Move along, nothing to see here, aka the never-ending joys of diabetes

My apologies once again.

I’ve spent the last several hours trying to work on today’s post, despite battling very low blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, I’ve spent more time flat on my back in a semi-conscious state than I have committing words to paper. Or cyberspace.

Or something.

And still haven’t been able to get my blood sugar up to a normal level.

So I’m throwing in the towel tonight, and going to bed to sleep it off. With a little luck, I’ll be better in the morning.

As always, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we’ve missed.

Update: Man killed in hit-and-run while riding in Sun Valley bike lane

Now it’s confirmed.

This morning we mentioned a late night news report from KABC-7, which said a man had been killed in an apparent hit-and-run in Sun Valley on Sunday.

Now their brief story has finally been posted online.

The Los Angeles Daily News adds more details, indicating the victim was riding east in the bike lane on Strathern Street at Bellingham Avenue in Sun Valley when he was rear-ended by the driver of a dark colored SUV around 8:30 pm.

The driver reportedly stopped for a few moments before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics took the victim, publicly identified only as a 45-year old man, to Holy Cross Hospital, where he died.

Judging by photos on the Daily News story, he does not appear to have had lights on his mountain bike, though you can see wheel reflectors in some photos.

A street view shows a two lane road with bike lanes on either side on Strathern, with a 35 mph speed limit and minimal street lighting approaching the uncontrolled intersection.

Some reports place the crash scene in North Hollywood, though most call it Sun Valley.

This is at least the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The LA Daily News identified the victim as 45-year old Panorama City resident Roberto Perez.

The story also confirms that he didn’t have lights on his bike, and was riding on a dark street wearing dark clothing. Local riders gathered for Wednesday’s ghost bike installation complained about the dark conditions on the bike lane. 

Like any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles, there is an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Javier Avila, of the Valley Traffic Division at 818/644-8034, or the LAPD tip line at 877/527-3247.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roberto Perez and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Steve S for forwarding the Daily News piece, and the photo of Perez’ ghost bike.

 

Morning Links: LADOT is working on bike lanes and bike paths after all, and a bike rider was killed in Sun Valley

Maybe the apparent lack of action on LA bike lanes isn’t as bad as it seems.

The list of active bike projects at LADOT contains a lot of surprises. Like the fact that the city is actually working on bike projects.

One that immediately jumps out is project 89 on Santa Monica Blvd, which is in the planning stages to close the gap between the existing LA bike lanes that end at Century City, and the new green bike lanes in Beverly Hills.

That will take some creative engineering, especially eastbound where bike riders have to make the jump to cross over the right lanes of traffic exiting onto Little Santa Monica without getting killed by impatient LA drivers.

Not to mention the westbound bike lane as it travels past the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton hotels in Beverly Hills, which is more often used as a parking and loading zone than an actual lane for bike travel.

Now we’ll have to get West Hollywood to close the gap on their side where the bike lanes are missing on last block or two east of Doheny.

Then there’s the fact that LADOT is finally working on a handful of Bicycle Friendly Streets, which appeared to have been all but forgotten. It’s not exactly the third-level bicycle network we were promised in the 2010 bike plan, but it’s a start.

It’s also interesting to see that 4th Street is once again considered a Bicycle Friendly Street, after former Councilmember Tom LaBonge bungled the initial rollout. And somehow got local residents to oppose a plan that would have significantly benefitted them.

So far it appears to be nothing but mini roundabouts, but again, it’s a start.

I’ll look forward to the Mid City Low Stress corridors, which may finally provide a comfortable north/south route in and out of Hollywood. Although I’m not sure how low stress it will be when you have to keep jumping from one street to another.

And I’m not thrilled that the only east/west project in Hollywood is currently considered inactive.

There are a number of other projects throughout the city, from bike paths to bike lanes, separate, protected or otherwise.

I don’t think anyone will look at this and think LA is finally justifying its status as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

But it’s good to finally see things moving forward again.

Click either photo to increase size. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up. 

……….

Today’s photo is a reminder how not to lock your bike. This half-eaten bike along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd in Century City was locked with decent U-lock. But only through the frame, allowing the thief to take both wheels. We may never know why they left the rear tire — and an extra seat.

………

KABC-7 reported last night that a bike rider was killed in an apparent hit-and-run in Sun Valley on Sunday. However, the story was not online as of this writing, and no details are currently available.

We’ll try to catch up on the story when there’s more information.

………

Local

Downtown LA’s Spring Street has been upgraded to a left side, parking protected bike lane. Although not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

National Public Radio profiles popular DTLA band Vignes Rooftop Revival, who bike, walk or skate to all their gigs, because they want to.

A Santa Monica architect, who is clearly no fan of e-scooters, says the city is conducting an uncontrolled experiment by foisting the “dangerous machines” on the public.

LA County is planning a bike and pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Blvd, the final link in the 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, which promises to connect Baldwin Hills to the beach by 2020.

SoCal Cycling talks with Dayna Galbreath of SAFE and Finish the Ride.

 

State

The CHP is starting a year-long campaign to improve bike and pedestrian safety. The question is whether they’ll focus on getting people to drive safely around bike riders and walkers, or continue their long tradition of victim blaming.

Twelve Wounded Warriors finished a month-long ride across the US when they pedaled into San Diego yesterday.

Moving story from San Francisco, where a bike rider tracked down the friends of a fallen bicyclist looking for closure, after coming on the scene moments after the crash and comforting the victim.

 

National

Bicycling provides an athlete’s guide to CDB, the portion of cannabis that won’t get you high. My personal experience is that CBD is great for stopping muscle cramps and soothing aching muscles, but not so good for pain control.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver becomes just the latest the plow through a group of protesters, something conservative lawmakers have been pushing to make legal in several states. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists in Fargo ND don’t appear to have any objection the city quadrupling fines for some bicycle traffic violations — to a whopping $20; most will remain at $5.

Volunteers in Dubuque, Iowa prepare hot meals for the homeless, then deliver them by bicycle throughout the downtown area.

Even in bike friendly Madison WI, “undocumented and other minority residents” struggle to find safe routes to ride in areas unserved by the city’s extensive network of bike paths, trails and bike lanes.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Chicago bike rider was severely beaten by a road raging driver, after attempting to run the rider down when he yelled at the driver for cutting into a protected bike lane, nearly hitting him. On the other hand, the rider chased down the driver to confront him when he had several opportunities to defuse the situation and let the police deal with it.

Chicago finds it can’t fire a bike racing paramedic, despite two separate convictions for bike theft — including participating in a theft ring that stole $48,000 worth bikes and parts from a freight train.

A Minnesota girl credits her bike helmet with saving her life when she was hit by a semi. The truck jackknifed and ended up on top of her leg, breaking her femur, clavicle and pelvis; she also ended up with concussion and a collapsed lung.

A Minnesota bicyclist captures shocking video of a bike rider running a stop sign — after a long line of drivers do the same. But maybe that’s the point. Personally, I always stop, or at least slow to a crawl, for stop signs. But the most important thing is to always observe the right-of-way. 

A Boston public radio station attempts to untangle the science on bicycling and sexual dysfunction, as one San Diego doctor insists there’s a connection, despite several studies showing just the opposite.

