Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: All hands on deck for Expo Line bike path, hit-and-run goes global, and Culver founder one of us

Someone you know needs a new bicycle. Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that there will be an all-hands-on-deck meeting next Wednesday to discuss closing the Northvale gap in the new Expo bikeway.

After neighborhood NIMBY’s in the upscale Cheviot Hills neighborhood failed to stop the train, they turned their attention halting the bike path, expressing fear that bike-riding burglars and two-wheeled peeping Toms would soon terrorize the area.

Which is only a slight exaggeration.

Meanwhile, funding dried up amid disputes over where to locate the path, and where — or if —there should be access to the neighborhood.

Linton writes that Councilmember Paul Koretz, who has made it his life’s mission to keep bikes off Westwood Blvd, is working to close the gap in what would be the only continuous bikeway from Downtown to the Beach.

There will undoubtedly be many people opposing the bike path going through their neighborhood, so as he notes, if you live, work, bike, or breathe in this part of West Los Angeles, you need to be there to voice your support.

It takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library, 2920 Overland Ave.

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Clearly, hit-and-run is a worldwide problem.

A New Hampshire cyclist was lucky to escape with bruises when he was hit by a driver who sped away; police later arrested the suspect for hit-and-run, as well being a felon in possession of an unlicensed gun.

A British man faces “substantial” jail time for driving away after killing a cyclist while speeding at over twice the 30 mph limit.

And an Indian driver is under arrest for fleeing the scene after running down a man who was riding home from work.

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Local

CICLE will host a learning to ride class for adults on the 17th.

The founder of Culver City was one of us. Before coming to California, Harry Culver rode in 53-day, 4,120 mile bike race ending at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Long Beach begins work to improve access for bikes and the disabled at Alamitos Beach.

 

State

Calbike poses six detailed questions about the governor’s new budget, and says he stalls on climate change.

Caltrans buys an Encinitas strawberry field to convert it into a park and ride and freeway access ramp, as well as community gardens and open space; the facility will include bike lockers and a bike lane that connects to bike paths planned for the area. Maybe they should call it a bike and ride.

San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood gets a road diet and buffered bike lanes to improve safety after a close vote by the neighborhood planning committee.

Next time you’re in Morro Bay, check out the new bike park that opened over the holidays.

Fresno will shut down a freeway for a day and turn it over to bicycles for the California Classic century ride.

Sad news from Vacaville, as a woman died of injuries she suffered in a collision while riding her bike last month.

 

National

The co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus – yes, there is one — introduce a rare bi-partisan bill to allow communities more flexibility to use federal funds for bikeshare programs.

Fast Company looks at the nation’s five best bike lanes.

Nike sponsors Portland’s new Biketown bikeshare program.

A Seattle radio host continues his anti-bike rants, this time saying if officials really care about bike safety, they should ban bike riders from going through a parking lot they’re legally entitled to use, since a protected bike lane will be built nearby. It’s not safety he’s concerned about; it’s really about the money and lost parking spaces for a bike lane he opposes.

Vermont considers a bill that would require right-turning drivers to yield to bikes, and allow motorists to cross a yellow line to pass a bicycle.

North Carolina cyclists say a proposal requiring them to ride on the right half travel lane will increase the risk of serious crashes.

A trio of brothers followed the course of the infamous Sherman’s March to the Sea in the Civil War, riding 340 miles from Atlanta to Savannah. Hopefully they didn’t slash and burn along the way.

 

International

A Vancouver cyclist was killed in a bizarre accident when he was hit by a piece of trash tossed by a dumpster diver.

The founders of Vancouver’s Modacity write in praise of slow cycling, saying the slower a city’s bicyclists ride, the more mature its bike culture.

A Toronto paper questions whether Vision Zero can succeed in the auto-centric city.

No surprise here. Bikes were the most stolen items in Britain last year.

Cycling Weekly looks at the Cannibal as the legendary Belgian cyclist turns 70.

Riding through the coastlines, deserts and mountains of Spain’s Andalusia region.

Bicycling is booming in Mumbai.

Bike riding in New Zealand is getting safer as it gets more popular.

The mayor of Taipei will ride his bike 21 hours tomorrow to promote the Velo-City Global Conference to be held in his city next month.

 

Finally…

How does someone fail to see a stopped bus before crashing your bike into it? When a bus company driving instructor says running over cyclists is a public service, you’ve got to wonder what he’s teaching his students.

And a five-year old rides to the rescue in his pajamas.

 

Weekend Links: LA Times gives LADOT a data-driven push, ‘Tis the season and a fat bike for the zombie apocalypse

Maybe what LA needs is a good push.

Which is exactly what the LA Times gave it Friday, with a deep dive into the world of bicycle collisions using the CHP’s SWITRS data to identify the ten most dangerous streets for bicycling.

Not surprisingly, Figueroa, which has been in the news far too much lately, makes the list, coming in third, behind only Venice and Vermont, which led the way with 230 bicycling collisions over the past five years.

Others included Western and Sunset, along with the parallel east/west boulevards of Pico and Olympic.

Surprising, Van Nuys is the only street in the San Fernando Valley to make the list, followed by Downtown’s Main Street and Wilshire Blvd.

Going back to Vermont, the paper found that when drivers were found at fault, it was mostly for failing to yield, speeding and improper turns, while riding salmon was the main reason cyclists were blamed for collisions.

And they suggest that separating bikes from cars with protected bike lanes, or at the very least, painted lanes, is a good start if the city’s Vision Zero is going to succeed.

Let’s hope LADOT is listening.

Not to mention the mayor and the city council.

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‘Tis the season.

A Redding group teams with Coke to give 60 bikes to foster kids, as well as recently adopted kids.

An Ohio group donates 246 bicycles through the Toys for Tots program.

When a Pittsburgh PA man wanted to give away a few bikes in honor of his daughter and grandchildren, he went on Facebook asking people to nominate six deserving kids. Instead, contributions poured in to buy more bikes; he’ll now be donating at least 35 bikes to needy kids.

Rhode Island police dip into their own pockets to buy a bike for a young girl after hers is stolen.

A North Carolina group donates three truckloads of bikes to less fortunate kids. Although the local TV station seems to think it was news from the future.

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Don't make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Don’t make her beg. You only have six more days to support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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Local

Voting on where Metro’s new bikeshare stations should be located in DTLA ends at the end of the month.

A UCLA public health website says the new Wilshire Blvd bus-only lanes should be called a bus, bike and a**hole lane due to a lack of enforcement against aggressive drivers who use it illegally.

A new video discusses what the future of LA streets could be, including drone footage of the recent CicLAvia in Downtown LA.

A Santa Monica letter writer suggests making Arizona Avenue a greenway like the new Michigan Ave greenway.

