Tag Archive for Balboa Park

Morning Links: Temporary solution to Balboa bike path parking, recycling bikes, and new Pure e-cargo bike

Danger d reports that LA Councilmember Nury Martinez’ office has come through on their promise to do something about drivers parking on the bike path through Balboa Park.

He says it may just be a temporary fix, but it will do until they can come up with a more permanent solution.

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Here’s a chance to help others while you get rid of any old, unused bikes you have sitting around.

You can drop your bikes off at 5619 Monte Vista St in Los Angeles, or call 323/255-6806 for more information.

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Burbank-based Pure Cycles is introducing a new, more affordable e-cargo bike called the CAPACITA.

Though why the name has to be in all caps is beyond me.

It features front and rear cargo racks, with disk brakes, full fenders and capable of 40-miles on a single charge. Not to mention it’s GPS enabled, and has built-in headlights and taillights.

And if you move fast enough, you can reserve one on their crowdfunding page for just $1399 — a 44% discount of the standard price of $2499.

I’ve been thinking about getting rid of my two-decade old car and replacing it with a ped-assist cargo bike, though the high price of most ebikes has given me pause.

But if I could get that much for my car, I’d give this one serious consideration.

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Local

A reporter for KPCC discusses LA’s problems implementing Vision Zero with a Chicago radio station. Definitely worth a listen, even if it’s not a pretty picture.

The LA Times goes for a ride along one of the possible routes NBA superstar LeBron James could take to get from his Brentwood home to the Staples Center. And it’s not a pretty picture, either. Personally, I’d take one of the two routes recommended by the LACBC’s Colin Bogart, which follows the route I used to ride from Westwood to DTLA with a few minor deviations.

Metro is hinting at good news, saying they’ll announce a fare makeover for the Metro Bike bikeshare system this Thursday.

On the other hand, Pasadena is planning to pull out of the Metro Bike system in the face of low ridership and mounting losses. The question is why would Pasadena continue to pump funds into a money-losing docked system, when dockless bikeshare can serve the same purpose at no cost to the city — and actually raise revenue through taxes and fees. 

 

State

Calbike’s annual California Dream Ride between Santa Barbara and San Diego is nearly sold out, with just five spaces left as of yesterday.

Streetsblog considers the relative slap on the wrist given the Marin driver who fled the scene after running down four bike riders — allegedly on purpose.

The president of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition offers advice for drivers and bike riders on how to stay safe on the roads. Although as usual, the first advice for riders is to wear a helmet and hi-viz.

 

National

A writer for Outside says enough with the ghost bikes, it’s time to get organized.

Great story about a Washington state fifth grader preparing for his sixth century ride — despite surviving hearing loss and a hit-and-run.

At least one Utah town gets the concept that outdoor recreation offers a better long-term survival strategy than destroying the natural beauty to pull minerals out of the ground.

A Des Moines IA couple gets their stolen bikes back thanks to social media and an observant pair of bike riders. Although someone should tell the local police that cable locks are just an invitation to steal.

An Arkansas bike rider complains about the lack of bike path courtesy, particularly faster riders who can’t be bothered to announce their presence before zooming past.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo has pulled out of Chicago, after licensing restrictions limit them to just 50 bikes in a 20 square mile area, or 350 if they require them to be locked to bike racks when not in use. Sometimes it seems pretty obvious that licensing terms are more about keeping dockless bikeshare out, as opposed to finding a way to work with it.

The bikeshare system in Minneapolis is changing its colors, dropping its prices and losing the docks.

After surviving a hit-and-run, a retired physician in Chattanooga says any talk about the city’s bicycle friendly status is just bull droppings.

The A Plus website considers why Boston bike riders bare all in the World Naked Bike Ride.

 

International

Tennis star Raphael Nadal is one of us, even if the US Open can’t seem to grasp that some people would rather bike than drive.

British bike advocates complain about the missed opportunity when the country fails to offer subsidies to buy electric bikes as part of the country’s plan to eliminate vehicle emissions. Which is exactly the problem we have in California, since drivers can receive both federal and state subsidies for buying an electric car, but get nothing for trading a car for a bike, electric or otherwise.