The Boston Globe considers what to do about the advent of e-scooters, comparing them to the disruption caused by the introduction of bicycles in the late 1800s.

The New York Times promotes the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings.

Interesting idea. Philadelphia is considering plans for a prototype bike corral in front of fire hydrants to provide additional bike parking and keep drivers from parking in front of them.

The Baltimore bishop convicted of killing a bicyclist in a drunken hit-and-run three years ago could be released from prison as soon as next month, after asking a judge to change her consecutive sentences to concurrent terms instead.

No shit. Regional traffic planners take issue with Maryland’s plans to make bike riders share a lane with 50 mph traffic on a bridge over the Potomac.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains the value of a bespoke bike frame.

A new device makes it wheelie easy to ride on one wheel.

The European Union allows a quadrupling of power for ebikes, from 250 to 1,000 watts, but keeps maximum assist speeds capped at 15 mph.

Ed Ryder forwards this story of a London woman who found her stolen bike online, and stole it back when the police refused to help

New handlebar lights currently raising funds on Kickstarter promise to reduce unsafe passing with red and while lights that stay on all the time, then change to orange to signal turns. The lights were featured on a British show similar to Shark Tank.

A bike rider in the UK has an uncomfortably close encounter with a felled tree. Someone might want to teach the crew how to block a traffic lane before they bring a tree down in it. Just a suggestion.

Seriously? After he was caught on video driving through a bike lane and jumping a curb in an attempt to run down a bike rider on the sidewalk, a Dublin cab driver defends his actions by claiming he was simply trying to apprehend the bicyclist for reaching out to break his mirror as he rode by. Because apparently, people on bicycles are just randomly destructive for no apparent reason.

An Irish writer suggests taking a bike tour of Mallorca, Spain. And overcomes his aversion to spandex in the process.

Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor is one of us, using his bike to train for last Saturday’s fight. Maybe he needs to train harder to fight in the ring, and less out of it.

Evidently, its against the law to ride a bicycle while under the influence in Ireland, after a man was fined the equivalent of $265 for riding into traffic while “highly intoxicated.

More proof that we all face the same problems wherever we ride. A hit-and-run driver in Malta was sentenced to three years behind bars for driving off when he hit a bike rider, after telling his passenger to just calm down.

Police in India arrested 42 people for driving on cycle tracks. We could use some of that here. Or maybe a lot of it.

An Aussie rider discovers the social side of bicycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Canadian cyclist Michael Woods has arrived, after the 31-year old former running finished third at the worlds.

VeloNews talks with ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis about his plans to start a Continental level cycling team using the funds he got from the feds’ lawsuit against America’s other ex-Tour de France winner.

 

Finally…

Seriously, stop calling non-ebikes “analog.” Consider this a guide for your next spooky Halloween-themed LA bike ride.

And this is what happens when your NASCAR competitors know you’re a passionate bicyclist, and ask for a dozen road bikes.

 

Morning Links: People Protected LA recruiting, mistaking bike path for a freeway, and ducking a flying deer

People Protected LA — the group behind LA’s first people protected bike lane — is continuing to organize, and inviting everyone to sign up for future events.

If you’re as angry as I am about the failed state of bicycling and Vision Zero in Los Angeles, it’s definitely worth a few moments of your time to support a group that’s finally bringing bike activism back to the City of Angels.

Photo from People Protected LA Twitter account.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An Ohio semi driver somehow mistook a bike path for a freeway onramp.

https://twitter.com/ColumbusPolice/status/1047845350550241283

………

I’ve been bitten by a deer fly, and it didn’t look anything like that. A North Carolina driver hit a deer, nearly knocking it into a group of bicyclists headed in the other direction.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Dublin cab driver chases down a bike rider, cutting into the bike lane and climbing a sidewalk trying to run him down.

Which led to this heartbreaking and infuriating statement from a local advocacy group.

That is absolutely outrageous. Driver needs to go to jail and should never be able to drive a public service vehicle again.

This is where the anti-cyclist media narrative is leading us. Many drivers now consider cyclists subhuman.

We’ve been dehumanized. We’re vermin.

………

Local

The LACBC will take a haunting pre-Halloween Sunday Funday ride this weekend.

How to navigate LA’s ever-increasing transportation options.

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is hosting a panel discussion on bike law with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass on October 18th.

Santa Monica-based Bird gets serious about advocacy, hiring the executive director of New York’s groundbreaking Transportation Alternatives to be its new director of safety policy and advocacy.

If you didn’t get enough open streets at last week’s CicLAvia — or just want a calmer experience — Santa Monica’s annual COAST open streets event will take place this Sunday, closing over two miles of city streets to motor vehicles. And opening them up for everyone else.

 

State

No surprise here. The CHP reports men are eight times more likely to die in a bicycling collision than women. In part simply because there are more men on bikes, and they’re more likely to ride riskier roads.

Plans for a road diet on the Coast Highway through Leucadia are headed to the Coastal Commission for approval, despite opposition from angry homeowners.

San Francisco bike advocates take a tour of safety improvements which promise to tame a deadly street.

A 20-year old Sonoma County man was sentenced to three-years probation and ordered to stay away from the bike path where he randomly punched a man riding his bike past a homeless camp.

Lodi officials decided not to buy an abandoned railroad bridge that could have served as the basis for a rail-to-trail conversion, saying there are better and cheaper options available.

Tragic news from Chico, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike after allegedly crossing traffic and failing to yield to an oncoming vehicle.

 

National

High priced titanium water bottle cages for weight weenies.

Bicycling explains how to ship your bike in three easy steps.

Outside looks at seven quirky, under-the-radar races worth the entry fee, including Folsom’s Rodeocross.

A writer from my hometown university says if you want to enjoy the benefits of a bike-friendly campus, you gotta obey the rules.

A candidate for Denver mayor blames the city’s traffic problems on bike lanes. Someone should tell him Denver’s traffic sucked when I lived their 30 years ago, before there were any.

A Colorado letter writer basically says, “I’m not biased against bikes. Just the people who ride them.”

Streetsblog says the reason Crain’s Business owner and anti-bike crank Ken Crane and others are so angry about Detroit’s new bike lanes is because they’re used to speeding through the city from their suburban commutes. Sort of like the angry Manhattan Beach commuters who forced the removal of the Playa del Rey road diets and bike lanes.

No, a New York court didn’t side with a fallen bicyclist, they convicted the driver. That’s not how criminal cases work.

A Philadelphia public radio station examines the bureaucratic nightmare of building a bike network.

It just gets worse and worse. An Op-Ed by the editor of a far-right Maryland website starts by calling the decision of the mayor of Annapolis to install a contraflow bike lane “reckless and an abuse of the authority bestowed upon him.” Then devolves into a diatribe against bike lanes and bicyclists in general.

 

International

A Calgary roundtable discusses why other people are jerks on the road.

A ten-year old English girl raised the equivalent of over $500 for a cancer charity by riding her bike 10 miles around town.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has left Bike Biz, the bike industry publication he founded 22 years ago; he’ll now be covering the transportation beat for Forbes.

