Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

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As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

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VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

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Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Political news and endorsements, Caltrans feints at engagement, and how to lose bike vote

Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.

Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.

First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.

While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.

And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.

Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.

………

Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.

In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.

That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.

Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.

But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.

After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.

Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.

………

That’s one way to lose the bike vote.

A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.

Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.

However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.

When they cast their ballot for his opponent.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

People on bikes are heroes once again.

Or make that twice.

A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.

And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.

………

They’re one of us, too.

Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.

New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.

And Lily Allen doesn’t just sing about riding her bike through London, she actually does it.

………

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.

Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.

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Local

The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.

Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.

This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.

 

State

AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?

An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.

Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.

Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.

Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.

An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.

Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.

Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.

Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.

 

National

Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.

Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.

Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.

Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.

A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.

A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.

 

International

A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.

Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.

A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.

Hundreds of Londoners stage yet another die-in to protest the dangers bike riders face on the city’s streets.

London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.

A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.

FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.

A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.

British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.

After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.

And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider flees after injuring Glendale woman, and person of interest found in OC hit-and-run

Appalling news from Glendale, as police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who allegedly blew through a red light and crashed into a 64-year old woman as she was walking in the crosswalk.

The victim hit her head on the pavement, suffering “significant” but not life-threatening injuries. The man on the bike fled the scene, despite reportedly being fully aware of what happened.

He’s described only as a male wearing a dark jacket. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Glendale Police Department at 818/548-4911.

For anyone unclear on the concept, bike riders have exactly the same obligation to stop, render aid and exchange information that drivers do after a crash.

And are the same heartless cowards if they don’t.

To put it mildly.

………

Orange County sheriff’s deputies have identified a person of interest in the Sunday night hit-and-run that left a San Juan Capistrano father of five in a coma, and are no longer looking for suspects.

Which means they’re confident they’ve got the right person.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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John Montgomery shares a stomach-churning close shave on 4th Street in Venice, first getting cut off in a pass that feels way too close, then forced to make a heart-stopping panic stop when he gets brake-checked seconds later by the same driver.

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The rescheduled Resolution Ride will take place tomorrow in Griffith Park.

Active Streets LA is hosting a community festival and mapping walk and ride on Saturday at MLK Jr. Park.

And don’t forget the 8th annual Ride for Love at Ted Watkins Memorial Park on Sunday, sponsored by the Eastside Riders.

………

Bicycling Magazine wants to know just how common abuse of power is in competitive cycling, regardless of gender.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has come out strongly against Measure S, which would impose a minimum two-year moratorium on most major building projects in the City of Los Angeles.

Speaking of the LACBC, time is running out to get your 2017 LACBC kit; just click on the ad on the right to place your order.

Strong Towns profiles Josef Bray-Ali in his campaign to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s CD1; Bike the Vote LA is looking for volunteers to phone bank for him tomorrow.

KNBC-4 provides renderings of the new $482 million Sixth Street Viaduct project. Just riding down those big swirling bike ramps will make it worth the price.

Manhattan Beach rejects a proposal to put a bike path through the city’s Polliwog Park to improve safety for middle school kids headed to and from school.

 

State

A coalition of 82 organizations join with Calbike to call for reforms in a state transportation funding package to invest more on active transportation.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who talks with the Long Beach-based founder of Velomax bicycle wheels, now making and marketing the iWalk alternative to using crutches.

A Lakeside driver was shot at by someone riding a bicycle when he tried to chase “suspicious suspects” out of a mobile home park at 4:45 am.

BikeSD calls on the executive director of SANDAG to step down after inflating projections for last year’s failed, overly auto-centric transportation tax.

A killer Fresno drunk driver is asking a judge to allow him to rescind his no-contest plea that resulted in a 12-year prison sentence in the death of a seven-year old boy who was riding in a crosswalk with his family, blaming bad road design instead of his own high speed and drunken state. Sure, let’s go with that.

Modesto police bust a bike-riding groper accused of assaulting at least seven high school girls.

That was fast. A suspected Menlo Park bike thief gets one year in county jail, just eight days after he was arrested after fleeing from police.

Now that’s more like it. Rather than minimum parking requirements, San Francisco will now require developers to provide alternative transportation options in exchange for the permission to provide free parking spaces.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says less driving results in fewer traffic fatalities. However, the decade-long decline in vehicle miles traveled did not result in an increase in physical activity.

A habitually anti-bike Seattle radio host is convinced the city is throwing away millions spent on bikeways, as the bicycling commuter rate continues to drop. And yet it’s still at a level most cities would envy, including sunny Los Angeles.

The Radavist says Utah needs our help to stop a lease of BLM land and defend the Bear’s Ears National Monument. Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

Unlike Los Angeles, DC appears to be serious about reducing speeds to save lives as part of the city’s Vision Zero; a proposal from the DCDOT would lower the default speed limit to 20 mph, with a 15 mph limit around schools, parks, senior and youth centers from 7 am to 11 pm.

