas Weekly questions whether the city deserves its new bike-friendly designation. Then again, I once wondered the same about Santa Monica.

A Montana man gets five years for killing a cyclist in a drunken hit-and-run.

A Boston pediatrician prescribes public bike share to treat heath problems due to poverty.

Why teach your kid to ride a bike when you can hire a coach at $90 per lesson to do it for you?

 

International

Caught on video: A British Columbia cop goes on trial for punching a handcuffed cyclist in the face. Since when do bike riders get arrested — let alone punched — for not wearing a helmet and allegedly running a red light?

London’s Telegraph tells cyclists not to vote for an anti-bike political party. Good advice for bike riders everywhere.

Ex-Chevalier Lance Armstrong is stripped of the French Legion of Honor.

In a brilliant experiment, a Swedish city gives residents free bikes for six months as long as they promise not to drive three days a week; thanks to Daniel Blazquez for the link.

Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich injures two people in a three car crash while driving drunk at 20 kilometers over the speed limit. Then tries to pass it off by saying it could happen to anyone. Uh, no. Only someone stupid and careless enough to get behind the wheel after drinking.

 

Finally…

Yet another reason to wear a helmet, as a road-raging Oregon driver hits a bicyclist in the head with a hatchet; fortunately, the rider is okay. And police recover a Welsh cyclist’s stolen bike, but give it to someone else due to a clerical error.

But at least he got his pedals back.

 

Morning Links: LACBC Bikes the Vote in June’s county elections, and anti-bike San Marino NIMBYs attack

Things are starting to get interesting.

As we discussed earlier, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee* crafted questionnaires for the candidates for LA County Supervisor and Sheriff in next month’s primary election.

Now responses have finally come in from some of the leading candidates, including Hilda Solis in the 1st District, and Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl in the 3rd, as well as Jim McDonnell, considered by many to be the front runner for county sheriff.

And they have some intriguing things to say.

Personally, I’ve been leaning towards Kuehl. But I’m starting to seriously question that choice based on her comment — which she repeats twice — that she supports bike lanes as long as they don’t reduce the total number of lanes available to vehicles.

In other words, she’s not in favor road diets.

Even when they reduce speeds and improve safety and livability for everyone. And she seems to be in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony that has made a shambles of our city and county, and put the lives of their residents at risk.

But other than that, she has some good things to say.

On the other hand, Shriver seems to get that overcapacity encourages high speeds and dangerous driving, and that narrowing lanes and installing bikeways can help tame traffic.

Meanwhile, McDonnell has some good things to say about the role law enforcement can play in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bikes, and improving relations between the department and county cyclists.

I don’t know yet how I’m going to cast my ballot, whether for these or any of the other candidates who’ve responded to the surveys. But one thing I can guarantee you is that I won’t vote for anyone who didn’t respond.

Because we have a right to know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to us. And to make an informed decision based on their responses.

Whether or not we happen to agree with them.

*Full disclosure: I chair that committee, and helped write the questions along with LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins and some truly outstanding volunteers, including the guy in the next paragraph — and I don’t mean Gil Cedillo.

………

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg agrees that you should read what the candidates have to say about bikes now, or be sorry later. And uses 1st District City Councilmember Gil Cedillo — who didn’t respond to the LACBC’s questionnaire for last year’s city election — as the poster child for what could happen otherwise.

The LA Times notes Kuehl and Shriver also disagree on the plans for the Subway Not Quite to the Sea as it passes through Beverly Hills and under the high school. And whether that really matters at this point.

………

Evidently, they have NIMBYs in San Marino, too.

Annonymous opposition has arisen to what had been expected to be a fairly smooth route to adoption of the city’s draft bicycle and pedestrian plan (pdf).

Their objections seem to focus on the plan’s regional connectivity with other local jurisdictions — which could bring dreaded outsiders on bikes! to their fair city. And worse, those dirty, smelly cyclists might “freshen up, shower and change clothes” in their precious parks and schools.

Ooh, scary!

The only thing missing is a reference to Agenda 21. Although I’m sure someone will bring that up at today’s meeting to discuss the plan (pdf).