Edinburgh is installing Quonset hut-style bike lockers throughout the city to provide secure bike parking, but charging users more than drivers pay to park in outlying areas. We could use some of those here in Los Angeles. Without the stiff user fees.

Now that’s more like it. Paris has installed over 900 security cameras to catch motorists who drive or park in bike lanes and paths. We could use some of those, too.

Talk about blaming the victim. After an Israeli ebike rider was killed in a hit-and-run, police try to shift the blame to the friend whose bike he was sharing — even though the driver, a professional soccer player, was five times over the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested a short time later.

A New Zealand study suggests the country should be more like the United States than the United Kingdom when it comes to setting speed limits for ebikes, setting speeds at 20 mph rather than the European limit of 15 mph.

New Zealand officials urge a hit-and-run bicyclist to turn himself in after crashing into a toddler while riding on the sidewalk, breaking the boy’s leg in two places. Seriously, bike riders who crash into someone have as much responsibility to stop as drivers do. Not to mention a moral obligation not to be a total schmuck.

A three-year old Japanese strider bike rider gives a lesson sportsmanship.

 

Competitive Cycling

From disgraced doper to legal dope dealer to team owner. America’s least well known ex-Tour de France winner is forming a new Continental-level cycling team with his share of the money he got from the fed’s settlement with the other one.

Apparently, retired pro Alberto Contador is giving Phil Gaimon a little competition for the worst retirement ever, taking the KOM for a legendary Vuelta climb.

Pro cyclists Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt will turn into bike tourists after Saturday’s Il Lombardia classic, bike packing 600 miles back home to Belgium.

VeloNews profiles lone wolf cyclist Justin Williams, who gave up on the traditional cycling model when his latest team folded last year, and now competes in whatever race and format he damn well pleases, while running a development squad for young black and Hispanic riders from South LA.

Former world champ Peter Sagan was called an idiot after writing that he had repeatedly bashed a competitor’s wheel during Paris-Roubaix in a failed attempt to straighten his handlebars.

 

Finally…

Call it gymnastics on two wheels. When you need a good cuppa joe, you can always head to your local bike shop. Or shoe shop, for that matter.

And a London bicyclist says drivers are right, we really are that bad.

 

Morning Links: Arrest in Valbuena hit-and-run, adaptive bikes in the news, and who we share the roads with

Police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Jonathan Valbuena in Torrance last month.

Thirty-seven-year old Thomas Hudson was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes following a two week investigation.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Valbuena, who was described as homeless, was left to die in the street following the 5 am crash at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street.

Let’s hope the DA’s office takes this case seriously, and don’t just write it off because the victim didn’t have a home. Or was on a bicycle.

And that our state legislators finally do something to stop this murderous epidemic.

………

Today’s common theme is adaptive riding.

Bicycling profiles handcycle mountain biker Jeremy McGhee, who has developed a rating system for mountain bike trails accessible to adaptive riders. But then they don’t bother to, you know, link to it.

After losing the use of his own legs, a Colorado framebuilder switched his focus to building one-of-a-kind adaptive mountain bikes to bring wheelchair-bound riders back to the trails.

A Pittsburgh paraplegic is preparing to make an attempt to set a new record for the most miles traveled by handcycle in 24 hours.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An allegedly drunk, off-duty Lyft driver takes a wide, fast turn onto Sunset Blvd, and takes out a handful of people standing on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey a Go Go.

Then there’s this guy.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a British driver with eight previous convictions for distracted driving killed a bike rider moments after reading a text. And just weeks after magistrates agreed to let him keep his license.

Maybe those magistrates should be looking for a new line of work.

………

Get your zen on with mesmerizing drone footage of bicyclists rounding a roundabout in bike-friendly Davis.

………

Women on Wheels rides to brunch in the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

Maybe they’ll bring me back something from Donut Man. Not that I could actually eat it or anything.

………

Damn.

This punishment pass from the UK is about the closest I’ve ever seen without actually hitting someone.

………

Local

A motion by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield would revoke regulations that have officially taken 374 LA streets off the books, preventing some of them from getting repaved since 1934.

NIMBY pressure group Fix the City settled a lawsuit that had stopped plans for a Frank Geary designed complex on Sunset Blvd; the group had somehow sued to preserve a dangerous right turn slip lane at Sunset and Crescent Heights that puts pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at needless risk.

Lyft is teaming with LADOT to sponsor a promotion to get you out of your car for 30 days. Shouldn’t be a problem; I haven’t driven mine for 285 days, give or take. Although if you’re just going to move to a ride hailing service, it doesn’t accomplish much.

Good news for South Bay bicyclists, as bike-friendly former Long Beach city councilmember Suja Lowenthal has taken over as city manager for Hermosa Beach.

 

State

The Folsom History Museum is offering new exhibits combining bicycles and beer. Or you could just ride your bike to your favorite microbrewery.

 

National

A City Lab Op-Ed proposes the concept of Universal Basic Mobility, based on the idea that everyone has a right to get around — for a price.

A business writer considers the inevitable conflicts between mountain bikers and trail runners as a metaphor for resolving business conflicts. Although from his description, I get the feeling he doesn’t know enough regular bike riders.

Gear Junkie looks at the latest ebikes on display at Reno’s recent Interbike show.

A Colorado letter writer makes the point that even when a bike lane is empty, it’s “reducing congestion and aggravation for transportation users of all kinds.”

Now that’s a ciclovía. Colorado Springs CO is closing the spectacularly beautiful Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark to motor vehicles this Sunday, replacing the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic with people on foot and bikes.

An Idaho man spends a late fall Sunday riding a little too fast past bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone Park.

Boston is working to improve its bike infrastructure, including a new two-way centerline bike lane, protected intersections and bicycle traffic signals.

No bias here. The NYPD continues to target immigrant delivery people riding banned throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than the restaurants they work for, despite the mayor’s promises and in violation of the city’s ordinance governing ebikes.

A bike-riding New York councilmember discusses her proposal to require crews to provide bike lane detours around construction sites. We could really use a similar law here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina bicyclists are warning each other to be careful after a bike rider was hit by an object thrown from a passing car.

A Louisiana parish responds to the collision that killed a bicycling Baton Rouge city councilmember by adopting an anti-bike “bike safety” law requiring bicyclists to wear flouro hi-viz and ride single file in groups of ten or less. None of which would have prevented the crash that killed him. Or likely the next one, for that matter.

 

International

Talk about not getting it. A Montreal letter writer says a ghost bike should be installed in front of city hall to remind politicians to “curb inappropriate cycling behavior to prevent hogging the road.” Which is not exactly what ghost bikes are for.

Bike riders and pedestrians will be included in a small class of vulnerable road users as Nova Scotia updates its traffic regulations for the first time since 1932.

No, removing bike parking from an English train station is not an “improvement.”

Scottish blogger Town Mouse gets a bad case of the speed wobbles.

Paris will now ban cars from the entire city center on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, to improve air quality and share public spaces.

The mayor of an Istanbul neighborhood is doing more than encouraging people to people get out of their cars and bike to work; he gave up his own official car and is using a bike to get to and from appointments.

An Indian cycling club will try to set a new record for the longest line of moving bicyclists; the current record of 1,186 bicyclists is held by Bangladesh.

