Morning Links: Ugly incident in Koreatown, and lawsuit alleges driver killed Palos Verdes cyclist on purpose

Things got ugly in Koreatown Thursday night.

In a violent confrontation only partially caught on video, a swarm of people on a group bike ride pulled the driver of a BMW out of his car at 6th and Hobart in Koreatown. And forcibly pinned him to the street, holding him down until police arrived.

The video begins with the riders breaking the window of the BMW as the car’s trunk is already open, then shows several riders milling around as the driver appears to shout from his prone position on the street.

The LA Times fills in some of the missing details.

Apparently a group of roughly 50 people were riding their bikes through the Koreatown intersection when the traffic light changed. Rather than split the group, one or more riders tried to cork the intersection, blocking the drivers who had the green light.

The driver of the BMW attempted to go through the intersection anyway, and got into a shouting match with the rider blocking traffic. When the rider tried to grab the driver, he responded by stepping on the gas, plowing into the group and running over a bicyclist’s leg.

The driver then reportedly attempted to flee, but the riders in the group swarmed his car to keep him from leaving.

That’s where the video appears to begin.

While corking may be a common practice, it’s still illegal, even though police usually look the other way.

But as BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out, the driver could — and perhaps should — be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for aggressively driving into the group of riders.

Although chances are, he may have claimed he was only get away because he was frightened by the cyclists swarming his car.

As LAPD officers have explained similar situations to me in the past, however, the bicyclists may have crossed over the line the moment they broke the driver’s window.

Had they merely surrounded the driver’s car, they would have been within their rights to keep him from fleeing. Or they could have taken down his license number and let him leave, likely leading to a charge of felony hit-and-run.

But by damaging his car, and physically assaulting him by dragging him out of it and forcing him to the street, they’ve left themselves open to the possibility of criminal charges, as well as a civil suit for the damage to his car and any injuries he may have suffered.

Although both sides may have lucked out, since KCBS-2 reports that no one was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

Investigators may just wash their hands of the whole ugly mess, concluding that they both contributed to the confrontation.

Since the video only shows the second half of the incident, though, and not the driver’s actions that led up to it, it will only serve as fodder for the people who already think we’re all a bunch of lawless thugs. And seem pathologically incapable of separating the actions of a few from everyone else who travels on two wheels.

This looks like a case where no one wins.

Least of all the rest of us who had nothing to do with it, but may ultimately bear the burden anyway.

………

The family of fallen bicyclist John Bacon have filed a lawsuit alleging the driver who took his life did it on purpose.

Bacon was headed back home from a group ride last May when the 68-year old man was run down from behind in Palos Verdes Estates by the driver of a white pickup truck. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly and calling for someone to call 911.

The driver, later identified as James Rahman, was caught on security video following Bacon’s bike at an uncomfortably close distance. The suit alleges Rahman honked at Bacon before swerving at him and striking him with the wing mirror of his truck.

However, no charges were ever filed, and no details of what happened were ever released.

In fact, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has alleged that the local police never took the case seriously. It took an alert cyclist to spot the truck days later, and even then couldn’t get the police to respond.

He’s also written that several other bike riders in the area had reported being harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of Rahman’s truck.

But again, crickets from the cops.

Even though, if this lawsuit is correct, this wasn’t hit-and-run.

It was murder.

You can read the full press release from the family’s attorney below.

………

Needless to say, readers responded to the LA Times’ recent hard-hitting editorial criticizing opponents of street safety projects by insisting they’re not selfish, and they really do care about safety.

And is anyone really surprised that the incredibly ugly comments to LA’s new video explaining the need for Vision Zero paint it as nothing more than propaganda and alternative facts?

Because actually taking it seriously would require caring about the lives of others, and placing someone else’s safety above their own convenience.

Which apparently is a bridge too far for some people.

Especially this guy, who’s willing to consider the lives of others, as long as it doesn’t cost him more than four minutes out of his commute.

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Spoiler alert: If you still have the Tour of Utah on your viewing list, skip the last line of this section.

Marianne Vos won her third European road cycling championship.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper examines the inaugural Colorado Classic beginning this Thursday, looking at both the men’s four-stage race and the women’s two stages.

US anti-doping officials remind Lance Armstrong that he’s been banned from cycling. And that could extend to his podcast if organizers of the Colorado Classic pick up his tab for covering the race.

Twenty-two-year old American pro Tyler Williams is hoping to rise to WorldTour status along with his Israel Cycling Academy squad.

Canadian pro Rob Britten held on to win the Tour of Utah after leading since the individual time trial in stage three.

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Local

A new rendering offers a flyover — and under — of the new Sixth Street Bridge scheduled to open in three years. Although that still looks like a steep climb up the spiral bike and pedestrian ramp.

The Ovarian Psychos annual Clitoral Mass ride was transformed into a Black Mass to protest gentrification in Los Angeles this past Saturday.

A man in his 30s was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle at Walnut Street and North Wilson Ave in Pasadena Saturday evening; as of Sunday morning, he was in stable condition. The 74-year old driver remained at the scene.

Hermosa Beach celebrated the 50th anniversary of its sister city program with a bike ride along the beach for middle school students from Hermosa Beach and Loreto, Mexico.

 

State

A young boy was dragged by a car while riding his bike through a Huntington Beach apartment complex Sunday morning. More proof that kids need safe places to ride their bicycles.

A Chula Vista mom turns detective to track down the hit-and-run driver who gave her bike-riding son a fake name and address after crashing into him.

San Diego officials accept most of the recommendations in the ambitious plan presented by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, agreeing with 25 of the 32 proposals.

A former BMX champ is rebuilding his life after addiction and prison, and helping at-risk Fresno middle school students pedal their way to a better attitude.

 

National

A ten-year old Washington kid credits his new Mohawk-style helmet with saving his life in a crash.

Colorado land managers are struggling to deal with ebikes on mountain trails, where they are often banned — and easy to spot, since they go uphill faster than non-motorized riders.

A writer drives 1,000 miles to ride the legendary singletrack on the 100-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota.

The war on bikes continues, as a Denton TX driver apparently gets away with brake-checking a bicyclist.

Houston police promise to start enforcing the city’s three-foot passing law after writing less than three dozen tickets in 30 months. Maybe we can get them to come up here and enforce California’s three-foot law, since no one here seems to want to do it.

When a bighearted Michigan kid won a new mountain bike, he turned around and gave it to someone who needed it more.

A Staten Island website says don’t bother with Vision Zero, because bicycling fatalities have remained stable in recent years, despite a dramatic increase in ridership. And because bike riders break the law.

Illegal rental bike vendors are hustling tourists away from the only legal bicycle vendor in New York’s Central Park.

A new 20-year study from New York confirms the safety in numbers theory, clearly showing that safety improves as more bike riders take to the streets.

A North Carolina writer says yes, he screwed up while he was driving, but a pair of cyclists didn’t help their cause by swearing at him. On the other hand, he left crossed a father riding a bike with his kid in the child seat, and undoubtedly scared the crap out him; Mother Theresa would probably have a hard time keeping her cool under those circumstances.

Macon, Georgia’s six mile long pop-up bike lane network has been honored with an Excellence Award from New York’s Center for Active Design; the project resulted in a ten-fold increase in people riding to work or school.

 

International

Ottawa, Canada solves the problem of whether bicyclists can ride in the crosswalk by installing a bike crossing right next the crosswalk on a dangerous intersection.

Speaking of Ottawa, the city has discovered they can save $41 per meter — a little more than three feet — by building cycle tracks next to new roadways, rather than painting bike lanes on the streets.

London has already removed 130 dockless bikeshare bikes from the city’s streets for blocking sidewalks. Maybe it’s just me, but using the term “yellow plague” — or even “yellow bike plague — seems pretty damn tone deaf in reference to a Chinese company, even if that’s the color of the bikes.