San Marino flyer front

San Marino flyer back

If you live or ride in the area, you might want to be there.

Because your voice will be needed.

Thanks to BikeSGV for the heads-up.

San Marino Meeting

………

Mark Cavendish bookends the Amgen Tour of California with victories in the first and final stages, while Bradley Wiggins wins the overall title and sets his sights on making the team for the Tour de France. Bike prodigy Peter Sagan won the penultimate stage in a sprint to Pasadena City Hall, as a Spanish cyclist celebrates one lap too early.

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans is back in pink at the Giro d’Italia, as Pieter Weening sprints to victory.

………

Local

Former LACBC board member Michael Cahn writes that a bike rider was injured by a car in Santa Monica on Saturday. And examines both how it happened, and what can be done to prevent something similar in the future.

Paramedics rescue a bicyclist who apparently suffered a heart attack while riding on a bike path next to Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

 

State

Not even pedestrians are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a UC San Diego professor is killed while walking on the sidewalk with her husband; thanks to Mark Ganzer for the heads-up.

KCET looks at Bike Week in Ventura County.

 

National

Passersby help free a Seattle bike rider trapped underneath a truck after she’s apparently right-hooked by a drunk driver.

The bicycling equivalent of a dude ranch is planned for a location near Arizona’s Saguaro National Park.

A 90-year old Arizona driver “thought” he had enough room to pass a trio of bike riders; instead, he hit all three, killing one. Something has to be done now to ensure older motorists are still safe to drive before they kill someone, not after.

A Colorado e-bike builder develops a bike-pulled emergency response trailer to help people stranded by natural disaster.

A Michigan bike builder specializes in wood frame bikes.

 

International

Former Trinidad and Tobago national team cyclist Roger Smart was killed while driving on the island, the second member of the team killed in a collision in the last two months.

An Irish bike rider on 3,000 kilometer fundraising tour for his sister’s medical expenses says the county’s drivers are going to kill someone, and it might be him.

Drivers in an Aussie state could now face up to two years in jail for endangering cyclists, motorcyclists and “riders of animals.” I assume they mean horses. Or do they have a lot of koala and wallaby jockeys Down Under?

Nice. A 60-kilometer Hiroshima expressway has bike and pedestrian lanes for its full length, even as it connects six separate islands.

 

Finally…

Cambridge, UK cyclists are being targeted by a drive-by egger. And an Aussie writer wraps her story in so much anti-bike bile it’s impossible to take seriously. Which is too bad, because she  actually has a point.

 

Weekend Links: More on Cedillo’s North Fig torpedo, win a Linus bike, and bid on biking with Sharon McNary

Lots of bike news this weekend.

So grab some coffee and settle in for some serious reading. Then get out on your bike; it looks like a perfect weekend for riding.

………

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s apparent attempt to torpedo the North Figueroa road diet, for reasons known only to him, has resulted in significant blowback from the bicycling and transportation communities.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there may be political reasons to oppose the road diet. But calls BS on the fears of delayed emergency response cited by police and fire officials, who were apparently talking off the cuff and not officially representing their departments. According to Linton, the issue has previously been studied extensively by the city and found to pose no significant impact.

Meanwhile, in an open letter to Cedillo, BAC Chair Jeff Jacobberger questions what authority the city has to replace previously approved bike lanes with less-safe sharrows, and whether we can now expect the same wrench to be thrown into other planned bike projects.

Apparently Cedillo is betting the damage done to his reputation in his first year as a council member will be long forgotten by the time he has to stand for re-election in another three years.

He may be right.

But I wouldn’t bet on it. Bike riders have long memories.

………

Estaban Chavez wins Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California, as the race moves on to Saturday’s Pasadena finish. More on Taylor Phinney’s exciting solo ride to victory on Thursday’s Stage 5 of the Tour of California, while Wiggo is back on top of the race and his game.

Peloton says to expect the unexpected in this year’s Giro, which still has two weeks to go after the ToC wraps up on Sunday; Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni wins his second Giro stage in four days.

……..

Now this is a great idea. A new lockable bike stem makes your bike unsteerable if it’s stolen. Just don’t lose the key.