As we mentioned yesterday, Redondo Beach’s Harbor Drive separated bikeway made People for Bike’s list of the nation’s top 10 new bike lanes.

A bystander’s video suggests sheriff’s deputies may have killed a Long Beach bike rider after one of them accidently shot his own partner.

 

State

The Voice of San Diego looks at what stands in the way of a proposed international bike lane across the border with Mexico. Besides Donald Trump, that is.

The San Jose paper examines at what went wrong with a planned bike & pedestrian bridge in Palo Alto.

 

National

Honolulu attempts to finance a bikeshare program by asking donors to adopt a bike for $1,000.

Nebraska’s Supreme Court bizarrely rules that a railroad may have been at fault for a boy’s death after he rode his bike around the crossing guards; his mother’s lawyer argued that the first train was too loud for him to hear the second train that killed him, while blocking it from view.

Cincinnati considers a 42-mile bikeway circling the city, though a business writer questions whether supporters will actually see it built in their lifetimes.

Streetsblog remembers the man who saved New York cycling by fighting a 1980s Midtown bike ban.

Bikes really do mean business. September’s world championships in Richmond VA brought in $89 million in direct spending, with a total economic reach of $170 million.

Raleigh NC installs bike lanes and sharrows around the town; naturally, drivers are confused and say cars should come first because there’s more of them. By that argument, people should always come before cars.

A Florida man is shot in the legs when he refused to let go of his bike when four men tried to jack it. Rule number one: Never forget your life is worth more than your bike.

 

International

A Canadian bike shop is refurbishing donated bikes to give to Syrian refugees when they arrive.

Police are looking for a road raging Brit cyclist who reached into a car and rode off with the driver’s keys. Something I have been tempted to do many times, wrong though it may be.

The owners of the Tour de France reject proposed reforms for pro cycling, and have pulled the race from UCI’s new WorldTour calendar for 2017.

Muslim cyclists in Australia will ride for peace on the one year anniversary of Sidney’s Lindt Café attack.

 

Finally…

Who needs GPS when your bike seat can tell you where to go. Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree, but at least it didn’t eat bicycles. Or anchors.

And just what every Angeleno needs for LA traffic or the zombie apocalypse — a camo fat bike with a gun rack in the back.

 

Morning Links: Turning Vision Zero into an unfunny joke, adventures in traffic blocking, and CicLAvia the Musical

No bikes involved this time.

But sadly, a 17-year old high school student was killed while walking in a crosswalk on North Figueroa yesterday, apparently unaware that classes had been cancelled due to a terrorism hoax.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the street in the last six months, with three pedestrians and a cyclist losing their lives on a street that was supposed to have been made safer by now.

And would have been, if Councilmember Gil Cedillo hadn’t unilaterally killed a fully funded, shovel ready road diet for reasons he has yet to fully explain, instead bizarrely claiming he was halting the safety project in the name of safety. Yet as yesterday’s tragedy clearly shows, his inaction has merely helped keep a dangerous street deadly.

Unfortunately, we live in a city where councilmembers oversee virtual fiefdoms, thanks to the reluctance of their fellow councilmembers or the mayor to challenge them for fear of retaliation against projects in their own districts.

This has to change.

If Cedillo is unwilling to admit his mistake, someone in city leadership or LADOT has to find the courage to stand up to him to protect the lives of our fellow Angelenos.

Otherwise, people will continue to die needlessly.

And our much-vaunted and fought-for Vision Zero will be nothing more than a very unfunny joke.

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Today’s theme is bizarre court cases involving allegedly traffic-blocking bike riders.

A Louisville KY bike and pedestrian advocate rejected a plea deal on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light, insisting that bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes. Or stop at red lights, for that matter.

A Pennsylvania bike rider faces charges for repeatedly obstructing traffic by slowly riding his bike in the middle of the road; a prosecutor hints he may be trying to get hit after receiving a settlement from a drunk driver for a 2007 collision. Or he could just be taking the lane on a narrow street, like bike riders are instructed to do.

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Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

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‘Tis the season.

For the seventh year, the Burbank Bike Angels will donate over 120 refurbished bikes to children of local low-income families.

A Rochester NY bike shop donated 20 bikes to an organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the second year in a row.

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Local

Democratic legislators ask Obama for funding to start planning and design work for the restoration of the LA River, which could include extensions of the LA River bike path.

LADOT is looking for a Planning Assistant. Riding a bike should be an added requirement for the job, though.

CiclaValley offers 100 seconds of bike commuting from the Valley to DTLA.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.

San Diego approves a new climate action plan, including a commitment to cut car trips in key transportation zones by 50% within 20 years.

SF Gate says nice try on San Francisco’s first raised bike lane, but it doesn’t actually keep cars and trucks out.

 

National

Pro ‘cross racers offer advice on how to avoid high bike fees when you fly.

The Federal Highway Administration provides Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks.

The family of a Portland driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while driving stoned says it was just an accident and he’s really an awesome person. Except when running down bike riders while too high to drive, evidently.

A New Mexico man is arrested for his seventh DUI, just three months after being released from prison for killing a bike rider in 2005 while driving at three times the legal limit. Yet somehow, despite repeatedly proving he’s incapable of resisting the temptation to drink and drive, he’s still allowed behind the wheel.

Forget skiing. If you’re looking for a little winter adventure, try fat tire cycling through the Minnesota snow.

The Wall Street Journal says New York safety advocates say more needs to be done even though traffic deaths are declining. After all, it’s Vision Zero, not Vision Slightly Better.

A Savannah writer nails it. “A legion of scofflaw cyclists cannot inflict the amount of pain, suffering and death as one young man driving a Dodge Durango.”

 

International

Unbelievable. A Costa Rican cab driver denies doing anything wrong after pulling out from the curb and hitting three lead riders of a bike race after police had cleared the route; fortunately, no one was badly hurt.

A road raging bus driver deals with a confrontation with a London cyclist by running over his bike.

A candidate for London mayor offers a six-point plan to make the city a “byword for cycling around the world.”

A British man gets life in prison for intentionally driving his car into his bike-riding romantic rival.

Police are looking for a Brit rider who threw a woman down a flight of stairs after becoming enraged because her dog was not on a leash.

An Indian paper calls speeding and luxury cars a killer combination. Meanwhile, 110 CEOs from all over the world will ride over 500 miles on a week-long expedition through the country, and a champion para-cyclist explains how he didn’t let losing a leg stop him.

Brisbane, Australia’s Green Party proposes a network of protected bike lanes, which would allow cyclists to ride in safety to within two blocks of any location in the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and win the world championships, as the prestigious former British Medical Journal says the rainbow jersey isn’t cursed after all. What it’s like to ride a bike to your own wedding.

And presenting CicLAvia, the musical.

