Tag Archive for Abbot Kinney

Morning Links: LA Times catches up on Fig4All, Timbuk2 opening on Venice’s bike-friendly Abbot Kinney

The LA Times finally picks up the story of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s single-handed decision to kill the already approved, funded and shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa.

They get most of it right in what reads like an attempt to be overly even-handed. Although they incorrectly frame the debate as being over bike lanes, when the lanes themselves are just one tool in a plan to reduce the roadway’s overcapacity in an attempt to slow traffic and improve safety.

They also fail to challenge Cedillo’s unsupported claim that the road diet would increase emergency response times, even though that is not the position of either the LAPD or LA Fire Department. Or his bizarre claim that the city’s bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council — before Cedillo sat on it — was developed by just 1,000 people, despite numerous public meetings and presentations, as well as months of online comment.

And since when are bike riders who simply want a safe route through Northeast LA considered “activists” — a loaded word most likely to be used in a disparaging manner by those opposing the project?

But it’s a lot better than the Boulevard Sentinel’s labeling them “extremists,” I suppose.

Meanwhile, LA Biz offers their own look at the controversy, while the Times provides an interactive map demonstrating just how dangerous the area is for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Popular custom bike bag manufacturer Timbuk2 opens their first SoCal store next week, across from Linus Bike on increasingly bike friendly Abbot Kinney.

The store has a soft opening next Saturday, July 26th, at 1410 Abbot Kinney, with an official Grand Opening celebration scheduled for the weekend of August 16th and 17th.

Designed by award-winning design and architecture firm Gensler, the new store will include features such as

  • Custom design workshop with over 60 fabrics options.
  • Floor to ceiling street-facing glass wall, bicycle and product design art installation and custom-crafted display tables and fixtures.
  • A designated hub for community events and group bike rides.
  • San Francisco-inspired indoor parklet for relaxing and refueling.
  • Access to bike tools, bike pumps, bike maps and extra tubes for community cyclists.

Sounds like they’ll fit right in on the trendy street. And be a great addition to the LA bike scene.

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Nibali continues to hold the yellow jersey as the Tour de France heads into the Alps, with a lead of more than two minutes over his nearest competitor.

Meanwhile, Brit rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is banned for two years and fired from Team Sky for doping. Nice to know the sport has cleaned itself up and no one would ever dream of cheating anymore, right?

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Local

Advocates — not “activists,” thank you — gather to learn about CicLAvia coming to Leimert Park.

Neon Tommy looks at three local groups supporting LA’s “fearless” cyclists.

Bike riders and pedestrian advocates make a statement in calling for fair funding for active transportation from Metro.

 

State

One hundred cyclists storm the Laguna Beach City Council to demand safer streets.

Caltrans surprisingly invites cyclists to consult on a realignment project for Highway 1 in Cambria.

Catch up on everything Calbike is working on in their latest report.

 

National

Bixi’s bankruptcy means no expansion for Alta-operated bike share programs this year.

Caught on video: A Texas rider captures the hit-and-run truck driver who Jerry Browned him and left him lying on the side of the road.

Trek president John Burke calls on Wisconsin’s governor to take down a campaign ad that allegedly defames the company; the governor is running for re-election against Burke’s sister.

Pro cyclist Ted King introduces pure maple syrup energy gels, promising natural vitamins and minerals with a lower glycemic index than other gels.

An Atlanta man faces charges including attempted murder for intentionally running down a bike rider; his girlfriend is charged with evidence tampering.

 

International

Canadian letter carrier goes postal on a woman who stopped to complain about his parking in a bike lane.

In a bizarre accident, a British cyclist barely survives getting impaled with her brake lever.

Three-quarters of Scot cyclists report a near miss on the roads.

Italy honors legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, aka Gino the Pius, for his role in saving hundreds of Jews from the Nazis in WWII. Isn’t it time the Vatican honored the devout Catholic?

German cyclists lost over 300,000 bikes to thieves last year; naturally, police blame the victims.

To encourage more cycling, Qatar’s bicycle master plan requires dedicated bike infrastructure, including separated bikeways, on all major roads when possible.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying hash oil and marijuana on your bike, and already wanted on multiple active warrants, put a damn light on it, already. And amazingly, a very lucky 17-year old Russian bike rider walks away after being run over by a large truck in a terrifying video.

 

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day — Main Street Santa Monica goes neon green

New green bike lanes below Pico in Santa Monica.

New green bike lanes below Pico in Santa Monica.