 

International

A columnist for London’s Evening Standard says the city’s new cycling and walking commissioner has to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of getting drivers to behave.

Caught on video: A London bike rider falls after jamming on the brakes when a mother with two young kids steps out unexpectedly from between stalled traffic.

Caught on video too: A British cyclist is caught on security camera carving deep scratches into a couple’s minivan, causing the equivalent of $1,250 in damage; the victims had no idea why he chose their car, and questioned whether he targeted them by mistake. Let’s make this as clear as possible: No matter what they might have done, or how justified you might feel, vandalism is always wrong. Period.

A French website offers 10 reasons to visit the county for your next cycling vacation. But really, you only need one — it’s France.

Evidently, it’s not just hoverboards. An ebike battery started a fire that sent a German carport up in flames, causing over a half million dollars in damage. The story’s in German, but you can read a translation here. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Iraqi women are riding for their freedom, in what began as one woman’s art project.

Women make up only 18% of bicycle traffic in Melbourne, Australia, where a lack of safe bikeways forces riders to mix with traffic.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find lasting love on a bicycle. Okay, so maybe he can downhill slightly faster than the rest of us.

And she wasn’t driving dangerously when she ran over a bicyclist’s hand, just carelessly.

So it’s okay, then. Right?

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan needs work, LA could miss out on speed cams, and SPPD finds a Felt

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s presentation of the proposed Vision Zero Action Plan to the city council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Linton, the plan “takes a lot of words and charts to say very little” and rather than listing specific actions to be taken, merely lists “40 key corridors where something unspecified might happen.”

Evidently, committee chair Mike Bonin agreed, pressing LADOT and LAPD to come back in 60 days to report on implantation, citations for the five leading violations that contribute to traffic fatalities, and a “no profiling” pledge.

………

Speaking of Vision Zero, page 38 of the Action Plan says the city will “consider” legislation to allow automated speed enforcement.

Something that is already being considered in the state legislature. But only for San Francisco and San Jose, which have been pushing for legalized speed cameras for some time.

If LA is serious about eliminating traffic deaths, which seems questionable given the lack of specificity in the plan, they will work with SoCal representatives in the state legislature to ensure that Los Angeles is included in any pilot program.

The city can’t afford to hire enough cops to provide round-the-clock patrols of all 6,500 miles of streets within its jurisdiction. And without adequate speed enforcement, Vision Zero will fail.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the link.

………

If this is your Felt, the South Pasadena Police Department may have some good news for you.

………

The former head of the US Postal team says Greg LeMond is obsessed with Lance Armstrong, which is why he’s so focused on possible motor doping. Maybe so, but he was right about Lance’s doping when no one else wanted to believe it, myself included.

Former Tour de France champ Federico Bahamontes says race radios are ruining pro cycling, and racing should go back to being more about attacks and less about tactics. Meanwhile, USA Cycling decides to expand their use instead.

A dozen pro cyclists anonymously discuss their experiences with sexism and abuse in women’s cycling. Clearly, there’s a major problem here that has to be addressed.

………

Local

CHP officers in Santa Monica fatally shot a Simi Valley man who fled on a bicycle after stabbing his roommate last week; investigators said it appeared to be a case of suicide by cop.

A large mixed-use project in Santa Monica would include a 1,700-foot Bike Center, if it gets built; opponents are pushing for a park at the site instead.

The rich get richer, as Long Beach votes to update its pedestrian and bicycle master plans to make the bike-friendly city even more welcoming for people on foot and bikes, by focusing on low-income communities that have largely been left out up to this point.

 

State

Caltrans is looking for comments on its first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, with a goal of making it safe, convenient and comfortable for anyone to walk or ride a bike by 2040. Which is a long damn time off.

China Daily says Chinese app-based bikeshare company Bluegogo is now seeking permits from city leaders to operate in San Francisco, while an Op-Ed in the Examiner accuses them of bringing chaos to the city’s public spaces.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Wednesday morning.

A Bay Area cyclist writes about the struggle to find a balance between bicycling and an eating disorder.

A Fairfield driver faces felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run for allegedly intentionally crashing into a woman riding her bike after his passenger yelled insults at her out the window.

 

National

A writer for Bike Portland asks if the city’s lack of gated communities has contributed to its success as a bicycling community. On the other hand, LA’s relative lack of gated communities hasn’t exactly made it a bicyclist’s paradise.

A trio of Colorado counties are about to finalize a 670 acre land swap with the US Bureau of Land Management to open up more land for mountain biking.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 78-year old great-grandmother from Montana has been bicycling across Europe and North America for the last 14 years, traveling an estimated 10,000 miles so far.

A Chicago weekly questions why a drunk driver got off with just ten days in jail for killing a man on a bike, comparing the sentence to the Brock Turner rape case at Stanford.

The New York Times offers lessons on aging well gleaned from 105-year old French cycling champ Robert Marchand.

A writer for a DC paper explains why it’s so hard to get a driver charged for running down a bike rider.

