Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: The death of LA’s Vision Zero, safety improvements in Mar Vista, and more kindhearted people

Vision Zero, in any meaningful sense, is dead in Los Angeles.

We may see incremental improvements; a new crosswalk here, a bike lane there. But only if they don’t adversely affect anyone on four wheels.

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

But any meaningful attempt to reduce traffic deaths to anywhere near zero in finished.

That’s because CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti jointly announced yesterday that they are caving in to the angry NIMBY and driver-led backlash, and ripping out the bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey.

Although that’s not the way they put it.

And in the process, throwing bicyclists and anyone else who fought for the changes under the bus. Perhaps literally.

They present it as a compromise, with a long list of pedestrian-focused improvements that won’t do crap to protect people on bikes, slow traffic or prevent crashes between motorists.

But let’s be honest.

This is a compromise like Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett compromised at the Alamo.

Those pedestrian improvements were already planned as the next phases of the community-driven process to improve safety in Playa del Rey — after the road diets, not in place of them.

So instead of improving safety and livability in the area, it will go back to being a virtual freeway for pass-through motorists.

Except now the city will be on the hook financially for every death and injury that occurs in the area, after removing the safety improvements designed to prevent them.

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

Worse, though, is the potentially fatal damage it’s done to Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as few, if any, councilmembers will be willing to subject themselves to the hate and vitriol Bonin and his staff have faced.

It’s a surprise they held out as long as they did.

Chances are, road diets are now off the table in this city. Perhaps permanently.

The same with installing the bike plan, which is no longer worth the silicon it’s printed on. Or any other substantive street changes that inconvenience motorists in any way, or makes NIMBY home and business owners sharpen their pitchforks and light the Tiki torches.

Even if they’re the ones who’ll benefit from it.

And even though Vision Zero was never about crosswalks or enforcement — or cutsie football videos — but about redesigning the roadways so that when people act like people do, their mistakes won’t be fatal. To them or anyone else.

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

But we’ll never know if they would have succeeded or not, because they were never given the chance.

I’ve long questioned whether LA’s leaders had the courage and conviction to make the tough choices Vision Zero would require, and withstand the inevitable criticism that would be directed their way.

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

The odd thing, though, is that Garcetti somehow got his name attached to the plan to restore traffic lanes — and got top billing, no less.

Even though he didn’t do a damn thing to implement or support the road diets. Or any of the other traffic safety improvements that have gone down to defeat under his tenure, from bike lanes on Westwood Blvd to sidewalks on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge.

He hasn’t shown up for a single public safety meeting since announcing Vision Zero to great fanfare two years ago. Or made a single public statement in support of Mike Bonin and the desperately needed safety changes in Playa or Mar Vista.

And yet, he gets full credit — if that’s the word you want to use — for restoring the Playa del Rey streets to their original dangerous condition, and thrusting a dagger through the heart of his own signature safety policy.

It’s been seven years since the late Bill Rosendahl stood before the city council and proclaimed that car culture ends today in the City of Angels.

He was wrong.

It’s clearly just getting started. And we will all pay the price.

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In better news, The Argonaut reports on the figures released last week showing safety improvements and a reduction in speeding on Venice Blvd following the recent lane reductions.

However, traffic truthers refuse to accept the results; the leader of the Bonin recall effort tried to claim the street was actually more dangerous, because injuries went up on a per capita basis since there was a drop in traffic.

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Today’s common theme, kindhearted people — mostly in blue.

An Ohio sheriff held back bicycles from a property auction, insisting that they be given to kids and adults who need them instead.

Tennessee cops pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle, after the one he relied on to get to work was stolen.

A Florida man bought a new bicycle for a boy who was run over by a distracted driver as he was riding to school; unfortunately, he’s too scared to ride it.

But Michigan cops got it backwards, buying a car for a woman who rode her bike or took a bus 13 miles to work for years.

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Women’s racing takes a big step back, as the Tour de France cut’s the women’s La Course back to a single day.

Austrian cyclist Christoph Strasser set a new indoor 24-hour record at 585.25 miles, and vows to never ride on a track again; he’s a four-time winner of the Race Across America.

And SoCalCross offers a video recap of the year’s first cyclocross race at Irvine Lake.