When the revelers stumble out onto Main Street in Santa Monica tonight, they may think the street has been dressed just for those who pretend to be Irish by getting fighting drunk for a night.

But they’d be wrong.

Even if the pavement matches the green beer they’ll soon be regurgitating onto it.

Because actually, the street has been repainted for your benefit. And not just for one night.

As of Friday, the much maligned door zone bike lane on the Santa Monica stretch of Main Street has been widened, and repainted in a vivid shade of green guaranteed to cause conniptions in a Hollywood location scout.

Or at least, that’s the effect a similar shade had in Downtown LA.

Intermittent patches of green lead up to intersections.

Intermittent patches of green lead up to intersections; you can see where the lane marker has been moved left.

Maybe that’s why the lanes are only intermittent south of Pico, where they match up with LA’s normally hued lanes through Venice. And full green only north of Pico, where they pass through the city’s civic center, where presumably, fewer film permits are in demand.

Or maybe Santa Monica just recognized the risk posed by all those drivers trying to access City Hall and the LA County Courthouse.

In fact, that’s long been on of the mostly likely places to get right hooked among my usual riding routes, as confused drivers cut across the bike lane to access Civic Center parking.

Broken lane leading to the entrance to City Hall/Courthouse parking lot.

Broken lane leading to the entrance to City Hall/Courthouse parking lot.

Whether a bright shade of green will help with that, or convince drivers they don’t belong there — despite the break in the paint — and make them more likely to turn across the lane rather than merge into it as the law and safety requires, remains to be determined.

I’d rather see the full green on the south section as a vivid reminder to drivers to look for riders before opening their doors or turning across the lane. We’ll have to see if the city’s spot job will do the job.

On the other hand, that extra foot of bike lane should make a huge difference by allowing cyclists to ride further outside the door zone without having to leave the bike lane.

Here’s a fast-forward view of the civic center lanes on both sides between Pico and Santa Monica Place.

Let’s just hope they hose them down in front of the bars Tuesday morning.

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Just down the road and around the corner on Abbott Kinney, LADOT installed the City of Angels’ third and fourth bike corrals last week, on a street that has long suffered from a lack of adequate bike parking.

When every other parking meter has a bike attached — which is technically illegal, though rarely enforced — it suggests an unmet demand, which the city has wisely heeded.

Even if, on the day I checked it out, one had as many hipsters enjoying lunch in and on it as it did locked-up bikes.

Just out of the frame, one more bike and two more guys sitting on the railing having lunch.

Just out of the frame, one more bike and two more guys sitting on the railing having lunch.

A brand new bike corral, full on a Friday afternoon.

A brand new bike corral, nearly full on a Friday afternoon.

One of the new bike corrals adorned with the new LADOT #bikeLA sticker.

One of the new bike corrals adorned with the new LADOT #bikeLA sticker.

 

 

Friday’s ride, on which I concede an angry driver has a point

Funny how life found a way to contribute to this morning’s topic.

And gave quick lesson in shutting up long enough to grasp someone else’s perspective.

I’d taken a quick spin down to the South Bay in the afternoon, and was making my up Abbot Kinney Blvd on my way home.

About a block after crossing Venice Blvd — oddly, almost exactly where the randomly placed arrow ended up on the Google Map — a driver headed in the opposite direction made sudden, very illegal U-turn in the middle of the block and stopped directly in front of me to back into a parking space.

I shot a quick look over my shoulder and saw that I had just enough room to swing around him. And knew it shouldn’t be a problem, since the cars behind me would either have to stop, or make an illegal — and très L.A. — maneuver to cross over the double yellow line and go around the car blocking their way.

Because it’s so not acceptable to, you know, stop or anything.

I stuck out my arm to signal what I was doing, and in the same motion, leaned to the left to carve a perfect curl around the car in my path, only briefly occupying the space between it and the yellow line to my left.

As I did, though, I heard a quick honk from behind. I could tell it wasn’t close enough to present a danger, though, so I leaned back to the right, sailing back to my normal position along the sharrows.

Funny how quickly I’ve gotten used to them.

A minute or two later, a car pulled up on my left and a very angry looking man stared my way, shaking his head. His window was down, so I simply said “I had the right of way,” and pedaled on my way.

But he pulled up on my left once again, and leaned over to yell “you cut me off!”

Again, I said I had the right of way, considering that all the explanation required. After all, I’d been riding in the lane, right where the sharrows indicated, and was the only one positioned to go around the car blocking the lane — and the only one who could have done it legally.

Again, though, he said I’d cut him off. So I repeated myself one last time.

But this time, his response was different. “You just stuck your arm out and cut in front of me!”