A UK writer says it’s just politics, not geography, tradition or cost, that prevents cycling becoming a key transport mode. And that bicycling needs to be a key part of the Labour party’s transportation policy.

Sometimes the punishment really does fit the crime. After an English boy is caught on video trashing a bikeshare bike, he’s sentenced to learn how to fix it.

Caught on video: After a British bike rider was hit by a car, he responded by repeatedly punching the driver through an open window; the man who filmed it said he’d never seen anything so violent. That’s the fastest way to go from victim to criminal. So don’t do that. Ever.

E-mountain bikes are bringing France’s spectacular Vercors Massif mountain range into reach of average riders.

Beirut bicyclists are trying to revive cycling in what might be one of the world’s most bike-unfriendly cities.

A 186-mile supported bike tour through bad roads from Sierra Leone to Liberia is changing lives.

Not surprisingly, fines for scofflaw cyclists have surged in Australia’s New South Wales in the first year after instituting draconian fines for relatively minor offenses, including a jump from $337,000 to $1.99 million for not wearing a helmet.

A new ride aims at promoting unity among Malaysians, as many young people seem to have lost faith in the county.

Japanese bike riders can pump up their tires with free bike pumps at any police box.

A Thai website looks at the world’s longest elevated bikeway in Xiamen, China.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bicycle from the grounds of the Russian embassy. It might not be the smartest move to call the police to say you’re being followed, if the person following you is the father of the kid whose bike you just stole.

And if you’re going to flee from police after running a stop sign, make sure the cyclist you end up crashing into isn’t an off-duty cop.

 

Morning Links: August bike events, hard-hitting LA Vision Zero video, and more pellet gun attacks on bike riders

Let’s catch up on a few upcoming bike events.

Walk Bike Burbank is hosting their third annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will explore the South Bay beach cities with a pair of rides this Sunday.

Also this Sunday, API Forward Movement and Healthy Active Streets will team with Metro to host a Blue Line Summer Bike Ride and Interactive Pop-Up.

Mark your calendar for the 12th, when Public Bikes will begin a going out of business sale at their Santa Monica store. Thanks again to Erik Griswold.

LA’s favorite street party rolls next Sunday when the San Pedro meets Wilmington CicLAvia takes place from 9 am to 4 pm at the Los Angeles Harbor. Or leave your bike at home, and walk it.

On Saturday, August 26th, the Michael Ray Vega Memorial Ride will be held in Huntington Beach to remember the 5th anniversary of the rider’s death.

Bike SGV will hold their August Bike Train on Sunday the 27th.

………

Let’s take a few minutes and let Los Angeles explain Vision Zero with a hard-hitting video.

Show that to the next person who just doesn’t seem to get why human lives are worth a few moments of inconvenience.

I’ve criticized the city a lot for crappy communications over the years.

But this time, they got it right.

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The war on bikes goes on, as bicyclists continue to report being shot with pellet guns.

A 34-year old Virginia man told police he’s been shot in the back with a pellet gun while riding his bike earlier this week, but didn’t want to pursue charges.

And a 73-year old Florida man was shot with a BB gun from a passing car while he was on a group ride; the group had been threatened earlier by someone who leaned out of a car and fired a Taser at them.

………

A Chinese website profiles the life of a 30-year old Tibetan professional cyclist, who’s been pursuing his passion since he was 16.

And nothing like a pony in the peloton. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/893133035029372928

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Local

A writer for the Fox & Hounds business and politics site says if LA wants to be successful in changing attitudes about our streets they need to show more respect for drivers and do a better job of communicating. He’s got a point. With the exception of the above video — not the pony, thank you — it’s hard to picture how LADOT could do a worse job of communicating the benefits of safety projects, too often leaving it up to advocates to sell projects to a skeptical public.

A JPL climate scientist offers advice on how you can fight climate change; naturally, he recommends riding a bicycle instead of driving, and using an ebike if pedaling isn’t an option.

Monrovia has begun implementing the city’s Bike Master Plan with sharrows and Share the Road signs on Magnolia Avenue. Someone should tell them Bikes May Use Full Lane signs are a lot more effective.

Eleven years before the Olympics are expected to come to LA, the World Police and Fire Games are coming to the city next week, with the cycling events to be held in the Santa Clarita Valley.

 

State

A Palm Springs writer opposes the planned CV Link multi-use trail through the Coachella Valley for fear it will turn into a homeless camp like the Santa Ana River Trail.

A Thousand Oaks planning commissioner wants to bring bikeshare to the Ventura County city.

A 12-year old Vacaville girl won her age group at the BMX World Championships in South Carolina.

A Healdsburg driver will face a vehicular manslaughter charge in the death of a cyclist, even though he never made contact with her; prosecutors allege he made an unsafe pass that caused two riders to crash into each trying to avoid him.

Sacramento installs its first two-way cycle track.

 

National

Now your touring bike can have its own sleeping compartment in your new tent.

A Spokane bike shop used social media to track down a stolen mountain bike after a customer failed to return from a test ride, finding it at a pawn shop just a few blocks away.

Interbike will abandon Las Vegas next year, and set up shop in surprise winner Reno-Tahoe. But at least you’ll still be able to gamble all night.

A Boulder CO cyclist opposes the Idaho Stop Law because he’s afraid it will confirm the windshield bias against bike riders.

Houston police have written less than 36 tickets in the last 30 months for violations of the city’s three-foot passing law. Which is about 36 more than most places.

The bicyclist injured in last month’s Natchez Trace hit-and run in Tennessee will be riding a new Cervelo when he competes in a triathlon this Sunday, after members of the cycling community pitch in to replace his damaged bike.

It takes a real pair of schmucks to steal a 12-year old Connecticut boy’s bicycle at gunpoint.

A group of artists created a pair of installations along a Boston bikeway to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Advocates claim a proposed New York state law that would require bike helmets only in New York City would make bicycling less safe, rather than better.

The Miami Herald examines the increase in road rage and aggressive driving. Best advice, just keep cool and ride, walk or drive away. Which is easy to say, much harder to do.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A British bike rider catches a driver pulling out directly in front of him on his bike cam.

Even bike-friendly Amsterdam is taking issue with dockless commercially owned bikeshare bikes.

Sounds like fun. A five-day fully supported bike tour of fortified Romanian churches will promote the importance of reading; best of all, it only costs the equivalent of $133.

Aussie police team with the local Rotary Club to buy a new bicycle for a young boy whose bike was stolen just days after his father died.

 

Finally…

Now you don’t have to choose between pedaling and working on your term paper. Before you shoot a bike rider with a paint gun, make sure he doesn’t have a real one.

And nothing like discovering a haunted pet cemetery while riding your bike.

Morning Links: KFI gets involved in Bonin recall effort, La Verne cyclist shot in BB drive-by, and more war on bikes

No surprise which side John and Ken are on.

The KFI shock jocks have done their best to drum up anger over the lane reductions in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, coming down squarely on the side of keeping our streets dangerous.

Now they’re using the KFI website to support the misguided effort to recall Mike Bonin, one of the city’s best councilmembers. And one of the few with the guts to stand up to bullies like them.

Although I have to wonder if the national iHeartRadio chain, which owns KFI, knows what their employees are up to? And what they’d think about using the company website for partisan political purposes?

Then again, I also wonder if the people leading the recall effort are aware that anonymous political contributions totaling over $100 in a single calendar year are against the law. And that Los Angeles has a $700 limit on contributions to city council campaigns, which would undoubtedly apply to recall campaigns, as well.

Making the nearly $25,000 pledged to the recall so far tainted, and questionable as to whether it can be used for political purposes in the City of Los Angeles.

But then, that’s something for the city Ethics Commission to sort out.

What is clear is that this recall attempt — and especially John and Ken’s involvement in it — have little to do with Bonin.

It’s really about putting a stop to Vision Zero, and maintaining the deadly automotive hegemony on our streets at the expense of everyone else.

