Tag Archive for 4th Street bike boulevard

Morning Links: KPCC calls LaBonge a bike advocate, CicLAvia rolls, Kerry breaks a leg and Hövding sort of works

KPCC offered an hour long show to celebrate bicycling in Los Angeles over the weekend.

Okay, 45 minutes without station breaks.

It’s worth a listen; Cyclelicious breaks down the program, and archives the full hour if you’d rather hear the whole thing.

But in a major WTF moment, they interviewed outgoing Councilmember Tom LaBonge, discussing his support for bicycling, while acknowledging in passing that some bike advocates would disagree with that assessment.

Or how about, virtually all bike advocates would disagree.

While LaBonge has been a supporter of recreational riding, including completion of the LA River path, he seems unable to comprehend that some people have an actual need to get from here to there on the streets of LA, on two wheels and in one piece.

Like Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo before him, LaBonge has personally halted plans for vital bikeways contained in the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council.

Which means he was for it before he was against it.

For instance, Lankershim Blvd was supposed to have a bike lane by now.

But LaBonge agreed with at least one neighborhood group that bikes belong on nearby Vineland instead, a quieter street that parallels Lankershim. Although the real issue isn’t giving cyclists a more serene street to ride, but rather, preserving traffic lanes and street parking along the dangerous boulevard.

Never mind bike riders need to go to the same places drivers do, and that shunting them aside merely forces them to ride further and bypass places where they might otherwise do business.

Or that bike lanes have been shown to help calm traffic and improve safety for everyone. And that businesses usually benefit by having a calmer, more walkable and rideable street passing by their storefronts, encouraging people to stop in rather than speed by.

LaBonge is also responsible for the death of the long-planned bike boulevard — excuse me, bike friendly street neighborhood greenway — on 4th Street.

Local residents objected, not to plans for a bike boulevard, but the idea of traffic lights at Highland and Rossmore that would allow riders to cross the busy streets safely, fearing that drivers would use the quiet side street to bypass busier streets on either side.

Instead of explaining that the planned traffic lights would be a demand lights that would only work if someone pushed a button on the side of the road, or that traffic diverters would keep motorists from driving more than a few blocks on 4th — or any of the other options that would have improved safety and livability for everyone along the corridor — LaBonge simply killed the whole thing.

Leaving both bike riders and local residents worse off.

As the program touched on, he’s also one of the prime movers trying to force a pedestrian-unfriendly Glendale-Hyperion bridge through the city council before he leaves office.

And before the less auto-centric David Ryu can replace him.

That’s not to say LaBonge isn’t a likable person, or that he’s not the closest thing to a cheerleader the City of Angels has had in years. In fact, he’d be the perfect choice to replace the late Johnny Grant as the honorary mayor of Hollywood.

But he’s been a mediocre and unpopular councilmember at best, which is one of the primary reasons his protégé Carolyn Ramsay lost to Ryu in the recent council race to replace him.

And he has been the enemy of anyone forced to ride the unwelcoming streets in his district. Something KPCC should have considered before allowing LaBonge to celebrate himself on the air.

Let’s hope Ryu will revive some of those projects LaBonge sent to an early death.

And that KPCC will do something like this again. But talk to a few more real bike advocates first.

……..

Pasadena police estimate attendance at Sunday’s CicLAvia at just 40,000, which would make it the lowest attended of any CicLAvia.

However, as Henry Fung points out, that’s most likely an estimate of the crowd at any given time, rather than the attendance for the full day, as people came and went throughout the day. The actual attendance was probably two or three times that.

The Source offers some truly great photos of the day, as does the Times, although the responses to the Time’s piece are sadly predictable. And while Boyonabike proclaimed the day potentially subversive, his son termed it awesome-tacular.

The next official CicLAvia will take place August 9th with a route along Venice and Washington Boulevards from Culver City to the coast. Hopefully, the redesigned and shortened route will avoid the problems with 2013’s CicLAvia to the Sea, which resulted in bike traffic jams that rivaled the 405 at rush hour.

But if you can’t wait that long, you’re in luck. Because Long Beach is hosting its first ciclovía on Atlantic Avenue this Saturday.

……..

Calbike calls on everyone to call your state legislators to urge support for more active transportation funding.

……..

Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg while riding in France. Kerry is said to be an exceptional cyclist, even if some people who clearly don’t have a clue say he’s too old to ride a bike; I know some people who might disagree.