Weekend Links: Deplorable Gold Line bike locker, distracted beach biking, and a 17-mile non-CicLAvia ciclovía

Del Mar 1What good is a bike room if it’s not clean, not maintained and not secure?

Sean B forwards these photos of the bike locker at the Pasadena Del Mar Metro Station, noting that the floor is filthy, half the racks are broken and one appears to have been sawed through to steal the bike that was presumably in it.

I’m told this isn’t actually part of Metro’s bike locker program, but rather, just a set of racks with walls and a roof, where a sign tells riders to lock up there at your own risk.

Del Mar 2Seriously?

If Metro really wants to encourage people to use their own bikes to solve the first mile/last mile problem, they’ve got to do a lot better than this.

Deplorable conditions like this only serve to encourage bike thieves, making it clear that no one is paying attention and they aren’t likely to be interrupted.

Del Mar 3Sean also notes that he’s tried contacting Metro about these conditions on numerous occasions, with no luck.

Let’s hope someone there sees this and makes fixing this room a priority. Or better yet, does whatever it takes to replace it with a secure bike locker.

Because bike riders deserve a hell of a lot better than this.

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Clearly, distracted drivers aren’t the only ones we have to worry about.

Thanks to David Wolfberg and Tony K. for the heads-up.

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Now that’s what I call a ciclovía — seventeen miles through seven San Gabriel cities.

626 Golden Streets

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Maybe the solution to hit-and-run is more cars that turn their drivers in. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Pro cyclist Peter Sagan and wife light up the holidays in this Euro commercial, no translation necessary.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says the new bus and bike only lanes on Wilshire Blvd seem to have increased ridership, though dangerous gaps remain on the Westside thanks to wealthy, short-sighted residents.

Boyonabike says driverless cars aren’t the answer; transit and walkable, bikeable communities are.

Santa Monica approves a pilot program to place three parklets on Main Street.

A Santa Monica letter writer says public officials have a duty to cater to car users, who apparently have a God-given right to free parking.

Bike SGV offers an analysis of the new Duarte draft bike plan.

 

State

A mountain biker was rescued after getting lost in Beaumont; she called a friend to say she was cold, exhausted and thought she was going to die.

Be careful riding in Napa, which now officially the most inebriated city in California.

 

National

A Honolulu man faces up to 15 years for killing a bike rider while high on meth.

Caught on video: A Portland thief shows how easy it is to snatch a bike off the front of a bus. Always lock or disable your bike in some way before you put it on a bus rack to discourage potential thieves.

A bighearted Washington cop buys a stolen tandem from a homeless man, and fixes it up before returning it to its owners, who met while riding bikes 66 years earlier.

Not surprisingly, a Flagstaff crackdown on scofflaw cyclists does nothing to improve safety.

A Denver driver gets six years in a halfway house for seriously injuring a bike cop after lying about having a seizure-inducing medical condition. Although you have to wonder how long that sentence would be if his victim hadn’t been a cop.

Austin TX considers removing a bike lane to provide more parking, while local residents fight to keep it. Meanwhile, police in Austin bust a bike thief responsible for stealing 97 bikes, valued up to $12,000.

After an Ohio cyclist is rear-ended, he gets yelled at by the driver and lectured by a cop for riding in the traffic lane. Until he points out the sharrows he was riding on.

A Maine writer offers seven ways to improve bicycling in the state, most of which would make sense anywhere. Let’s face it, there are very few politicians I’d want to see naked, on a bike or otherwise. Even if the idea of voting for someone who has nothing to hide is appealing.

Turns out it’s legal for a woman to ride a bike topless in Philadelphia, even if it is a challenge to get the local police on board.

 

International

This is how you get more women on bikes. After Calgary builds out an entire network of protected bike lanes seemingly overnight, the percentage of female riders jumps.

A Toronto woman has started a petition to require cyclists to be licensed, even though the city has rejected that four times in the last 30 years. Although riders may not have to worry too much; the petition had just 15 supporters so far.

Brit pro cyclist Bradley Wiggins was bullied growing up and called a gay slur for having the audacity to wear spandex in public.

If your headphones are so loud you can’t even hear a London train coming, maybe you should turn them down a little. And don’t ride around the damn crossing barriers.

London police are treating an apparent road rage hit-and-run as attempted murder; the same driver who ran down a cyclist may have tried to crash into a cop who responded to the incident.

A Glasgow taxi driver suffered a broken nose and cheekbone when he was punched by a bike rider, after the rider had fought with the cab’s passenger. Violence is never the answer, no matter how angry you are or how much you think they deserve it. It only makes a bad situation worse.

A trio of British cyclists riding a single bike made for three survive a collision on US Route 66 when the sun gets in a driver’s eye; needless to say, he wasn’t charged.

Probably not the best idea to punch a Dubai cop for trying to stop a cyclist from riding on a jogging path.

A pair of apparent German tourists came to the aid of a Kiwi bike rider when she was assaulted by a man who punched her several times before throwing her to the ground.

 

Finally…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you’re riding a bike while carrying burglary tools and stolen car radios, put a light on it already — and stay off the damn sidewalk. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge invisible turkeys.

And hopefully, we don’t have to deal with drivers who kill bike riders while getting a blowjob behind the wheel.

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Thanks to Erik Griswold for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

An ancient Norse tradition I just made up says giving to an underfunded bike website ensures the wind will always be at your back in the coming year, and your tires will be impervious to thorns.

Weekend Links: CicLAvia videos, safer VA passage, more Coronado madness, and a busy bike weekend

Let’s start the weekend with a few videos.

First up is a moving piece about a legally blind photographer experiencing his first CicLAvia. Bruce Hall not only rode a bike, accompanied by professional cyclist Damon Roberson, but captured the day in a series of beautiful photos.

Which brings up this this short film that captures the magic of the Culver City Meets Venice CicLAvia earlier this year.

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If you ever wondered why some people think cyclists are crazy, semi-suicidal scofflaws, this should answer the question.

Of course, the problem comes when they witness the actions of one rider, or even a few, and decide that all people on bikes are like that.

Which is a pretty good metaphor for a lot of what’s going on in the world these days.

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You only have until Monday to offer comments on the draft master plan for Veterans Administration campus in West LA.

While that may not seem like something that would affect cyclists, many riders use the VA grounds as a safe alternative to virtually unridable Wilshire Blvd; for decades, it was my preferred passageway on the way to the coast.

And as others have pointed out, safety could be dramatically improved for both bicyclists and pedestrians by reopening the gates to the Los Angeles National Cemetery just across the street, and allowing non-motorized traffic to use the roadway that passes between Westwood and the VA, just as they did prior to 9/11.

Here’s my take on it from a few years back.

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The collective madness continues in Coronado, where a letter writer somehow manages to tie the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, KPBS public radio and the Late, Late Show’s James Corden into a single grand conspiracy to besmirch their isthmus with bike lanes.