And sending a message to the rest of the council that they could be next.

Which should send a chill up the spine of anyone who cares about traffic safety. Or good government.

Note: Just to be clear, the term “bullies” was in regard to John and Ken. I did not refer to anyone opposed to the road projects in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey bullies, nor did I intend to.

Photo of Mike Bonin taken from CD11 website.

………

A woman was shot in the upper thigh with a BB gun from a passing car while riding in La Verne on Wednesday.

As the Claremont Cyclist commented, attacks like this should be classified as hate crimes.

If not terrorist attacks.

Update: A comment from Robs Muir indicates that this attack occurred near Benson and 7th Street in Upland, rather than La Verne. 

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

It’s been a bad week in the war on bikes. And yesterday was the worst yet.

A Sacramento bicyclist was shot with a stun gun by a teenager in a passing car.

A Houston mountain biker was left bloodied and scarred when someone strung a line thorny vines like a clothesline across a popular bike trail.

A Vermont man faces charges for running a bike rider off the road, then crashing his truck as he tried to flee, and running away from that crash.

A British bicyclist suffered head injuries when he was kicked off his bike by a passing motorcyclist.

Another British rider was apparently shot at from a passing car; fortunately, the bullet missed.

Of course, it sometimes it goes the other way. Concord CA police are looking for a bike-raging bicyclist who shot a driver with a flare gun following an argument. Yes, a flare gun.

………

David Drexler forwards security video, along with a wanted poster, of “crusty old men” stealing bicycles from a locked garage.

Which serves as yet another reminder that locked garages and storage rooms aren’t as secure as they may seem; the isolation gave these thieves over 15 minutes to cut the locks and make off with the bicycles without anyone noticing.

Store your bikes inside your home or apartment if you have the room; if not, lock them as securely as possible to an immovable object in a locked garage or storage room.

And make sure you register them.

………

These are the people we share the roads with, as road raging Highland Park driver is caught on video repeatedly ramming the car ahead of him.

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Local

LA Curbed offers a great interview with former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler about her efforts to expand the conversation about bicycling beyond just bikes during her time at the coalition.

CiclaValley discovers just how hard it is to ride up the third steepest hill in the US.

Seventy cyclists raised nearly $15,000 for the Agoura Hills chapter of the ALS Association at the inaugural Ride to Defeat ALS last month.

 

State

Under proposed regulations to combat racial profiling, police in California would be required to collect data on every traffic stop they make, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

As Laguna Beach debates the need for more parking, one councilmember suggests removing parking from PCH to widen sidewalks or install bike lanes. As the story notes, they can’t build enough parking spots to meet the demand from tourists and residents. So the obvious solution is to provide transportation alternatives to reduce the demand for parking.

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he lost control of his bicycle riding downhill and slid into a retaining wall.

Lake Elsinore will begin work on adding sidewalks and bike lanes on some of the city’s older streets.

The annual Tour de Big Bear rolls this Saturday with rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles.

Now there’s a good cause. Three Texas women stop in Santa Barbara on a 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to raise funds to care for young sex trafficking survivors.

A writer in San Luis Obispo complains that the bike lobby is forcing crazy ideas for a bicycle boulevard on unwilling residents — never mind that bike boulevards actually benefit the people who live on the street. And says Los Angeles had to “roll back many similar improvements” at great expense to the public. Um, no. LA is undoing a single road diet on Vista del Mar, which simply involves removing a little paint and restriping the roadway. And it’s not like we actually have bike boulevards to roll back.

A hairy Santa Rosa mountain biker goes riding in Annadel State Park.

Bicyclists are excited about plans to ban private cars from San Francisco’s iconic Market Street, but merchants are worried about the effect it will have on their businesses.

 

National

It’s not unusual for a blind bicyclist to ride a tandem. But a blind cyclist is riding coast-to-coast on his own bike to raise awareness for people with vision impairments, guided by a riding companion via two-way radio.

Oregon dedicates a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge connecting parks in the state capital.

Streetsblog Denver reminds the local constabulary that ticketing a man in a wheelchair after he gets hit by a car is not Vision Zero.

Colorado officials find a leg bone from a 70 million-year old duck-billed dinosaur while conducting a survey for a new bike trail.

Austin TX is installing 12 bicycle traffic lights around the city to give bike riders a few seconds head start at intersections.

New York plans to add more bike lanes to meet surging demand.

NY Streetsblog says the NYPD continues to slander victims by incorrectly blaming them for causing crashes, inflicting needless pain on their families.

An anti-bike Philadelphia columnist says put a referendum on the November ballot about bike lanes, and let the entire city vote on whether it wants them. Which won’t pass if people like this woman have anything to say about it.

 

International

Ped-assists have made their way to the foldie world, with new folding ebikes from Tern and Brompton.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. Canadian authorities are still trying to identify a woman who was killed in a crash on Tuesday.

The Guardian asks if cyclists and autonomous cars can co-exist by 2035. Or ever.

A British bike rider wants to thank the hit-and-run driver who left him lying on the side of the road, because doctors found a brain tumor as they were treating him for head wounds.

A motorcyclist in the UK is being called a hero after he ditched his bike to avoid a head-on crash with a group of cyclists, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. A crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new specialized wheelchair has raised nearly twice the original goal of £15,000, the equivalent of almost $20,000.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is taking a break from politics with a cycling vacation in Croatia, while royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is back on her bike to the delight of the paparazzi.

Bicycling is booming in Israel, as the country encourages riding as an alternative to driving, though not everyone is happy about it.

A Malaysian city moves to ban teenage bike riders from certain streets at night, in response to a crash earlier this year that killed eight young riders.

 

Finally…

No, don’t knock a bike rider off his bicycle and drag him by his dreadlocks, even if you think he’s a snitch. If you’re going to wrestle a bike from its owner, make sure it doesn’t have two flat tires first.

And you could buy a new car for the price of some bikes.

But then you’d have to drive it.

 

Morning Links: Agenda 21 raises its ugly head in West Covina, and Complete Streets coming to East LA’s Soto St

They’re on to us, comrades.

With all the craziness in American politics these days, the Agenda 21 crowd had to show up to contest the growth in bike lanes and bicycling sooner or later.

Surprisingly, they popped up in West Covina, despite the highly contentious debate over bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

For the uninitiated, Agenda 21 was an obscure, voluntary plan developed by the United Nations to promote sustainable development.

But in the hands of the right wing conspiracy theorists, it somehow became a secret plan to undermine American sovereignty and force us out of their cars. Making any attempt at developing bike lanes or promoting transit part of a vast conspiracy for worldwide bike domination.

Take this video.

Please.

Apparently, West Covina’s current effort to develop an active transportation plan is just part of that vast conspiracy.

Which is why it’s so important to email your city councilmembers and county supervisors, and show up for meetings when you can.

Because these people are out there. And rational or not, their votes and voices count just as much as yours.

………

A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss a Complete Streets project on Soto Street in East LA.

………

The war on bikes goes on.

A 74-year old Kansas man is under arrest for attempting to run a bike rider off the road.

Police in the UK are looking for a passenger who got out of a car, pushed a man off his bicycle, then repeatedly punched him in the head.

And evidently, there’s a war on wheelchairs, too. A Denver man was ticketed after getting hit by a car for taking too long to wheel himself across the crosswalk.

………

Clearly, cheating is nothing new in cycling. And there are a lot more ways to do it than just doping.

A transgendered cyclist has won policy concessions from Cycling Canada and UCI to open the way for more participation by trans athletes.

BMC’s Brent Bookwalter should win the Scaramucci Award for the shortest time in the yellow jersey at the Tour of Utah.

……….

Local

A “serious cyclist” wrote a letter in the LA Times saying he’s glad Mar Vista reversed its decision to create “separate” bike lanes, calling the parking-protected bike lane one of the most dangerous he’s seen. Just one problem — the Vista del Mar road diet in Playa del Rey is being reversed; the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista aren’t.

