Tag Archive for Ballona Creek

Morning Links: Architect proposes bike/ped bridge at Marina del Rey inlet, and Vision Zero motion put on hold

The ride from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach could get a lot shorter if a bike-riding architect has his way.

And LA could get an iconic new gateway to the city.

Curbed reports that Trevor Abramson, design principal at Abramson Teiger Architects, has proposed a woven-design bike and pedestrian bridge crossing Ballona Creek and the mouth of Marina del Rey to connect the Marvin Braude Bike Path on either side.

Which would keep riders from having to take a nearly four-mile detour around the Marina, as they have since the path was opened.

I’ve long wondered why a bridge couldn’t be built there, and repeatedly been told why it was impossible.

But maybe it’s not.

Although we could probably build out most of the bike plan for what it would cost.

Rendering by Abramson Teiger Architects from Curbed Los Angeles website.

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Streetsblog reports that Mike Bonin, chair of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, has put a hold on the motion we discussed yesterday that appeared to threaten the city’s Vision Zero.

I’m told that, despite what traffic safety truthers Keep LA Moving claimed, it would have little actual effect on the program.

However, Bonin wants to work with the authors to ensure that the motion would allow Vision Zero to continue to work as it does now.

And it will give everyone a chance to take a closer look at it, and make sure it be opponents something can later use to halt or delay the Vision Zero program.

Thanks to everyone who phoned, emailed and attended in person to argue against the motion yesterday.

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Local

A writer for The Source questions the benefits of paying people not to drive, in sort of a reverse congestion charge. I’ve long argued that paying a monthly benefit to people who agree to bike, walk or take transit to work could be an effective way to get cars off the streets.

Instead of waiting for the state to take action, Bike SGV has partnered with El Monte to create an ebike rebate program to help get people out of their cars.

Metro’s BEST program will sponsor a Culver City Tweed Ride on the 25th.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at Margo’s on Montana on the 28th.

Long Beach moves to ban bicycle chop shops by making it a crime to posses five or more bikes, or parts of bikes, on public spaces with the intent to sell or distribute. And that includes riverbeds, beaches and parks.

 

State

A Los Altos cyclist discusses the need to balance courtesy and common sense in following the state’s bike laws when riding outside the city.

A new Napa County sales tax intended for street maintenance could be used to help pay for bike and pedestrian pathways, as well.

 

National

An article in the Journal of Applied Mobilities argues that there’s a dangerous fixation on bike helmet use in the US that hampers efforts to actually improve safety.

People for Bikes says don’t let anyone tell you we don’t know how to rapidly increase bicycling rates in a city, after Calgary boosts bike rates nearly 50% virtually overnight by building a complete bicycling network all at once.

Oregon bicycling groups are taking advantage of the mild winter weather.

A Dallas writer says the 20,000 dockless bikeshare bikes that have invaded the city in recent months demonstrate the need for more bikeways. And more non-spandexed people to ride them.

New York will move a bikeshare dock in Red Hook to keep trucks from crashing into it; some drivers have been unable to negotiate the narrow corner and driven up on the sidewalk to make their turn.

A county outside of Baltimore MD will invest $8 million dollars to start building out a 2016 bike plan. Meanwhile, construction on protected bike lanes in Baltimore will be delayed another year as the city struggles to ensure enough room remains on the street for fire engines to get through.

 

International

A bike rider in Canada says go ahead and make bicyclists carry insurance, as long as they get the same benefits motorists do.

Montreal urges the provincial government to change the law to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, assuming they yield to any pedestrians first. They also want side guards to be required for trucks to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

After an English town proposes lifting a ban on bikes in shopping areas, a council member accuses them of wanting to allow “cycle-mad morons in to speed through busy shopping streets causing endless accidents and mayhem.”

A British coroner rules a teenage cyclist died of a heart attack in his sleep after pushing himself too hard following his selection for an elite training program.

The bicycling community in Jakarta, Indonesia, calls on the city to improve bike safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

There may not be any cycling events in the Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cyclists competing.

 

Finally…

No, Vision Zero doesn’t mean you can’t see where your bike is going. A blue bridge bike lane leaves bicyclists black and blue.

And why mountain bikers make the best dates.

Or maybe roadies.

 

Morning Links: Backsliding on road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, and dockless bikeshare in LA

So much for that.

Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced plans to scrap the road diet on Jefferson and Culver Blvds in Playa del Rey. New plans call for removing the bike lanes and restoring one westbound lane; bikes and pedestrians will now share a single “protected” shoulder on one side.

Needless to say, the anti-road diet forces were quick to claim victory.

Which means we might as well give up on Vision Zero and the mobility plan; they mean absolutely nothing if every safety improvement can get reversed if drivers don’t like it.

Photo of Culver Blvd from Streetsblog LA.

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Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion that could allow dockless bikeshare in the City of Los Angeles.

Ryu’s motion would instruct LADOT and Bureau of Street Services to work with the City Attorney to develop a pilot program to test dockless bikeshare in the city; according to LAist, LADOT has already been in discussions with various bikeshare providers.

 

The problem with that is the people using those bikes will need safe places to ride, which they won’t find in Ryu’s district.

While he hasn’t actively opposed key bike lanes like some of his colleagues, he’s also done little or nothing to move them forward, in a distract starved for safe bicycle access.

And he has blocked implementation of a long planned and desperately needed road diet on 6th Street between Fairfax and LaBrea, despite the strong support of the local neighborhood council.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

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Heal the Bay is hosting a free, casual bike ride to explore Ballona Creek and the Ballona Wetlands this Saturday.

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Today’s common theme, collisions between people on bikes and on foot.