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who shot an unarmed bike rider in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and resulting to a $22 million judgment, is now in charge of security at the Palm Beach airport whenever President Trump flies into town. No, seriously. What could possibly go wrong?

 

International

A writer for Torontoist offers a great response to the city’s bike-hating columnist, with tongue planted so firmly in cheek it may pop out the other side.

A British soccer star is under investigation for a crash that injured a cyclist; he says the rider darted in front of him on a green light.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A British bus company responsible for killing a bike rider earlier this week had been the subject of numerous complaints, yet the company director insists cyclists have to take responsibility for collisions. Because you can’t actually expect drivers to operate their buses safely. Right?

Caught on video: A British driver just misses a bike rider in a painfully close pass, rather than step on the brakes, slow down and pass safely.

Caught on video too: A Brit cyclist unleashes a foul mouthed tirade at a bus driver following a far too close pass to avoid a pedestrian. Considering the language I’ve directed towards various motorists over the years — all well-deserved, of course — I’m the last one to judge anyone’s choice of words.

Four childhood friends are riding a pair of tandems 420 miles from Wales to Scotland, despite never riding one before. Or riding much, period.

An Australian website discusses the problem with Strava, saying it still has a way to go before it becomes a valuable tool for all bike riders

 

Finally…

What to wear when you’re riding your bike, but still want to hide from the paparazzi. Whatever you do, don’t take your bike on Air Canada.

And apparently, motorists abhor a vacuum.

 

Morning Links: An open letter on LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and OC hit-and-run victim needs your help

The Vision Zero Alliance has written an open letter to the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, which will consider the city’s proposed Vision Zero Action Plan at today’s meeting.

While they support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths, the Alliance, described as “a coalition of over 20 community organizations dedicated to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles,” takes issue with some parts of the plan.

The Action Plan serves as a critical step to ensuring that the Vision Zero initiative remains grounded in transparency, accountability, and evaluation. It also represents the City’s commitment to protecting the safety of all road users. The Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance applauds LADOT for its efforts in completing the Action Plan, which reflects extensive coordination among multiple agencies and organizations. We particularly appreciate the department’s ongoing commitment to engaging with and being accessible to the Vision Zero Alliance throughout the development of the Action Plan.

However, we remain unsatisfied with a number of elements of the plan. Our primary concerns relate to enforcement, data transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, we are worried by the lack of attention paid to speed and to the weak commitment in funding.

I’m particularly glad they share some of the concerns I’ve expressed, which are reflected in that last sentence.

We have additional concerns regarding speed and funding. Despite vehicle speed being a primary predictor of crash severity, the Action Plan lacks a bold and coherent strategy to manage it. We appreciate that the City intends to “consider legislation on automated speed enforcement” in 2017, but would like to see a more comprehensive set of actions to address local control of speed limits and the implementation of engineering projects specifically intended to slow traffic. We are also displeased with the low level of funding allocated to Vision Zero projects this year. A serious commitment to ending deaths and severe injuries on Los Angeles streets demands serious funding. Only with a realistic investment in robust engineering projects, education, engagement, and enforcement will Los Angeles ever realize Vision Zero.

It’s worth reading the full letter.

And demanding that the city adopt a plan that is fair for everyone, and will truly take the steps necessary to end the plague of traffic violence in out city.

………

An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

The Orange County Register reports that Steve Schenkenberger, a father of five from San Juan Capistrano, was struck by a hit-and-run driver near Niguel Road and Ridgeway Avenue on Super Bowl Sunday.

Newport Beach Patch is more specific, placing the time of the crash at around 8:56 pm. There were no reported witnesses, he was found by passersby who called for help. Luckily, one of those was a paramedic and his wife, who cared for him until help arrived; she describes it in heartbreaking detail.

According to a fundraising website, Schenkenberger suffered injuries throughout the left side of his body, along with a severe brain injury resulting in emergency surgery. He’s reportedly improving, but remains unconscious and heavily sedated.

As of this writing, the fund had raised over $34,000 of the $100,000 goal to help pay what are sure to be massive medical expenses, as well as care for his family, for which he is the sole provider.

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

Anyone with information about the crash or driver is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Aliso Viejo.

Thanks to Rod Daryabigi and Lois for the heads-up.

………

Frenchman Roger Walkowiak, the world’s oldest surviving Tour de France winner, passed away Tuesday at 89; the unheralded son of a Polish factory worker won the 1956 Tour with a solo breakaway on the famed Croix de Fer.

Cycling Weekly talks with 19-year old US junior cyclist Adrien Costa, calling him the next Greg LeMond. Sad that they had to go all the way back to the 1980s to find a scandal-free American cycling icon to compare him to.

VeloNews looks at the dangers of Tramadol, a less potent opioid painkiller that’s legal to race on under current doping rules.

………

Local

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC is working on a beautification project to increase capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Trousdale Parkway entrance to the campus.

A sidewalk-raging Santa Clarita transient was arrested on suspicion of vandalism for throwing an object at a driver who had apparently cut him off as he existed a driveway.