Sign up for a free one-month pass for the Pasadena Metro Bike bikeshare.

Expansion plans for the 710 Freeway in Long Beach pledge to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians, though a writer for Streetsblog remains skeptical.

 

State

Streetsblog writes more about the state award to extend the Metro bikeshare to USC, South LA and the Expo Line.

New plans call for banning private cars from San Francisco’s Market Street in favor of taxis, buses and sidewalk-level bike lanes.

A Sacramento TV station confirms that yes, it’s illegal to ride salmon.

 

National

Bicycling talks with a bicycle courier who’s working to make bike touring more accessible for deaf cyclists.

Seattle’s new dockless bikeshare systems have proven popular, with both companies recording over 5,000 rides each in the first week, despite being limited to just 500 bikes each.

Distracted bicycling may be a bad idea, but it’s not illegal under a new Washington state law.

Get your resume ready. Advocacy group Bicycle Colorado is looking for a new Executive Director.

Iowa Public radio talks with the oldest female competitive BMX rider in the US.

Bike riders often spot things other people might miss. Like human remains on the side of an Austin TX bike trail, for instance.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Texas. A hit-and-run driver who killed a Corpus Christi bike rider was sentenced to 35 years — yes, years — in prison, and will have to serve at least half his sentence before being considered for parole. In California, drivers rarely get 35 months for a fatal hit-and-run.

A Chicago weekly allows bicyclists to vent their complaints about their fellow bike riders.

Residents in a Madison WI neighborhood are urging city officials to keep their hands off a popular bike path, and not turn it into a road for motor vehicles.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver charged with intentionally running down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been released from federal custody on the condition that he not leave the area. Meanwhile, the cyclist who recorded the crash finally got back on his bike this past weekend.

Walking on water may be challenging, but biking across Vermont’s Lake Champlain is doable.

Thieves burglarize a New York ebike shop and steal $10,000 worth of ebikes and electric scooters, even though it’s illegal to ride them in the state.

A New York website accuses the NYPD of having a streak of sadism and doing the opposite of Vision Zero by targeting bike riders in response to crashes involving bicyclists.

Philadelphia begins construction on the city’s first one-way protected bike lane.

The 2.6 mile Laffite Greenway is becoming the heart of the burgeoning New Orleans cycling scene.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case against bike bells, saying it can be more polite and helpful to actually say what you’re doing.

Canadian comic artist Kate Beaton is one of us. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

A Montreal mother says if you want to get women like her to ride a bike, the city needs more protected bike lanes, and sharrows just don’t cut it anymore.

A writer for The Guardian says it’s time for Britain to free itself from the chokehold cars have over the country. The same could be said for the US, as well. Or is that just more Agenda 21?

A condolence book for the Manchester bombing victims was carried to the city by bicycle from a town 45 miles away.

When a British man cycling with his wife suffered a heart attack outside a pub, he was saved with a portable defibrillator the patrons had purchased as a wedding present for the owner.

The Financial Times checks in with Mark Beaumont during the Scottish adventurer’s attempt to bike around the world in 80 days, including the dental work done by his performance manager after hitting a pothole near the Mongolian border.

Rihanna teams with Chinese bikeshare provider Ofo to donate bicycles to girls in Malawi to help them get to school. Although Ofo may have a little trademark problem back home.

 

Finally…

Why bother teaching your kids to ride a bike, when you can just pay someone to do it for you? Bad enough to be hit by someone on a bike; worse when it’s your bike.

And now you, too, can win a spot on a pro cycling team without actually riding anywhere.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous contribution to help support this site.

Morning Links: Bikeshare comes to San Pedro, and the war on bikes continues, while the mythical war on cars doesn’t

With all the attention given the new Metro bikeshare in Pasadena recently, Monday’s unveiling of 13 new bikeshare stations and 120 bicycles kind of snuck up on us.

Streetsblog notes that the docks are isolated from the DTLA bikeshare and transit systems, and will mostly serve tourists visiting the port.

Although they do come just in time for the San Pedro meets Wilmington CicLAvia.

Meanwhile, state greenhouse gas reduction active transportation funds will provide $2.5 million to help pay for an expansion of the Metro bikeshare into the USC and South LA area, as well as along the Expo Line.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

………

The all-too real war on bikes continues.

After an Arkansas bicyclist was intentionally run down by a road raging driver, the local TV station says we all have to be courteous and share the road. Would they say the same thing if the driver had shot the bike rider instead?

Pennsylvania bicyclists are looking for the road raging driver who deliberately plowed into three riders last week, severely injuring a 67-year old man.

And the sabotage of Australian bike paths has claimed a new victim, as a woman had to undergo oral surgery after breaking two teeth when her bike slipped on a patch of oil someone had poured onto to the path she was riding on.

………

On the other hand, drivers and right-wing groups continue to moan about the mythical war on cars. Because evidently, the government hates your freedom.

No, really.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

………

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Bikes 4 Orphans BBQ Ride on the 20th.

………

Cory Williams won the men’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, while Norwegian track cyclist Anita Stenberg won the woman’s race.

VeloNews profiles Josh Hartman, a young African American track cyclist from Brooklyn shooting to make the 2020 Olympic team.

The man known as the Godfather of Australian triathlon has been killed in a riding accident while training in Spain.

No surprise here, as the Italian masters rider accused of motor doping denies cheating, but left before his bike could be inspected, claiming he had to get to a wedding. And says haters are just jealous because he’s rich.

Ella Cycling Tips pulls back the curtain on the other lives of female professional cyclists, where even top women riders have to take a second job to make ends meet.

……….

Local

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Gil Cedillo continues to earn his Roadkill Gil moniker by opposing to the proposed Temple Street road diet; as well as every other road diet in his district. Maybe someone should tell him that Main Street in Santa Monica and Venice has thrived since it was cut to one lane in each direction.

Sheriff’s deputies are taking to their bikes to patrol bike paths in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Culver City wants your input on mobility issues.

Long Beach is donating 27 refurbished bicycles to local at-risk kids after asking residents to contribute their unwanted bikes.

A writer for the Press-Telegram doesn’t take kindly to a new ranking that lists Long Beach 57th out of the nation’s 62 largest city’s, but comes up with this gem of a line:

You couldn’t have a more bike-friendly city than Long Beach unless it’s a place where they drag drivers out of their cars and leave them lying in the gutter.

 

State

An Op-Ed in Bicycling Retailer calls for passing the Idaho Stop Law in California, where a bi-partisan bill remains under consideration after amendments.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill extending the CEQA exemption for bike lanes for another three years, until 2021; cities are still required to hold public hearings and conduct traffic studies.

More kindhearted cops, as police in Morro Bay pitch in to buy a new bicycle, lock and helmet for a developmentally disabled man whose mother had recently died of cancer.

 

National

A new book tells the story of a more than one thousand badge collection of historic bicycle head badges.

A Hawaiian man spent a week in the hospital with two fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen after he was run down by a cyclist who didn’t bother to look up. Seriously, it’s no different for us than it is for drivers — if you can’t see what’s directly in front of you, don’t go.

You know bicycling is the new normal when even Las Vegas is becoming a bike town.

A father goes biking across Kansas with his kids.

Bicyclists are being victimized by robbers on a popular Chicago bike path; in the latest case, a man was pushed off his bike and his pockets sliced open to steal his wallet and phone before they made off with his bike.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a 76-year old man got two years probation for killing two bike riders as they rode in a designated bike path on the shoulder of the roadway.

A New Jersey-based garbage company is responsible for five deaths in New York City since 2008, killing three pedestrians and two cyclists, including the hit-and-run death of a man riding his bike last week.

If you build it, they will come. After investing heavily in bike infrastructure, New York bicycling rates have doubled over the last 11 years. Meanwhile, Gothamist asks if New York is doing enough to protect bicyclists, as city officials say biking has officially entered the mainstream.