A woman in Spokane WA says she was run down by a bike rider while walking on a trail, and claims it may have been intentional because he was angry afterwards.

Two people — most likely a bicyclist and pedestrian — were injured in a crash on a popular Chicago pathway.

A British man is criticizing the police investigation of the collision that killed his wife, even though the bike rider who crashed into her as she crossed the street appears to have been riding legally at the time of the crash.

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The war on bikes goes on.

In a horrifying case, a Kansas driver is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge after admitting that he intentionally sped up to run a bike rider down.

A North Carolina driver has been charged with simple assault for repeatedly punching a cyclist in the face after attempting to run him off the road; the one-sided fisticuffs were caught on dashcam video.

And a road raging driver drove onto a bike path in an attempt to deliberately run down an Australian bike rider, then made a U-turn to come after her again before she escaped by riding into traffic and hiding in the bushes.

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In non-bike news, Streetsblog LA founder Damien Newton has formed a group attempting to raise $1 million to buy the Santa Monica Daily Press, and run it as a non-profit.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse with your money.

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Once again, a cyclist blows a win by celebrating too soon. Though the site’s description of him as cocky and showboating seem pretty far off base.

Italian cyclist Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years for doping before the Giro d’Italia, joining a long line recent busted dopers. Which begs the question of whether the doping era is really over, or if cycling teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

Busted French motor doper Cyril Fontayne says he’s not the only one cheating by using a small electric motor hidden inside a bike frame, although he claims he was only using it to help his sciatica.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new 130-bike bikeshare system.

LA Magazine says changes have to be made to make walking to the Grove and Beverly Center from the coming Purple Line a less frightening and dangerous experience. The same goes for riding a bike, as well.

Santa Monica has installed new bike boxes at the intersections of Broadway and 11th and Ocean and California.

The Santa Monica College student paper offers advice on how to get started and stay safe riding a bike.

Long Beach bike shop City Grounds has closed down it East Village retail outlet after nine years.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill making it legal to cross in a crosswalk while the timer is counting down, as long as you get to the other side before it expires. However, the law does not apply to older crossing signals without a timer.

San Francisco passes an otherwise toothless ordinance allowing authorities to confiscate bikes from bicycle chop shops, but without any legal consequences; homeless advocates object because selling bicycles that may or may not belong to them is one of the few ways homeless people can earn money.

A new pilot program will allow ebikes on three paved trails in the East Bay area.

Bike advocates from around the state are converging on Sacramento for Calbike’s annual California Bicycle Summit.

 

National

Bad ideas never die. A new bike is renewing the idea of a propelling a bicycle by moving the handlebars as well as pedaling, despite other failed attempts.

A bike-riding Illinois boy is a hero, after riding for help when he spotted a neighbor’s house on fire.

A Detroit woman out for an early morning bike ride was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted by two men in a van. A tragic reminder that women face risks on the road that male riders don’t.

AAA is now offering bicycle services in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, SoCal AAA still doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too — and they might have more customers if they did.

The New York Times considers how to bike commute and stay fashionably dressed at work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly shares stories of bike riders who came to the rescue of others.

A British Columbia deer could face charges for assault on a bike-riding police officer, however, it may be hard to find without a license plate.

No surprise here. A new report shows half of the collisions on an Ottawa, Canada bike path result from right hooks; a Toronto paper offers advice on how to avoid those, and other road hazards.

Caught on video: A mountain biker takes a knife-edge ride across an Austrian mountain ridge.

In a landmark case, a South African driver has been sentenced to three years for a fatal hit-and-run; it marks the first time a driver has been sentenced for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in that country.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not riding your bike really can drive you crazy. Seriously, don’t believe the navigation system on your phone.

And Chinese dockless bikeshare giants Mobike and Ofo are in merger talks.

Let’s hope they do. And call the new company Mofo.

 

Whittier cyclists under attack; female rider severely beaten in most recent assault

A 19-year old woman was severely beaten after being knocked off her bike on a Whittier bike path.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the attack took place on Wednesday around 10:30 pm on the Greenway Trail, a Class 1 off-road bike path between Painter and Greenleaf Avenues when three or four men in dark clothing pushed her off her bike. Her attackers then punched her repeatedly in the face and body, and may have kicked her, as well.

Authorities report she suffered injuries to her face, teeth, hands and elbows, as well as losing consciousness for a period of time; she was reportedly awake when police and firefighters arrived on the scene, and was transported to a local hospital.

The suspects fled when other people approached. Police say she was not robbed and the motive for the attack is unknown.

However, KTLA reports that there have been at least three other attacks in the same pathway in the past month. In one case, a man was able to fight off an attacker who tried to steal his bike, while a 16-year old boy was arrested for allegedly grabbing another man and demanding his money; no information was available on the other attack.

These cases are reminiscent of the reports of attacks on cyclists riding along the Ballona Creek bike path a few years back, and point out the inherent problem with off-road bikeways.

While they can offer a pleasant respite from the headaches and risks of riding busy streets, they are often largely isolated and hidden from public view, providing secluded areas where criminal activity may occur.

And most are rarely, if ever, patrolled by police.

In fact, when cyclists tried to report the Ballona Creek attacks, 911 operators and police officers reportedly had difficulty even identifying where the bike path was and who had jurisdiction in order to respond.

Fortunately, the Ballona attacks proved to be the rare exception, rather than the rule on that pathway, though the reports circulated widely enough that many cyclists still express reservations about riding there.

Hopefully, this latest, unidentified victim will recover from her injuries — both physical and emotional — and get back on her bike soon.

And greater enforcement will improve safety for everyone on Whittier’s Greenway Trail.

Why do we live in L.A? Oh, now I remember…

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