Note to Coronado: It doesn’t take a conspiracy to make you look like fools; you’re doing a damn good job of it on your own.

At least there’s one voice of sanity.

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Today is Global Fat Tire Day. So what are you doing to celebrate?

Here’s one suggestion.

fattire_l

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Get him to the Greek, where the SoCalCross Prestige Series brings the CACX District Championship Weekend to the Greek Theater in Griffith Park this weekend for two full days of fun and cyclcocross racing action. No word on whether Russell Brand will make it there in time.

The award-winning documentary Bikes vs. Cars opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7 this weekend; check out reviews from the LA Times, OC Weekly, Bicycling Magazine and the New York Times.

Unless you’re a very early riser, you may not have time to catch the December edition of Helen’s Cycles Monthly Group Ride with Tour de France stage winner Eros Poli. But you can still catch the Cannondale Saturday Demo at the Santa Monica store on Saturday, and the Cannondale Demo Sunday Nichols Ride on, uh, Sunday.

If you read this early enough, you may still be able to make it to the Culver City Bicycle Coalition’s Holiday Ride, kicking off at 9:30 this morning.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles will teach you how to fix a flat at 11 am today. Seriously, If you’re going to ride a bike, you need to know how to keep air in your tires.

The LACBC joins with local chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition this month’s edition of their popular Sunday Funday Ride tomorrow, with the 14-mile family friendly We Go WeHo Ride.

Downtown’s Just Ride LA bike shop is taking to trip up La Tuna Canyon on Sunday.

Figueroa for All invites you to join their crew for the 2015 NELA Holiday Parade on Sunday, whether you choose to ride, walk or roll.

Join pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, the LACBC and Councilmember David Ryu’s office in cleaning up a stretch of Mulholland between Cahuenga and Runyon Canyon on the 12th.

Also on the 12th, the Southern California Toy Drive Ride will deliver toys to Camp Pendleton for the Toys 4 Tots program.

Finish the Ride will host their first ride, run, walk and roll across the San Fernando Valley on the 27th.

And mark your calendar for the first Los Angeles Bicycle Festival next May.

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Local

In non-breaking news, Metro has officially adopted the fare structure for the still-unnamed bikeshare system, which is pretty much what it was before.

CiclaValley looks at bicycling and pedestrian equity in South LA, or the lack thereof. As he puts it, “A bike network is only as good as your weakest link. It’s about time someone at least bought a chain.”

LA Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls for a series of parks and bikeways along the planned corridor for the un-built 710 Freeway extension through Pasadena and South Pas.

Actor/Director Chad Michael Collins had his bike stolen recently while he was watching the new Hunger Games movie. If you see him, tell him to list it on here with Bike Index to increase his chances of getting it back.

A cyclist will arrive in LA on Sunday after riding fixed 2,451 miles from Chicago along Route 66.

The Pasadena Star News reports a man was punched and the mountain bike he was riding was stolen while on a test ride from a local bike shop.

 

State

San Clemente plans two-way protected bike lanes along PCH.

Following the death of a 12-year old bike rider, Oceanside plans to improve safety for cyclists by installing more speed limit signs and speed monitors. Neither of which would have done anything to prevent the collision that killed Logan Lipton.

It takes a real schmuck to hit a bike-riding kid and leave him lying in the street like this Moreno Valley hit-and-run driver; fortunately, his victim wasn’t badly hurt.

A cyclist and author has his custom titanium tandem stolen in Watsonville, after 50,000 miles of touring the world and picking up riders on his empty back seat. And not for the first time.

So much for that. San Francisco police resume their crackdown on bike riders after earlier assurances it had ended.

Shaq gets an early Christmas present with an oversized 36” wheel bike made for taller riders by San Francisco’s DirtySixer Bicycles.

We all fall off our bikes sooner or later; slashing the neck of a Vacaville kid who laughed at another boy for doing probably wasn’t the best response.

 

National

It looks like that folding cargo bike collaboration between Tern and Xtracycle is a thing now.

Speaking of being a thing now, a new Kickstarter has kicked off for Invincible, which claims to be the world’s first city-proof bike; their new protection plan promises to replace your bike within 24 hours if it’s stolen while using the U-lock that comes with it. If anyone has me on their Secret Santa list, I’ll take the eight-speed version, thank you.

Finally a sentence that fits the crime. After being convicted of driving under the influence, followed by a drunken jailhouse tirade, a former Snowmass city councilman is sentenced to ride his bike 13 miles through the Colorado snow to deliver urine samples to prove he’s not drinking.

Nice thought from a writer from my hometown, who says we all share the same roads and face the same issues, and need to stand together as one, no matter how you ride.

Chicagoist offers five mistakes to avoid after a bike crash.

To improve safety on New York streets, focus on the cars, trucks and SUVs that cause 97.6% of deaths and injuries, not the bikes that cause the rest.

Crash into a cyclist, attack him and throw his tire into the woods before fleeing the scene, and a Maryland judge will let you walk with just 16 lousy hours of community service. Nice to see they take road rage seriously there. And yes, that’s sarcasm of the dripping variety.

Eighteen months after controversial bike lanes were installed in Alexandria VA, they’ve calmed traffic, reduced collisions and increased the number of bike riders on the street, despite the fears of local residents.

 

International

What to get for the bike riding women in your life.

Toronto considers allowing their parking officers to take a photo of cars parked illegally in bike lanes, then follow up with a written ticket later.

Not surprising that the founder of Britain’s Motorists Association would call for cyclists to “pay their way,” just like motorists, who actually don’t; even then, the equivalent of $75 a year seems excessive.

Good news from France, as a gendarme who was critically injured by an out-of-control race moto at this year’s Tour de France is making a miraculous recovery from his injuries.

A new Dutch program promises to take elderly Kiwi residents on rickshaw bike cab rides, while a Dutch bicycle engineer says sharrows aren’t necessarily a bad thing — as long as they’re used on streets with a speed limit under 19 mph.

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

The Department of DIY strikes in Jerusalem, where residents paint their own bike lanes to protest the city’s delays in building bike paths.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, a bike theft isn’t a bike theft. If you’re doping to win an age-group Masters race, you have a serious problem.

And stealing a car, hitting a cyclist and fleeing the scene while five months pregnant probably isn’t the best way to win Mother of the Year.

 

Morning Links: Daily News spins bike news badly, not getting it San Pedro, and a local bike rider needs your help

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Sometimes, good news is bad news, depending on how you spin it.

The LA Daily News looks at the LA city council’s re-adoption of the new Mobility Plan last week, and the promise to consider proposed amendments after the first of the year.

Except they give it a very negative spin.

The story focuses on the possibility that bike lanes could be removed from the plan, likely or not. Along opposition to the plan from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and, disappointingly, David Ryu.