Atlanta rips out a bike lane in front of Baptist church over fears of gentrification and loss of parking spaces.

A New Orleans bike advocacy group is working with the city to create a pop-up parking protected bike lane for the next two weeks.

Florida is considering a proposal to lower speed limits in the southern part of the state from 45 to 25 as part of the state’s shift to Complete Streets, even while they fail to make bridges safe for bicyclists.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider offers some good advice on how to drive around bicyclists. And tells cyclists to get out and vote.

A British bike shop is being fined by the local town council for the crime of placing a free bike pump on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal from a church collection plate, don’t leave a bicycle with your name on it behind. If you want bicyclists to obey signs on the sidewalk, try to make the meaning clear.

And at least we don’t have to worry about dive-bombing buzzards.

 

Motorized bike rider dies after being struck by two drivers in Redlands

Once again, a bike rider has been left to die street by a heartless coward.

According to the Redlands Daily Facts, a 55-year old San Bernardino man was riding a motorized bicycle south on Alabama Street north of Pioneer Street in Redlands when he was rear-ended by the driver of a Subaru Impreza  around 10:30 pm.

That driver fled the scene, leaving the victim lying in the street, where he was struck by a second driver a few minutes later.

The second driver had the decency to remain at the scene.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Medical Center a short time later.

No one will ever know if the victim, who has not been publicly identified, could have survived if the first driver had called for help and stayed at the scene to prevent the second crash.

The 20-year old driver turned himself in to police two hours later.

Which would have given him plenty of time to clear out his text messaging history or hide any other possible evidence of distraction or drug or alcohol use.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Redlands Police Department at 909-798-7681 ext. 1.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Bernardino County. And it’s just the second bicycling death in Redlands in the last five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.  

Morning Links: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek; LA Times criticizes selfish drivers fighting traffic safety

Cars aren’t the only threats people on bikes have to face.

One of the constant themes repeated by the people fighting bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is that, in their humble opinion, bike riders would be better off riding away from traffic on the Ballona Creek bike path than risking getting hit by cars on the streets.

Never mind that Ballona Creek bypasses all the shopping and employment centers between Culver City and the beach. Or that limited access points makes it harder for people to get where they need to go.

Which makes it more practical for recreational riding than for people who need to get somewhere, in most cases.

But there’s another recurring problem with the Ballona Creek bike path.

The isolation the path, below public view, makes it an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Which has been a problem on the path since at least 1990.

Every few years, there seems to be another rider attacked on Ballona Creek. And every few years, calls go out for police patrols on the pathway.

But nothing ever happens. And no government agency ever seems to want to take responsibility for the path.

Which leads up to what happened two weeks ago, when Jesus David Orozco was riding home after attending to Mar Vista Community Council meeting to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Something has to be done to ensure safety for everyone on the Ballona Creek bike path.

And done quickly.

Because just like on the streets, people won’t use it if they don’t feel safe there.

Especially if they actually aren’t.

Update: I’m told that Orozco posted on Facebook that he has returned to work today, and that, thanks to the physicians that treated him, is feeling good and looking like himself again. 

I’m not sharing the post, since I haven’t requested his permission to use it.

But the only things that would make this news any better is if the police caught the people who did this, and the county and cities along the trail committed to improving safety so it doesn’t happen again.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times really nails it this time.

In a surprising editorial, the paper calls on LA leaders to find the courage to fight back against “selfish” motorists opposed to street safety projects.

And let’s be clear. This is the official editorial voice of the publisher and paper, not merely an Op-Ed.

The paper complains about the callousness of too many commuters, and the risk that kneejerk opposition to change will override good policy. And possibly even reverse the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Vista del Mar wasn’t an official Vision Zero project – it didn’t go through the standard community outreach and input process that is an essential part of any road reconfiguration. Still, it quickly became the rallying cry for opponents of road diets and other projects that might slow traffic. It’s worth noting that some of the loudest critics of the Vista del Mar reconfiguration and another nearby Vision Zero project in Playa del Rey don’t live in the community; they commute through it to avoid 405 traffic.

The paper goes on to criticize Roadkill Gil Cedillo’s cynical effort to gain veto power over any road diet or lane reconfiguration in CD1, as well as Paul Krekorian’s backtracking on the Great Streets project proposed for Lankershim Blvd.

Typical City Hall. It’s easy for Garcetti and council members to tout their progressive credentials and sign off on ambitious policies to transform L.A. It’s much harder to implement those plans. Too often city leaders fold in the face of opposition. We’ve seen this with the city’s Bicycle Plan. We’ve seen it with homeless housing. And that’s why so many ambitious plans remain unfulfilled.

City leaders, and Garcetti in particular, have to continually make the case that Vision Zero is about making the streets safer for walkers, bike riders, motorcyclists and, yes, even drivers. The mayor has been far too quiet in defending his program and council members who face blowback when they support road safety efforts. Projects downtown and in Silver Lake have demonstrated that road diets can help reduce injuries without significant traffic delays. There is a learning curve, and over time as more Vision Zero projects are completed, residents will likely see that the benefits of safer streets outweigh the lane losses and any effect on traffic flow.

Not to mention the attitude they attribute to motorists at the start of the piece is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with on social media and in the comments on this site.

………

In Orange County, they’re not actually attacking bike riders, just pretending to.

And likely, scaring the crap out of innocent people in the process, for the sake of a stupid prank.

An OC law firm reports that people in cars are zooming in close to bicyclists, then making a gun with their hands and yelling “Butt dart!” at the rider.

It’s just pure luck that someone hasn’t been startled or frightened into falling or crashing, with potentially serious consequences.

Thanks to F Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Someone needs to explain the meaning of sharrows to the driver of a San Diego pickup. And remind him that brake checking a pair of cyclists was what got Dr. Christopher Thompson five years behind bars.

………

LA’s own Coryn Rivera topped the women’s field to win the 2017 RideLondon Classique. More on the RideLondon festival in the International section below.

More proof that motor doping is a real thing, as an Italian masters rider was busted for having a concealed electric engine hidden in his bike.

More bad news on the ultra-endurance front, as endurance cyclist Frank Simons has been killed near the start of the European Transcontinental race, just 51 miles into the 2,500-mile race; he’s the third rider killed competing in an ultra-endurance race this year.

……….

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the bike-riding jackass who sexually assaulted a woman in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Station rescued a mountain biker in Arroyo Canyon early Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Easy Reader posts great photos of kids participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Press-Telegram provides a full construction schedule for the new bike boulevard being built on 6th Street in Long Beach

 

State

Meet the Huntington Beach man who invented the beach cruiser in the 1970s.

Mazda helped build and donate 120 bicycles for foster families in Orange County.

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune wants to hear from readers about the city’s mythical war on cars.

A Fresno letter writer calls for greater enforcement of “maniac” drivers who put bicyclists at risk.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a train.

Chico proposes a dramatic new bike and pedestrian bridge over a wide, busy street.

 

National

No surprise here. A new federal study shows speed was a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities; the study recommends making the penalty for speeding equal to the penalties for drunk driving.

The Colorado legislator who called for an annual registration fee for bicyclists, then backed off after a massive backlash, now says maybe there needs to be a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists. And suggests it’s not fair if owners of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles to have to buy registration stickers, and bicyclists don’t. Never mind that all of those have motors; if they’re going to tax cyclists, maybe they should make hikers, skiers and pedestrians pay a fee, as well.

Someone is sabotaging ebikes in Aspen CO.

Touching story from Texas, where an entire family is wearing bike helmets in solidarity with their new baby, who has to wear a helmet to treat flat head syndrome.

Nebraska’s governor is riding 150 miles with a group of mental health professional to help end the stigma surrounding children’s mental health. It’s a kickoff event for Break the Cycle, a 5,000 mile ride from Seattle to DC to raise funds for child and adolescent mental health initiatives.