A Sikh cyclist is challenging an Indian randonneuring ride’s requirement for all riders to wear a helmet, since that would mean removing the turban he’s required to wear by his faith.

Australian bicyclists are angry that two of the most popular riding routes have been bumped off plans for promised bike infrastructure, leaving thousands of bike riders on their own every day.

Australia’s eight-time world BMX champ Caroline Buchanan took time off from training in California to marry boyfriend Barry Nobles at Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Japanese police explain how a wanted man was able to hide in plain sight by posing as a bike tourist in Osaka Prefecture for seven weeks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The barren dirt slopes of Afghanistan are witnessing the birth of an equal opportunity mountain biking movement; 40% of the cyclists in a recent race were women.

Women’s cycling will visit the UK’s north for the first time next year, with the three-day Tour of Scotland.

Hard-hitting piece from Canadian cyclist Devaney Collier, as she explains why she’s still afraid to leave her home for training rides, two years after her teammate Ellen Watters was killed in a collision.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bakfiets when you can just subscribe to one? Your wait for a gold-plated track bike is finally over.

And the best drink mix for every type of ride.

And no, margarita mix isn’t one of them.

 

Morning Links: LA’s first people protected bike lane protests Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ineffective Vision Zero

About damn time.

Bike activism finally returned to the mean streets of Los Angeles, with the city’s first people protected bike lane, courtesy of a new group calling itself People Protected LA.

Their message, “LA needs safe streets, not lip service.”

Which is exactly what they got in remarks from LA’s mayor, who took a break from his unannounced campaign for president to defend the city’s Vision Zero program at the annual convention of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO.

According to LAist,

Speaking at the conference Tuesday, Garcetti said the city has implemented “over 1,200 Vision Zero improvements” but said he recognizes that not all of them will work out as planned…

“They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s not done yet, people are still dying’,” Garcetti said. “Well, we had a 7 percent reduction last year (and a) double-digit reduction in pedestrians this year — those are real people that are still living. You can’t quantify who they are, but that is worth it … because those are people who are going to be alive for decades from now because of those improvements. So our reach must always exceed our grasp.”

 

Which sounds great, if you ignore the 80% increase in pedestrian deaths over the last two years, or the six bicyclists who were killed in traffic collisions in just the first four months of this year.

Not to mention the continued failure to build the network of safe bikeways we were promised with the 2010 bike plan.

Or the cancellation of nearly every planned road diet project by frightened councilmembers, after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin by ordering the removal of the bike lanes and road diets he was fighting to protect in Playa del Rey.

Let alone Garcetti’s repeated failure to defend his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs at any of the city’s countless contentious public meetings, leaving it to bike and pedestrian advocates to do his job for him.

Which makes a protest like yesterday’s people protected bike lane almost inevitable.

And necessary.

This is how a press release from the organizers of the people protected bike lane addressed the protest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 and set a goal for 2017 of a 20% reduction in traffic deaths. Instead, Los Angeles has seen a 34% increase in traffic deaths. Last year, 245 Angelenos were tragically killed in traffic collisions. LADOT has determined that speed is the primary factor causing unnecessary loss of life, and that improvements to roadway infrastructure are critical in reducing deadly speeding, yet proposed projects like North Figueroa Street, 7th Street, Fletcher Drive, Manchester Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Temple Street, and Venice Boulevard have languished or been cancelled outright.

Up to this point, LA’s Vision Zero program has been a major disappointment.

And to be perfectly honest, so has the mayor for the past few years.

Let’s hope he gets the message, and refocuses his attention on the people and the city that elected him.

And finally turns Vision Zero into the transformative, life saving program we were promised.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers more on Garcetti’s remarks and the protest, saying LA’s mayor doesn’t “appear to have used his considerable influence to help councilmembers to better embrace Vision Zero.”

No, he hasn’t.

All photos by Michael MacDonald.

………

Tragic news from Rialto, where the father of a three-year old girl remains in a medically induced coma after a heartless coward crashed into his bike, and left him bleeding and barely conscious in the street.

Andy Welch was riding his bike to the market when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, laying crumpled in the street for nearly half an hour as more drivers sped by.

He was finally able to crawl to his cellphone and call for help.

This is yet another tragic reminder of California’s pervasive hit-and-run epidemic.

And the near total lack of action on the part of our elected officials, who have the power to stop it.

Yet don’t seem to recognize the problem.

………

Local

See above.

 

State

Caltrain develops a new bike plan to accommodate bicyclists, but bike riders say it doesn’t go far enough.

A San Diego writer traces the engineering mistakes and bad political decisions that turned busy Clairemont Blvd into a dangerous “stroad.” And questions whether it will be the next San Diego street to get a road diet and bike lanes, which some local residents consider a “conspiracy to make driving so difficult that we all will be forced to pedal bicycles.” They’re onto us, comrades.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist offers advice for motorists, like don’t door bike riders and signal your damn turns. Although he may not have actually said the d-word.

 

National

A writer on an automotive website says scooters are a menace, but it’s okay to feel conflicted about bikes as long as you don’t take it out on the riders.

Singletracks questions why e-mountain bikes are still fighting for acceptance in the US, despite their popularity in Europe.

A local newspaper talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner about his new Portland-area cannabis shop, and how he moved from illegal doping to legal dope.

They get it. The Denver Post says e-scooters may be a headache, but the solution is building more bike lanes to accommodate their users, while the city works on a pre-paid rental plan to get users to ditch their cars.

A bike-riding Colorado Springs CO city councilmember says the city must accommodate alternative forms of transportation.

According to a Nebraska planning professor, safe and efficient self-driving cars could block efforts to build walkable, bikeable and livable communities.

A pair of musicians stop in Ohio on their 4,300 mile tour of the US by bicycle.

The Brown University paper calls the arrival of Uber’s JUMP electric bikeshare program a giant leap for Providence RI.

A Connecticut public radio station spends an hour discussing the origins of bicycles, and how bikes helped inspire the women’s movement over century ago.

A cannabis website examines New York’s illegal bicycle weed delivery services.

 

International

A local writer describes how Bogotá’s ciclovía has become a part of life for an entire generation.

Lime scooters invade Canada.

New British government figures show the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with bicyclists reached an all-time high of 531 last year. However, despite the obvious implication, there’s no word on who was at fault in the crashes, or whether it was simply due to the increased number of people riding in the UK. That said, it’s a reminder to always use care around people on foot, who can be unpredictable and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old man from the UK just finished a 4,000 mile bike ride across the US.

Maybe its a sign of progress that bicycles are seen as a sign of progress in Armenia, as the new Prime Minister makes waves by riding the “first official state bicycle of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.”

An Indian website says now is the best time to own a bicycle, and the country’s first homegrown ebike will help you burn more calories than cash.

Israeli government ministries appear to be arguing over the best way to kill the ebike boom.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. Mountain biking ancient Moroccan Berber trails.

Australian drivers — and some bicyclists — have a meltdown after someone posted a photo of a group of riders using the traffic lane, rather than the bike lane next to them.

A wanted Japanese criminal hid in plain sight during seven weeks on the run, touring the country by bike and posing for Facebook photos.

An Air Force major rode 375 miles across Korea to honor fallen service members.