………

Looks like cab companies are fighting back against Uber, Lyft, et al. Download the Taxi Magic LA app and enter the code BIKEMAGIC before 5 pm Monday the 19th, and you’ll be entered to win one of five new Linus bikes.

……..

Pasadena public radio station KPCC’s online public auction ends at 1 pm today.

So you only have a few hours to bid on a pair of bike rides with one of the city’s top political reporters. Submit the winning bid, and you can enjoy a coastal bike tour along PCH or a beach cruiser bike tour from Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach with reporter, cyclist and triathlete Sharon McNary.

With current bids of just $60 and $100, respectively, at the time of this writing, both are seriously undervalued. Which gives you a chance to step in and snap up a great ride with a fascinating and friendly guide for a just fraction of what it’s really worth.

But only if you hurry.

……..

Local

Why it makes sense to bike to work in LA.

Just a few short years ago, at least some Malibu city officials were vehemently anti-bike. Now they’re teaming with other cities surrounding the Malibu Hills to develop a regional bike plan. Link courtesy of Bicycle Fixation’s Richard Risemberg.

Streetsblog calls West Hollywood’s La Brea Streetscape project a missed opportunity — especially when it comes to bikes.

 

State

San Diego is sitting on 200 racks for their planned bike share system as the city debates where to put them.

The Visalia paper offers tips to keep you safe on your bike. And unlike most newspapers, gets it right.

The Tesla driver who blamed that new car smell for making him fall asleep and kill a Santa Cruz cyclist faces up to one year in jail after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge. Note to motorists: if you feel sleepy, pull over, dammit.

 

National

Five ways bicycling can make or save you money that goes way beyond the usual suspects — including raising the value of your home and giving you a tax break.

Google Maps now provides elevation data for their bike routes to help you avoid hills. Or find them, if you prefer a challenge.

People for Bikes offers 14 ways to make bike lanes better.

Vox says it’s time to stop forcing bike riders to wear helmets. Personally, I’m a firm believer in wearing a helmet; I credit mine with saving my life and brain in a solo fall seven years ago. But too many people — especially non-riders — don’t realize they’re only designed to protect against impacts up to 12.5 mph.

Bikeyface considers the issue of unwanted advice, while Bike Snob offers advice on how to avoid confrontations on the street.

A local website offers an anti-bike hatchet job in honor of Seattle’s Bike to Work Day. Note to MyNorthwest: motorists have been known to run red lights, fail to signal and act with a sense of entitlement, too.

A Colorado driver faces anywhere from two to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a cyclist. Prosecutors dropped charges that she was allegedly drunk when she fell asleep at the wheel while on her way to a court hearing for a previous DUI case.

A popular Indianapolis bike trail shows benefits for local businesses where it parallels a main street, not so much where it doesn’t.

 

International

Our Vancouver friend Chris Bruntlett decries the irrational culture of fear that surrounds bicycling.

A UK letter writer says there’s no evidence bike riders endanger pedestrians.

This is why you need to shift your hand position frequently, as a British cyclist loses her life after crashing into a house when cyclist’s palsy leaves her unable to squeeze her brakes.

 

Finally…

A new bike seat on springs promises to isolate your butt from road bumps. And in case you wondered, you can fit 42 folding bikes in a single parking space.

 

Morning Links: Bike to Work Day, Rick Risemberg lets Cedillo have it with both barrels, and a new Sweet Ride

Happy Bike to Work Day.

Or as I call it, trick or treating for bike riders.

And don’t forget the Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hours in Echo Park, Santa Monica and throughout the area.

………

Richard Risemberg doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the North Figueroa fiasco.

Writing for Flying Pigeon, he accuses CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo of bait and switch in supporting bike lanes when he was running for office, and seemingly opposing them now that he’s in office.