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Local

The city council’s Public Works and Gang Prevention Committee approved a motion to paint LA’s bike lanes a dull, non-reflective green, prioritizing the convenience of the film industry over the safety of bike riders. After all, it’s just so damn hard for film crews to cover-up a bike lane with some sort of mat, let alone fix it in post.

LADOT has installed what appears to be a very problematic bus loading platform in the bike lane on First Street in DTLA, which forces riders up a sharp ramp while creating a crowded conflict point when people board or get off; as passengers adjust to it, they will likely start to wait on the platform, blocking the bike lane.

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup has been honored with the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award, the highest honor offered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; Shoup’s work has changed the understanding of the hidden costs of parking around the world.

Musician Andrew Bird used the LA River as his muse, inspired by his bike rides along it.

CiclaValley M.A.S.H.s gears up the Bulldog.

 

State

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when a woman crashed into his bike in Pacific Beach.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old San Diego County man just finished a 4,300-mile ride across Canada.

Construction of a new bike path has Santa Barbara residents on edge, as road surface grinding is keeping them up at night.

If people in San Luis Obispo look depressed, it’s because they’re no longer the happiest city in the US. It’s probably no coincidence that every city in the top five is ranked silver or higher on the Bike League’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

A San Francisco bike cop is in grave condition after he was run down by a suspect, who was arrested several hours after fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to clean your dirty, dirty bike.

Rails-to-Trails recommends some haunted pathways for your pre-Halloween riding pleasure, including one with a ghost bike. No, literally.

No surprise here, as the Washington jerk bicyclist who injured a pedestrian after yelling “hot pizza,” expecting her to jump out of the way, is now facing a lawsuit; he uses the same excuse drivers do, saying 3 mph pedestrians shouldn’t mix with cyclists doing 15 mph.

What’s one way to jeopardize a football scholarship at Texas A&M? Stealing a bait bike is a good start.

Bike PGH meets up with carfree former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Now that’s more like it. A New York man was sentenced to five to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; more importantly, he received a lifetime revocation of his driver’s license. Which should be automatic for any driver in any hit-and-run.

DC has become a testing ground for dockless e-bikeshare.

 

International

A new documentary takes a look at MAMILs, following four men from the US, the UK and Australia. Which should be required viewing for anyone who makes fun of middle-aged people on bikes, spandexed or otherwise.

Road.cc explains how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

A Canadian newspaper talks with Danish bicyclist Ole Kassow, who created the Cycling Without Age program.

Ed Sheeran won’t be one of us for a while, after realizing the next day that he had fractured not one, but both arms when he was hit by driver while riding in London; he had to cancel his upcoming Asian tour.

Motorist and bicycling groups both condemn calls for British bicyclists to be required to carry numbered license plates.

A Turkish librarian operates his own personal book bike, towing books for children from village to village in a bike trailer.

An Aussie newspaper says kneejerk decisions to confine dockless bikeshare bikes to specified parking areas defeats the whole purpose.

 

Finally…

Maybe Bonin should have just used a coloring book. Evidently, we’re just sidewalk speeding cyclos.

And the left lane of the southbound 5 Freeway in Newhall Pass may not be the best place to walk your bike.

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

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

Maybe there’s still hope.

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

Photo by Eric Bruins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Morning Links: Feds adopt bike/ped Vision Zero; Emerald Necklace Gateway opens; partial Ballona Creek closure

One quick note.

It’s come to my attention that the email notification informing subscribers about new posts on this site has stopped working for some reason. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll just keep coming back every day until we can get it fixed.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.

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Big news from DC, as the Federal Highway Administration has adopted Vision Zero.

At least for people on foot or two wheels.

The FHWA’s new strategic plan calls for reducing bicycling and pedestrian deaths by 80% by 2031, and eliminating them entirely in the next 20 to 30 years.

It also calls for a 50% increase in trips under five miles for bicyclists and one mile for pedestrians by 2025.

All by promoting better design standards, better data collection and reducing traffic speeds on urban streets.

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Thursday marked the opening of the first phase of the Emerald Necklace Gateway.

The 1.1 mile bike path connects the Metro Duarte/City of Hope Gold Line station with the existing San Gabriel River Bike Trail to form a 28-mile long route linking the upper part of the San Gabriel Valley to Seal Beach.

However, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports the bikeway is only half finished, despite being in the works for more than a decade; the full path is not scheduled to be completed until 2021 at best.