 

State

A California sustainable transportation website launches a new series titled Bicyclists Are Human. Something that shouldn’t have to be said, but too often does.

Six California rides make the list of the nation’s 15 top Gran Fondos, including the Malibu Gran Fondo, and the one-year old Phil’s Cookie Fondo hosted by LA’s own former pro and cookie monster Phil Gaimon.

San Diego cyclists hope to repurpose a boarded up 1940s building next to a bike path as a bicycle center.

Ebikes are moving into Santa Cruz. And La Quinta, too.

A 56-year old bike rider in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district faces charges after allegedly punching a 20-year old woman and rifling through her pockets.

A San Francisco bike shop owner is crowdfunding a parklet he wants to build in front of his store.

An injured San Francisco bike rider offers a reminder that rain-filled puddles can disguise hidden dangers.

 

National

Here’s a chance to get technical, as VeloNews explains how differences in bicycle geometry affect how a bike rides and handles.

A British Columbia researcher says bicycle education in the US is in desperate need of an update, questioning whether bicyclists are really safer riding in the traffic lane.

Wired says ride your bike like a kid and make it fun again. Which is a great idea, except they get most of it wrong. Spandex clothing is actually designed to wick away sweat, while reducing wind resistance and chafing; flat pedals only allow you to apply force on the down stroke, reducing efficiency. And the health benefits of riding far outweigh any risk of heart damage from extreme training, which most people will never do anyway.

Colorado cyclists will have to keep stopping for stop signs, as a bill to approve the Idaho Stop Law in the state, legalizing what many bike riders already do, was killed in a legislative committee; a Durango paper blames Senate Republicans.

The Texas Medical Alliance gave away 400 bike helmets to four and five-year olds.

Wisconsin cycling icon Chris Kegel passed away from a rare form of liver cancer; the owner of a regional chain of bike shops had been on the founding boards of PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists.

A bike-riding Illinois reporter is suing the local police department for false arrest after they busted him for filming them. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether the actions of police or anyone else, as long as you don’t interfere with an officer in the conduct of his or her duties. And no, standing across the street recording an arrest is not interfering.

A cyclist in Illinois ask why bikes can’t evolve like cars have. Except pretty much all the improvements he calls for are available in one form or another, from disk brakes and belt drives to automatic gearing.

Bicycling rates continue to climb in New York despite slower growth in the city core, as riders respond to the continued expansion of the city’s bicycle network.

Why is it always Florida? A man in his late teens or early 20s exposed himself to a group of people by going naked from the waist down, then took a public poop before riding away on his bike.

 

International

Two brothers from Mexico are planning to ride the entire west coast of the US from Tijuana to Vancouver, in part to challenge stereotypes of Millennials as apathetic and superficial.

A Canadian city legalizes scofflaw cyclists by designating the raised roadways they’re already riding on as cycling facilities.

Caught on video: A bus driver with the official title of Britain’s Most Hated Cyclist catches a woman FaceTiming behind the wheel.

British police finally capture a bike-riding serial groper who allegedly attacked 24 women.

In yet another attack on bicyclists from London’s bike-hating Daily Mail, a writer asks if anywhere is safe from the Lycra louts. Cycling Weekly responds that it includes every anti-cycling cliché known to the human race, and some new ones, too.

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 77-year old British man will ride the full route of this year’s Giro d’Italia, covering 2,100 miles across Italy.

A British writer rides through the tip of Africa on the first South African Eroica.

A 15-year old junior cyclist finds himself a man without a country after forfeiting his German passport, then getting booted out of a Malaysian school.

A Philippine website looks at the causes of road rage and what drivers can do about it. Which can apply to those of us on two wheels, too.

 

Finally…

Four words: speed dating on bikes. If you’re going to buy a hacksaw to cut a bike lock, don’t try to return it afterwards — and make sure it’s not a bait bike.

And make sure your damn shoe fits before you get behind the wheel.

 

Owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance killed in late December collision in Playa Vista

It’s not always enough to know that something bad happened. And sometimes, confirming it can be very difficult to do.

That was the case here, as we first reported the death of Anthony Barnes on January 18th, but were unable to get official confirmation until now.

The LA County Coroner’s office confirmed today that Barnes, better known as Tony, was killed in a traffic collision in LA’s Playa Vista neighborhood on December 29th of last year.

According to sources with the LAPD, Barnes was attempting to cross Jefferson Blvd northbound near Inglewood Blvd around 8:50 am when he was struck by a car headed east on Jefferson. After the impact, his bike continued onto the westbound side of the street, where he was struck again by a second vehicle.

He was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he was pronounced dead.

The police report that both drivers immediately stopped and attempted to render aid, and that multiple witnesses assisted in the investigation.

The initial conclusion was that Barnes failed to observe the right-of-way. However, the collision remains under investigation.

A satellite view shows a wide, six lane street on Jefferson, which would have been very busy at that hour.