The driver who ran down British Olympic hero Chris Boardman’s mother in Wales was on his mobile phone moments before the crash.

Lime takes on the City of Lights, teaching Paris how to scoot.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen is taking heavy fire on Twitter over his comment that ebikes are an example of “white privilege” for “the laziest demographic in history.” Never mind that they allow virtually anyone to ride a bike, regardless of physical condition.

Whatever problems we have, be grateful you don’t ride in Western Australia, where a new survey says bicyclists should be forced to ride single file and banned from narrow streets. And half of respondents say bike shouldn’t be allowed on the roads at all.

Singapore is attempting to reign in dockless bikeshare with a new licensing program; three companies have pulled out of the city as a result, including Ofo.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reports on the team time trial in stage three of the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock says he intends to fight like hell to stay in the Tour — despite a broken scapula that will be put to the test if he makes it to the cobbles on the ninth stage.

CiclaValley considers the fashion side of the Tour de France.

Researchers from Canada’s Simon Frasier University have developed a new statistical-based method of spotting dopers.

Videos of the Tour of Flanders dating back to the 1980s are providing insights into the effects of climate change.

An Australian woman has been charged in the alleged distracted driving death of 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes last December.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can dress like the Cannibal. Your next bike could have a drive shaft instead of a chain — although that rear cassette looks deadly.

And we may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we hardly ever have to deal with stampeding police horses.

 

Morning Links: First day of LA LeBron bike mania, hope for Balboa bike path parkers, and a scary too-close pass

Call it the first full day of LeBron bike mania.

It seems like the only ones more excited about LeBron James joining the LA Lakers are his fellow bike riders.

Take the newly resurrected LAist, now operated by Pasadena public radio station KPCC, which offers advice on how the Lakers new star can stay alive while biking in LA.

Curbed imagines LeBron James as the newly crowned Bike King of Los Angeles, making the case for better bike infrastructure so he can ride safely from his Brentwood homes to Staples Center in DTLA or the Laker’s practice facility in El Segundo.

Too bad he didn’t make that a condition of signing with the team.

The LA Times warns LeBron that bicycling can be rough here in the City of Angels — thanks in part to an “ineffectual” mayor. And asks drivers to please not run him over.

Actually, knowing LeBron James may be on a bicycle could go a long way towards improving safety for people on bikes in Los Angeles.

As long as you’re a tall black man, since no one wants to be responsible for sidelining the new hope of franchise.

As for the rest of us, we’re on our own.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn, Steve and Stefan Mayer for the heads-ups.

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Maybe there’s hope yet for the Balboa bike path parking problem.

Danger D writes to say he’s been contacted by Councilmember Nury Martinez’ office, and told they’re looking into just what department has jurisdiction for enforcement on the bike path through Balboa Park.

Which is a problem on a lot of LA’s off-road trails, where even the various police and sheriff’s departments often aren’t entirely sure who’s responsible for policing any given section.

Then again, that hasn’t prevented parking in the new South Figueroa bike lanes by Staples Center, even though the LAPD has unquestioned jurisdiction there.

He suggests posting no parking signs, which seems like a pretty obvious and relatively low cost solution. And maybe put a red stripe along the edge of the pathway.

Let’s hope something gets done soon. Because LA needs safe bikeways a lot more than it needs more parking.

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Holy horse trailer, Batman.

This has got to be one of the closest near misses ever — it would have been a crash if the rider had his elbows out.

Even closer than this one, in fact.

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Always interesting to see what our community looks like to people on the outside. Streetfilms visits the Expo Line’s Culver City Station, and finds little consideration for anyone outside of a car.

Which anyone who has ever tried to catch a train there can attest to.

https://twitter.com/TransitCenter/status/1013478778075516928

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Local

Mrs. CiclaValley catches a red light running fender bender on dashcam, countering the guilty driver’s knee-jerk denial.

A travel writer for the New York Times discovers Long Beach, and wisely decides to tour the city by bicycle.

A Metro Bike day pass will set you back just $4 on the 4th. And you might win a free T-shirt.

 

State

A San Francisco architect makes the case that new residential buildings really don’t need parking. Or at least as much as currently required.

Streetsblog says a ten-year delay in building out a makeover of San Francisco’s Masonic Avenue has resulted in construction that is already out of date.