Mountain biking champ Rebecca Rusch won an Emmy for her documentary Blood Road, retracing the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to find the site of her pilot father’s death during the Vietnam war.

Two Chinese farmers are expanding their horizons by riding across the country one stage at a time; in the last five years their traveled over 12,400 miles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Olympian and cycling promoter David Chauner says the solution to cycling’s broken business model in the US is to develop a season long track cycling competition. Sort of like the World Cycling League he’s been trying to get off the ground, for instance.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to contend with road raging ‘roos.

And when dangerous streets mean saying goodbye like a fighter pilot going into war.

Which isn’t the least bit funny.

 

Morning Links: TAP your way to Metro Bike, comparing bike & car violations, and the war on bikes goes on

One bit of news we neglected to mention yesterday.

On Sunday, LA Metro announced that in addition to recently reduced rates, you can now use your TAP card to rent a Metro Bike bikeshare bike.

However, you still need to enroll with Metro Bike using your credit or debit card, which poses a significant barrier for lower income people who may not have either one.

It’s not clear from the announcement if TAP cards can be used for one-time walkup rentals.

TAP card photo from Metro email

………

Another good piece by Bike Snob’s Even Weiss, who says it’s time to stop comparing cycling and driving violations.

Then proceeds to do just that, to demonstrate that bicyclists and drivers both break the law, but not in equivalent ways.

And only one poses a significant risk to others.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British Columbia bicyclist captures a punishment pass on his bike cam, as a pickup driver tries to force him into the back of a parked car.

For a change, though, a cop saw the whole thing and immediately pulled the driver over.

………

We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth mentioning again.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers tend to overestimate the safety technology in their cars.

Especially when it comes to automatically detecting and braking for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Maybe because virtually every other car ad on TV implies that newer cars can do exactly that. Even though current systems have trouble actually spotting either one.

………

Local

Los Angeles is considering extending the bike lanes on Winnetka Ave to fill a one-mile gap connecting with the Orange Line, the LA River and Pierce College, after Ignacio Sanchez Navarro was killed in a hit-and-run as he rode his bike home from work last year. Naturally, local homeowners opposed the idea, with one even saying the bike lanes would lead to scooter riders on the sidewalk. Which is exactly where they are now, because of the lack of safe bike lanes. Thanks to Councilmember Bob Blumenfield for the proposal, which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin explains the new law allowing e-scooter user without a helmet, and how they can help expand student mobility.

Streetsblog offers a look back at Sunday’s CicLAvia, while Curbed looks at the “whimsical” improvements on Western that made it more inviting to the walkers and riders passing by.

CiclaValley says it will be interesting to see how the attendees at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) convention perceive Los Angeles while they’re here. Maybe they can talk some sense into our recalcitrant city council. And give our presidential candidate mayor a good swift kick in the ambition while they’re at it.

 

State

San Francisco proves that a city can take a notoriously dangerous section of street, and turn it into a safe and comfortable place to ride a bike.

Curbed considers how to get around San Francisco without a car, calling it one of the best cities for bicycling.

 

National

A Denver scooter rider got slapped by an angry pedestrian for riding on the sidewalk, even though that’s where state law requires them to be. That’s just the opposite of California, where scooter users are required to ride in the streets — but banned from streets with speed limits over 35 mph, unless they have bike lanes.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating a ciclovia this past weekend, as San Antonio TX drew an estimated 65,000 people to their open streets event.

Can’t see the traffic for the cars. Several older people in Massachusetts say that scofflaw bike riders are a bigger worry than drivers, even after an 80-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Hoping to inspire others through art and history, a Massachusetts artist paints a mural of a local bikemaker, decades after his factory was shuttered.

New York is improving safety for bicyclists by redesigning the city’s intersections, where 89% of bike collisions occur. Meanwhile, a New York councilwoman calls for maintaining bike lanes around construction zones. That would improve safety for LA bike riders, as well, who frequently find their commutes interrupted by roadside construction sites, or forced into unforgiving rush hour traffic.

The bus driver responsible for the second bikeshare death in the US faces just 30 days behind bars after being found guilty of a misdemeanor right-of-way violation for killing a man riding a New York Citi Bike; authorities had falsely blamed the victim for swerving into the bus at first. Correction: I originally wrote that this was the first bikeshare death in the US. It was actually the second, following the death of a woman using bikeshare in Chicago. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

After a Temple University student was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike, her brother invented a new kind of folding bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap “created by Space X engineers.” And raised over nine times his original $50,000 goal on a crowdfunding site.

DC’s mayor considers lowering the speed limit to 15 mph in parts of the city to improve safety, while raising fines for speeding.

A three-month temporary bike lane is already peeling off the street in New Orleans’ central business district, just weeks after it was applied.  Even with those problems, it’s an approach Los Angeles should try, instead of holding months of public meetings in front of angry NIMBYs trying to reach a virtually impossible consensus. Far better to share the stats, facts and reactions afterwards, than the fear and anger beforehand.

A Louisiana paper examines why it’s the second most dangerous state for people on bicycles, including one legislator who killed a bike safety bill because he didn’t want a kid to end up in jail for killing one of his bike riding constituents. There’s a good chance that some of his constituents might disagree, however.

 

International

Bike Radar suggests lazy ways to become a better cyclist. I can definitely get behind the recommendations to sleep more, drink a few beers and eat more cake.

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are finding solidarity online after their bikes are stolen. The fear of having your bike stolen — let alone actually happening — is the best way to halt the growth of bicycling.

A Canadian bicyclist insists that his personal study shows half of all bike riders break the law, and he’s willing to wear a license plate so all those darn scofflaw riders can have their bikes taken away.

Writing for Forbes, Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid insists ebikes aren’t cheating.

The BBC offers advice on what to do if you’re in a bike crash, ending with a suggestion to talk with a lawyer. The same advice applies on this side of the Atlantic; I can personally recommend the lawyers you’ll find on the right of this page, and you can find more on the Bike Lawyers page.

British bike riders start an online campaign to call attention to the problem of thieves stripping bike of their parts, or as they call it, half eaten bikes. Meanwhile, a London rider considers giving up bicycling after her bike was stripped for the third time.

Heartbreaking story, as an autistic boy in the UK suffered agonizing burns to his neck when bullies pelted him with “toxic slime” as he rode his bike to school.

Writing for Bike Biz, a woman questions whether the international Fancy Women Bike Ride, which got its start in Turkey, really aids the gender gap; some call it a “’patronizing and condescending’ ride ‘only reinforces stereotypes of how women should behave.’”

An experienced bike rider in Malta has given up bicycling because the roads — and the drivers on them — are becoming increasingly dangerous. And he’s got the video to prove it.

An editorial in an Indian newspaper argues that the country’s roads pose a huge risk to people’s lives, but traffic safety remains a low priorityMore proof that we face the same traffic problems everywhere.

Seriously? An Israeli paper asks how the government can tackle the rising dangers posed by ebikes — even though they’re limited to just 15 mph in the country, which is a fraction of the speed of many non-motorized riders. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for regulating electric bikes after a 17-year old ebike rider was killed by a drunk driver. Although what kind of bike he was riding wouldn’t seem to have a damn thing to do with getting run over by a drunk.

A Melbourne, Australia traffic engineer argues for converting a protected bike lane into a regular painted lane, saying that downhill protected lanes connecting with a number of driveways actually increases the danger for bike riders.

Korea considers repealing an “ineffectual” new bill requiring bike riders to wear helmets, just days after it went into effect.

 

Competitive Cycling

A late-blooming Aussie cyclist has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, despite not riding a bike until she was 24.

A roadie magazine recaps Alejandro Valverde’s victory in Sunday’s world championships, while, a VeloNews roundtable examines how we should feel about Valverde’s win, given his status as a relic of the doping era.

The organizers of Iowa’s Jingle Cross cyclocross race cut ties with the race’s announcer, after a series of sexist remarks directed towards female cyclists over the three-day event. Seriously, referring to competitors as “the wives” and telling them to smile and look like they’re having fun shows a lack of respect that shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, even in jest.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your newfound riding companion turns out to be an even bigger criminal than you. Why sit upright when you can pedal a recumbent bathtub (scroll down)?

And that feeling when Sir Paul McCartney just happens to crash your wedding photos.

Even if you don’t like the Beatles.

 

Morning Links: Another epic CicLAvia, safe bike access to LA River parks, and another deadly street payout

If you missed the Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour yesterday, you missed a long, hot and fascinating bike through LA history.

Those sites on the Militant’s tour of the CicLAvia route ranged from the Wiltern Theater…

To Jack London’s purported LA home, which actually wasn’t…

To the television home of the Cunningham family on Happy Days.

Along the CicLAvia route we were entertained by Korean Dragon Dancers…

Cool bikes and their Ridaz…

And a selfie with the Target dog, even if it looked more like a stickup.

Although it took a passing stranger to point out the globe atop the former home of the legendary RKO Pictures.

And a chance encounter along the CicLAvia route led to the first meeting of the Militant Angeleno and CiclaValley.

And everywhere there were hordes of people on bikes, boards, feet, and every other manner of non-powered conveyances and ebikes.

Here’s what a few other people saw along the CicLAvia route.

The Whittier Daily News offered their own take, saying yesterday’s Celebrate LA! CicLAvia offered a slower paced slice of the city.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley clearly demonstrates the need for CicLAvia and non-polluting forms of transportation to clear the air in Los Angeles.

And no, it doesn’t feel good knowing that’s what we were all breathing yesterday.

………

Pedal2Parks has laid out a detailed, and much-needed, case to improve safe bicycle access to state parks along the LA River.

Thanks to Jon Christensen and Steve Anderson for the heads-up.

………

Los Angeles has opened its checkbook once again, paying out $5 million to the family of a pedestrian killed while crossing a Playa del Rey street in 2016, rather than fixing deadly Vista del Mar.

That comes after the city paid out $9.5 million for the death of a 16-year old girl last year, leading to the botched rollout of lane reductions on Vista del Mar, as well as other Playa streets.

A rollout that was reversed when LA Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled the rug out from under Councilmember Mike Bonin, caving in to demands from angry pass-through drivers and traffic safety deniers.

A reversal that means the next death on the street will cost the city even more, and sending a clear message that drivers own Los Angeles streets.

A message LA councilmembers appear to have received loud and clear.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British cab driver admits on video that he gave a bike rider a punishment pass just to teach him a lesson.

A bike rider in Malta was attacked with brass knuckles following a punishment pass, for the crime of simply riding in the roadway.

………

Local

LAist says LA’s scooter wars seem eerily reminiscent of the early days of automobiles. Or the early days of bicycles, for that matter.

The Bike Laugh Heal comedy tour is coming to West Hollywood on October 14th; New York comedian Mara Marek is riding across the US to perform and raise money for survivors of domestic & sexual abuse.

Santa Clarita has officially opened a new extension of the San Francisquito Creek Trail.

If you didn’t get your fill of open streets yesterday, Santa Monica’s COAST Open Streets Event takes place this Sunday.

The Long Beach Post looks at safe streets in the city, and says it depends on where you live, ride and work.

 

State

Chino held a mini ciclovia on Saturday, closing three streets around the Chino Community Building to demonstrate what they could be.

Berkeley advocates held the city’s first people-protected bike lane protest.

 

National

No bias here. Conservative website Reason says bike ridership is down in the US, despite millions spent on bike lanes. Actually, ridership is up dramatically in cities that have built safe bicycling networks. And the declining numbers in Los Angeles are based on volunteer counts conducted by the LACBC, which are subject to the whims of weather and other factors, since the city apparently doesn’t think it’s worth it’s time to determine how many people actually ride bikes. Thanks to Tim Rutt and Eric Griswold for the head’s up. 

Bike Snob says we sold our souls to fight drunk driving, while absolving sober drivers of any responsibility for their actions.

Pro cyclists are working with the Little Bellas program to make mountain biking more accessible to young girls, and get them riding.

It only took three and a half years for a Hawaiian cop who killed a bike rider to finally go on trial for negligent homicide for killing a bicyclist while driving his squad car. And yes, that’s sarcasm.

Triple Pundit questions whether Oregon’s $15 bike tax is a fair way to support the bicycling community. It might be worth a small tax on the sale of new bikes just to shut up the people who ignorantly insist we don’t pay for the streets.

Business Insider shares the coolest gear they found at Reno’s recent Interbike trade show.

Over 2,000 cyclists take a page out of American Flyers, and ride Colorado’s legendary Tour of the Moon course.

They get it. Kansas City is removing a traffic lane and installing a month-long temporary bike and scooter lane on a street known for speeding.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $21,000 for a Chicago bike shop owner who suffered a serious brain injury falling from her bike while descending at a training camp in February. Make that over $24,000 now. 

An Illinois bike advocacy group takes issue with a recent column, arguing that bike riders are not required to hug the gutter, and shouldn’t ride drunk even if the law doesn’t specifically forbid it.

Detroit’s bike-hating curmudgeon, the publisher of Crain’s Business, is out with his latest rant, complaining that bikes are taking over the city, despite the coming winter — and despite the derision his last diatribe garnered. And that soon, we can expect bike lanes on the Freeways.

A New Hampshire woman’s response to a new parking protected bike lane had her so stressed she couldn’t sleep.

An MIT publication says secret data collected from dockless bikeshare is mapping where people actually ride.

Virginia Tech tested bike helmets to find the safest ones. And the opposite.

No shit. A North Carolina newspaper says something is seriously wrong when bike riders have to wear cameras to defend themselves from road raging drivers. And that maybe it’s time to stiffen penalties for drivers who harass bicyclists.

Florida researchers explain how media reports fail fallen bike riders.

 

International

A new study argues with a straight face that lower speed limits actually increase traffic deaths, because drivers ignore them. Meanwhile, a Canadian writer says no, lowering speed limits in residential areas is not a war on cars.

An Ontario city is considering using bicycles to speed paramedics responding to the opioid crisis.

The Daily Beast says the best way to sightsee Cuba is by bicycle. Which is usually the best way to see any city or country. 

Bristol, England is about to complete a 75-mile segregated cycling network.

You can’t make this stuff up. A British radio host has filed a complaint over an ad for one of London’s cycle superhighways — because it doesn’t show any cars in the background. Never mind that his last name is Ferrari.