Which, I realized, was exactly what I had done.

So I just said, “you’re right.”

There was no need to explain the rest of the story. Like how, as experienced cyclists, we learn to read traffic situations and anticipate what is most likely to happen. And our how well-honed reaction times and more responsive vehicles allow us to react so much faster than the drivers we share to road with.

Or from his perspective, how he barely had time to see what I was doing and tap his brakes before I was in front of him and gone again. And how he could have overreacted, potentially risking a collision with the car behind him.

Even if he was in the middle of a dangerously illegal maneuver by attempting to go around us both on the wrong side of the road.

We understood each other.

So I nodded, and he nodded back.

And we both went on our way, with perhaps a little better understanding of each other’s perspective.

………

In upcoming events:

The L.A. Bicycle Film Festival continues through Sunday; check the website for schedule and locations.

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Since it happened to pop up in my inbox, I’ll pass along word that PV Bicycle Center in Palos Verdes is having a sale this weekend, and hosting public time trial up the PV Switchbacks on Sunday morning (women start at 9:30 am, men at 10), followed by free barbeque, call 310/377-7441 or toll-free 888/377-7441 for more information. Note to PVBC — if you put events like this on your own website, someone might actually be able to link to it.

Flying Pigeon hosts a book signing with photographer and former D.A. Gil Garcetti (you may also know his son Eric) for his book Paris: Women and Bicycles on Thursday, September 9 at 7:30 pm. I had a chance to look it over at this year’s River Ride; if you love beautiful photographs of beautiful women on beautiful bikes in one of the world’s most beautiful cities — and who doesn’t? — this is a beautiful opportunity to meet the man behind the lens.

Make your plans for Parking Day LA on Sept. 17th.

Celebrate the third anniversary of C.R.A.N.K. MOB at C.R.A.N.K.MAS III, 9 pm on Saturday, September 18th and 7 am Sunday, September 19th; costumes mandatory.

Also on Sunday the 19th, the Los Angeles Wheelmen celebrate their 65th anniversary with century and half-century rides; $5 of the $30 ride fee will go to the LACBC.

Hearings for the proposed bike plan are scheduled for September 25, 29, 30 and October 2, with a noontime  Webinar scheduled for Wednesday the 29th.

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at the Grand Opening of Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, October 7th – 9th, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside. A reception will be held from 6 – 10 pm Thursday, October 7th; the exhibition continues through December 31st.

New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat makes its first L.A. stop on Saturday, October 23rd. The following day, Sony sponsors their bikeless Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

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More on the victory of Alessandro Petacchi in stage 7 of the Vuelta; no major changes in the standings as the riders prepare to head into the mountains. The soigneur for Team Sky, Txema Gonzalez, dies of an infection in Seville, Spain. Tour de France champ Alberto Contador will skip the World Championships later this month. And an interesting insight on why the Lance Armstrong investigation is taking place here in L.A., and why now.

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In only semi-bike related news, everyone seems to be bailing on Colorado’s tinfoil-hat wearing Republican candidate for governor — the man who claimed Denver’s new bike share program was part of a UN plot for world domination. But he insists on staying in the race, no doubt much to the relief of his bike-friendly opponent.

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Public radio program Living on Earth looks at the state of bicycling in Los Angeles, concluding it’s no Copenhagen; thanks to Patrick for the link. Gary offers the good news and bad news from Wednesday’s Agensys meeting. LACBC says there are no more potential bike lanes in L.A.’s new potential bike plan. Crosswalk sting nabs two cyclists for riding with headphones; CHP says use them in one ear only, thank you; a Brit biking fatality could illustrate why. New video promotes bike-friendly Long Beach. The Santa Cruz Sierra Club says bikes are worse than heroin. A Sonoma cyclist says we are to pedestrians what cars are to us. New bike lanes coming to Downtown Tucson. Arizona cyclists can take a class and avoid a fine for a ticket. Turning cars into a bike sandwich. Tampa letter writers say cars are the real problem, no, bikes are. James Cracknell, the British Olympian critically injured by a truck in Arizona earlier this year, finally returns home after an extensive hospitalization. How to deal with common bicycling ailments. Young punks on bikes disturb elderly Scots. Why is it always the driver in the Prius? On a very bad day in New Zealand, a little good news as world track cycling medalist Jesse Sergent signs with Lance Armstrong’s Team Radioshack; thanks to the Trickster for the heads-up. The world’s five most bike-friendly cities.

Finally, yet another reason to always wear a helmet — it protects from magpie attacks.