More victim blaming. Minnesota police say a cyclist ran a stop sign before she was hit by a van; her GPS shows she actually slowed to 1.1 mph before accelerating again.

Kindhearted Duluth MN cops pitch in to buy a new mountain bike for a man when his was destroyed in a crash, after they discovered he lived in an assisted living home and it was his only means of transportation.

Just two weeks after launching in South Bend, Indiana, bikes from the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare are already ending up in a local river.

Off-duty police officers will patrol multi-use trails in an Ohio town, as residents say they’d be more likely to use them if there was a police presence, even though there hasn’t been a crime problem. Which might be an answer for Ballona Creek, and other off-road paths in the LA area.

A Tennessee hit-and driver caught on bike cam ramming a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been indicted on federal charges of reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice; he could face a total of up to 37 years in federal prison. Apparently, they didn’t buy his excuse that someone on the side of the road had thrown a bicycle at his Volvo. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the link.

The New York Times says bicycling has become part of the city’s culture, with over 450,000 bike trips every day; the city has committed to building an additional 50 miles of bike lanes every year — including ten miles of protected lanes — after more than doubling the number of bike lanes over the past ten years. Thanks to Victor Bank for the tip.

 

International

The massive annual RideLondon cycling event was expected to draw 100,000 participants this past weekend, with 24,000 riders taking part in the century ride, a decrease of 3,000 riders over last year to improve safety.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist pulls an endo and just barely avoids falling in front of an oncoming car. Note to Daily Mail: Going over the handlebars isn’t caused by going too fast, but by squeezing the front brake hard before the back one, causing the front wheel to lock before halting the bike’s momentum.

Apparently “hordes” of Brit runners are taking up bicycling to protect their knees, including an Olympic 1,500 meters star.

The Guardian says swapping cars for bicycles will make a bigger difference in the fight against pollution than switching from diesel engines to electric.

Israel’s railway authority will be installing automated bike parking garages at heavily used stations across the country.

The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, as Sheikh Mohammed stops to rescue a woman rider with a twisted chain.

The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is one of us too, as he leads 7,700 riders, including government officials, on a nine-mile route through the nation’s capital; cars were banned from most major Turkmen cities for the day.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been pouring oil on bike paths in Melbourne, Australia, in an attempt to make riders slip and fall, which could result in serious injuries.

 

Finally…

Who needs a water bottle when you can weld a cup holder into your top tube. How to explain why you never forget how to ride a bike without really explaining anything.

And someone please tell the LA Times we have a Critical Mass down here, too.

 

Morning Links: A struggle for lights on the Orange Line bike path, and more Playa del Rey road diet madness

Maybe someone can find a solution to this one.

Last week I was forwarded an email from Robert Cable, asking for help solving a seemingly intractable problem getting help with a dark and dangerous section of the Orange Line bike path.

He gave me permission to share this in hopes that someone who reads it might be able to point him to some person, anyone, who could help get lights installed and make the Orange Line bikeway a safer and more practical alternative for people who commute after dark.

Especially in light of the many homeless encampments now dotting — and sometimes blocking — the San Fernando Valley’s longest and most important east-west bikeway.

And after getting bounced repeatedly between Metro, the city, the county, the local councilmember’s office, and back again.

My name is Robert Cable.  I had the good fortune to meet with several LAPD officers over the past two days.  They suggested I reach out to you after I told them how I tried to get some lighting installed on a short stretch of the Orange Line Bike Path but was completely shot down by my district reps.

Most of the path from Chandler to the 405, and then west of White Oak has lighting.  There is one area just west of the 405 at Haskell to Balboa (but mostly to Woodley) that is unlit and gets extremely dark at night.  The path is set back from Victory, rides thru areas of thick trees, has low visibility and feels unsafe for many reasons.  Additionally, along with the lack of lighting, lights from oncoming cars makes it even more difficult to see.

Originally, after reaching out to District 6 for help, Lauren Padick told me it was metro’s jurisdiction.  Metro responded that it was city.  After going back to Padick with that information, she immediately responded, and I am talking two minutes, with this,

Robert,

“There is no existing poles besides Metro’s. At this point, the City would be unable to install lighting.”

Since then, I learned that a colleague of mine who also commutes by bike, departs the bike path at that section and rides in the street.  Well it turns out that one night, he was hit by a car over there as a direct result of feeling unsafe on the path.

So, who can help me?  Who can I contact about this?  There is no reason that a small, less then half mile stretch of path shouldn’t have the same lighting as the rest of the run.  Coincidentally, I believe this to be the same area where the Rabbi whose family sued and settled a multi million dollar suit with the city, was hit.  Lastly, Hotchkiss thought that solar lights, like those installed in Glendale would be a good solution.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Best,

Robert Cable

………

The LA Weekly looks at the insanity in Playa del Rey, where Mike Bonin announced Wednesday that Vista del Mar will be returned to two lanes in each direction.

KPCC’s Take Two talks with Bonin about traffic safety, and why the changes on Vista del Mar had to be made right away, in an unusually balanced report.

The Daily Breeze notes that this weekend’s planned meeting to discuss the lane reductions has been postponed until further notice.

And The Argonaut reports on KFI shock jocks John and Ken’s efforts to trim up anger over the road changes with a rally in Playa del Rey last week.

………

Great news, as Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti has awakened from a medically induced coma and starting to recover from the near-fatal brain injury she suffered in a crash during the Giro Rosa earlier this month.

Chris Froome targets rare back-to-back titles, competing in next month’s Vuelta after winning the Tour de France for the fourth time.

Twenty years after winning the Tour, Jan Ullrich suggests cycling’s doping past is just that. Or maybe they’ve just gotten better at hiding it.

Next month’s inaugural Colorado Classic will feature second place Tour de France finisher Rigoberto Uran, Taylor Phinney and other top riders.

Cycling in the South Bay looks forward to Sunday’s 56th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

……….

Local

This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride brought in $15.1 million for the HIV/AIDS services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

LA Curbed looks at Gil Cedillo’s efforts to effectively ban road diets by any name in his district.

The LACBC provides a wrap-up on last year’s successful Operation Firefly light distribution program.

 

State

After an eight-year old boy was killed riding his bike in Newport Heights last year, residents chose sidewalk improvements over a bike lane, condemning 35 trees to death.

No bias here. It wasn’t a bicyclist who bit and attempt to rob a San Diego woman at gunpoint; it was a thief who happened to be riding a bike.

A San Diego review board rules sheriff’s deputies were justified in shooting an unarmed ex-con as he worked on his bicycle in his own garage, even though deputies gave three different versions of what happened.

An anonymous artist is decorating an abandoned bicycle in Northern San Luis Obispo County.

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler will be the keynote speaker at the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s annual Bike Summit next month.

Vallejo police arrested a man on a charge of vehicular manslaughter for killing a 16-year old boy as he and his dad were riding their bikes together two weeks ago.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to offer bicycling advice.

The Bike League looks at the many problems with the new Oregon bike tax.

A writer for the Chicago Tribune goes mountain biking in Moab, Utah.

A Colorado newspaper says maybe bikes should be taxed at $25 or $50 a year, with the funds dedicated to building and maintaining bikeways. Except an annual fee — especially that high — would only serve to discourage more people from bicycling, and result in more unused bikes remaining in garages.

A Houston driver describes the attack by a bicyclist who allegedly scratched the man’s car with his bike, then reached in and beat him through an open window. While violence is never the answer, something tells me there’s another side to this story; a violent attack on a totally innocent driver just doesn’t add up.

A trio of Texas brothers finish a 52-day, 3,500 mile ride across the US to raise funds for charity.

This is what heroes look like. A Chicago firefighter is retiring after 27 years on the job, and 25 years after starting a program that promised kids a refurbished bicycle if they came in with a report card showing good grades and perfect attendance — boosting attendance at a local school from 20% to 92% in a single year.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a recumbent tricycle from an Illinois teenager suffering from a degenerative muscular disorder.