Koretz focuses his opposition to removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd in and near Westwood Village, just outside the UCLA campus, claiming it’s too dangerous for bike riders. Yet somehow, refuses to consider any plans to make it safer or propose any viable alternative.

His only solution is to keep it dangerous, while his search for a long-promised alternative route is seeming more and more like OJ’s search for the real killer.

Meanwhile Ryu, who promised to reconsider the decisions made by his predecessor Tom LaBonge, instead appears to be following in his anti-bike footsteps.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says at least the city isn’t stabbing us in the back anymore.

They’re aiming their knives directly at us.

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Apparently, parking causes less congestion than bike lanes.

A San Pedro letter writer complains that replacing parking spaces with bike lanes on Western Avenue would increase congestion and make it harder for emergency vehicles to get through.

Which seems highly unlikely, unless cars are currently able to pass through parked vehicles, which would appear to violate the laws of physics. And emergency vehicles usually find it easier to drive through bike lanes than parked cars.

He also complains that the Measure R funds that would be used to pay for the lanes weren’t supposed to be used for bike lanes, suggesting they should instead be funded by supporters of Calbike and CABO, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with them. And that funds should be raised by registering and taxing bicyclists, and imposing fines on law-breaking cyclists.

The first of which is impractical for many reasons, and the latter already happens, despite his protestations. And those fines go to the state, just like the fines paid by scofflaw drivers.

Never mind that bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads we ride.

Then again, that letter has nothing on this absurdly auto-centric writer from Santa Barbara.

Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a good cause this holiday season, you can’t do much better than World Bicycle Relief, which is using donated bicycles to change lives in less developed countries.

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Another good cause a lot closer to home.

Popular cyclist Egee Mabolis was badly injured during the monthly Ride With No Name, leaving him with no feeling in his arms and legs. A gofundme account established to help cover his medical costs has raised nearly $11,000 of the $25,000 goal — even though that won’t begin to cover the cost of his hospital care and rehabilitation, since he doesn’t have insurance.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Mabolis was profiled by the LA Weekly last year for his work taming the notorious Trader Joe’s parking lot in Silver Lake.

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Film fans take note.

The first film from famed British director Ridley Scott, the auteur responsible for Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was about a boy and bicycle, starring his late brother and future Top Gun director Tony.

The 27-minute student film is now available online.

While we’re on the subject of films, a writer for the Daily Beast kind of misses the point of the new documentary Bikes vs. Cars, which doesn’t really call for replacing all cars with bicycles, as tempting as that may seem at times.

If you want to see for yourself, Bikes vs. Cars opens this Friday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

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Local

CicLAvia staffer and LADOT commissioner Tafarai Bayne discusses what it’s like to grow up carless in LA and the perils of biking while black.

A cyclist in his 40s suffered moderate injuries when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy in Carson Thursday night.

Just one problem with LA’s 2024 Olympic bid: The BMX and mountain biking events projected for Griffith Park could be illegal.

Evidently, people really do walk in LA and Pasadena. And ride bikes, too.

 

State

An Escondido cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when she was the victim of a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Toyota Corolla.

A local hiking group voices their support for the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway around the Coachella Valley.

San Francisco follows an all-too-familiar pattern of fixing dangerous streets only after it’s too late. But at least they fix them, unlike some LA council districts we could name.

A transportation expert from UC Davis will make a presentation at this week’s Paris climate change conference touting the benefits of bicycling as a climate-friendly measure.

Family members and witnesses question the CHP’s investigation of a cyclist killed by a Sacramento judge, leading them to wonder if it’s just sloppy work or a cover-up.

 

National

America may not have hit peak car after all. Or maybe it did.

HuffPo says bikeshare is having a positive impact on city life throughout the US.

Life is cheap in Portland, where a truck driver faces a maximum $260 fine for dangerous left turn that took the life of a bike rider.

A Detroit man raised $15,000 to buy a new car for a man who rode a bike to work every day to save money to care for his sick wife.

The bike-hating New York Post blames scofflaw cyclists for the 4,463 bicyclists injured in the city last year, not the people in the big dangerous machines. And insists an Idaho stop law will only make things worse.

 

International

England’s last Plantagenet king is helping to lead the reclamation of Leicester from automobiles, over 500 years after Richard III famously failed to trade his kingdom for a horse.

British bike thieves get 12 years apiece for stabbing a man who was trying to reclaim his stolen bike.

Police in an English town are on the lookout for a cyclist — to thank her for lending them her hi-viz jacket so they could direct traffic.

A British man rides 400 miles to honor his late bike-riding mother.

Brit riders hold their third annual die-in to call for a stop to killing cyclists.

Caught on video: Apparently, being pregnant and wearing glasses is the latest excuse for left-hooking a British cyclist.

An injured cyclist says Maltese authorities are always on the driver’s side, concluding that his recent collision somehow broke the laws of physics.

Vogue says stylish cyclists are taking over Moscow.

Selling bikes by Bollywood.

A gold medal-winning Thai-American BMX rider is just as happy working in the rice paddy as competing against Asia’s best. No, really, that’s what it says.

 

Finally…

The beauty of a bicycle is its simplicity, until designers get their hands on it. Why clutter your home with bikes when you can park them on the ceiling? Evidently, the color of his bike is enough to make a man a suspect in the UK — accurately, as it turned out.

And shirtless cyclist and actor Russell Crowe goes riding with his mates in the “middle of f**king nowhere.”

 

Morning Links: Confronting LA’s diabetic drivers, and bike thief’s mom gives back bike her son stole

Let’s talk Diabetes.

Before I was diagnosed last year, I spent about a year trying to keep my sagging energy up with carbs and energy bars.

What was happening, unbeknownst to me, was that my blood sugar would spike after I ate something high in carbs — even the whole grains I thought were better for me — then crash, leaving me hypoglycemic and needing still more carbs to get back up.

In a very real sense, I was chasing the dragon, just like any other addict. Except my addition was to sugar and other carbohydrates.

I thought I could burn them off by riding my bike, even as I became sicker and sicker, my weight slipping from a muscular 190 pounds down to 160, before finally crashing to 145 shortly after I was diagnosed.

I was killing myself with every bite I took, even though I thought I knew what I was doing.

LA drivers are diabetics.

They’re addicted to ever-increasing road capacity every bit as much as I was addicted to carbs, demanding ever more and wider roads, despite the evidence that greater capacity just results in induced demand.

If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who drives the 405 if the $1 billion road widening project has made their commute any easier.

And they fight tooth-and-nail to preserve every traffic lane and parking spot, even from projects designed to improve safety while providing those who want it with alternatives to driving.

It’s not that they’re bad people. They just don’t know any better.

It’s our city officials that have failed them.