Tony Barnes was the owner of the Bicycle Ambulance bike shop on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica, and had a reputation as a very caring, giving and helpful person. A Facebook post describes how he took a young man under his wing when he wanted to learn how to fix bikes, allowing him to shadow Barnes as he worked in the shop to develop his skills.

A GoFundMe page started by his daughter describes him as a mechanic on the successful US Cycling Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and the fastest wrench in the West.

As of this writing, the page has raised a little less than $2900 of the $5,000 goal to help defray funeral expenses and help keep his daughter in the home they rented while she remains in school.

Maybe we can help her meet that goal.

I’m also told the bike shop will remain open, at least for the time being.

Barnes’ death raises the umber of bicycling fatalities in Southern California last year to 73, 33 of which were in Los Angeles County. This is also the 13th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tony Barnes and all his loved ones. 

Thank you to everyone who alerted me to this death and helped in tracking down the facts and putting this story together. 

Morning Links: Bray-Ali endorsed by Times in CD1, entitled driver behaving badly, and LA BAC meets tonight

Now this is big.

Former Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali’s candidacy to unseat incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo got a huge boost yesterday when he won the endorsement of the LA Times.

While Cedillo has a huge advantage in fundraising, much of it coming from developers and others seeking to influence City Hall, Bray-Ali’s upstart grassroots campaign has been making waves in the district, as he rides his cargo bike door-to-door to talk with local voters.

And the Times has noticed.

Many people in the district think of Bray-Ali, 37, as just a bike-shop owner and bike activist. Frustration over Cedillo’s part in stalling bike lanes on Figueroa Street propelled Bray-Ali into this race. But though he may be campaigning atop two wheels, he has educated himself way beyond bike and transit issues. In fact, his understanding of land-use policy is impressive for someone who has never worked in City Hall, and his experience running a small business in the city will make him a rare and important voice on the council.

They also seem to have a pretty good read on his opponent.

Cedillo has a reputation among community activists as someone hell-bent on helping developers build market-rate housing while paying little regard for the more prosaic concerns of the neighborhoods. This disinterest in the community is troubling; even more so is his indifference to the displacement of low-income constituents. (He called displacement in his district an “urban myth” in a meeting with the editorial board. The city’s own data show it is not.) Building more housing is a virtue — the city is in a housing crunch, and more market-rate housing means more housing, period. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of a neighborhood’s affordability and quality of life. A councilman’s job is to balance the interests of neighborhoods with those of the population as a whole, and Cedillo doesn’t seem to be interested in that task…

The winner of this race will have an extra long term (the recent change in city elections means the winner will hold office for 5½ years) during a building boom that could fundamentally change the district. It is imperative that the person making the decisions focus on the needs of the community, not just a personal vision. The candidate who is best prepared to do that for Council District 1 is Bray-Ali.

Meanwhile, he also won the endorsement of Joel Epstein, writing for the Huffington Post.

Fact: Joe Bray-Ali has been a tireless advocate for safer streets for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers. A key leader in the safe streets Figueroa for All movement, Joe’s advocacy is helping make North East L.A. a safer place to live and is improving the neighborhood’s connections to Pasadena and the Los Angeles River.

Joe’s vision for CD 1 and the entire city, includes zero deaths and injuries from irresponsible, dangerous drivers. This is just one more reason that Josef Bray-Ali should be CD 1’s next councilmenber.

It’s time that CD 1 was represented by a councilmember who cares about the district. It’s time to elect Joe Bray-Ali.

On a personal note, I’ve been encouraging Joe Bray-Ali to run for city council since I first met him nearly ten years ago.

I’ve never met anyone more passionate about improving safety on our streets — myself included. Or more committed to improving the quality of life for the people who live in Northeast LA.

And few people, in or out of government, are more knowledgeable about the way city government works, and how it can be made to work more efficiently and better serve the people of this city. Not to mention possessing a rare ability to dig through city budgets line by line to determine where the money is actually going, as opposed to where it should be.

Joe has been a longtime advocate for better streets and better government. It’s time that passion and commitment is put to work serving, not just the bicycling community, but all the residents of CD1 and the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

………

If you’re looking for a visual definition of real schmuck, Greg Heining sends us this video of a driver cutting off an elderly woman with a walker as she makes her way across a crosswalk.

Sadly, this sort of thing happens every day, almost everywhere.

And yet, they say bicyclists act entitled.

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 7 pm tonight at Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue.

This is the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, yet three of the seats remain unfilled. If you’re a resident of council districts 9 (Curren Price), 10 (Herb Wesson) or 13 (Mitch O’Farrell), contact them today and politely ask your councilmember to get off his ass and appoint someone.

Then not so politely if they still don’t.

………

Bike racing’s governing body issues new rules for support vehicles to improve safety in the peloton. Even though the only way to really improve safety would be to ban them entirely.

The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition is working to bring back the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.

The U-23 development team run by Axel Merckx is providing talented young British riders with an alternative path to pro cycling.