The question is what effect his injury will have on current international negotiations, including efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

On the other hand, who goes out for a bike ride with a motorcade, including physician, in tow?

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the second link.

……..

Bike Radar tries out that Hövding inflatable bike non-helmet, which surprisingly enough, seems to actually work.

Although if you watch carefully, the side of her head impacts the mattress before the helmet moves around to protect it. Which could result in serious injury if you don’t happen to fall on bedding.

……..

No surprise from the Giro d’Italia as Contador cruises to an easy victory, setting up a chance to try for rare back-to-back victories in the Giro and Tour de France. The breakout star of the tour has been Astana’s Fabio Aru, who may get a shot at the TdF as a result.

And VeloNews looks at how the young American contingent faired.

……..

Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tonight at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave; you can find tonight’s agenda here. The BAC is the only official voice in the city government for bike riders, even if most LA cyclists don’t even know it exists. Correction: earlier I misidentified the location of the meeting; the address above is the correct location.

Streetsblog is the latest to complain about scofflaw cops parking in the bike lane near the old Parker Center police headquarters.

Architect Michael Maltzan’s squiggle is turning into a new 6th Street Viaduct, complete with circular bike ramps to lift riders up to the crossing while providing views of LA.

Caught on video: The first green-backed sharrows come to Venice.

David Beckham teaches his three-year old daughter how to ride a bike. And without training wheels, no less.

 

State

Orange County rescue teams had a busy day on Sunday, as they came to the aid of three mountain bike riders injured in separate incidents.

A 68-year old Los Angeles woman suffered a serious head injury when she was hit by a cyclist while crossing a street in Del Mar. Let’s hope she makes a full and fast recovery. And always give pedestrians the right-of-way; they’re the only ones on the street more vulnerable than we are.

An Oceanside road diet and roundabout designed to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians has received a third engineering design award. Awards are nice, but the real test is whether it reduces conflicts and collisions.

Competitive mountain biking is spreading throughout California high schools; the Union-Tribune offers a nice look at a budding team from an Escondido high school.

Goldenvoice, the company behind the Coachella music festival, has offered to pay the maintenance costs for the Coachella Valley’s planned 50-mile bike and pedestrian path.

San Luis Obispo police bust a bike burglar in a stolen van after a brief chase; inside they found six high-end bicycles valued at over $40,000 stolen in a break-in at a local bike shop.

San Francisco officials hope to get a change in state law to allow speed cameras to automatically ticket speeding drivers. LA should get behind the bill, as well; we’ll never meet Vision Zero goals if LA drivers continue to be allowed, if not expected, to speed with impunity.

 

National

Okay, so don’t try to fix potholes yourself.

Next City asks when the US will embrace truck side guards to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safer.

Bicycling’s Elly Blue discusses the potentially burning question of how to drink coffee while you ride.

Vox discusses how to get more people biking and walking to work.

Portland cyclists ride to demand no more ghost bikes, while a local website asks if biking in the bike friendly city is getting more dangerous.

Yes, it’s upsetting to get into an argument after crashing into jaywalking pedestrian. But don’t pull out a knife and stab the other man multiple times; a Seattle man faces assault charges for doing exactly that.

A Colorado woman is riding from Denver to Anchorage to raise funds for Nepal earthquake victims.

Wyoming police are on the lookout for a suspected hit-and-run driver who injured a bike rider, but that doesn’t stop him from venting on Facebook. Seriously, anything you say on social media can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Houston cyclists were involved in at least 950 vehicle collisions in a 12-month period since the city approved a three-foot passing law; at least 213 of those were hit-and-run. Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA problem.

A Minnesota driver warns about the dangers of distracted driving, after serving a whole six months for the death of a bike riding mother pulling her two daughters in a bicycle trailer; he’ll serve another three months in each of the next two years.

This is why so-called pranks aren’t funny. A 72-year old Ohio bicyclist was blinded in one eye when he was shot with a paintball gun by a passenger in a passing car; a 20-year old man faces a felony assault charge in the case. This is also one more example why you should always wear eye protection when you ride.

In a bizarre twist of fate, a North Carolina cyclist considers giving up bicycling after he’s the victim of a hit-and-run, five years to the day after he was severely injured in another hit-and-run while riding.

 

International

Sad news from up north, as an impaired British Columbia driver plowed into a group of three cyclists, killing two, as well as a passenger in his own vehicle.

Vancouver’s move to better bike infrastructure has resulted in a doubling in ridership since 2008.