Bike SGV offers photos from yesterday’s opening.

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Speaking of bikeways, don’t plan on riding the eastern section of the Ballona Creek bike path during the day next week.

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Today’s common theme is cross-country bike riding.

Hats off to Ivan Schmidt; the 16-year old Long Beach teen rode 1,800 miles from British Columbia to Tijuana, raising $2,500 to fight rheumatoid arthritis.

A 67-year old man rode 2,400 miles from Chicago to San Bernardino, after surviving two open heart surgeries, six bypasses and an aortic valve replacement.

A retired fighter pilot is riding from Maine to Key West to honor fallen and disabled service members and their families.

A Canadian cyclist has raised over $150,000 for cancer research, traveling more than 3,500 miles since beginning a trans-Canada ride in June.

And 41 cyclists set off on a 1,325-mile self-supported ride down the length of Sweden, beginning 200 miles above the Arctic Circle.

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VeloNews talks with cycling legend Eddy Merckx about bike design, his favorite riders and the evolving standards of cool in the bike world.

Wired looks at the dramatic evolution in handcycles used by Paralympic athletes, leading to today’s $10,000 carbon fiber bikes.

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Local

According to the Census Bureau, bike commuting in LA County has finally reached a full 1%. Just imagine what it could be if we had safe places to ride.

CiclaValley can barely control his excitement over two Valley CicLAvias in 2017.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their bicycle and pedestrian enforcement days today, followed a second one on Monday. Standard rules apply; obey the letter of the law while riding in the city so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Long Beach’s unnamed bikeshare program has seen 3,500 people ride 35,000 miles in its first six months; it will eventually have 500 bikes at 50 stations.

Cycling in the South Bay calls for cyclists to turn out in support of Bikes May Use Full Lane signs at the Palos Verdes Estates city council meeting on Sept. 27th, even though it may require a lot of sitting.

 

State

Pink’s five-year old daughter is one of us.

Work has begun on two bridge widening projects in Carpinteria required to widen Highway 101, which will eventually include two new coastal bike lanes. Isn’t it cute how officials pretend widening highways will actually solve their traffic problems?

Holy one-man crime wave, Batman! A Ventura man is under arrest after stealing two crucifixes from the San Buenaventura Mission, then using them as weapons to attack people, before busting the window of a thrift shop and stealing a bicycle.

Other football programs get in trouble with the NCAA because their players tool around in Escalades and sports cars someone bought for them; at Stanford, it was a $3,500 bicycle.

A San Francisco woman was beaten and robbed by three bike riders when she approached them at an intersection to talk. Seriously, 3:24 am is probably not the best time to engage strangers in conversation, whether or not they’re on bikes.

Pleasanton officials approve safety changes to an intersection where a 72-year old bike rider was killed in June.

Marin drivers break out the torches and pitchforks over fears a proposed road diet will snarl traffic, even though studies show they often improve traffic flow.

A Chico letter writer calls on local cycling clubs to take the lead on cleaning up a bike path and reclaiming it from homeless squatters.

 

National

Bicycling explains how to sneak in a midweek overnight bikepacking trip. And enjoy your new women on bikes emojis.

NPR looks at how tactical urbanism is making a difference with small, incremental DIY changes throughout the US.

Bike rooms are the latest must-have amenity for any well-turned out luxury apartment building or condos.

Portland Police are looking for a spandex-clad road cyclist who yelled racial slurs and pepper sprayed a family of black kids. There is simply no excuse for crap like that. Ever. Period.

A 74-year old resident of a Wyoming senior home made his escape by bicycle after shooting three people before taking his own life.

The Wall Street Journal says it can be a struggle to find a bikeshare bicycle in New York at rush hour, as people are often greeted with empty racks. Probably because they’re being used to practice operatic arias.

It takes a real lowlife to steal a Mobile AL bicycle coffee cart used to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking victims.

The distracted driver accused of killing a Georgia bike rider while high on prescription drugs had two other DUIs in the last three months, and had a severe drug dependency problem for at least four years. And yet she was allowed to keep driving until she actually killed someone.

 

International

What’s the point of building what may be the world’s tallest bicycle if you can’t get the bike chains you need to ride it through the Cuban embargo? At 33 feet, it’s 13 feet taller than the current record holder, LA’s STOOPIDTALLER, which is even taller than the famous STOOPIDTALL.