North Figueroa has been shown to be overdesigned for the level of traffic that it sees, resulting in scofflaw drivers speeding down the wide lanes, killing and maiming residents and visitors alike and creating a bleak and harrowing ambience that diminishes the curb appeal of local businesses. The road diet and its accompanying bike lanes would restrain the speed demons, and the bike lanes themselves would allow neighbors the option to get about without cars, which so many of them do not own anyway. This would improve job access and bring more customers to local stores…

Yet Cedillo, who in the video above enthusiastically speaks of the city’s need to install “real bike lanes” such as he studied in Denmark, now is sitting on the project, and in fact giving the appearance of orchestrating the new community meetings he’s set up to make the opposition looks bigger than it is. Of course the video was taken when he was fishing for the votes of the cycling community prior to the last election….

And he cites the Councilmember’s actions as a perfect example of how to subvert the democratic process in a piece for Orange 20.

Yes, in the name of the spurious concept of “balance” employed by Faux News, the number of people speaking for the road diet was held down to match the number speaking against—a principle that, if applied to elections, would result in a tie every time.

In other words, democracy be damned.

They’re both good reads.

And if it doesn’t piss you off than an elected official is blatantly ignoring both the will of the people and the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, for reasons known only to him, maybe it should.

………

Sweet Ride USA releases their fourth episode, which features a public ride to a Highland Park donut shop.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers up three things he likes about Bike Week and two he doesn’t, while Damien Newton says we need to get more young people involved in planning.

Are e-bikes the missing link in LA transportation plans?

LA cyclist Kurt Broadhag will ride this year’s RAAM to support the non-profit Innovation: Africa.

LACBC local chapter SCV Bicycle Coalition works for safer cycling in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The second annual Jewel City Fun & Fitness Ride rolls through Glendale this weekend, while El Monte hosts a Bike Fest the following weekend.

It may take awhile, by Cal Poly Pomona is committed to becoming friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians; too bad it took the death of bike riding student Ivan Aguilar to make it happen

PCH will get a pedestrian-friendly makeover in Hermosa Beach, which could include bike lanes. Key word being “could.”

 

State

San Diego is looking for funding for a long-planned separated bike path through Mission Valley, while biking group the Awarewolfs — not wolves, for some reason — hosts a monthly full moon ride through the city.

Congratulations to Rancho Cucamonga and Chula Vista on making the Bike League’s new Bicycle Friendly Communities list.

The LA Times says San Francisco’s failure to prosecute a truck driver caught on video right hooking the bike rider he killed is a reminder we still have a long way to go. Meanwhile, SF Streetsblog says the legal system failed Amelie. No shit.

Bike to School Day flops in Calistoga, as only 28 students in two schools participate.

 

National

Speeding Seattle cyclist kills a leashed dog being walked in a crosswalk. Seriously people, if you can’t stop for pedestrians and dogs in a legally marked crossing, you’re the problem.

A hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider to die near my hometown gets off with less than a slap on the wrist; the local paper says the system failed her victim, too. Again, no shit.

New York’s new mayor looks to Sweden for inspiration for the city’s Vision Zero plan. Here in LA, no one in city government seems to have even heard of Vision Zero. Or Sweden, for that matter.

Under the heading of they really should know better, the EPA is closing its bike room, which means a number of employees may stop riding to work. And that can’t be good for the environment.

Now that sounds like fun. A New Orleans bike group is hosting a second line bike ride, with cyclists following a jazz band on a flatbed truck.

 

International

Five tips for a successful Calgary tweed ride.

Toronto considers building separated bike lanes through the downtown core.

Looks like stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is up to his old tricks. Or maybe new ones.

A Sydney columnist looks at the culture war on the roads Down Under, and calls for more to be done to make cycling safer without pushing riders off the roads.

Aussie brothers use fake charity as an excuse to bike door to door and beg for booze. Works for me.

 

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon and known gang member illegally carrying two concealed weapons, don’t ride salmon, already. Fellow salmon cyclist Alec Baldwin says cross his heart, he wasn’t asking for special treatment, while Japanese animators have their own unique take on his arrest.

And Joe Linton catches me getting blessed at the Blessing of the Bicycles on Tuesday, albeit from an unflattering angle. Then again, I don’t think my boney ass has a flattering angle these days.

Photo by Joe Linton; shamelessly stolen from LA Streetsblog.

Photo by Joe Linton; shamelessly stolen from LA Streetsblog.

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