An Edmonton man gets his knickers in a twist after he’s denied entry to a bike co-op on a women and transgender night.

Prepare to get pissed off. An Ottawa judge rules a driver not guilty of hit-and-run because he was… wait for it… too drunk to know he’d hit a bike rider. He also got off on a separate drunk driving charge because police allegedly violated his rights when he was arrested.

English police warn about yet another attempt to injure cyclists by stringing wires at neck level across a bikeway.

A British group is raising funds to put women’s bike racing on TV on a weekly basis.

Caught on video: A road raging Brit driver has a foul mouthed meltdown, threatening to eat a bike rider for breakfast for failing to use a nearly unrideable bikeway. Somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Or maybe lived it.

Apparently not caught on video was the road raging British Brompton rider who grabbed another bicyclist by the throat and pushed him into the bushes.

Maybe it’s time to take a bike tour through the heel of Italy’s boot. Or perhaps you’d prefer to ride along the Danube. Or just retire to ride around the world.

On the other hand, this is the risk we face in today’s world, as a Chinese bike tourist is being held hostage by a Taliban group in Pakistan.

Who knew Dubai was becoming bike friendly? The emirate has constructed 110 miles of cycle tracks spanning the country.

An Aussie woman writes about what it’s like to live with a cyclist and worry about her partner’s safe return. Which is why my wife doesn’t want to know what happens on my rides anymore.

A Japanese prefecture now requires bike riders to carry liability insurance.

Hong Kong cyclists push to make the city bike friendly, while the city seems to move in the opposite direction.

 

Finally…

When a Toronto man left his $2,500 Dutch cargo bike at the airport, a maintenance crew tossed it in the trash; fortunately, a worker rescued it and returned it to its owner. Does a wrist-held smartwatch come under the ban for using hand-held devices while driving?

And yes, riding a bike can be very exciting, as a participant in a UK edition of the World Naked Bike Ride was removed by police for becoming a little too aroused during the event.

 

Oroville driver “humorously” admits to assaulting cyclists with a deadly weapon.

In a recent newspaper column, an Oroville driver unwittingly confesses to assault with a deadly weapon after deliberately running riders off the road.

Except from her windshield-warped perspective, it’s their own damn fault for being in her way.

And for wearing spandex, evidently.

As Kyra Gottesman relates the story, she came upon the sight of the hideous and seemingly suicidal cyclists as she rounded a blind corner, only to spot them riding in the road ahead of her. And then takes offense when they politely signal for her to pass, rather getting the hell off the road as she assumes any sane person would do.

I was towing my horse trailer uphill with absolutely no way to see around the corner for oncoming traffic when I came upon a cyclist herd (six in all) whose clothing and rear ends were equally horrifying.

Note to Ms Gottesman: As someone who grew up driving the narrow winding roads and blind corners of the Rocky Mountains, I would suggest that if you can’t see what’s in the road directly ahead of you, it’s time to slow the hell down for chrissakes.

While the affront of their appearance was distressing what was even more disturbing was their absolute lack of concern for their lives or mine. They neither pulled over nor stopped. Rather, they imperiously waved me around them.

So she proceeds to respond as she disturbingly assumes any sensible person would do. And runs them off the road.

Then blows kisses as they flip her off.

I didn’t have time to ask any of these questions in person, though I would have been curious to hear their answers. Instead I continued with the only option I had — upward and onward. This forced them to swerve to the side, stop their bikes and give their poor tired legs a rest, though most of them decided to exercise their middle fingers. I smiled, blew kisses and gave them the Princess Di wave and continued on my way.

Seriously, the audacity of those people. Why on earth would bike riders be so rude as to make crude gestures just because someone deliberately violated the vehicle code and threatened their lives and safety?

And never mind that she didn’t have time to slow down or stop, but had plenty of time to observe their reactions and wave as she passed/

Then she discovers that at least two serious bike-related injuries or fatalities occur in that area every month. But instead of placing the blame on dangerous, self-entitled drivers like herself, she blames the riders for insisting on getting in the way of people like her.

Or possibly for being on the planet in the first place.

And God forbid that any cyclist should wear attire designed for the purpose if it offends her sensitive sensibilities while she’s in the process of running them off the road.

Clearly, though, she’s right about one thing — it’s neither smart nor safe to ride the roads whenever people like that are on the road.

Frankly, her column doesn’t read so much as a meager attempt at wit as it does a confession to assault with a deadly weapon.