Bicycles donated through World Vision and World Bicycle Relief can be key to reducing teen pregnancy and keeping girls in school in Kenya.

A Masai elder is one of us, as he leads a group of bicyclists through Tanzania as part of the 7,500 mile Tour d’Afrique.

 

Finally…

Just because no one needs a VCR anymore, don’t stuff it in a briefcase and drop it off in front of a federal courthouse while riding your bike. Mooning rush hour traffic in China.

And if you already have an outstanding felony warrant on a weapons charge, don’t ride your bike with an open booze container.

And whatever you do, don’t tell the other inmates you were subdued by an 81-year old man.

 

Morning Links: Traffic fatalities up nationwide, bike deaths reach 1990s levels; an NFL analyst says he’s sorry

It’s not your imagination.

Newly released government stats show America’s roads really are getting more dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up 7.2% nationwide last year, the largest increase since Lyndon Johnson was president.

The total of 35,092 is still significantly lower than 2006, when 42,708 people died on American streets; however, this is the first year to defy the downward trend that has followed ever since.

Authorities say the increase is due at least in part to a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled, which represents the largest increase in VMT in 25 years, spurred by lower gas prices and increased employment.

One in three fatalities involved drug driving or speeding, while one in ten involved distracted drivers.

Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths were up 9.5%, while bicycling fatalities increased a whopping 12.2% — both at the highest levels since the ‘90s, erasing two decades of safety gains.

That works out to an average of 96 people killed in traffic collisions every single day — more than two of whom were traveling by bicycle.

A genuine commitment to implement Vision Zero can’t come soon enough.

Or strongly enough.

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Today’s common theme is follow-ups to a number of recent news stories.

Cycling in the South Bay writes about the NFL Network’s Heath Evans, one of several recent anti-bike tweeters, who actually had the courage to show up and apologize. And turned out to be a pretty decent guy.

Mountain bikers call BS on a Forest Service investigation that a bike pedal scraping a rock caused a forest fire near Mammoth Lakes.

A Toronto bike advocate concludes the Canadian senator who complained bike lanes were turning the city into a third world country is out of touch. To say the least.

 

Twitter users respond brilliantly to a recent misleading article suggesting London bicyclists are ignoring the city’s new bike superhighways.

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Another day, another new leader in the Vuelta, and this time, by a wide margin.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner claims to have developed a new process to dramatically cut the cost of carbon fiber. Let’s hope that means cheaper bike frames down the road.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says the new Expo Line bike path isn’t just fragmented, it’s demented.

LAist hears from Angelenos who live carfree; most cite less stress as the primary benefit to traveling the city without the seemingly requisite cars; Kimpton Hotels tackles the same subject for travelers visiting California.

Bike Walk Burbank will hold their annual meeting on Sept. 7th.

 

State

The Newport Beach Police Department warns about an increase in bike thefts.

Evidently, drivers break the law, too; San Diego police list the leading offense drivers are ticketed for as speeding, followed by disobeying traffic signals and driving without a license. So evidently, bike riders aren’t the only ones who roll stops and red lights. Despite what this commenter has to say.

San Diego bicyclists take a moonlight ride in their undies.

Rancho Santa Fe announces plans to move and elevate El Camino Real, while converting it a complete street with bike lanes and sidewalks.

Moreno Valley police blame the victim after a teenage bike rider is left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, saying he rode through a red light.

Talk about burying the lede. A Thousand Oaks cyclist was apparently chased down and struck by a road raging driver, in a case the police are investigating as an assault with a deadly weapon, although the Ventura County Star insists on treating it as a hit-and-run.

A San Francisco man is under arrest for stabbing two strangers in the head with a screwdriver on a BART train, then making his escape by stealing a bicycling at knifepoint.

Sacramento is planning to make major changes to downtown streets to improve safety for bike riders and provide transportation alternatives in anticipation of a boost in population.

 

National

A conservation writer looks at the science behind cycling’s enormous gender discrepancy. Which you could probably have figured out on your own.

Alta Planning’s Mia Burk says the biggest change over the last 20 years is that active transportation has become mainstream.

Police in Anchorage AK are looking for a bike rider who has pepper sprayed at least four people.

Win your third consecutive gold medal, and maybe Boise ID will name a park after you, too.

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone tossed tacks on the route of an Illinois crit; eight riders luckily escaped serious injury in a pileup caused by flats.