After just 30 days of sobriety, a recovering Kentucky junkie is riding his bike 500 miles to DC with his mother to call for an end to the opioid epidemic.

A Rhode Island public service campaign suggests waving at others on the roads to improve safety. At least if they wave back, you know they’ve seen you. Unless they’re waving at someone behind you.

New York Streetsblog says ticketing bike riders after a man was killed riding his bike isn’t doing anything to fix the dangerous streets.

He gets it. Instead of just calling for more bike helmets, a New York chief of emergency medicine says the best way to prevent traumatic brain injuries is to slow traffic, as well as improving lighting, widening medians and building more bike lanes.

A financial writer goes for a New York bikeshare ride with non-obnoxious cyclist and hedge fund founder Mark Carhart, who spends his spare time riding tandems with blind bicyclists.

If you build it, they will come. When Macon GA installed a temporary eight-mile bike lane network, average ridership shot up over 800%.

 

International

A Canadian woman says riding solo around the world is seldom lonely.

London’s transportation department announced it will spend the equivalent of $112 million dollars on creating livable streets, with an emphasis on transportation cycling.

A British couple is celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, after choosing a wedding over buying a bicycle. Tough choice, but it seems to have worked out okay.

A new survey shows riding a bike on the sidewalk ranked number seven on a list of the top minor laws broken by people in the UK; riding through a red light only ranked 35th out of 40. Number one was singing Happy Birthday in a public restaurant.

The Washington Post goes for a birthday ride along the Danube.

 

Finally…

More proof you can use a bike to commute from work — even if your work is robbing banks. Evidently, bike theft is as old as bicycling.

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle, you might as well leave your old one in its place.

After all, it’s only polite.

………

Photo of Orange Line bike path taken from the LADOT Bike Blog.

 

Morning Links: Playa del Rey road reversal, Cedillo tries to gut Vision Zero, and zero speed for no hand driving

Evidently, the angry drivers in Playa del Rey have made themselves heard.

CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin took the unusual step of offering a public apology to people inconvenienced by the road diets in Playa del Rey, while announcing steps to alleviate their anger.

Hopefully, anyway.

Bonin announced an agreement with LA County Commissioner Janice Hahn that will allow “free or affordable” street parking in the county parking lot at Dockweiler Beach, enabling the city to eliminate street parking on Vista del Mar and restore the street to two lanes in each direction.

The city had moved parking to the beach side of the street after being warned by the City Attorney that it would face continued liability if people had to cross the busy roadway after parking on the opposite side, after paying out $9.5 million for the death of a 16-year old girl in 2015.

He also announced the formation of a Playa del Rey Road Safety Task Force, made up of both supporters and opponents of the lane reduction projects, charged with finding solutions to traffic safety problems in the area.

Maybe now the people opposed to the project will take a breath and calm down a little.

And while they’re at it, maybe the city can remove those nonexistent bike lanes that opponents keep insisting were the reason for the road diet on Vista del Mar.

………

While Bonin is focused on saving lives by implementing Vision Zero, CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo appears intent on keeping his nickname intact, and his district dangerous.

Cedillo filed a motion with the city council (scroll down) that would make a handful of pedestrian safety improvements, while gutting Vision Zero by halting all “road diets, lane removals and/or lane reductions” in his district without his personal stamp of approval.

This comes after his earlier failed attempt to get the council to remove all the bike lanes planned for his entire district from the city’s mobility plan.

The question is whether he really hates bike riders that much. Or if he just lacks Bonin’s courage to face up to angry drivers.

Or more likely, both.

Thanks to Bike the Vote LA for the heads-up.

………

A California appellate court rules that the basic speed law applies to conditions inside the vehicle as well as outside.

And that the appropriate speed when driving with a cigarette in one hand and a cellphone in the other, with no hands on the steering wheel, is zero.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the link.

………

Sad news, as former two-time European cycling champ Reg Arnold passed away at age 92.

An Op-Ed in Cycling Tips says when the press goes soft on doping, it only serves to normalize it.

Bicycling list seven sort-of-bold predictions for next year’s Tour de France.

……….

Local

Work is under way on a much-needed new community plan for Hollywood, including plans to make Hollywood Blvd, Edgemont Street, Finley Avenue, Rowena Avenue and Los Feliz Boulevard more bike and pedestrian friendly.

CiclaValley says Vancouver could be a model for Los Angeles.

An anti-growth columnist in Santa Monica says build more affordable housing — somewhere else. And uses kids, the disabled and the elderly as an excuse to maintain the city’s failed auto-centric policies. Never mind that kids, the disabled and older people benefit from walkable, bikeable streets as much as anyone, if not more. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

The Acorn profiles the Conejo Valley’s coed, all-level Stonehaus Cycling Club, established by the founder of what would become the Amgen Tour of California.

 

State

Laguna Beach unveils new stairs leading to the beach, complete with bike parking.

The bikelash has spread to San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where merchants would rather have a few dozen parking spaces than business from customers who arrive by bike, and residents can’t figure out what those bicycle symbols on the street mean. Here’s a thought — if bike lanes and sharrows confuse you, either find out what the hell they are or park your car, and leave it there. Permanently.

The bike-riding San Diego man accused of murdering four homeless men has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

The annual week-long Big Bear Cycling Festival begins this Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 69-year old Cambria cyclist has done a century ride every month for 100 months, and plans to keep it up until he’s 70.

A allegedly drunk Harley rider plowed into a group of up to 20 Fresno cyclists on a club ride Monday evening, sending three riders to the hospital with major injuries; the motorcyclist faces a pair of felony DUI charges. Hats off to the Fresno Bee for getting it right by reporting the victims were wearing helmets, but that those weren’t enough to keep them safe.

This is who we share the roads with. An 18-year old Fresno woman faces multiple felony counts for the fatal DUI crash that took the life of her sister, which she livestreamed as it happened.

A San Francisco ride will follow the route of the original, two-day AIDS Ride over 30 years ago.

 

National

Tillamook OR tries a bike lane protected by angled parking to give riders adequate road space. Although judging by the photo, there’s not much left after drivers nose over the limit line.

Washington state has banned handheld cellphones while driving, or even resting your hand on a phone at a red light. But doesn’t do anything about hands-free cellphone use, which studies show is just as dangerous.

Bicyclists in Colorado Springs CO have noticed an increase in angry and dangerous drivers in recent years.

No surprise here. A new Wisconsin study shows that investing in infrastructure and policies to encourage bicycling and walking results correlates with improved bike and pedestrian safety. And not doing it correlates to worse safety figures.

New Hampshire Public Radio discusses the state of cycling in the Granite State.

Boston unveils a new Vision Zero website that allows people to individually report safety concerns pinpointed on a crowdsourced map.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News says lay off ebikes — which are bizarrely banned in the city — and target reckless cars. But even when they get it right, they get it wrong — cars aren’t reckless, their drivers are.

 

International

Columbian pro golfer Camilo Villegas is one of us, taking advantage of his “obsessive cycling disorder” to deal with stress. So evidently, cycling is the new golf, and golf is the new cycling.

Kelly Ripa is one of us, running into a bear as she rides with her family in British Columbia.

A parking cop in Toronto takes to Twitter to embarrass people who park in bike lanes. And it works.

A Toronto Op-Ed says pedestrians take precedence in complete communities, and more young people are choosing to forgo driving in favor of walking, biking and transit.

Campaigns to get more British women bicycling have paid off, with nearly three-quarter of a million more women riding than in 2013.

A man in the UK rode his bicycle three days to attend a court hearing on a charge of riding his bike on a freeway, and pled guilty to avoid another three-day trip back for a trial. Pro tip: If police try to stop you for a traffic violation, probably best not to tell them to fuck off, and refer to them by a slang term for female genitalia.