Former cyclist Bridie O’Donnell discusses the sexual and emotional abuse women riders face in the sport, including the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former coach as a young triathlete.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the recent LA Great Streets Challenge winners, as well as Vision Zero grants.

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is riding to fight MS.

CiclaValley goes riding on the other road closed to motor vehicles in Griffith Park.

Time Out looks at 14 National Parks within driving distance of Los Angeles. Which means they’re in bicycling distance, too.

Long Beach is challenging residents to walk or ride their bikes on the Shoreline Pedestrian/Bicycle Path, as they try to reach one million trips on the path’s Eco-Counter.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition hosted a training session to teach people how to organize grassroots political advocacy efforts for safer, expanded access for bicycles.

In LA, they shut down bike paths to do freeway work; in San Diego County, they shut down freeway lanes, in part to install bike paths.

An alleged drunk driver was arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bakersfield bike rider with multiple broken bones.

Registration is now open for the 104-mile Tehachapi GranFondo, which will evidently take place sometime. Note to Bakersfield Now: One of those famous Five W’s stands for when. Just a hint. Update: Thanks to MTS, who points out the ride rolls on September 16th.

Now that’s more like it. San Francisco police are deploying extra officers to crack down on traffic violations by drivers at locations where bicyclists or pedestrians have been injured.

San Francisco scraps plans for a raised bike lane on Polk Street after concluding that it would also need to be parking protected. So what’s the point of raising the bike lane if it’s already protected?

 

National

Curbed says even with an auto-centric administration in DC, private car ownership could plummet in the US.

PeopleForBikes ignores the game, and watches the Super Bowl to count the number of bikes in the ads.

Redfin lists the best cities for living without a car; San Francisco takes the top spot, while cross-bay neighbor Oakland checks in at number ten. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list.

Lifehacker says there are few things dorkier than putting a bell on your bike, but insists you should do it anyway.

An Iowa letter writer says requiring bicycles to have lights at night won’t save lives because most of the state’s fatalities occurred during the day. Including the one that killed her boyfriend.

Bikeshare is coming to Roanoke VA, with 50 bike at stations scattered around the city.

 

International

Over 5,000 Costa Rican cyclists rode on Sunday to demand safer streets.

A new short film celebrates the success of Vancouver’s prescient multi-modal street design.

London’s Evening Standard explains why you should join a cycling club, and how to fuel your ride.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would push a 92-year old British woman off her bicycle to steal the equivalent of seven and a half bucks.

Now that’s more like it, too. Large trucks are banned from a narrow British lane where they weren’t supposed to be in the first place after a bike rider was injured in a collision.

The Brit press is up in arms over bicyclists filtering through traffic. Even though it’s legal. And even though it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

A new German project raising funds on Kickstarter promises to deliver a flexible, lightweight bike lock made up of five layers that are saw-resistant, cut-resistant, fire-resistant, waterproof, and dirt-repelling. Because really, who wants a dirty lock?

Today was national Go By Bike Day in New Zealand. Or yesterday, since it’s already tomorrow there.

Chinese app-based bikeshare comes to Singapore to rescue the city from its overly crowded streets.

Caught on video: Dozens of people team up to lift a van off a Chinese bicyclist following a collision; thanks to their efforts, the victim didn’t appear to have suffered any injuries.

 

Finally…

You only have to ride around the block to stay in shape, as long as you do it really, really hard. If you really want to make your point, say it again, and again.

And once again, a bike rider saves the day. Or the dog, as the case may be.

 

Morning Links: Lecture on 1890s French bike art, last day for Metro Bike Share survey, and don’t lock up to trees

This Wednesday, long-time Santa Monica bike advocate and UCLA/Cambridge lecturer Dr. Michael Cahn will conduct a free lecture on the 1890’s bicycle art of Jean de Paleologu.

Here’s how he describes the talk, titled Ladies Cycling in the Night Sky.

On Wednesday February 8th I will show some pictures and say a few word about Ladies Cycling in the Night Sky, as popularized by Jean de Paleologu (PAL) around 1890. He started a trend in France that associated the bicycle with female figures flying in the wind. A striking visual discourse which is still alive on the occasional wine label.

Yet the image of those night cyclists is very distant from the concern with bloomers and rational dress that dominates the English speaking cycling scene for women during the same period.

And how does it all connect with an old Greek statute found on the island of Samothrace ?

All welcome to join us for this lecture on the history cycling, imaginary and otherwise.

UCLA, Public Policy, Room 1222 11:00 – 12:15

………

Local

Today’s the last day to take the Metro Bike Share survey, and maybe win a free prize pack.

The Daily News says Southern California is in the grips of a diabetes crisis. The same Vision Zero street improvements that can help eliminate traffic deaths can help prevent even more deaths from diabetes, heart disease and stroke by encouraging more people to get out and walk or ride their bikes.