A Minnesota letter writer says that despite complaints from some people, a busy street that recently underwent a road diet has never been safer, and the bike lanes are used year round.

In a strange case from Minnesota, a man on an motorized-assist bicycle was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run; a similar bike was found at the same location the next morning, but police suggest it’s just a coincidence. Evidently, people in Minnesota just happen to leave bicycles like that lying around for no apparent reason all the time.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike may be the country’s most profitable bikeshare system.

Players from ten states converge on Memphis for a laid-back bike polo tournament.

 

International

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas are planning to link the cities with a cross-border bike path. Maybe they can build a tunnel through Trump’s wall if he gets elected.

A new Canadian study shows having bikeshare stations nearby boosts property values up to 3%.

An English city belatedly realizes that they didn’t actually ban bikes from eleven streets, but only restricted the hours bicyclists could ride in pedestrianized areas. And can’t decide on who’s supposed to enforce it.

Paris ups the ante on open streets, banning cars from the entire city for one glorious day next month.

A New Zealand website says e-bikes aren’t cheating.

Caught on video: After an Aussie cyclist flipped off the truck driver who nearly ran him off the road, the driver got out of his cab to repeatedly threaten the rider.

Now that’s more like it. Japan is considering requiring car makers to include safety features to protect bike riders in crashes, including possible changes to the upper parts of vehicles. That’s because bike riders sit higher than pedestrians, and tend to strike the hood and windshield of cars in a crash. Although the better solution is not to hit them in the first place.

A Malaysian cyclist offers the fine points of using a bicycle to solve the first mile/last mile transit connections. Most of which would apply here, as well.

 

Finally…

Regardless of how annoying it is when drivers honk at you, please try to keep your pants on. Now that’s what I call a fat bike.

And your helmet may not protect you from a speeding car, but it could save you from a leaping stag.

 

Morning Links: Problems with Vision Zero, fallen Loma Linda cyclist hits hard, and a pedal-sparked forest fire

Co.Exist offers a good look at the problems in implementing Vision Zero, saying cities have to get bolder if it’s going to be more than just the latest trend.

What’s missing, according to the article, is the funding and political will to make the changes necessary to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths. Along with the determination to overrule NIMBY opposition.

Which so far at least, sums up Los Angeles in a nutshell.

As they point out, the city just finished a series of outreach meetings to get input from advocates and neighborhood groups already working on safety issues.

But we’ve yet to see decisive leadership from the mayor office, or any hint of a backbone from the city council or LADOT. Let alone the funding to pay for the changes that will be necessary on our streets if they’re serious about eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, as they claim.

So we’ll have to see what comes out of that.

But without a major commitment from city leaders, the chances of Vision Zero succeeding here in LA are pretty much zero.

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Both KNBC-4 and KCBS-2 report on the collateral damage death of cyclist Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a domestic violence suspect trying to flee police in Loma Linda.

According to KNBC-4, the chase only lasted a few seconds, as Eric Tafoya drove in the bike lane in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic; Stephenson’s friend suggests sheriff’s deputies should have just let him go and made the arrest at a later date.

Meanwhile, friends describe Stephenson to KCBS-2 as funny, outgoing and a super nice guy, who loved working on his bike and hanging out at his local bike shop.

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Bicycles hardly ever cause fires.

But the recent Rock Creek Fire in the Inyo National forrest appears to be the exception, as the Forrest Service has traced the ignition point back to a mountain bike pedal striking a rock.

So either put rubberized pedals on your mountain bike, or keep a safe distance from rocks until we get a little more rain.

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VeloNews recaps stage four of the Vuelta. What all four stage winners have in common so far is that none of them are among the expected leaders. However, American Andrew Talansky is confident he can finish in the top 10.

The former head of British Cycling credits the Japanese concept of kaizen for the country’s Olympic success; the philosophy of continuous improvement through small gains helped Japan rebuild after WWII.

Two more amateur masters racers have been caught doping. No, seriously.

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Local

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez talks with the former state senate leader who led a 1972 bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help preserve the California coast; 89-year old Jim Mills still has the yellow Schwinn Super Sport he rode.

KCET looks at plans to complete the missing links in the LA River bike path though the San Fernando Valley to create a single continuous pathway from Canoga Park to the Elysian Valley, and profiles the firms hired to design the path and determine its feasibility.