Common sense tells people that removing a traffic lane will only make their commutes worse. Even though it’s been shown repeatedly, in cities around the world, that it can actually improve traffic flow while increasing the odds that they, and those they share the road with, will get home to their families in one piece.

And it tells them that no one will actually ride a bike to work, despite those who do it every day right here in bike-unfriendly LA, and that bike commuting rates have gone up in other cities that have installed safe bike lanes and cycle tracks.

They simply can’t see their addiction is killing them and the city we all love, as LA’s streets, many of which are already at or above capacity for large portions of the day, continue to get more congested as we continue to follow the old failed approach.

Like me, they need an intervention.

In my case, it was my doctor telling me that my blood sugar levels were literally off the charts; so high, in fact, he was surprised I wasn’t already in a diabetic coma. Forcing me to rethink my entire approach to food, and give up those things I thought I needed.

In the case of LA drivers, we need our city officials, from the mayor down to our too-often weak kneed councilmembers, who insist on being led by their constituents rather than the other way around, to explain why the old ways no longer work. And show them how alternative approaches can actually work better, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.

And that bike lanes, and the people who use them, aren’t the enemy.

They can’t leave it up to us, as they have in the past, to explain why things have to change. That only creates yet another us against them confrontation, as bicyclists fight with drivers and homeowners over our safety versus their fears of gridlock.

It will take our leaders actually leading for a change.

And sticking their necks out to do what’s right, because they already know it is.

………

Talk about an unexpected development.

Three weeks after a man pushed an 11-year old boy off the bike he’d just won during a Halloween celebration at Ted Watkins Park and rode off with it, the mother of the suspect identified by police has returned the bike to him.

Which means he now has two bikes, since the ESR Bike and Skate Shop had already replaced the stolen bike.

Nice to see mom step in and do the right thing.

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Local

CiclaValley explains why drivers are the real threat, even to other drivers.

Thanks to the LACBC, the NoHo Red Line Station now has a short off-road bike path connecting the station to the popular Chandler Bike Path.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning Committee has approved the fair structure for LA’s coming bikeshare system. Meanwhile, Santa Monica’s Transit App now includes real-time information on the city’s Breeze bikeshare program.

In a totally unsolicited plug for a friend, Richard Risemberg’s Bicycle Fixation is offering merino wool bicycling tops on sale at just above cost.

Monrovia is the latest city in the San Gabriel Valley to develop a bike plan, as well as considering a bikeshare program.

Long Beach will crack down on unsafe drivers who put cyclists and pedestrians in danger on Thursday. But that doesn’t mean they’ll let law-breaking bicyclists off the hook.

 

State

The OC Register looks at the recent Orange County Honor Ride, which raised $40,000 for injured vets.

A Bakersfield school district gets a $100,000 grant to teach children to ride bikes safely during PE time. Although someone should explain to them that’s not what Vision Zero is, and that it can’t be accomplished in a year. Especially not without focusing on drivers instead of kids.

The three-day Eroica California returns to Paso Robles for the second annual vintage bike event next April.

The Santa Cruz paper looks at the city’s elevation to a gold-level Bike Friendly Community.

Noah Budnick, the Executive Directive of the San Francisco Bicycle Coaliton, has unexpectedly stepped down just under a year after he was hired.

The Sacramento-area’s Cycle Folsom is getting casual riders out onto the road and into spandex.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at that study showing a 14% transportation share by bikes in the world’s major cities could result in an 11% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Bicycling encourages you to get out and celebrate Blacktop Friday the day after Thanksgiving instead of Black Friday.

Portland prosecutors ask for $250,000 bail for the self-proclaimed King of Bike Thieves.

If you can make it out to Tucson AZ this Saturday, you could ride with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

Researchers in my hometown found the air bike commuters breath basically sucks.

A Wichita cop goes way beyond the call of duty, giving his own bike to a veteran in need after his had been stolen.

Nebraska bike and pedestrian deaths reach their highest level since the turn of the century.

A Chicago hospital executive gets a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist while on his way home from a holiday party; the judge gave him just 100 days behind bars, even though state law calls for three to fourteen years for aggravated DUI.

Intriguing new bike coming from Boston’s Fortified Bicycle, which promises their Invincible urban bike will be theft proof, flat-resistant and virtually indestructible.

In a sign of what can happen when bike riders and local residents actually listen to each other instead of arguing back and forth, the two sides may be close to an agreement in a dispute over a Baton Rouge bike lane. If Paul Koretz or Gil Cedillo showed enough leadership to sponsor that kind of conversation, we might have had an agreement on Westwood Blvd and North Figueroa ages ago.

A South Florida ride combines bicycling and black jack to raise funds to give bikes to children who can’t afford them.

 

International

Ottawa plans a permanent memorial to fallen cyclists.

The new Cycling Revolution exhibit at London’s Design Museum celebrates bicycle engineering; it will be open through the end of June if you’re planning a trip across the pond.

British retailer Tesco is accused of dumping $6,000 worth of new bicycles, some still in boxes, in the trash rather than donating them to those in need.

Fast Company calls the coming 200-foot high Copenhagen bike bridge the craziest bike lane ever built, with elevators that will lift riders up to cross over the harbor.

India’s elite cyclists are attempting to rebuild the cycling team following the death of the team’s coach two years ago, although their training is limited by the country’s dangerous roads.

Motorcycle-riding Bangladeshi gunmen seriously wound an Italian priest as he rode his bike.

Over 3,000 Egyptian cyclists are expected to take part in Cairo’s fourth annual Orange Bike Day sponsored by the Dutch Embassy.

 

Finally…

If you’re holding large quantities of cash and illegal drugs, maybe you’re better off not riding a stolen bike. And if you’ve been very good this year, maybe Santa Claus or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a 62 mph carbon fiber hydrogen-fueled e-bike.

 

Morning Links: $700 billion alternate mobility plan digs LA, and squash your scrotum for Paralympic victory

The madness goes on.

In an attempt to offer an auto-centric alternative to the LA Mobility Plan, a libertarian group has submitted a proposal that hardly seems libertarian.

Instead of bike lanes and bus ways, the Reason Foundation offers a big budget, big government plan to tunnel under the streets and houses of LA County to make more room for cars. The $700 billion — with a B — plan would be partially offset by tolls, presumably allowing the wealthy to zoom home while our local sans-culottes struggle through traffic on surface streets.

Although their budget does toss bikes a bone with $7.7 billion — a whopping 1% — allocated for active transportation.

But answer me one question.

Has any city, anywhere, managed to build its way out of traffic congestion?

I didn’t think so.

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Local

CiclaValley looks forward to this weekend, when professional cyclocross comes to SoCal, preceded by a ride along the San Gabriel River.

Santa Monica gets a $1 million grant to build a ramp connecting the beachfront bike path to the pier, which should improve access to the path from downtown SaMo.