A Pasadena father takes his two young kids bike riding at Cogswell Dam in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Malibu now has $38.5 million to pay for 12 safety improvement projects on PCH, some of which have already been completed, including bike route improvements. However, no one seems to be talking about the most important safety improvement — transforming PCH from a speed-focused highway ferrying people through the city without stopping, into the city’s Main Street.

 

State

The president of Irvine-based Felt says the company is a perfect match with new parent Rossignol.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments will consider spending $10 million on bike and pedestrian projects following one of the deadliest years for pedestrians. Then again, it wasn’t great for bicyclists, either.

Caught on video: San Francisco bicyclists continue to fall on the city’s 17th Street streetcar tracks, despite repeated promises from the city to do something about it.

 

National

Cities around the country are turning to bicycle paramedic teams to improve response times and save lives, according to the Washington Post; LA bike paramedics were among the first emergency crews to reach Carrie Fisher on the ground after she suffered a heart attack while landing at LAX.

Registration is open for the 32nd annual Ride the Rockies, a seven day, 447 mile bike tour through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

Heartbreaking letter in a Topeka newspaper from a father calling for stiffer penalties for killer drivers, recounting the bicycling death of his own son 28 years earlier.

Needless to say, Minneapolis bicyclists aren’t exactly thrilled with a proposed bill that would require bicyclists to complete an educational program, pass a test and pay a fee just to use the city’s bike lanes. As we’ve noted before, the effect of the law would just be that bike lanes would go unused while riders risk their safety riding in the traffic lanes next to them.

Bicycling Magazine looks at how Boston and Atlanta compare when it comes to bikes, concluding Atlanta edges Boston out in overtime. Which is just the opposite of how the football game came out.

There’s something seriously wrong when an 80-year old Florida grandmother has to sacrifice her own life to save her friend from a hit-and-run driver.

Key West FL considers a road diet on a busy four-lane main drag, converting it to two lanes with bike lanes.

 

International

Toronto’s bike-hating columnist is back at it again, citing 211 bicyclists using a bike lane on a cold January morning as proof that no one uses it during the winter. Except for the 211 people who used it, of course. Then gets in a snit when bike riders refuse to interrupt their commutes to pull over to talk to him. Maybe he’d have better luck getting drivers on their way to work to pull over and chat. Or not.

London is averaging one collision a day between bike riders and pedestrians, an increase of 47% over the last seven years. Which really isn’t much in a crowded city of 8.6 million people, although a better number would be zero. Unfortunately, you can’t control what pedestrians do, but you can control where and how you ride, and always slow down and ride carefully around people on foot.

A Scottish woman is back on her bike just twelve weeks after a double lung transplant.

There’s more than one kind of distracted driving. A British driver gets a whole 20 weeks — yes, weeks — for killing a grandfather out for a bike ride when she turned around for a “split-second” to yell at her kids for throwing popcorn.

British bicycling groups welcome police going undercover on bikes to catch drivers passing dangerously close.

Stockholm sees a 45% reduction in children’s asthma attacks after instituting congestion pricing.

In a brilliant move, Spain will impose special temporary speed limits on popular riding routes at peak cycling times to protect bike riders. That would be like dropping speed limits on PCH to 30 mph on Saturday mornings. Which isn’t a bad idea.

An Aussie writer takes a self-guided tour through Slovenia, and finds more adventure than she expected.

New Delhi bike riders have to contend with a lack of cycle tracks, traffic congestion and bad road design, despite the highest number of bike trips in India.

A retired Indian general is riding his bicycle 7,500 miles across India to honor all the soldiers who have lost their lives since the country gained independence in 1947.

An Indian tsunami survivor hasn’t seen her parents in four years. And doesn’t expect to see them for at least another three, as she focuses on competing in track cycling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A former Australian elite track cyclist has her career cut short by a horrific series of experimental surgeries.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re carrying burglary tools on your bike and ghost riding another bicycle at two in the morning, put some damn lights on it. It doesn’t take a prince to push his fiancé’s vintage bicycle, just a soon-to-be royalty-in-law.

And this is why you don’t lock your bike to a tree.

 

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

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

Besides a steady conduit for speeding drivers, that is.

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff is one of us.

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

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

 

Morning Links: Bike berating truck driver, rescheduled Blumenfield ride, and Bray-Ali gets matching funds

This is getting old.

A bike rider in the South Bay gets passed by the road raging driver of a large pickup, who then steps out of his truck to berate him and tell him to get off the fucking road.

LAPD officers have told me that a driver can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his vehicle, since merely exiting the vehicle can be seen as a threat.

………

LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s bike ride along the LA River and through the West Valley has been rescheduled for the 26th of this month.

Considering how some members of the council don’t seem to give a damn about us, you should take advantage of a chance to ride and talk with one who does.

Speaking of which, one of those bike-unfriendly councilmembers has raised nearly 10 times the funds of Josef Bray-Ali, his Bike the Vote-endorsed challenger in CD1, who qualified for matching funds by raising $49,000 in mostly small contributions.