A mobile bike shop owner in the Bay Area is working to change the face of bicycling by offering free workshops to people who are often overlooked in the bicycling world.

Sacramento is planning street improvements to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians — including a proposal to reduce speed limits.

A Novato driver has been sentenced to a well-deserved three years in prison for fleeing the scene after plowing into four bike riders during a Marin County charity ride last October; witnesses said he appeared to intentionally aim for the riders, though his mother swears he would never do that.

 

National

Giro put a helmet inside a helmet to improve comfort while protecting your head from concussions. Which may come in handy once you consider what you paid for it.

No surprise here, as Lyft has followed Uber into the wonderful world of bikeshare.

An American Japanese Buddhist monk is just $52 short of his goal of raising $5,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation by riding his bike across the US.

Streetsblog lists six times the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has blamed pedestrians when it knew the deadly design of SUVs was most likely behind the jump in pedestrian deaths.

Tour de Fat returns to Chicago, as its 2018 tour once again bypasses Los Angeles.

A Detroit public radio station explains why some local streets are paved with bricks, crediting the bicycling Good Roads movement of the 1890s.

A bicycling physician at the famed Cleveland Clinic recommends eight “must haves” to ride a bike safely and comfortably.  Good advice, but the only must have you really need is a bike.

The Cambridge MA fire department will be putting their new paramedic bike team to work at tomorrow’s 4th of July celebrations.

WaPo says theft and destruction of dockless bikeshare bikes is a growing problem. And in other news, the Pope is Catholic and bears really do shit in the woods.

In a remarkably weak response to the bicycling death of a Baton Rouge LA city councilmember, the local newspaper calls on drivers to give riders a safe passing distance and follow the rules of common sense.

 

International

In a hard-hitting piece, a Toronto bike rider says the city’s leaders have blood on their hands for their failure to protect bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets. Change the names and a few other details, and he could be writing about Los Angeles.

A Canadian woman waxes lyrically about discovering a broken road bike in her parents garage, and letting it take her back to the person she used to be.

A writer for a Canadian driving website criticizes her hometown for yanking out a road diet because it added 16 seconds to drivers’ trips off peak. And notes that geese get better PR than bike riders.

London’s former bike czar says Oxford and Cambridge can and should become Britain’s first true cycling cities, since bikes offer the most practical solution to their congested city centers.

A British mother gets a year behind bars for running down a bike rider while high on coke — with her kids in the car. Then again, she wasn’t wearing her glasses, either.

You can now ride your ped-assist ebike up to 28 mph without getting booted out of a Danish bike lane.

A Brisbane, Australia bikeway is one of the most popular in the world, according to a bike counter maker, with nearly 950,000 riders so far this year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan says he loves to win, but really, he just wants to have fun. Which is easy to say when you’re Peter Sagan.

The Associated Press offers an overview of this year’s Tour de France course, which kicks off on Saturday.

Chris Froome is taking an early victory lap, saying he knew he would be exonerated in his doping case. Meanwhile, cycling fans around the world are left to wonder if anything has really changed.

A four-person team of sightless riders riding stoker on tandem bikes became the first blind team to finish the Race Across America.

 

Finally…

Dig under your cushions for some old gummy bears and Halloween candy, and you too can eat like a pro. As if dodging cars wasn’t enough, now we have to evade grocery crates falling like depth charges.

Once again, you can pedal your way to a pro cycling contract without actually having to go outside. Or anywhere else.

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Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Remember that bikes are the best way to get to and from fireworks displays. But watch out for drivers making their way through traffic, because they’re not likely to be looking out for you.

I’ll see you back here bright and early on Thursday.

Cyclist assaulted on bike path, former Amazon CFO killed in bike crash, confirmation Britel killer paroled

The last thing he remembers is a woman putting her hand on his thigh and pushing his bike over.

Somehow, I missed this story last month, when Jack Bornoff suffered serious injuries after he was pushed off his black and white Schwinn by a pedestrian, as he was passing her on a bike path in Balboa Park.

It happened on August 22nd, a Thursday, around 10 am.

I’ll let him tell the story.