A student at La Mirada’s Biola University says bikes deserve their popularity and cities like LA should invest in public transportation and bike-friendly infrastructure. He also says his professors can thank his 27-speed bike for getting him to class on time.

Efforts are finally moving forward to improve the lower stretch of the LA River south of Vernon, where the bike path has been badly neglected in places.

 

State

A 70-year old bicyclist suffered life-threatening injuries in an Anaheim collision. Let’s hope — and pray, if you’re so inclined — he pulls through.

Costa Mesa’s Orange Coast College is creating separated pathways on campus for biking and skating.

Tiny Indian Wells, population 5,100, has been ordered to pay $6 million dollars for the death of neurosurgeon who was killed while riding his bike, allegedly due to inadequate bike lanes and street lighting; the city argued that no reasonable person would ever ride a bike on that street after dark.

A Vacaville woman will stand trial for fleeing the scene after running down a disabled cyclist while she was on her way to the liquor store to replace the bottle of cheap-ass vodka she’d finished off before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

A tech writer explains why everyone in cities hates bicyclists. Start with a faulty premise, get a faulty conclusion; it’s true that some people hate cyclists, but many, probably most, don’t.

Bans on distracted cycling may be a law in search of a problem, as no evidence exists that using electronic devices while riding has resulted in deaths or serious injuries.

The Federal Highway Administration wants your input on a proposal to allow greater flexibility in designing roadways, rather than turning them all into mini-freeways.

Portland advocates place 135 life-sized white silhouettes around the city to represent traffic victims, whether they were killed while walking, biking or in a motor vehicle.

Donations are being sought to build a memorial to the decorated military dog killed by a pistol-toting Wyoming cyclist.

Fort Worth TX bike riders drop seed bombs to build bee and butterfly habitat. Just one more way bicycling is good for the environment.

 

International

It’s not often a bicycling collision can be called lucky, but a wreck while riding prevented a Canadian woman living in Paris from keeping dinner reservations at one of the restaurants hit by terrorists last week.

A cycling website looks at the ten most successful British bike racers of all time. The lower you go down the list, the more interesting it gets.

More bike rage in the UK, as an unidentified cyclist is accused of punching a driver, apparently in a dispute over a pass. Seriously, never resort to violence, no matter how mad you are or how much you think they deserve it; no good ever comes from turning anger into a crime.

A British mom is terrified when a cyclist holds his bike over her baby carriage on a crowded train.

A Brit cyclist rides 53.6 miles to raise £1,100 — the equivalent of $1672 — to aid a terminally ill Boxer puppy.

Caught on video: A rider in the UK is nearly felled by an invisible dog leash. It may be hard to see, but the woman is clearly holding something in her hand leading to the dog.

Inspirational story, as a Scottish woman gets back on her bike with her new baby, after he was born nearly two and a half months early and struggled to survive.

An Israeli startup wants to replace your cycling computer with smartglasses offering a heads-up display; the company is a spinoff from a military drone maker.

 

Finally…

Apparently, that inflatable Hövding Airbag bike helmet also protects against putting on your jacket; although it might come in handy as a flotation device when you Strava your fall into a canal. More people might ride to work if someone paid you to do it; which might be a better use of the Reason Foundation’s $700 billion.

And pro cyclists dope to get an edge; Paralympic cyclists just squash their scrotums.

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Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to start the first ever BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive; as he put it, if there wasn’t one before, there is now. 

Guest Post: Felicia Garcia looks at Councilmember Cedillo’s Opposition to Mobility Plan 2035

Since his election in 2013, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo has lead the fight against bike lanes in his Northeast LA district, first by halting an already approved road diet on North Figueroa, then by demanding that bikeways planned for his district be removed from the new Mobility Plan.

A casualty of that opposition has been safety for everyone, as North Figueroa remains one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

Today Fig4All’s Felicia Garcia examines his continued opposition to the safety improvements promised in the Mobility Plan.

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For over 50 days, a memorial for Yolanda Lugo-Espinoza has stood on N. Figueroa, and donation boxes to help the family cover funeral expenses have adorned the counter of local businesses along the street. However, this tragic fatality seems to be absent from Councilmember Cedillo’s memory, as he continued his opposition Tuesday to a plan that aims to eliminate traffic deaths citywide. N. Figueroa Street was intended to undergo a reconfiguration shortly after Cedillo took office in 2013 that would have resulted in crosswalk improvements and buffered bike lanes but that city-approved and funded safety plan has been single-handedly stalled by District 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

In a joint Transportation and Planning & Land-Use Management Committee meeting Tuesday to re-examine proposed amendments to the Mobility Plan 2035, Councilmember Cedillo again demonstrated his lack of empathy with the community and those affected by dangerous streets. He is one of 2 council members who has consistently opposed the Mobility Plan. The primary goal of the Plan is to put safety first by eliminating traffic fatalities while encouraging Angelenos to consider alternative means of transportation through adding dedicated bus and bike lanes to the city’s roadways over the next 20 years.

At the initial Mobility Plan 2035 meeting in August, Councilmember Cedillo (whose district includes the Glassell Park, Highland Park and Cypress Park neighborhoods of Northeast LA) attempted to make significant changes to specifics in the Plan. Most notably he requested that the streets in his district meant to be part of the citywide network of protected bike lanes be removed from the Mobility Plan. The Councilman has said his reluctance towards the Plan and his motive for excluding streets in his district is that he must act as “representative for the entirety of …[his] district, not simply 1%”. He refers to anyone who walks, bikes or uses public transportation as the 1%, but in doing so dismisses a large population of his constituents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the MacArthur Park neighborhood of his district boasts one of the highest percentages of commuters who travel by means other than car – a noteworthy 49.2%. For other parts of Cedillo’s district such as Westlake and Chinatown, those commuting without car make up 48.8% and 25%, respectively.

Many of the residents in Cedillo’s district cannot afford the luxury of owning a car, while others simply choose not to drive. Cedillo attempted to give more insight behind his reasoning at the Mobility Plan meeting stating: “A recent poll in the L.A. Times found that traffic is the No. 1 concern of the people, not public safety, not the high cost of living, not cleanliness of the city.” The poll he refers to was an online survey taken by 1,500 LA County residents. Considering the 2013 Census estimates LA County is home to over 10 million people, this survey focused on a tiny portion (around 0.015%) of the population, with the majority (98%) of the surveys conducted in English and exclusively serving those with internet access. Besides the fact that this survey in no way represents the needs of his constituents, he continues to cite it. He also overlooks one of the main purposes of the Mobility Plan, which is to find new ways to deal with the inevitable traffic that comes with a growing population of Angelenos. In insisting that traffic flow is more important than safety, he expresses his disregard for human life while a candle for hit-and-run victim Ms. Lugo-Espinoza still flickers at a memorial less than 2 blocks away from his Highland Park Field Office.