UK researchers say 35% of the country’s bicyclists have had their bikes stolen.

The British dad who was riding his daughter’s tiny pink bicycle across the country in memory of the seven-year old girl who died from a brain tumor three years ago, has finished his journey after raising the equivalent of nearly $42,000.

Here’s more to add to your bike bucket list, as The Guardian recommends the top places to bike Britain.

They get it too. Australian site The Conversation says the problem isn’t dockless bikeshare, it’s the lack of adequate bike parking.

A group of Thai doctors, paramedics and people trained in first aid stand ready to respond on two wheels to medical emergencies at public events.

 

Competitive Cycling

Anna van der Breggen is your new women’s world road champ; Cycling Tips recounts the race as it happened

Alejandro Valverde finally claimed his first world championship after six podium finishes over the last 15 years.

Tom Boonen says the new junior world champ still has work to do as he makes the jump to the WorldTour. Then again, what 18-year old phenom doesn’t?

A new regulation going into effect next year will guarantee that women cyclists on the WorldTour earn the same $38,000 minimum salary as the men.

Cycling Tips’ Neal Rogers says US road cycling is in a downward spiral.

The Guardian examines the world of 24-hour bike races.

A British Paralympic champ says she races bikes at 50 mph, and doesn’t want her sight back.

Tel Aviv residents block a bike race to protest African immigrants moving into their neighborhood. Nothing racist about that. Nope. Not a thing.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we seldom have to worry about sulfuric acid spills.

And here’s a hint: If you flee the scene after hitting someone, don’t say you thought it was a deer.

That one hardly ever works.

………

Let me give a special shout out to Eric Weinstein, who was one of the earliest BikinginLA readers and supporters, and still reads this site with his coffee every day. Thanks for sticking with it!

 

Morning Links: An epic symphonic CicLAvia, the Militant Angeleno, and free JUMP Bikes through next week

This is not just another CicLAvia.

Sunday’s Celebrate LA! open streets event combines bikes and music to mark the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with an eight-mile route stretching from Downtown’s Disney Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.

Although the last part will rely on shuttle buses to transfer people to the Bowl from the western CicLAvia terminus at Franklin and Vine.

In addition to the usual CicLAvia activities, this one will feature performances from symphony members and musical guests throughout the day and all along the route.

It will also feature the first ever public appearance of the Militant Angeleno, author of the popular Militant’s Epic CicLAvia Tour, offering a guide to noteworthy sites along the route.

And this one really is epic, with sites ranging from the new tallest building in LA, to a pair of Brown Derbys.

The Militant, who guards his non-camo clad identity as carefully as legendary LA hero Zorro, will host an informal free tour along the route — cohosted by yours truly.

Though how he intends to hide it in public remains to be seen.

As for my contribution, I’ll be there to answer questions and comment on bike safety issues as they come up.

But like everyone else, I’m really just tagging along to see the Militant Angeleno, and experience CicLAvia in a whole new way.

RSVP to [email protected] if you want to join us.

I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

………

Santa Monica’s new JUMP dockless ebike bikeshare is free for the next week.

………

Long Beach Mobility & Healthy Living Programs Officer Michelle Mowery sends word that the San Gabriel River Bike Path will be closed one more time next month.

The LADWP needs one more day of bike path closure to complete their work on the power plant.  We expect the path to be closed on October 4th between 2nd Street and 7th Street (California State Highway 22) from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Hopefully this will be the last time it’s necessary.

………

Local

A Los Angeles man was sentenced to three years probation and a $550 fine for scooting under the influence; he fled the scene after crashing into a pedestrian with a BAC over three times the legal limit.

Streetsblog says the missing sharrows have returned to 4th Street. The residential street is a popular route for bike riders headed to and from Downtown. Fourth Street was supposed to become a bike boulevard, but former Councilmember Tom LaBonge backed down in the face of local opposition to installing a red light.

 

State

Palo Alto will honor a former councilwoman who set the city on a bike friendly path.

 

National

A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says better car design could prevent pedestrian deathsAnd bike riders, too.

Now that’s my kind of state. The most Googled search term in Colorado is “Tour de France.” Which beats the hell out of Ohio’s “Ken Doll Man Bun.”

Seriously? A New Hampshire newspaper says converting a traffic lane on a bridge to a bike and pedestrian lane is a bad idea — even though it would only slow peak rush hour traffic five to ten mph below the posted speed limit.

A Nashville trauma surgeon urges scooter riders to wear a helmet, while a Massachusetts doctor says it’s irresponsible to offer bikeshare without also providing bike helmets. And that ebikes endanger everyone on the local bike path.

The New York Yankees are the only major league team that won’t allow bike helmets into the stadium, forcing riders to either go without one or rent a locker across from the stadium for $20 a game.

Shades of Los Angeles. DC bicyclists and councilmembers complain about the mayor’s Vision Zero plan, saying there’s no sense of urgency and the city isn’t doing enough to save lives; the head of the Department of Transportation says updating the Vision Zero website is just “too labor intensive.”

An Alabama YouTuber explains how to get a Walmart bike that doesn’t suck much.

The Tampa Bay newspaper insists the area isn’t really the nation’s most dangerous place for bicyclists, regardless of what the Wall Street Journal says.

Apparently it’s open season on bike riders and pedestrians in the nation’s second most dangerous city for bicyclists, with seven people hit by drivers in Jacksonville in just the last two days.

 

International

Canada’s Banff National Park considers lowering the speed limit to the equivalent of 18 mph to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

Seven of the eight candidates for mayor of Winnipeg voiced their support for bike lanes and boosting active transportation.

No bias here. A Montreal pedestrian looks at bicyclists from a decidedly sidewalk perspective, saying she’s sick and tired of dealing with scofflaw cyclists on the sidewalk. Never mind that people don’t ride their bikes on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the street.

An advocacy group on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says licensing bicyclists isn’t the way to improve safety.

There’s a special place in hell anyone who’d punch an 80-year old British man after being told bikes aren’t allowed on a pedestrian path.

This is why you always need to carry ID when you ride. Authorities in the UK are trying to identify a 70-year old man who died of a heart attack while riding his bike last week.

NPR examines the proposal to ban phones on bikes in the Netherlands.

A Polish city is opening a six and a half mile, four lane bike highway, allowing bike riders to travel at speed up to 30 mph. Can we have that here? Pretty please?

Korean police are preparing to crack down on bicycling under the influence; under a new law, anyone riding a bike with a BAC of just .05 will be subject to a $27 fine. Which could be as little as two drinks for someone under 150 pounds.

A J-pop star faces charges for a drunken hit-and-run that injured a bicyclist and a pedestrian; the former singer with Japanese girl group Morning Musume turned herself in to Tokyo police 15 minutes after the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eighteen-year old rising Belgian star Remco Evenepoel overcame an early crash to win the junior road cycling world championship; he won the junior time trial title earlier in the week. Although just days after he asked not to be called the next Eddy Merckx, that’s exactly what the Telegraph did in that last link.

A pair of quad-tandem teams from Great Britain and Canada are racing from Portland to San Francisco to raise money for mental health programs.