Clearly, Bray-Ali’s route to victory will depend on volunteer efforts and word-of-mouth, rather than trying to outspend his opponent.

Which means we have to do everything we can to get a more bike and safety-friendly voice on the council, in a district that desperately needs it.

………

If your bike flats on Mandeville and you don’t have any tubes left, maybe you can catch a ride with some helpful cops.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson sort of reviews LA-based ex-pro cyclist and cookie lover Phil Gaimon’s new book, and says it’s subversive, insightful, and really, really funny.

………

Apropos of nothing, and nothing to do with bikes, but this totally cracks me up.

………

Pro cyclist Andriy Grivko has been kicked out of the Tour of Dubai after punching race leader Marcel Kittel in the face; a very pissed off Kittel says he deserves a six month ban.

Cycling Weekly highlights the best bike punches caught on camera.

Two Aussie cyclists are riding the exact route of the 1928 Tour de France to honor a four man team from Down Under who competed in the race.

………

Local

Streetsblog says Los Angeles has striped new bike lanes on Heliotrope Drive in what used to be known as the Bicycle District, replacing sharrows that should have been bike lanes to begin with.

The LACBC looks at three things they learned during the recent Ask An Officer panel discussion with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass, including that there aren’t enough cops on the street, and the ones who are too often don’t have enough resources or receive adequate training. Which is something we’ve been pushing for since this site was founded.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy. I’d take it, but I refuse to wear a badge.

Help distribute books to free street libraries on Saturday’s Street Librarians Ride.

A Claremont paper looks at the last, sad days of 82-year old Coates Cyclery.

The mayor of Santa Clarita invites residents to get in shape by using the city’s 115-mile bike network, including 85 miles of natural and paved pathways.

CiclaValley goes bike lane shaming in Solvang and Santa Paula.

 

State

People in San Diego’s La Mesa neighborhood are being frightened by a bike-riding man with a gun. Or maybe not.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old Pauma Valley man plans to ride across Canada with a hundred other bicyclists next summer.

A road improvement project in Victorville will include six miles of new bike lanes.

A Fresno letter writer says the city needs to embrace bicycling to clean the air and defeat asthma.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane through the city’s McLaren Park this Saturday. Plans are also in the works for protected lanes on the Embarcadero, where traffic has reached “brutal” levels.

Marin mountain bikers band together to demand better access to the county’s trails, saying they represent up to 45% of all trail users, but are allowed on only 10% of them.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time to pump up your bike tires and join the city’s Bike Party.

 

National

Outside Magazine asks if gravel bikes are marketing hype or the future of cycling. Short answer, probably neither.

A Chicago paper says the judge missed an opportunity to send a strong message on DUIs when he sentenced a drunk driver to just 10 days in jail for killing a bike rider. Gee, you think?

You can now legally ride your bike in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

Tennessee’s Bike Elf fixes up bikes and gives them to kids who get straight A’s, after signing an agreement to do their best.

A 2002 New York public access TV show offers a look at how bad bicycling was back in the city’s dark ages before Janet Sadik-Khan.

A DC rider creates a simplified, easy-to-read bike map based on transit maps. If someone did that here in LA, all they’d get is a bunch of disconnected lines looking like someone spilled a box of matches. And almost as useful.

Speeding in DC will cost you a cool $500, but running over a bike rider is a relative bargain at just $150.

A new Virginia law would prohibit drivers from using bike lanes to pass stopped cars on the right, while another would create a vulnerable user law.

Sometimes, all it takes to form a band is riding your bike past another New Orleans musician.

 

International

The Canadian driver caught on video forcing his car into a bike rider who was trying to block his path has finally been charged with assault, among other charges, after police falsely claimed the victim didn’t want file charges.

Caught on video: Doesn’t look like much; just a guy riding his bike on the sidewalk. Except it’s a London cop’s official police bike, which he just stole from a rack after cutting the lock.

London’s Heathrow Airport actually wants people to bike there, calling for one of the city’s bicycle superhighways to be extended to the airport to make it easier for passengers to leave their cars at home.

Eight Welsh midwives will ride from London to Paris in hopes of delivering £14,000 — the equivalent of over $17,400 — for women’s cancer research

Stealing one or two bikes is bad enough; taking 22 from an English bike shop is unforgivable.

Irish police investigating a jewelry store heist are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed the crime.

Horrifying story from India, as onlookers filmed a teenage bike rider for 30 minutes after he was hit by a bus, rather than helping him or offering comfort as he lay dying. A newspaper asks if the country needs a “Duty to Help” law.

Caught on video too: A South African website freaks out over footage of a woman happily riding her bike in the middle of a busy highway sans helmet.

A group of Taiwanese and Tibetan cyclists demonstrate in Taipei to call attention to the 60th anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising Day next month.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re going to carry cocaine on your bike, don’t ride salmon — and put some damn reflectors on it. For once, you can count roadkill on the highway, rather than risk being it.

And bicycling doesn’t require a co-pay.

 

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