Update: One more link, sent in by David. A rider is killed after getting right hooked by a bus while riding in Honolulu crosswalk; if you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, take extra care at intersections.

And three day weekends mean more drunks and distracted drivers on the road, so keep your eyes and options open, and  be extra careful riding this weekend.

Sharrows hit the street on Abbot Kinney

Headed west on Abbot Kinney, the first sharrow appears just after crossing Venice Blvd.

Thanks to a tip from Eric B, I made a point of including Abbot Kinney Blvd on my most recent ride so I could to check out the new sharrows — the final link in the city’s new six-street sharrows pilot project.

Over all, they seem to do the job.

When there wasn’t a bike present, the cars rolled over the sharrows as if they weren’t there — unlike the response on Westholme Ave, where drivers didn’t seem to know what to make of them.

When there were bikes around, the drivers passed whenever the opportunity presented. But at least they all seemed to pass at a safe distance.

Riding beside the bumpy thermoplastic places riders dangerously close to the door zone.

Which, I suppose, is all we can really ask for.

There’s one oddly placed sharrow on the westbound lane about a block from Venice, where the street curves, which seems to direct riders off the roadway — although I didn’t get a photo of it, since I was a little preoccupied with trying not to get run over at the time.

Maybe it was directing riders to stop at the food trucks that frequent the parking lot at the Brig, since that seems to be where it’s pointing.

Choosing the bumpier ride puts cyclists in a better lane position.

And like the other locations, the raised thermoplastic makes for a bumpy ride, which may encourage cyclists to ride beside the sharrows rather than over them — giving riders less control over the lane and placing them at the edge of the door zone.

So now the final piece of the pilot project is in place.

While we may think sharrows are a no brainer, the question remains whether the city’s implementation of them will encourage cyclists to use them. Or if decisions made regarding their placement on the streets will make riders feel less safe.

Sharrows stretch out on both sides from Main Street to Venice Blvd.

How drivers will respond is also an open question. Especially without adequate signage or educational efforts directed at motorists.

As is whether historically risk-averse LADOT will use the results to improve future installations throughout the city. Or call it a failed experiment and throw in the towel if issues arise.

It’s going to be an interesting experiment.

The question remains how drivers will respond on a busier street like Abbot Kinney — especially without signage or driver education.

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On the last day of the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish won the final sprint in Paris, while Alberto Contador won his third Tour by one of the smallest margins in TdF history — the same amount of time Andy Schleck lost when he dropped his chain.

In the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour, Schleck gave it his best in Saturday’s time trial, but it just isn’t enough as Fabian Cancellara won the stage and Contador clinched victory — but Schleck will be back in 2011. After Christian Vande Velde crashes out of the Tour, aptly named Canadian Ryder Hesjedal became an overnight sensation for Garmin-Transitions. Tyler Farrar should be back on his bike in time for next month’s Tour of Spain. For Lance Armstrong, his 13th Tour really was bad luck as he finished 23rd, and his team’s attempt to honor cancer survivors was disallowed, but at least the French are on his side for once.

And on Nightline, Floyd Landis said “I saw Lance Armstrong using drugs.”

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A look at Saturday’s Walk and Ride for a Safer 4th Street. Make your plans for the first public meeting of the bike committee of the Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Committee on Monday night. Tuesday evening there’s a demonstration and press conference in Beverly Hills to protest the slap on the wrist given Celine Mahdavi for nearly killing Louis “Birdman” Deliz. Courtesy of my friends at Altadenablog, a USC neuropathologist rides 140 miles for Alzheimer’s research. Get your limited edition, hand-printed CicLAvia t-shirt. The former chairman of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission is ordered to stand trial for killing a cyclist while driving with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit. Three NorCal cyclists are hurt in separate incidents on the same road just hours apart — two on the same spot. The cyclist killed in North Dakota last week was on her way to Casper WY to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. A DC area cyclist dies, apparently from the high heat and humidity blanketing the East Coast. A Brit Olympian is in stable condition after suffering a skull fracture when he was hit by a truck in Winslow AZ last Tuesday. A reminder that bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road, too; thanks, we didn’t know that. Everything you need to know to talk bikes in 27 European languages. Every bike means less traffic and one more parking space. Twelve reasons why vehicular cycling may not be the answer for everyone.

Finally, a conversation with London mayor and avid bike supporter Boris Johnson, who undoubtedly won a lot of fans with his stand on bike theft.

“Plainly, we will treat bike thieves with the utmost severity. I’m looking at a very draconian policy. Bring back the stocks!”

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