An Aussie rider says you get what you give, so don’t be the jerk who runs a red light on his bike.

 

Finally…

One more reason you should do your cycling outside. If you’re going to steal a high-end racing bike, at least dress for the part.

And who needs a moving van when you’ve got a bicycle?

 

Morning Links: No Carmageddon on Venice Blvd, auto-centric capitalism, and four-wheeled scofflaw cyclists

Yesterday, I wasted far too much of my life.

Hours, in fact, that I will undoubtedly regret on my dying day, trying in vain to defend the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey lane reductions, both here and on Twitter.

And yes, I should know better.

But I’m a firm believer in engaging with people of all viewpoints, in hopes that I can correct inaccurate beliefs, and that I might learn something from them. And maybe, just maybe, we could come to some kind of a consensus.

Hopes that were quickly dashed on the rubble heaps of online discourse.

The best one, by far, was a comment from someone complaining that traffic backups caused by the Venice Blvd Great Streets project had pushed cut-through drivers onto the surrounding side streets. So he insisted that since the project included bike lanes, bike riders should be licensed and taxed to mitigate the problems caused by… drivers.

Uh, sure.

However, the primary argument cited by virtually everyone opposed to the projects was the accusation of soul crushing traffic congestion causing total gridlock and destroying the vehicular lifeblood of the communities.

But as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

Yesterday, we included a bike cam video made by Jon Phillips as he rode on Culver Blvd through Play del Rey, showing almost no congestion during the evening rush hour. Though as we noted, that was just one trip, and another journey at another time might have shown something different.

John Montgomery thought of that.

The author of the excellent Digital Slurry website, he set out to explore traffic on Venice Blvd following the lane reductions, and made a point of riding at different times of day, and on multiple days, to get a feeling of what traffic is really like on the street.

What he found was similar to what Phillips found on Culver. Traffic did back up at times, but it started flowing again once the light changed. And at least part of the problem appeared to stem from poor synchronization of traffic lights.

But don’t take his word for it. Or mine.

Read his report and watch the videos, whether the full 14 minute version, or the three minute highlight reel.

And decide for yourself is this is really the return of Carmageddon.

Which turned out to be no big deal, either.

………

Montgomery also forwarded this screen shot from the North Venice Beach Nextdoor, giving what may be the single most bizarrely auto-centric and capitalistic perspective ever on using a bicycle for transportation.

Meanwhile, the other argument used anytime the subject of bicycling comes up is the accusation that bike riders don’t deserve equal treatment on the streets because we all break the law anyway.

So he set out to record those scofflaw cyclists in action.

And this is what he found.

………

Sad news from Iran, where a 19-year old member of the national women’s cycling team was killed in a car crash.

Next month’s Colorado Classic four-stage race is attempting to reinvent pro cycling by charging a fee to participate in a music festival and view the final two stages.

Cyclists participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will race backwards in pursuit of a total $21,500 purse.

……….

Local

LADOT has selected a new polymer color treatment for green bike lanes that was developed in conjunction with the film industry. Because Hollywood should always have the last word when it comes to traffic safety.

REI will open their first flagship store in LA County next month, taking over an old Sports Authority location in Burbank.

A Pasadena bike rider stole a 64-year old man’s backpack, then discarded it after rifling through it and stealing two beers. Let’s at least hope they were crappy beers.

West Covina is hosting a community open house – workshop tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Active Transportation Master Plan.

The Santa Monica Lookout talks with the rest of the SaMo city council about how they go carfree at least part of the time; the first part of the story appeared on Monday.

The rich get richer. Construction will begin on Monday on another east-west bike boulevard in bike friendly Long Beach.

 

State

Pink’s seven-month old son is one of us, too.

A Simi Valley bike tour operator could be out of business after thieves stole over $25,000 worth of high-end mountain bikes out of his garage.

San Diego is looking for people to adopt one of the city’s 54 largely abandoned bike and pedestrian counters.

Lompoc is experimenting with closing streets to cars for a weekly Friday evening market, while the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition gave dozens of kids refurbished bicycles to take advantage of it.

A DUI hit-and-run driver faces up to ten years in prison after pleading guilty in the death a Watsonville cyclist last year; she was also texting at the time of the crash, as well as driving with a suspended license.

San Francisco’s Public Works Department will enforce a proposed ban on bike chop shops, rather than the police. Because why would you want to arrest anyone for trafficking in stolen bikes and parts?

Dockless bikeshare is getting closer to LA, as Spin is moving into South San Francisco after colonizing Seattle.

No justice for the Sacramento running legend who was hit by a bicyclist on a river pathway, because prosecutors aren’t sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply to bikes ridden on trails instead of streets. Here’s a crazy idea: File charges and let a judge decide if the law applies. Because that’s what they do.

 

National

Most US students can legally drive a car before they’re old enough to legally ride a bikeshare bike, even though a bikeshare membership can be provided for a fraction of the cost of busing them to school. We should be encouraging students to ride any kind of bicycle rather than clogging the roads with more buses and cars. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and David Drexler for the heads-up.

Streetsblog says autonomous cars should have to rely on their own sensors, rather than forcing bicyclists and pedestrians to wear sensors to avoid getting run over.

If you ride offroad, book your trip to Oregon now, where they’ve just opened a 668-mile singletrack course that covers the entire state.

A Colorado Republican legislator is shocked that anyone was shocked that he proposed taxing bicycles.

A generous Milwaukee man bought a stolen bike for $20 to return it to its owner after she posted the theft on Facebook.

A university website profiles MIT emeritus professor David Gordon Wilson, author of Bicycle Science, which they call the industry bible for bike design.

Talk about getting Vision Zero wrong. After a New York cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run, the NYPD responds by cracking down on bike riders, rather than the people in the big dangerous machines. Thanks again to Mike Wilkinson.

A proposed New York state law would require all bicyclists in New York City to wear bike helmets, including users of the Citi Bike bikeshare — even though there’s only been one fatality, and just 50 injuries requiring medical attention, in over 43 million Citi Bike rides. The real question is why the law would only apply to NYC; evidently, no one else in the state has heads worth protecting.

After a kindhearted South Carolina cop fails to recover a boy’s stolen bicycle, he buys him a new one.

A group of three boys and two girls in their early teens have been arrested for beating and stomping a 19-year old Orlando man, stealing his bike and sandals, and throwing away his groceries.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice for how to manage riding during your period. Assuming you have one, of course.

The war on bikes continues, as a Canadian jogger stepped on a nail-filled board concealed on a bike trail.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says that no matter what the safety issue, bike-hating commenters always shift the blame to cyclists. Which is exactly what’s happening in Mar Vista and Play del Rey, and pretty much everywhere else in Southern California; more proof that cyclists face the same issues virtually everywhere.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is shown riding through a red light as cars turn into his lane. No, seriously. Don’t do that.

After a 91-year old English man was killed in a collision while participating in a time trial, the proposed solution is banning bikes from divided highways, rather than expecting people to actually pay attention when they drive.

A 15-year old Irish boy received a twelve-month sentence for bashing another boy over the head with a board to steal his bicycle, on top of the eight-month sentence he’s currently serving for threatening to kill someone else. Along with his previous 24 convictions. Did I mention he’s only 15?

Caught on video too: An Irish cyclist gets doored; notice the driver not rushing to his aid.

World Bicycle Relief has distributed 78,000 bicycles in Zimbabwe after a 2010 New York Times story about a then 17-year old man who longed for a bike instead of walking nine miles to school.

The Guardian says cycling campaigns focusing on women and girls are changing the dynamics on African roads.

More Malaysian office workers are choosing to bike to work.

An Aussie writer says drivers in Western Australian can’t handle the concept of an Idaho Stop Law.

 

Finally…

No, Graeme Obree is not a fictional character. Now you, too can ride a modern take on a commie bike.

And now you won’t have to choose between a Bianchi and a Ferrari.

 

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