CiclaValley says Pt. Magu State Park is the perfect spot for your first gravel ride.

Time Out Los Angeles considers whether it’s legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in LA. Short answer, yes in LA; no in the county, maybe, or maybe not, everywhere else.

Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — is having a pop-up sale at their Burbank headquarters this Saturday.

Questions surround a planned bikeway along the San Gabriel River in Baldwin Park after the city council approved spending up to $120,000 without further council approval, and the city hired an Oregon firm accused of bribery, against the recommendation of the city’s then-Public Works Director.

The Santa Clarita Valley has seen four serious hit-and-runs resulting in injury or death in the last three months, starting with the death of music teacher Rob Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon last May; the driver in that case faces charges for manslaughter, DUI and fleeing the scene.

 

State

Orange County Transportation Authority approves a $1.11 million bicycle corridor in Garden Grove.

Good news, as a San Clemente mountain biker has regained the use of his legs after falling 300 feet off the Telonics trail last April.

A Palm Springs bike rider is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup. Although the local TV station seemed more concerned about the effect it had on local traffic.

A bike bridge called the crown jewel of a San Francisco bicycle safety project that enables cyclists to bypass a complicated freeway interchange has now become a homeless encampment.

Already two years behind schedule, the bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is still a path to nowhere, with completion of the section leading to Yerba Buena Island now delayed until October.

Bicycling relates the tale of two San Francisco cyclists who engaged in a slow-speed bike chase to retrieve a stolen bicycle and tackle the thief before police arrived.

Security cameras will be installed on bike paths around the Chico State campus to improve safety for students.

 

National

Portland officials are planning to use lottery funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway.

Evidently, you can kill someone in Idaho while not paying attention to the road, with the sun in your eyes, and reaching down for something on the seat next to you, and it’s still just a misdemeanor if you didn’t do it on purpose. If we ever hope to end traffic deaths, our legal system has to take the careless killing of another human being seriously.

A 12-year old Montana girl fought city hall for two years to get a guard rail installed on a bike path to protect riders from a steep drop off.

DNA tests confirm it was a 20-year old grizzly bear who killed a mountain biker last June after he and a companion evidently surprised the bear as they rode on a trail near Glacier National Park.

Life is cheap in Iowa, as a woman gets two years probation, despite fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in a pouring rainstorm. Yes, probation, without a single day behind bars, despite leaving her victim to die in the street.

No bias here. A bike rider gets the blame when a Missouri school bus driver goes off the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was passing the cyclist. Evidently, it’s impossible for drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass, let alone slow down or put on the brakes.

Who says you can’t build bikes in the US? A new high volume bike manufacturer opens in Little Rock, Arkansas to build carbon-frame bicycles.

A Minneapolis bike commuter complains about rude cyclists in spandex, accusing them of patriarchal sexism and male entitlement. And not looking awesome in those shorts. Or maybe it’s possible that some people are just assholes sometimes, whether on two wheels or four.

An Indiana family of seven takes in their son’s best friend after his mother was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle.

New York police actively discourage a bike rider from filing a police report, despite witnessing her being assaulted by an Uber driver.

A bike-riding, 80-year old woman living on the streets of DC told everyone the government owed her $100,000. And finally proved it.

A Savannah GA writer complains about the attitude that bicycle safety improvements have to be earned through good behavior by cyclists, a standard that is never applied to motorists. I’d love to see officials say no more freeways until drivers stop speeding and start signaling their turns and lane changes. Or maybe just no more freeways, period.

 

International

An off-duty Halifax police officer is being called a hero after helping save the life of bike rider following a hit-and-run.

A letter writer in the UK complains that the real problem with bikeshare is that it’s too expensive, no one wears helmets, and everyone except him rides like a jerk.

A British man faces charges after allegedly driving across the road and onto the sidewalk to assault a man who was riding on a bike path and smash his bicycle; bizarrely, a couple of men stopped to intervene during the attack, but drove off after seeing the victim was okay.

One man’s bike shop is popularizing bicycling in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

 

Finally…

You could be the proud owner of a bicycle formerly ridden by Sir Edmund Hillary for the equivalent of just $182. If you’re carrying meth on your bike and already have two outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it.

And probably not the best idea to ride a bicycle home with a fishing hook still caught in your penis.

 

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