The Council Tuesday concluded the Mobility Plan 2035 meeting with intent to place changes to the Plan up for vote again next week with a full Council. Neighboring Northeast LA Councilmember Huizar is in strong support of the Plan, citing the 43% reduction in traffic collisions on Colorado Boulevard after safety improvements were introduced in 2013 as an example of how the rest of the city could progress. The majority of the City Council supports the Mobility Plan and commend it for its vision and years of exhaustive outreach unmatched in the City’s history. Meanwhile, Councilmember Cedillo remains insistent that he would not like the Plan to move forward until there can be greater “community input,” leaving his constituents at risk and danger as he stalls implementation of critical roadway safety improvements.

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BikinginLA welcomes guest posts on subjects of interest to bicyclists, particularly in the Los Angeles and Southern California areas. If you’ve written something you’d like to share, or have a topic you’d like to suggest, contact us at the email address on the About page.

Morning Links: Re-approval of Mobility Plan moves on; Breeze blows into SaMo; Caltrans nixes induced demand

The proposal to rescind approval for LA’s new Mobility Plan and reapprove it to head off a lawsuit from Fix the City eked through a combined meeting of the City Council’s Planning and Transportation Committees on Tuesday.

It passed by just a slim five to four vote.

Surprisingly, West Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander voted against it, less than two weeks after he was honored with the LACBC’s Innovator Award at their Firefly Ball.

New CD4 Councilmember David Ryu also voted against it, while the no votes from Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz were entirely expected.

Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Felipe Fuentes voted in favor, with Jose Huizar voting yes twice as a member of both committees.

The measure now goes before the full council at a future date.

On a related note, come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Fig4All’s Felicia Garcia on Cedillo’s opposition to the Mobility Plan.

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Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off today, making it the first citywide bikeshare system in Southern California.

If you don’t count San Diego, that is.

Breeze Email-ad-Final

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Caltrans finally acknowledges the concept of induced demand, admitting that increasing road capacity does not decrease congestion, despite the demands of LA drivers.

Too bad it’s a little too late for the billion dollar expansion of the 405 through the Sepulveda pass; that money could have built a lot of protected bike lanes.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from St. Louis CyclingSavvy instructor Karen Karabell.

Today she offers a nice five minute video on the joys of riding a bike, and what a difference it would make if more people felt safe on their bikes.

Karen notes that the piece was the debut effort of filmmaker and transportation cyclist Alison Ehrhard, who she says is passionate about the subject of bicycling.

Then again, aren’t we all?

………

Local

Collision LA offers a fascinating sliding map of the LACBC’s recent bike count.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a number of free bike safety classes over the next few months, starting tonight in East LA.

Bicycling Retailer takes a tour of the high-end, celebrity-filled bike shops in Santa Monica.

Great idea. The Southern California Velo Cycling Club is teaming with Incycle Bicycle Stores to collect food donations for families in need this holiday season.

A Norwalk bicyclist was kidnapped and shot in both legs in an apparent gang attack.

Long Beach receives a $150,000 grant for bike and pedestrian workshops.

CiclaValley continues the tale of his recent ride from LA to San Diego for the Calbike Bike Summit.

 

State

A San Diego couple hopes security camera video helps someone recognize the thief who stole their bike. Which could be hard, since the TV station somehow failed to include it in their story.

Dozens of volunteers pitch in to help a San Jose bike non-profit move to a new location; the shop provides bikes and maintenance training for needy and homeless people.

Students at Cupertino’s De Anza College can rent one of 50 bikes for an entire semester at no charge; they also have use of a free bike repair station.

San Francisco’s first raised bike lane — possibly the first in the state — is now officially open on Market Street.

 

National

Bicycling considers how to reframe the story to avoid blaming the victims in bike collisions. Before we complain about the press paying too much attention to bike crashes, let’s remember it was only a few years ago that they didn’t care enough to report them at all.

The Triple Pundit website looks at why the US lags behind other countries in bike commuting.

USA Today ranks the 25 best sports movies of all time. Breaking Away is the only bicycling movie on the list, ranked far below some highly questionable choices.

LA bike tourists Milestone Rides report on a trip to Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park.

A Seattle radio personality who describes himself as an avid cyclist is up in arms over spending a whopping $9,000 in taxpayer money to install free bike repair stations at nine local libraries.

That decorated retired military dog shot by a cyclist in Wyoming received a public military funeral worthy of the hero he was.

Apparently, Houston’s bikeshare system is all about the fun, ‘bout the fun, not commuting.

Pittsburgh bicyclists are calling for greater accountability for drivers in collisions between cars and bikes; as one person put it, “Bikers do not present a life-threatening risk when they have a momentary lapse in concentration.” I wish we could drill that thought into every anti-bike commenter on the Internet.

Evidently, there’s competition among thieves, as New York police bust two bike thieves attempting to steal the same bike, although it’s possible they were working together.

The Washington Post asks if e-bikes are the future of transportation, or just the next Segways.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian on the improving state of bicycling in Mexico City, where a weekly ciclovía opens 35 miles of roadway to bicyclists and pedestrians. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

London considers protected bike lanes on the Westminster Bridge leading to the Parliament building. Having walked that bridge, they would improve things for people on the sidewalk, as well.

A British bicyclist has died following a collision with another cyclist. Another reminder to always ride carefully around other people, on bike or on foot; it doesn’t take much to do serious harm.

British police bust a bike theft ring responsible for stealing 48 bikes worth $38,000. Meanwhile, registering it in advance helps a man from the UK recover his stolen bike in just 3-1/2 hours. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and register your bike for free with Bike Index before anything bad happens.

Maybe what you need is a canary yellow, 14 pound Brit foldie.

Caught on video: An apparently lightless Dublin cyclist gets t-boned by a car.

A new line of women’s bicycling panties is made with a quick-dry fabric and built-in chamois to provide comfort under skirts or casual clothing; the Latvian manufacturer is raising funds on Indiegogo.

Smog-choked Beijing wants to get its residents back on bikes to combat an over-dependence on cars.

 

Finally…

For once, the dispute isn’t over bike lanes vs. parking; it’s bike lanes vs. gravesites. Now you can let drivers know exactly what a three-foot passing distance is.

And caught on video: This is what happens when you take a wide turn and smash into a parked car on the opposite side if the road.

………

On a personal note, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may be aware that my wife was unexpectedly hospitalized following a trip to the ER on Sunday.

I’m happy to report that she’s back home safe and sound, although she nearly had to go back after she was welcomed home by an overly enthusiastic Corgi. Thanks to everyone who expressed their caring and support; that meant more to me than I can ever begin to say.

Her absence reminded me of this piece I wrote following her heart attack almost three years ago to the day.

It may be the most heartfelt thing I’ve ever written.

And quite possibly, ever will.

 

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