A bike race took 45 competitors over 6,000 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on solar-powered ebikes.

Former Vuelta and Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich faces yet another assault allegation for attacking a man at the Hamburg airport, as he was preparing to fly to the US for rehab. Which clearly can’t come soon enough.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike bell when you can put a 100 decibel siren on your handlebars. And walking on water may be a miracle, but biking on it isn’t anymore.

 

Morning Links: Phil Gaimon pens his own obituary, balance bike parking, and Bike the Vote endorsements

Take a few moments, right now, and read this hard-hitting piece from Phil Gaimon, who narrowly avoided being turned into road kill by a salmon driver speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road.

Just like the squirrel he passed several minutes later after he composed himself.

Of course, the squirrel did dart into traffic and he’ll get no mention in the local paper, but if I’d shared his fate I expect that would be the headline for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that this probably is how I’ll die someday and I’m choosing to still do it, but I’d like to set the record straight here. When I die on my bicycle, I didn’t do anything erratic and I didn’t make a mistake. I’m an expert at bike riding, I did it for a living among the best in the world for years, and in my retirement I ride cautiously because I had enough broken bones when it was my job. When I die it’s because of some asshole not paying attention, speeding, texting, or both, on roads where there’s no infrastructure or room for error, and most likely there won’t be much of a punishment. I’m dead, so at least they can get the story right.

I’ve long thought the same thing as Phil Gaimon describes.

Odds are, when I finally meet my maker — which hopefully will be a very long time from now — it will happen on a bike.

Not because bicycling is dangerous, but because I’ve spent far more time on my bike than I have doing anything else. And plan to continue as long as I’m able to remain upright and turn a pedal.

But now that I live it Hollywood, it seems even more likely, thanks to streets filled with aggressive and distracted drivers. Along with a near total lack of bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

Like Gaimon, I fully expect to be blamed if that ever happens.

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

That’s why I use a bike cam when I ride, so I’ll have proof I didn’t run a red light or stop sign, or suddenly suicide swerve out in front of traffic.

It’s cold comfort.

But to will have to do until Los Angeles finally gets serious about Vision Zero.

And finally commits to building the bike plan its already committed to.

………

On a happier note, this tweet gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in weeks.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Get ready to bike the vote this November, as Calbike offers its endorsements in the coming election.

Interesting to note that all but one of the legislative candidates they endorse supports using clean transportation financial incentives for bike purchases.

Which translates to giving rebate to encourage people to buy bicycles, ebikes or otherwise. And actually use them to replace car trips.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released their own voter guide for the LA area. Nice to see my own Assembly Member made the list.

………

Local

A new study ranks the 20 most congested cities in the US; for a change, Los Angeles wasn’t at the top of the list. In fact, LA ranked seventh, behind Chicago and ahead of Seattle.

It’s a busy bike weekend in DTLA this week, with CicLAvia rolling on Sunday, and the Bike! Bike! conference Thursday through Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park; Bike! Bike! is intended to bring bike owners, bicycle shops and bike groups together to “workshop new ideas and methods to advocate for urban bicyclists.”

Community stakeholders conducted a “slow jam” on Temple Street, where limited safety improvements are underway after Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell combined to kill a desperately needed road diet on the dangerous street. Although the improvements might help people on foot, it’s not a Complete Street unless it safely accommodates people on two wheels, as well.

Streetsblog visits the new purple curb extensions on the Pico Blvd Great Streets project. But how great can it really be without bike lanes?

CiclaValley races his wife from Westwood to the San Fernando Valley, pitting bike against car. You can guess who won.

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Cameron Smyth explains why you should ride in the city, and explains how Santa Clarita’s Heads-Up traffic safety campaign applies to people on bicycles.

 

State

Unsafe routes to schools. A mother and her eight-year old son were lucky to escape with minor injuries when a turning driver struck their tandem bike while they were riding to school. Police said the driver couldn’t see because he had the sun in his eyes, which makes it okay, right?

The Ventura County Star says it’s time to stop the madness, and do what you can to clean the air by car-pooling, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

San Francisco’s new mayor called on the city to speed up Vision Zero safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be nice if LA’s mayor would say the same thing. But don’t hold your breath.

 

National

A new AAA study shows 80% of drivers overestimate the technical capabilities of their car’s safety devices, especially the ability to detect bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because every other car commercial shows them doing exactly that.

Uber has announced a $10 million fund to advocate for congestion pricing and charging stations for dockless ebikes near transit stations.

Bicycling offers 30 bike hacks every bicyclist should know. As long as you’re willing to put up with their annoying click-through format that only shows one item at a time.

Seattle bike commuting is down to its lowest level since 2007; just 2.8% of city residents rode to work last year, down from 3.5% the year before.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Iowa woman faces a 1st degree murder charge for stalking a man who accused her of stealing, and using her car as a weapon to intentionally run him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot, while driving under the influence.

Michigan’s new three-foot passing law goes into effect today.

A road raging Ohio lawyer lost his license to practice for a year — make that six months — after he brake checked a bike rider, and stomped the cellphone of a physician who stopped to record the incident. He also skipped out on the court hearing for the misdemeanor he ended up charged with, leading to his later arrest and conviction.

Seriously? It will now cost DC drivers who park in a bike lane three times as it does to door a bike rider under the city’s new Vision Zero laws; meanwhile, a bicyclist who hits a pedestrian crossing the street will be fined $150, but just $100 for hitting someone walking on a sidewalk.

A DC council member says the city has to do more to protect bike and scooter riders, including building protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, an advocacy site says it’s been just two days since a driver killed someone biking, walking or scooting in DC.

A Tampa FL columnist says a proposed transportation sale tax, which would reserve 12% of funds for bike and pedestrian projects, is a good start to change the city’s ranking as the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders.

 

International

This is the cost of traffic violence. A promising young Canadian ballet student was killed in a collision on Sunday.

No bias here. A deputy mayor on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says requiring bike riders to attach a license plate to their bike or helmets would make the city friendlier to bicyclists. No, really.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard says bicycling must be made safer after decades of half-hearted attempts.

Members of an Oxford, England men’s choir will ride 100 miles to Wales to remember their roots as descendants of Welsh residents who moved to Oxford during the Great Depression.

This is who we share the roads with. A British motorcyclist records a road raging minicab driver running over his parked bike after he got off to confront the man. But the motorcycle rider was no angel, either, kicking and hitting the car after threatening to break the driver’s skull.

An American Vietnam vet with an Ivy League education gave up his life in this county to live as a hermit in Ireland, using his bicycle to get around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines the superstitions and rituals of the pro peloton, and concludes they might give riders a mental edge.

An 18-year old Belgian cyclist insists he’s not the next Eddy Merckx, as he prepares to make the leap from the junior ranks to the WorldTour next year.

Canada’s “starry girl cyclist” of the 1930’s is being inducted into the country’s Cycling Hall of Fame, after a riding career spent leaving fellow riders and stereotypes in her wake.

After years of misfortune, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis claimed the world champ’s rainbow jersey in the event.

 

Finally…

Before you complain online about a bike riding mom and her child, make sure you’re right.

And when a cop right hooks a bike rider, it’s just a “momentary lapse in attention.”

Right.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

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