I approached the intersection of Burbank and Balboa on my bike and I was riding in the bike path.  I turned onto Balboa northbound and was confronted by a view of a high density of pedestrians in both the northbound and southbound bicycle lanes, including 2 females pedestrians blocking the northbound lane directly in front of me about 50 ft. ahead.  Immediately, I slowed down.  I noticed 2 pedestrians walking towards me in the southbound lane who were at least 50 feet ahead of the 2 pedestrians in my lane and determined it was perfectly safe to pass on the left with this substantial interval between these pedestrian couples.  As I passed by, the female pedestrian closest to me placed her right hand on my thigh and pushed me.

It wasn’t just a fall. Bornoff landed with enough force to knock him cold, and suffered numerous fractures.

I have no clear memories beyond this for at least the next 10 to 15 minutes.  This incident resulted in numerous fractures of the clavicle, scapula and ribs including damage to my lung.

A month later, he still doesn’t know who attacked him, or why. Or even who might have helped him as he lay injured on the bike path.

If you were there and offered to help, thank you and I regret I don’t remember it.  However, if you were there and witnessed this happen, please come forward and notify LAPD Detective Thornton.  818-374-7792.  Case #9C4-4.   Thank you and be safe.

He plans to be back at that same bike path on Thursday, October 10th between 9:45 am and 10:15 am — exactly seven weeks after the attack — to look for witnesses. And would appreciate some help if anyone wants to join him in passing out flyers.

Or if you find yourself walking or riding in the area some other time, he’s prepared a small flyer you could distribute to people in the area (pdf).

Because it wasn’t just a push. It was a deliberate, dangerous assault that left a man seriously injured.

And it needs to be taken just as seriously.

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Last night, it was just another tragic story of a bike rider killed in a left hook; a 22-year old driver turning his minivan across the cyclist’s path in San Mateo County.

Today, word broke that the victim has touched the life of virtually anyone who has ever used the internet or ordered something online.

Fifty-year old Joy Covey was one of the founders of Amazon. A woman whose 173 IQ took her from high school dropout to Harvard Business School, and on to become the CFO who helped the company grow from a book-selling website to the world’s dominant internet retail site. As well as leading it through a highly successful IPO in the late ‘90s.

She was working as treasurer of the National Resources Defense Council at the time of her death.

Initial reports indicated she was wearing a helmet. However, I’m told she may have been traveling up to 40 mph as she descended a steep downhill; in a broadside collision at that speed, no bike helmet is likely to offer much benefit.

As the links above show, there’s already been much written about her tragic death, and the immense and needless loss suffered by so many who knew and worked with her.

And it’s true.

Just as it is for the other more than 600 bike riders who will lose their lives on American streets this year, most of whom will never see their names in print.

In life. Or in death.

My deepest sympathy for Joy Covey and her family.

Thanks to Michael McVerry and Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

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Finally, last month we reported that Danae Miller, convicted in the drunk and distracted driving death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel, appeared to have been released from prison after serving less than half of her original sentence.

Now the Orange County Register confirms that Miller was paroled on August 15th after serving just 18 months of her original four year sentence.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind their draconian paywall.

However, I’m told that the story goes on to quote a member of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, as well as the Newport Beach city council member who heads the committee, as expressing their disappointment at the early release.

Get used to it.

California’s prison overcrowding crisis means most people convicted of traffic crimes will serve only a fraction of their sentences. Which means we need to find alternative forms of punishment — let alone rehabilitation, which seldom if ever happens behind bars — if we want to stop the carnage on our streets. Let alone the hit-and-run epidemic.

I’m told that Miller’s family was very supportive of her during the trial. Not in the usual sense denying her obvious guilt, but actually being there and giving a damn while expressing deep and genuine sympathy for her victim’s family and fiancé.

No word on where she is right now. However, there is speculation that she received the relatively light four-year sentence — she could have gotten up to 10 years — in exchange for a commitment from her family to place her in rehab immediately upon her release.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

And let’s hope that Miller, who already had 11 traffic violations on her record when she took Britel’s life, is never allowed behind the wheel of a car again.

Thanks to the OC Register for crediting this site with breaking the story. That wasn’t necessary, but it’s sincerely appreciated.

Now about that paywall…

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