Because what she did, in apparent certainty of her God-given right to the road and the precept that might — or in this case, mass —  makes right, was no less a crime than what L.A.’s own bike boogeyman is currently serving five years for doing.

And he was no less sure of the rightness of his actions than Ms. Gottesman seems to be.

She’s absolutely right. People are crazy.

Just not the ones she thinks.

……..

The LAPD is searching for a hit-and-run driver who injured a cyclist on Los Feliz Blvd on Wednesday night. According to the Daily News, the vehicle was described as a gray Nissan Infiniti G37 with a license plate number beginning 6PIC. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the tip.

And an 83-year old Riverside man is seriously injured when a driver plows into his bike after the light changed as he was legally riding through an intersection.

……..

LADOT concludes their sharrows pilot study by concluding that sharrows are good, but should be used in conjunction with Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs; here’s their methodology.

And it’s time for a shift change at LADOT Bike Blog, as Christopher Kidd makes way for Jojo Pewsawang; Chris has been an amazing resource for L.A. cyclists and will be sorely missed. Not to put more pressure on Jojo or anything.

……..

The bikelash begins against the 4th Street Bike Boulevard as local motorists attempt to block plans for improved street crossings by pushing a highly biased and leading poll in the guise of asking opinions. You might want to vote in the poll just to show there’s another side to the story.

……..

In what could be great news for PCH cyclists — and anyone else who rides, drives, walks or resides along SoCal’s highway from hell — Malibu has received a $300,000 Caltrans grant to study safety and analyze potential improvements along the highway; thanks to Eric Bruins for the link. Here’s your chance to party with the police on National Night Out. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl discovers riding a bike is as easy as, well, riding a bike. L.A. urban cycling apparel maker Swrve moves into a new Glassell Park headquarters. An overview of the state of biking in Los Angeles. A look at this month’s L.A. Critical Mass. PLACE Grant recipients explain how the grants made a difference for cyclists in their communities. San Dimas plans for a bike friendly future.

A deaf driver who killed a cyclist in a La Quinta hit-and-run last December is deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. Solana Beach state assemblyman Martin Garrick  pleads no contest to DUI charges after getting stopped by CHP bike cops. Cyclegeddon hits Santa Barbara when a busy bike path shuts down. A San Francisco Chronicle columnist says bikes are the future, so deal with it; this is the same writer who previously thought anyone crossing the street when he was behind the wheel was asking for it. Evidently, you don’t have to ride fast all the time after all. Davis CA tops the list of bike-friendly small cities, though someone should tell Bicycling that anything north of the Bay Area is not in Southern California. Dave Moulton takes NorCal AAA to task for opposing California’s three-foot passing law.

Competing — and winning — in the master national track championships despite overcoming MS and a traumatic brain injury. Historical videos show legendary bike fails, such as attempting to ride a rocket powered bike. Pedal-powered velomobiles tour the U.S; now that’s what I call a strange bike. Cars kill more people than guns every year. Not surprisingly, a local municipal judge upholds the Black Hawk Co bike ban; the result may be different when it reaches a more objective court. Newly crowned Tour de France champ Cadel Evans plans to ride in next month’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. Bike touring through Texas with a wrist broken in three places. Anderson Cooper rides helmetless through the streets of New York to promote his new talk show. An NYPD sting operation entices bike delivery people to buy purportedly hot bikes, while NYPD officers browbeat a cyclist after dooring him. Maryland approves the same Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign that LADOT now recommends.

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey offers some thoughts to wrap up this year’s TdF. A writer for the Vancouver Sun asks if anyone observes the speed limit any more. Guinness cancels their Youngest category while two young cyclists set a record for traversing the Americas by bike, and neglects to tell them. Readers of the respected British Medical Journal say helmet use shouldn’t be made mandatory. Two years and seven months for killing a cyclist while driving at twice the speed limit. Up to 1,000 cyclists ride in protest of plans to raise the speed limit on a busy London bridge. Irritation at dawdling Brit drivers leads to calls for slow speed cameras to force them to speed up.

Finally, Toyota works on a new bike you can shift with your mind. And a Seattle cyclist is stopped by police for speeding at 42 mph, and let off with a warning suitable for framing; Lord knows I would.

Note to readers: I’m posting this well after midnight, so let me apologize in advance for whatever screw-ups my sleep deprived — or perhaps depraved — little mind may have inadvertently conjured.

%d bloggers like this: