Tag Archive for Beverly Hills

Morning Links: Busting on Beverly Hills and its San Diego soulmates, and a Chitown writer busts on bikes

Just too much to catch up on after yesterday’s breaking news.

So hold on to your handlebars, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Looks like everyone is condemning Beverly Hills for their shortsighted, misguided and wrong-headed refusal to put bike lanes on the soon-to-be-rebuilt Santa Monica Blvd; even a realty website is getting in on the act.

And its a 70’s era traffic planning blast from the past from their like-minded contemporaries in Carlsbad, as the local Planning Commission says roads are for cars, and they’re tired of hearing about bikes. Thanks to The Editors for the heads-up.

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Evidently desperate for click bait, a bike-hating Chicago writer calls people on bikes “reckless terrorists,” and “rude, vulgar and violently intimidating” “imbecile muff monkeys.” And says bicyclists should be forced to carry a special ID at all times, and face fines up to $1000 and a year in jail just for riding on the sidewalk.

No, really, that’s what he said.

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VeloNews lists five winners and losers from the just completed Tour de France. And Bicycling finishes their long, long five-part story on who punched the great Eddy Merckx. Did I say it was long?

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Local

Hats off to Streetsblog guest writer Michael Fleming, who calls out Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz for his hypocritical support for fighting climate change while blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The LACBC is hosting a feeder ride to the RevisitReseda Blvd celebration this Thursday.

Metro is holding a series of weekly contests asking people illustrate how you walk or bike instead.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Club is hosting a Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunt next week.

 

State

Our old friend Rick Bernardi looks at the problem of cyclists getting buzzed by CHP officers, and cops who don’t know bike laws. Or care.

An El Cajon cyclist was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash; police are looking for an older, grey 3-Series BMW.

A Las Vegas writer rides San Diego’s coastal North County.

A day after a Hollister boy was killed by a bus while riding his bike, local restaurants pitch in to raise funds for the victim’s family, and a Hollister councilwoman bemoans kids riding and skating without helmets — even though she has no idea if the victim was wearing one.

Evidently, getting dragged from your home and beaten by San Francisco police for the crime of biking on the sidewalk while black is only worth a $20,000 settlement.

San Francisco police ticket bike riders for squeezing past a several-block queue of backed-up cars on the left, even though there’s no valid alternative for it, and even though lane splitting is legal in California. In a brilliant move, cyclists plan to protest the police crackdown by riding legally en masse.

No bias here. A Bay Area website says a cyclist riding downhill was injured when he crashed into the windshield of a car.

A 61-year old Sacramento cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run.

A Chico man confronts bike thieves with his own vigilante bait bike program.

 

National

It’s the 30th anniversary of many people’s favorite bike movie. So here are 20 things you didn’t know about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

The National Law Review considers one of the burning questions of jurisprudence: How often should your bike helmet be replaced.

A Portland bike shop employee spots a stolen track bike, wrestles it from the thief and the thief into submission, all before the police arrive.

Caught on video: A Seattle bike rider captures the hit-and-run driver who left crossed him on his helmet cam; not only did the driver flee the scene, but he was caught looking at his phone as he turned. A Minnesota writer responds by questionng if a safe bike ride is too much to ask. Thanks to @BrianMScott for the heads-up.

A dump truck driver from my hometown faces a vehicular homicide charge for attempting to pass a bike rider despite a double yellow line, then cutting back because of oncoming traffic, trapping the victim under his truck.

Boulder CO says not so fast on right-sizing those streets to make room for separated bike lanes; they want to see how the first one works out first.

San Antonio TX wants more hikers and bikers, and less motor vehicle traffic. Well, who doesn’t? Aside from Beverly Hills and Carlsbad, of course.

A Chicago woman is suing another bike rider for causing a three-bike pileup on a bike path. Proof you’re not always safe even when you’re protected from cars.

Anyone can tell you how to keep from getting hurt on your bike; an Indiana TV station offers tips on avoiding injuries after a long bike ride.

An Albany NY website says a new protected bike lane is for all kinds of people, and that the city’s first one shouldn’t be the last. They’re preaching to the choir.

A New York advocate says bike lanes should be a default feature of street designs under the city’s Vision Zero Plan. The same goes for LA’s Vision Zero, which is supposed to be officially announced next month.

This is why you never lock your bike to a tree, as a Brooklyn bike thief chopped down a 25-foot tree to get the bike chained to it. Not only did the cyclist lose his bike, but the rat bastard killed the damn tree in the process.

A Pennsylvania cyclist is behind bars pending trial for the crime of obstructing traffic by riding in the lane, and getting pissed off when impatient drivers tried to pass him. Since when are traffic violations a criminal offense? And unless he threatened or attacked motorists, swearing was protected by the First Amendment, last I heard.

Philadelphia plans to sweep away abandoned bikes so they won’t besmirch the streets when bike-riding Pope Francis comes to call. Meanwhile, a Philly lawyer offers a detailed look at the problems faced by bicyclists and pedestrians in the city, and what can be done about it short of papal intervention.

A new policy passed by hard-hearted city officials in Durham NC requires ghost bikes to be removed after just 45 days, or even sooner if someone complains; not surprisingly, friends and relatives of bicycling victims object.

Thanks to a law change, it’s legal to ride without holding on to your handlebars in Florida. Shouting “Look ma, no hands!” remains optional.

 

International

A new Canadian study confirms that traffic lanes 10 to 10.5 feet wide improve safety at intersections, while still allowing traffic to move efficiently.

No bias here, either. A Calgary website calls the victim of a hit-and-run a “pedestrian,” but the driver who may have killed her is a “person.”

Caught on video: A Toronto pedestrian kicks a cyclist’s bike and punches him in the face after the rider collided with him on a shared waterfront pathway.

Three Ontario sisters are stopped by police for riding their bikes topless; after pointing out that it’s legal in the province, the cop says he was really just doing a light and bell check. Right.

Evidently, life is cheap in the UK, as a British driver who killed a cyclist on the Isle of Man walks away — literally, perhaps — with a suspended sentence and a three-year driving ban. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A road raging Brit cop is accused of knocking a cyclist off his bike, then throwing him into a store window. Then again, it goes both ways, as London police are looking for the road raging bike rider who attacked a driver with a glass bottle; the victim appears to have survived getting whacked in the knee.

Caught on video: A motorcyclist catches a London woman somehow managing to drive while simultaneously talking on the phone and eating cereal.

The Dutch are riding further after getting a boost from their e-bikes.

New Zealand parents are rightfully upset after their six-year old son isn’t allowed to bring his bike onto an otherwise empty bus.

More proof cyclists are tough. An Aussie man rides his bike home after being stabbed by a woman.

 

Finally…

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. An Ohio man fled from the coppers on his bike after stealing two rolls of copper, and was caught after getting hit by a car making his escape. If you’re going to flee the scene on a bike you pulled out of the trunk of the stolen car you just crashed into a telephone pole, it helps if you’re sober enough to ride it.

And one last caught on video, as a Brazilian cyclist takes a car parked in a bike lane into his own hands. Literally.

 

Morning Links: Killer OC hit-and-run driver jailed, Westwood Blvd bike lanes threatened, and Beverly Hills lanes fail

Justice came too late for another fallen OC rider on Thursday.

Forty-four year old Daniella Palacios was riding in Anaheim last November when she was hit by a truck driven by Junior Rigoberto Lopez. Lopez fled the scene, leaving the mother of eight to die in an Orange County Hospital.

He tried to hide the damage by fleeing to Mexico, where he had the truck repaired before returning to the US six weeks later.

It didn’t work; he was arrested after police examined the truck and discovered the repair work.

Lopez was sentenced to three years.

With credit for time served, he should be out in less than two. Probably far less.

In fact, he’s already eligible for parole.

But to the judge’s credit, parole was denied; according to the according to KNBC-4, the judge called Lopez’ actions “outrageous and nearly unforgivable.”

What do you mean, nearly?

Junior Lopez sentence

Thanks to Ed Rubinstein and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

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Both the LA Times and KPCC look at the needless controversy over bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd, which have so far been halted by councilmember Paul Koretz at the demand wealthy homeowners.

The homeowners cite safety concerns, fearing for the poor riders who could face harm from increased bus traffic, despite having their own lane which would keep them out of the way of buses. Unlike now, when riders are forced to share the same congested lanes with them.

Why is it that people who oppose improving safety for bike riders always seem to stress how concerned they are about the safety of bicyclists, while doing absolutely nothing about it?

And seriously, don’t read the comments to either of those pieces unless you want to lose all hope for the future of humanity.

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Speaking of needless battles, the fight over re-opening long-closed Mt. Hollywood Drive to motor vehicles at the resumes tonight at the meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board.

Homeowners in the wealthy Beachwood Canyon neighborhood, who evidently didn’t notice the Hollywood Sign when they moved in, are trying to turn their community into a virtual private enclave to keep tourists from besmirching their streets in an attempt to get selfies in front of the sign.

And they want the park to open the popular biking and hiking street to cars so those tourists can have a much less attractive view of the sign, at the expense of everyone else who uses the park.

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Yet another failure of rationality in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot reports the city council voted not to include bike lanes on the soon-to-be-revamped Santa Monica Blvd.

This despite the fact that space for bike lanes will be available on almost the entire length of the boulevard, and require the loss of just a few feet of parkland in just one short section. And despite the fact that state law now calls for Complete Streets that meet the needs of all users, not just motor vehicles or over-privileged residents.

I’m old enough to remember a time when some towns still had signs warning minorities not to let the sun set on them inside the city limits.

That’s the same feeling I get from Beverly Hills.

They send a clear message that bikes, and their riders, are not welcome there, and they will do whatever it takes to run us out of town.

Although some of their elected leaders get it. Just not enough to make a difference.

Not surprising, Elliot also reports the city fails to address the safety of bicyclists in construction projects on the boulevard.

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Albertor Contador insists the Tour de France is not over, despite Chris Froome’s overwhelming dominance.

One rider who won’t be challenging Froome is Teejay van Garderen, who was forced to abandon the race due to illness after struggling in Wednesday’s stage; he says he just wants to disappear after dropping out while still in third place.

Despite doping controversies, viewership of the Tour de France is up except in France; America’s only remaining TdF champ gets a warm embrace after returning to the race as a broadcaster.

The owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team calls for a revolution in pro cycling.

Good news for Ivan Basso, whose successful surgery for testicular cancer means no further treatment is necessary.

And a Singapore cyclist competing in the South East Asian Games is under investigation for repeatedly slapping a teammate on a training ride.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at multiple motions regarding bikeshare at today’s Metro meeting; Santa Monica’s system is scheduled for a limited opening in August, while Long Beach should open next year.

The East Side Riders fulfill a longtime dream by opening a bike co-op in Watts.

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of Brentwood bike thieves caught on camera stealing a bike from inside a building.

Bike LA’s battle with Hollywood over green bike lanes goes on… and on… as LA’s newly installed chief film liaison is working to find a compromise shade of green that will allow the city to finally put some paint on the streets; the city caved to filmmakers demands and stripped the paint off LA’s first green lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

 

State

Apparently having nothing better to do, the state legislature passes a bill requiring bike riders to pull over on narrow roads when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Even though current law, which already applies to cyclists, already says exactly that.

BikeSD reports on a new study that concludes the cost of driving a car is six times the cost of riding a bike.

The next time someone says police never ticket bike riders, show them this: San Bernardino police ticketed 12 bicyclists and 31 pedestrians as part of a safety sting; not surprisingly, motorists still lead the way with 57 violations.

The weeklong Big Bear Cycling Festival kicks off this Saturday.

Sixty kids in Mecca — no, not the one in Saudi Arabia — get refurbished bikes, locks and helmets courtesy of a local transit agency.

A pair of East Palo Alto brothers, one on a bike and the other on a skateboard, help subdue a man accused of attacking an 89-year old priest.

San Francisco settles with a father who was choked by police for riding a bike with his 10-month old son in a baby carrier, but without a baby helmet. No, really.

Alameda cyclists will ride Sunday to remember a popular bike shop owner who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

The idiotic Orinda bike lane that places riders in the path of high speed traffic entering a freeway on double onramps is due for a safety makeover; the city’s chief engineer admits the current design is “not ideal.” A little green paint is not going to solve the problem, or encourage riders to risk their lives there.

The death of a bike rider in St. Helena last May is blamed on alcohol, even though the victim’s rental fixie had a substandard brake; the Ohio woman, who was celebrating her first anniversary, had a BAC of .18 when she rode into the side of a slow moving truck.

 

National

Outside Magazine sums up the HBO Real Sports look at the state of bicycling in the US, for those without premium cable.

AT&T offers their latest public service ad showing the devastating consequences of texting while driving.

Portland advocates say an increase in reported bike thefts means more people are trying to get them back instead of just giving up.

An Arizona driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while high on synthetic marijuana; the victim’s friends complain the sentence wasn’t stiff enough. California cyclists are just happy to see DUI drivers get any jail time.

Colorado cyclists call a bizarrely designed bike lane a death trap. This is what happens when people who apparently don’t ride bikes design bicycling infrastructure.

Note to business owners fighting bike lanes — you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When Denver installed bike lanes on a pair of streets downtown, retail sales skyrocketed.

The Slow Roll movement spreads to Minneapolis, encouraging leisurely rides through neighborhoods where bicycling is less popular. Which is their overly polite way of saying lower-income and minority areas.

Vermont police somehow conclude a bike rider made an abrupt U-turn just to collide head-on with the wife of a cop, who was found not at fault even though she was driving drunk while high on Xanax.

A 560-pound man is riding across the country to lose weight; he’ll be getting a new donated bike after he was stranded in Rhode Island when his broke.

A bike rider is a hero after grabbing a woman’s ankle to keep her from jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge. But bikes are the problem, right?

A seven-month pregnant woman was stabbed in the shoulder while riding her bike home from work in DC.

An Atlanta man wasn’t even safe from a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike on the damn sidewalk.

 

International

The family of a fallen Saskatchewan bike rider call her death senseless after her bike was clipped by a passing delivery truck. Actually, all traffic deaths are senseless; it’s long past time we stopped tolerating them.

Instead of fixing a dangerous railroad crossing, British authorities urge cyclists to be careful when riding near it.

More Brit women are taking up bicycling despite safety fears. Evidently, it’s okay to kill a cyclist there due to a momentary lapse in concentration.

Irish police are accused of misleading cyclists into thinking riders without helmets and hi-viz are subject to on-the-spot fines.

A Turkish adventurer has ridden through 19 countries on his bike, as well as a failed attempt to ride to the North Pole; however, authorities wouldn’t let him pedal up Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

A Michigan SUV driver somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist, or an elementary school. Drivers parking in a bike lane is one thing; placing a permanent bus stop in one is another.

And if you’re going to threaten to permanently injure the person who stole your bike, it helps if you spell it right.

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Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about the Corgi.

Three days, two vet visits and several hundred dollars later, we learned that she has Giardia, most likely as a result of all the irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets around here.

The good news is, she should be back to her feisty self in a week or so.

Sienna-Foot-Back

Morning Links: Suit filed in death of Granada Hills teenager; Biking Black Hole considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes

That was to be expected.

The father of Philomene Ragni, the 17-year old bike rider killed when he was hit by a DWP truck in Granada Hills earlier this year, has filed suit against DWP and the driver of the truck.

The suit states that Ragni had the right-of-way and was riding with due care when he was struck due to the careless actions of the driver; it also alleges the driver was traveling at an unsafe speed and was in violation of several DWP policies.

Of course, lawsuits, by their nature, paint the actions of their client in the best possible light. And the ones being sued in the worst.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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Don’t forget the proposal for the much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills comes up before the city council one more time today.

And this time, perhaps for the first time, it might actually have a chance.

So if you can’t there, email the councilmembers at the link above to voice your support.

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Spain’s Rubén Plaza wins Monday’s stage 16 of the Tour de France as part of a 23-man breakaway; once again, Peter Sagan finishes second after a blazing descent. Today is a rest day.

Team Sky plans to release part of Chris Froome’s performance data to put to rest rumors of doping.

Wicked crash in Monday’s stage as Geraint Thomas gets bumped, misses a turn and crashes into a telephone pole before falling into a ditch. The rider who bumped him, Warren Barguil, blames Teejay van Garderen for knocking him off his line; naturally, Teejay disagrees.

Bicycling explains how TdF riders show up on a yellow bike the day after winning the yellow jersey. Doesn’t look like that’s likely to be a concern for the remainder of this one.

Interesting post on a physics website, as a writer wonders if Lance Armstrong has actually had a net positive effect on bicycling and society, and just how to measure that.

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Local

Metro board directors Mike Bonin and Shiela Kuehl call on the agency to speed up the glacial implementation of LA’s long awaited bikeshare program. At this rate, it won’t get to Hollywood until I’m too old and feeble to use it.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler will participate in a webinar on Active Transportation and Equity at 10 this morning. Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

The LACBC’s Valley Bike Ambassadors meeting will be held tonight. Along with the LACBC’s local chapters, the Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program is one of the best ways to get involved with bike advocacy and volunteer work in your own community.

CiclaValley offers their weekly update.

Bike SGV hosts a bike train and barbeque this Sunday.

 

State

Better Bike offers a detailed manual on how to read the results from California’s SWITRS collision database.

Calbike invites you on scenic 265-mile fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

An 11-year old Irvine girl appears to be okay despite getting hit by an SUV while riding her bike to summer school.

More private bikeshare in Orange County, as the Irvine Company teams up with Zagster to offer 60 bikes for residents and commercial tenants to use free of charge. That hardly seems enough for 9,000 potential users, though.

Santa Barbara companies are discovering that bikes are good for business. Funny how LA businesses didn’t seem to get the memo.

A San Francisco writer looks at the newly bike-friendly Caltrans, but says the agency still has a long way to go to put its auto-centric past behind it.

Bike thefts are up in Palo Alto. And pretty much everywhere else, as well. So be careful out there.

 

National

Another new study from the University of Duh shows that people who walk or bike to work have a lower body mass index; living in compact cities doesn’t seem to encourage more active commutes, though.

Largely unnoticed last week was Senate approval of a clause allowing parents to decide when their kids are old enough to walk or bike to school. Although the Popsugar website jumped the gun a tad since it still needs to be reconciled, and signed by the president.

People for Bikes is looking for a new Marketing and Communications Manager in their Boulder CO office.

A prominent Albuquerque homebuilder was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bike in a gated community. The driver, who police describe as a low-life drunk and despicable guy, was released on $100,000 bail. I wonder if the police would be as pissed off if it was just anyone on a bike.

Bad enough to drive drunk. Worse to rear end a pair of cyclists while doing it — especially if they’re North Dakota bike cops making a traffic stop. Fortunately, the officers are okay.

A couple on a tandem taking part in Iowa’s RAGBRAI ride were injured when a drunk driver ignored a cop’s instructions and drove through an intersection.

A Texas woman overcomes melanoma to set a masters world record in the 2K pursuit.

A writer for the Boston Globe says non-compete clauses are the wrong move for boutique bike builders, where one bike maker can spawn another.

Don’t try this at home. A 14-year old Massachusetts girl was texting while riding down a steep hill, blowing through a stop sign and turning into the path of an oncoming car. Seriously. Put the damn phone down and pay attention to the road in front of you.

New York’s environmental commissioner leaves office after biking across the state. Although it would have been better if he’d done it upon entering the office. 

A New York cyclist was dragged off his bike and beaten in an alleged hate crime; the Hispanic rider was attacked by two white men who called him a “fucking immigrant” and said he didn’t belong in this country. Doesn’t sound very “alleged” to me.

New Charleston bike lanes are delayed until next year; they’ll be part of a planned 140-mile citywide bikeway system.

Cyclists in New Orleans plan a die-in at Thursday’s city council meeting to protest too many bicycling deaths in the city.

 

International

Laguna Beach mountain bike champ Hans Rey goes biking at 10,000 feet through the Guatemalan Highlands; his Wheels 4 Life organization has donated 7,100 bikes to school kids in 200 developing countries.

Winnipeg drivers can’t seem to get the hang of a new bike lane; the story blames parking next to the bike lane for forcing drivers into it. Or they could, you know, just stay the hell out of it.

Nice. A UK man not only finds a stolen bike abandoned in a park, but fixes it and adds a kickstand before returning it to its owner.

Pashley and Brompton owners can take some credit, as sales and production of British bikes jump 70% in a single year. I still think Pashley should send me a Guv’nor to try out on a semi-permanent loan, right?

Stockholm is taking ciclovía a step further by turning the entire city center over to people, not cars, for a day.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: You seriously may not want to see this, as a Cuban track cyclist competing in the Pan Am Games gets one of the worst splinters in human history. When you’re already wanted on a $25,000 outstanding warrant, don’t ride salmon — and don’t get in a wreck.

And a father in the UK jumped from his van and beat the boy he said stole his son’s bike with a hammer — only to apologize after realizing it wasn’t even the same bike.

No, seriously.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions of any amount are deeply appreciated.

Weekend Links: NBPD quickly corrects misguided cop, hope for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes, and bike events

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a cop to get bike laws wrong, especially when it comes to our right to the lane.

What is unusual is getting the issue straightened out in such a prompt and positive manner.

Hats off to Newport Beach Deputy Chief David McGill for resolving this one the right way. And right away.

Thanks to topomodesto for the heads-up.

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There may be unexpected light at the end of the Beverly Hills tunnel when it comes to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which appeared to be dead in the water earlier this year.

This comes from the LACBC:

LEgal-Progress-on-Santa-Monca-Blvd-Beverly-Hills-City-Council-this-Tuesday-1

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You may still have time to join CICLE for the Ring Around the Lotus ride around Echo Park Lake area this morning.

The Bicycle Drive-In screening of Wizard of Oz planned for today in Downtown Long Beach has been rescheduled for next week due to the power outage affecting the area.

Pedaler’s Fork hosts their 10-Speed Grinder Ride this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, South Pas is hosting a Green Living Expo and Clean Air Car Show. Someone should tell them bikes are a lot greener than even the cleanest car.

Celebrate the new improvements on LA’s first Great Street, including the new parking protected bike lanes at [Re]visit Reseda Blvd on the 30th.

Streetsblog will host a fundraising Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village on August 8th.

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Icebike.org offers what may be the ultimate infographic on the ultimate bike friendly city with a detailed look at Copenhagen.

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Peter Sagan just misses victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, for his fourth second place finish of the Tour, as Greg van Avermaet takes the win. But at least Sagan has a firm grasp on the sprinter’s jersey.

An Irish rider in his first Tour leads the battle for the lanterne rouge, if lead is the right word for it.

A website says the TdF has never looked so horrifying, thanks to on-bike footage of a crash. And GoPro says live on-bike footage could be broadcast from every rider in the peloton in just two years.

VeloNews previews the second edition of the women’s La Course by Le Tour de France, which will be broadcast on live TV before the men’s finish on the Champs-Élysées. Bicycling offers photos of the recently completed Giro Rosa, proving women really can survive a seven day stage race; many of those same racers will compete in La Course.

The New York Times says Lance may be a pain for cycling, but could turn out to be a sympathetic figure. And drop these phrases in into you daily conversation to make people think you really understand the bike racing.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman puts the police shooting death of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in context, saying streets can never be considered complete or livable when a large segment of the bike riding population has to ride in fear of the police.

Bike theft continues to rise in DTLA, as 11 bikes were stolen in a single week earlier this month; a $1,300 bike was ridden right out of Sports Chalet, while another was stolen when a Downtown security officer left it unattended.

The East Side Riders Bike Club has a new Gofundme page to raise $4,000 to help kids and the community through bicycling; thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

 

State

A Santa Rosa theater group travels to their bilingual stage performances by bike.

Sadly, a 63-year old Palo Alto cyclist died of injuries he suffered in a Mountain View collision last week, while another rider was killed near Tracy on Thursday.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranks worse than LA as one of the nation’s worst cities for drivers. Which makes bicycling an even better alternative, mais non?

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at plans to remove bike lanes and sharrows from one of the city’s streets without providing a safer alternative.

Tragically, a 12-year old boy has died of injuries he suffered in a bicycling collision on Monday. The news report notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fails to mention if he suffered a head injury, or if his injuries could have been survivable even with one.

 

National

If living near trees makes you feel younger, imagine how riding a bike through them would make you feel.

No press bias here. After an SUV driver flicks his cigarette in the face of a Vancouver WA bicyclist, he apparently run down her on purpose. And the local TV just calls it a hit-and-run.

A Denver thief entered through a doggie door to steal an expensive bike. Presumably, he didn’t leave the same way.

That’s more like it. A Nebraska man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a cyclist; two hours after the wreck, he was still twice the legal limit.

Big hearted strangers pitch in to buy a 79-year old Fargo woman a new three-wheeled bike after hers was stolen.

A Dallas paper asks if local texting bans really reduce traffic collisions; Texas is one of just six states that refuses to ban the practice statewide.

A Kentucky driver faces a long list of charges, including murder, for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he drove three miles with the dying rider in the bed of his pickup before police stopped him.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it’s time to scrap a bike lane because drivers can’t seem to figure it out.

A Rochester NY boy is under arrest for stealing 150 — yes, 150 — bikes from a community cycling group; some of the bikes were recovered, but were badly damaged. Big hearted community members donated over 400 bikes to replace them.

Boston’s Bikeyface asks who’s afraid of a little sweat.

 

International

Britain’s Prime Minister will consider banning big trucks from city centers at rush hour to protect bike riders.

A writer for the Guardian asks why the BBC is so anti-bicycling. Good question.

A UK triathlete is looking for the Good Samaritan who came to his aid after he passed out and woke up disoriented during the bicycling segment of a recent race.

Brit thieves steal the bicycle a woman rider used to raise the equivalent of over $17,000 for a hospice charity.

Cyclists aren’t even safe when they drive, as a 79-year old British bike club leader was stabbed to death by a road raging driver after a minor collision.

Police in The Netherlands have to borrow a bike to catch a bike thief.

Syrian refugees are bicycling 1,200 miles to Europe to escape their war-torn country.

A writer for the Guardian compares bicycling in The Netherlands with Australia to dispel the usual anti-bike arguments.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Deadspin can’t stop watching those “crazy assholes” play indoor soccer on bikes, saying the video will blow your f***ing dick off. Evidently, viewing it will have no effect on women, though. Then again, Bike Portland says all sports are better when played on a bike.

And if you’re going to tell police you bought the stolen bike you’re riding at Walmart, make sure they sell that brand first.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist hit by two cars in Beverly Hills, cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, and Orlando Bloom’s bike shorts

A 47-year old bike rider was seriously injured when he was hit by two cars in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

KABC-7 reports the victim was crossing the intersection of Robertson Blvd around 9:50 am when he was thrown through the air after being hit by a car. He landed in front of an SUV stopped at the light, which somehow managed to roll over him before speeding away.

Yet remarkably, his injuries were not considered life-threatening. And for a change, the station noted the victim didn’t do anything wrong.

The second driver was arrested about a mile away after he was followed by a witness.

Both collisions were captured by a nearby security camera. As of Sunday night, the station had not posted the video online; fair warning, it’s not easy to watch.

Update: The video is now available online.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, appears to be riding east in the bike lane on Burton Way as he crosses southbound Robertson. He appears to swerve at the last second to avoid the impact, though LAist says he was turning right onto Robertson. 

It’s unclear how the wreck could have occurred unless the first driver went through the intersection before the light changed.

………

German rider John Degenkolb wins on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix after winning the San Remo classic last month.

British great Bradley Wiggins fails to end his career on a high note as he finishes 18th, while Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan fell out of competition when his shifter broke.

And it’s not every day when the peloton is disrupted by a high-speed train; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

In today’s celebrity bike news, the gossip press freaks out when they catch of glimpse of the chamois in Orlando Bloom’s bike shorts as he pedals down PCH, suggesting he should wear a helmet and a jock strap. And keep his hands on the handlebars.

Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin looks angry when he gets a flat on his bike. Or maybe he’s just annoyed by paparazzi following his every move.

………

Local

An animated GIF from KPCC shows how much LA’s bikeway network has changed in just 10 years, even though we still face a disconnected network filled with trash cans and mostly useless sharrows.

A seriously misguided Northridge letter writer questions the wisdom of devoting space to bicycling, insisting that only fit people ride bikes. And never at night.

Joel Epstein says Bicycle Coffee LA sets an example for the mayor’s new sustainability plan.

 

State

Huntington Beach police say they’ve busted the transient bike thief who’s been stealing expensive bikes from the pier. Although $2,100 is hardly expensive these days.

Hardly anyone bothers to show up when Escondido holds its first ciclovía. A little advance publicity or a longer course wouldn’t have hurt.

A San Bernardino bike rider is expected to survive after being shot several times.

Bike and safety advocates win one in Menlo Park, as the city’s planning commission chooses bike lanes over a third traffic lane.

A bike rider was killed when he was hit by a train in East Oakland on Saturday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Woodland cyclist plans to celebrate his 100th birthday by riding a century.

Two motorists collide head-on near Calistoga. Yet somehow, a cyclist falling off his bike when emergency vehicles speed past seven miles away becomes part of the story. Thanks to John Murphy for the link.

 

National

People for Bikes offers 10 ways to win the battle over removing parking spaces for bike lanes; a Vancouver restaurant owner who unsuccessfully fought one in front of his place says business is better than ever a year later.

Vox makes the case for lowering speed limits, including a 25 mph cap in urban areas.

A new helmet-mountable cam promises to capture a 360° view. Including things you may not want to see as drivers speed by from every angle.

A Denver columnist asks whether the Mile High city has a policy of cyclists first, ignoring how much of its infrastructure is dedicated to motor vehicles.

Wyoming will study bike paths and bicycle tourism, including a possible state-wide bicycle network.

A Texas politician who swears he’s not anti-bike is pushing a ban on using state or federal funds for road diets. Apparently, he’s not anti-safety, either.

An Arkansas minister will bike across the state to raise money for a new church building.

A Florida writer takes up bicycling again after 23 years, while a letter writer insists we should all ride salmon.

 

International

Dubliners worry the city is too bike-unfriendly for its new bike share system, as a new docking station is vandalized just days after installation.

Ten Israeli cyclists are injured when the car accompanying them is rear-ended.

An Aussie cyclist says the ineffectual Australian Cyclist Party needs to get its shit together.

A Korean bike lane is covered with solar panels to protect riders from sun and rain while generating electricity. But who wants to ride down the center of a freeway, covered or otherwise?

A Chinese cyclist gets his stolen bike back after it was taken just days from the end of an 18,000 mile journey around the country.

 

Finally…

An Alaska criminal ends up bikeless when his intended purse-snatching victim refuses to go down without a fight. Former golfing great Greg Norman says Lance is a frigging disgrace, while, an Irish cyclist refuses to take part in a charity challenge if the ex-Tour de France winner rides.

And MCippollini unveils a $54,000 gold, platinum and diamond encrusted bike, for when you just have to show the world you’re an over-privileged SOB with no idea what to do with your money.

 

Morning Links: Evidently, Great Streets require skinny street sweepers; bike share moves forward in Beverly Hills

Reseda Blvd Flyer_Workshop2_April-11__colorLA’s first official Great Street could get even greater.

A workshop will be held this Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm to show off the new sidewalk patterns and benches lining Reseda Blvd in Northridge, and discuss what improvements will take place in Phase 2 of the project.

Thanks to the BAC’s Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

Speaking of Reseda, I’m told the topic of the city’s first parking-protected bike lane lining one side of the boulevard came up at the meeting of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee earlier this month.

Specifically, the question of how LA intended to keep rocks, glass and other debris from piling up, since none of the city’s street sweepers are narrow enough to fit between the bollards and the curb.

Which is exactly the argument commonly used against having a physical separation the parking lane and the bike lane to keep cars out. Although even that hasn’t been effective with confused LA drivers.

Apparently, it will require the purchase of a skinny new street sweeper.

Using funding from the bikeways program, of course.

……..

The Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills may need a new moniker after approving a bike share pilot program.

The city approved buying docking stations and 50 smart bikes from the same manufacturer that will be used by Santa Monica’s coming Breeze bike share.

Although placing tourists on the city’s unwelcoming streets may be problematic.

Beverly Hills might want to rethink the decision not to widen Santa Monica Boulevard to make room for bike lanes before they thrust tourists on slow bikes into the already jammed traffic lanes.

Thanks to Better Bike’s Mark Elliot for the news.

……..

Local

Flying Pigeon says the force isn’t with you when the LAPD is leaving their patrol cars in what’s supposed to be a buffered bike lane, not a parking lot.

The Daily News says California needs more focus on older people. But they get it wrong in suggesting downtown lofts and bike paths are strictly for young people; older adults benefit from vibrant, walkable neighborhoods as well, and many improve their health and happiness by riding bikes. And need a safe place to do it.

New LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler is featured on the This Is The City podcast.

Nice. The Los Angeles Circuit Race on Sunday, April 18th will honor fallen Bahati Racing pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado.

An 81-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries in an El Monte collision on Tuesday night; by Wednesday morning he was in stable condition.

 

State

CABO joins Calbike in coming out in opposition to SB 192, the proposal to require all California bike riders to wear a helmet when they ride, with reflective hi-viz at night.

The annual Redlands Classic kicked off on Wednesday, offering one of the country’s top amateur stage races. Sadly, one rider didn’t make it, as 23-year old Erica Greif was killed in a car collision on her way to the race; thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

 

National

People for Bikes says you don’t need to travel to some exotic location when the best riding is in your own back yard. New York’s Bike Snob might agree, as he takes a casual fried ride through the Bronx.

Seriously? Money magazine offers advice on how to beat the high cost of bicycling, even though it only costs a lot if you want it to; many riders get by on almost nothing.

Bicycling lists the nation’s 29 best bike shops, including LA’s Golden Saddle Cyclery, Pedalers Fork in Calabasas, The Unlikely Cyclist in Costa Mesa and Irvine’s A Road Bike 4U.

What to do if you hit an animal while riding your bike.

Bike riders are told to be on their best behavior, as Denver grants them a whole extra weekend day of riding on the city’s iconic 16th Street Mall.

 

International

It was a police officer behind the wheel of the service car that took out New Zealand cyclist Jesse Sergent during the Tour of Flanders; frighteningly, the cop has no memory of the incident or why he tried to pass when there wasn’t enough room.

An Indian newspaper seems amazed by a 22-year old’s nearly 3,000 mile, 49 day “crazy” journey across the country, noting that he has never been a professional cyclist or had specialized training in long-distance riding.

 

Finally…

Anyone can descend. But how many cyclists can do it backwards at 50 mph? And a ticket for riding without a bike bell comes back to haunt a Canadian bike rider five years later.

 

Morning Links: New hope for North Fig and Santa Monica Blvd; bike rider attacked on San Gabriel River trail

Maybe bike lanes on North Figueroa aren’t dead after all.

According to the LACBC, discussions with Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s office have yielded a number of safety improvement options for a five block stretch of the roadway — including a possible road diet and bike lanes.

Of course, a five-block bike lane unconnected to a longer bikeway, let alone a network of lanes, won’t do anyone much good.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction, and it opens the possibility for further improvements.

That is, assuming the councilmember is sincere in working with bike riders, after giving cyclists the cold shoulder after taking office and accusing bike advocates of bullying in an open council session.

And leaving them feeling jerked around — if not stabbed in the back — during the process of needlessly examining, then killing, what was already a fully approved, funded and shovel-ready project.

………

Meanwhile, it looks like bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd survive for another day.

After a vocal turnout by bike riders at Tuesday’s city council session in the Biking Black Hole, the proposed Beverly Hills Greenway appears to have gained traction (pdf, scroll down).

As usual, local advocacy website Better Bike offers the most complete recap of the day’s events, as well as reviewing local coverage of the story — including a highly biased piece from the Beverly Hills Courier that should have been printed on yellow stock.

Or maybe toilet paper.

………

Allyson Vought forwards word of a bike rider who was assaulted by a pedestrian on the San Gabriel River bike path in Seal Beach earlier this month.

The man reportedly stepped into the pathway and punched the cyclist in the face hard enough to knock him off his bike, then proceeded to pummel him severely before casually walking away. The victim was discovered by another rider crawling up the rocky embankment leading to the river, bleeding from the face, head, arms and legs.

Disturbingly, police never showed up in response to the 911 call, even though riders followed the attacker for over 20 minutes.

………

Once again, you can win a ride with Laemmle Theaters president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle.

Just explain why you want to ride with Greg, and you could win free entry to the 2015 Climate Ride, and $2500 towards your fundraising requirements, along with an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the rest of this year.

Not a bad deal.

……..

When is it too muddy for cyclocross?

When parks officials in Austin TX, home of this year’s national championships, decide to postpone the final day’s events because of wet conditions; stunned riders who refused to leave the park were threatened with arrest.

Donations are being raised for competitors who hadn’t budgeted for the extra day.

……..

The New York Times looks at Baltimore’s allegedly drunken and texting hit-and-run Bishop; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

The Baltimore Sun reports she was charged with manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI, after blowing nearly three times the legal limit. As of Friday, she was in custody, being held on $2.5 million bond.

Meanwhile, a local letter writer says shock does not excuse the moral depravity of refusing to stop after hitting someone. Well put.

……..

Local

LA’s long promised bike share system could actually come to DTLA next year, with the first test stations opening as early as October of this year.

Santa Monica police are expanding patrols looking for violations that threaten the safety of cyclists, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers or bike riders.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition offers a questionnaire for candidates in the city’s mayoral race; they’re also participating in a forum for mayoral candidates on the 14th. The LACBC should have a questionnaire for candidates in LA’s council elections soon.

Milestone Rides hosts a session on Bike Touring 101 at Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia on Saturday the 17th.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition names Long Beach-based folding bike maker Tern as their Community Partner of the Year for the company’s support of the city’s CicloSDias open streets event.

San Diego’s bike share program is about to put 1,500 bikes on the streets.

Davis police recover 69 stolen bikes, but need to find the owners so they can press charges.

Sadly, a Folsom fireman is fighting for his life after being struck from behind by a bike rider while out running on a pathway.

 

National

The new Close Call Database tracks driver-on-cyclist hate. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of who sent me this link, so please accept my apologies and thanks.

A Portland cyclist says bicycling won’t change the symptoms of menopause, but it does make it more fun.

Bicycling contributes over $3.1 billion — that’s billion, with a b — to the economy of Washington state.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Oklahoma City councilman proposes a three-foot passing law — except this one requires cyclists to keep three feet from motor vehicles.

A Tulsa man dedicated the last two decades of his life to the belief that every kid should have a bike; sadly, he passed away last week.

A Chicago cyclist explains why bicycling tends to be less popular among African Americans. And how it helped rescue his own life.

Bad enough when a cyclist is killed in a collision; even more heartbreaking when a 74-year old PA man dies nine months after he was hit by a car.

The Washington Post offers a thoughtful examination of why cyclists break traffic laws, which basically boils down to trying to stay safe on roads that weren’t designed with us in mind. Thanks to LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

 

International

A new rain-proof riding jacket will indicate your turns for you. And your bike can now keep you upright, no matter how clumsy or balance challenged you may be.

A Canadian study shows helmet use doesn’t impact your overall risk of injury while riding a bike, since they only protect against head injuries. The study, evidently conducted by Obvious University, concludes the biggest injury risk factor cyclists face is… wait for it… getting hit by a car.

A Brit cyclist is convicted of punching another rider in a fit of bike rage, then doing it again to someone else just nine months later.

Increasing cycling rates could save at least 80 lives a year in Stockholm.

The seat and handlebars vibrate on a new bike from the Netherlands when fast moving objects get to close; on most LA streets, that could make it a virtual mobile sex toy.

Firefighters pedal bikes to the blazes in Varanasi, India. But do they get to make siren noises when they ride to the rescue?

The debate over scofflaw cyclists rages on, even in the UAE.

New Zealand’s national women’s cycling championships was nearly decided by a poodle peloton pile-up.

 

Finally…

You can now buy a ridable bike for the equivalent of just $10, as long as you don’t mind if it’s made of cardboard. Nothing like a bike rack on the back of your Lamborghini.

And if you thought playing Jingle Bells on a bike was something special, how about a veritable bike orchestra?

………

Thanks to John Hall for a generous donation to support this website.

Your generosity is what allows me to keep doing this.

Morning Links: Finish the Ride gets bigger for 2015; support the revised Beverly Hills Greenway on Tuesday

This is going to be my last post for a few day.

I’m moving to a new apartment in Hollywood on Sunday, leaving behind the Westside neighborhood my wife and I have finally been priced out of after more than 20 years. And unfortunately, Internet service won’t be installed in our new home for a few days after that.

So enjoy this post. Take your time reading the news and exploring the links. And I’ll be back later this week.

………

Big news from Damian Kevitt and Finish the Ride, which not only offers the option of a more challenging route, but opens the event up to virtually everyone. Click on the images for a larger version. 

Finish the Ride Flyer for PRINT

Finish the Ride Flyer

………

The Beverly Hills City Council is scheduled to discuss the planned remake of Santa Monica Blvd at Tuesday’s 2:30 pm council session, including installing much needed bike lanes on the boulevard through the city to connect with lanes in West Hollywood and Century City.

Something leaders of the Biking Black Hole have rejected more than once. Even though it already ranks as the most dangerous city of its size in the entire state.

And even though their decisions impact the city’s and people around them.

However, a new plan is on the table for what is now being called the Beverly Hills Greenway, which addresses many of the complaints previously raised to argue against the bike lanes. Or at least, the more rational ones.

Developed by Better Bike and the LACBC in conjunction with other cycling advocates, the plan would straighten out the varying widths of the boulevard, resulting in no net loss of parkland alongside — while making it safer and more inviting for everyone, including the tourists the city depends on.

You can show your support by signing the petition or attending the council session on Tuesday. Or better yet, both.

………

Blame — or possibly thank, depending on your point of view — bicycling for the possible loss of Bono’s six string skills, as he says his new titanium elbow may prevent him from ever playing the guitar again.

Then again, as he points out, his band mates have reminded him that “neither they nor Western Civilization are depending on this.”

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

……….

Local

Caught on video: Flying Pigeon looks at the traffic hell that is North Figueroa during morning rush hour; notice the extreme lack of cars that makes bike lanes impossible. Or not.

LADOT is looking for a Community Affairs Advocate to serve as a liaison to the city council and other elected officials, as well as community groups.

Rick Risemberg explains why it takes so long to get bike racks installed in LA, let alone anything else bike related.

 

State

After a year of delays, San Diego’s long-promised bike share program is ready to roll this month, cross their hearts.

Turns out I’m not the only SoCal rider to have an unpleasant bee encounter.

San Jose introduces back-in diagonal parking to improve safety in advance of a planned bike lane.

As too often happens, an Anderson CA cyclist can’t remember the hit-and-run that sent him to the hospital with major injuries; evidently, according to the CHP, the victim was not wearing a flak jacket, hockey mask or other forms of safety equipment.

 

National

Next City asks why it isn’t against the law to kill a cyclist with a car. Damn good question.

Now that’s more like it. An alleged Wyoming drunk driver accused of killing one cyclist and critically injuring another faces a sentence of eight to ten years in prison, followed by ten years probation.

A Milwaukee writer looks at why drivers harass cyclists and pedestrians who aren’t even breaking the law.

A Connecticut writer complains about the $10 million cost to make a bridge safe for cyclists, but doesn’t seem to be concerned about the $33 million it will cost to rehabilitate it for cars.

Brooklyn’s Borough President says we need to embrace bicycling because cars are so old school, darn it.

 

International

Columbian pro Darwin Atapuma is recovering after being slashed by thieves attempting to steal his bike. Meanwhile, if you thought Lance wasn’t the only pro cyclist who doped, boy, were you right.

A year after a tooth-and-nail battle over a Vancouver bikeway that closed a street to motor vehicles, the plan has actually worked.

An English cyclist plans to break a seemingly unbreakable record by riding over 75,000 miles this year — over 200 miles a day, every day, for the entire year. Let’s hope he can avoid getting sick or hitting a pothole.

I love it. A UK cyclist hands out red cards to offending drivers; in this country, we’d need a whistle and a red flag.

The Irish Times takes a look at the 10 best international bicycling vacations, none of which are anywhere near the US.

The Economist looks at Sweden’s Vision Zero to reduce traffic deaths to, well, zero. Which is finally spreading to LA.

An escaped Greek hit man was busted while riding a bike.

Kiwi cyclists push to have the country’s helmet law repealed; someone should tell the country’s leaders it’s more effective to encourage helmet use without making it mandatory.

An Aussie cyclist is nabbed for biking under the influence on New Years Eve after blowing over five times the legal limit; on the other hand, I think we can all be glad he wasn’t driving.

 

Finally…

Instant karma caught on video: A drunk allegedly steals a bike, then loses several teeth crashing into a cement trashcan before getting arrested. A Brit woman whines about the mythical Cycling Widows Club instead of just getting on her bike and riding with her significant other.

And Bradley Wiggins reveals how pro riders stay warm on cold rides, and why their shorts may have a yellow tinge at the end.

Which is something I really didn’t want to know.

 

Morning Links: The last gasp for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes; is Gil Cedillo sandbagging his own safety meetings?

It may be the last gasp for much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC calls on everyone to attend today’s Beverly Hill’s City Council study session on the proposed bike lanes, or if you can’t make it, email councilmembers in support of the bike lanes largely unsupported by the council.

As usual, Better Bike provides an in-depth analysis of both the roadway and city politics, saying it looks like the fix is in. And not in a good way.

I wonder if the city can be sued for failing to consider the needs of all road users as required by Federal law and the state’s requirement for Complete Streets (pdf). Especially if state and/or Federal funds will be used in the planned reconstruction of the streets.

Now that’s one Kickstarter I’d pitch in for.

………

Local

A 27-year old bike rider was shot to death in South Los Angeles early Monday morning. Do we even need to mention what an incredible waste of human life that is?

A writer for City Watch says a less car-dependent Los Angeles is a fantasy. Then again, he’s probably right if we ignore alternatives and focus strictly on driving, even if the cars are driverless.

CD 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo appears to sandbag his own street design public meetings for Northeast LA by failing to give sufficient public notice for anyone to actually attend.

 

State

A passer-by — or driver-by in this case — comes upon a Cypress bike collision, and is told the rider survived only because he or she wore a helmet — without noting what injuries the victim did or didn’t suffer, and whether a helmet could have actually made a difference. And never mind the inappropriate photo of a happy, helmet-clad kid.

Bicyclists ask for more space on Caltrain cars.

A Modesto letter writer says drivers have an obligation to stick around if they hit someone — although the driver who admitted hitting him on purpose actually did.

 

National

A new book looks at the history of Bicycles in American Highway Planning from 1969 to 1991, when an emphasis on motor vehicles marginalized bike infrastructure and set bicycling back 40 years.

The much loved Urban Velo succumbs to the times and ceases publication.

Bike friendly Portland encourages people to ride to the airport; if that was a viable option here, maybe we wouldn’t have such disastrous traffic tie-ups every holiday. We can dream, can’t we?

Nice. A non-profit organization founded by a Seattle man has given over 2,000 bicycles to survivors of human trafficking around the world.

Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for riding her bike in the traffic lane, has filed to run for Lt. Governor of the seemingly bicycling-challenged state.

 

International

We have met the enemy, and he is us. Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid illustrates how our paved roads — and yes, the cars on them — were begot by bicyclists.

Must have thin skinned police in Italy, as the cops who conducted the possibly flawed investigation into the death of cycling legend Marco Pantani threaten to sue the press for besmirching their reputations.

A new emphasis on cycling has helped change Rwanda’s international image.

Now that’s more like it. Singapore commits to becoming a bicycling nation by 2030, but a former official says it can be done in just six years.

 

Finally…

The perfect gift for your ultra-competitive toddler. A Korean company says it’s developed the first truly functional flat-proof bike tire.

And as if drivers didn’t have enough trouble seeing us, Russia’s Tinkoff-Saxo pro team unveils new camo training uniforms.

 

Don’t expect justice. Not on a bike, not for hit-and-run. And not in Beverly Hills.

Paul Livingston, back on his feet.

Paul Livingston, back on his feet. Photo by Brandon Lake.

Three days in jail for felony hit-and-run.

Exactly half the time her victim spent in a coma. And just a fraction of the seemingly endless days he spent in the hospital, let alone long months in rehab.

No wonder Paul Livingston is mad.

Maybe you remember the story.

Just over three years ago, June 12, 2011, to be exact, Livingston was riding his bike through the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills when he was rear-ended by a driver, who a witness described as weaving in and out of traffic “as if she was drunk.”

In fact, that same witness was dialing 911 to report the driver when she heard the sickening thud of the impact that nearly took Livingston’s life.

As Don Ward tells the story in LA Streetsblog,

Last summer Paul Livingston, an experienced cyclist of 15 years, was commuting along Santa Monica Blvd heading east through Beverly Hills. He began slowing as he approached a stale red light. Relaxed, it was about 6pm on a clear skied Sunday afternoon and his lane – the right lane – was clear. He was estimated to be moving at about 8 miles per hour. Suddenly his world changed forever. Witnesses describe an impatient and unpredictable driver racing in and out of pockets heading east towards the soon to be green light that Paul was approaching. Paul had no chance. He was smashed from behind and thrown. It was reported that the driver never braked but instead accelerated to get away after impact.

Even worse was the terrible toll caused by that collision.

The impact was so harsh that Paul suffered multiple spinal and pelvic fractures, severe internal bleeding and abdominal injuries. He spent 6 days in a coma and another month in the hospital. Doctors performed spinal fusion surgery to 5 levels of his vertebrae. Because of his disability he was let go from his job at SIR Hollywood, and as a result his medical insurance was terminated. With no ability to work he lost his apartment soon after. Paul’s hospital bills add up to well over $1 million dollars. The driver not only left Paul with a massive hospital bill, she stole a life’s joy from him as he lie broken in the street that day. Paul may never again ride a bicycle. None of the witnesses that stayed managed to get a plate, just a vehicle description.

In fact, it was far worse.

In a follow-up piece, Streetsblog’s Sara Bond wrote,

The last thing Paul remembers that day is being put on a stretcher before he woke up in a hospital bed six days later. He suffered spinal and pelvic fractures. His pelvic bone, broken in half and pushed upwards into his bladder had severed blood vessels causing him to bleed internally. When he was first admitted to the hospital he was hypotensive, which means his organs were shutting down with the lack of blood and his body was going into shock. Paul underwent three abdominal surgeries within the first two days just to stop the bleeding. On the fourth day, the doctors were able to fix his pelvis and then he went through spine surgery only to have pelvic surgery once again to get it back to its original position. Paul also suffered from post-operative infection from the abdominal surgeries. Finally, with his fever gone, he was healthy enough to have his spinal fusion – as a result, Paul is a bit shorter now.

Yet despite the severities of his injuries, he credits his helmet with saving his life, and the large bike bag he was carrying with cushioning the impact from the car and protecting him from even greater harm.

The driver, Victoria Chin, called police to turn herself in the next day — after she’d had time to sober up, if the witness was correct — claiming she didn’t stop because she couldn’t find a parking spot.

Well, okay then.

Or at least, that seemed to be the laissez faire — if not incompetent — attitude of the Beverly Hills police.

Rather than send a patrol officer out to see her — let alone make a badly needed arrest — the officer she spoke with told her she had to come to the station turn herself in, and to bring the car with her. Instead, she showed up the next day with no car and a lawyer in tow, refusing to say or do anything other than identify herself.

And that’s when things got strange.

Livingston's warped bike doesn't begin to capture the extent of his injuries.

Livingston’s badly warped bike doesn’t begin to capture the extent of his injuries.

As far as the BHPD was concerned, no harm, no foul — ignoring that her victim was in the ICU at Cedars Sinai in a medically induced coma at that very moment.

Because of the botched non-investigation, the DA initially declined to press charges. It wasn’t until Livingston’s own lawyer conducted his own investigation and handed them a gift-wrapped case on a silver platter that they even deemed it worth pursuing.

Not that they really seemed very interested, even then.

“I never got the feeling Marta (Miller, the prosecuting attorney) gave a shit about me or my case,” Livingston said when I spoke with him last week.

In fact, he had a bad feeling about it from the beginning.

Chin’s defense attorney, a former Los Angeles DA, boasted on his website about using his connections with the office to benefit his clients. And when Livingston asked about it, he was told that Miller had worked with him for over 10 years.

But no one else seemed to see a conflict of interest; his request for a new prosecutor never even received a response from the DA’s office.

Evidently, his intuition was on target.

At the final court hearing, Miller refused to even acknowledge his presence before the plea deal was announced. Livingston says he knew a deal had been made by the guilty expression on the face of the prosecutor who should have been fighting for society’s, if not his, interests.

Chin entered a plea of no contest to felony hit-and-run. Or rather, a plea was entered on her behalf; she had moved back to her family home in Pennsylvania, and after her initial hearing, didn’t attend any court sessions until she was ultimately sentenced.

That plea deal should have been good news. California sentencing guidelines for felony hit-and-run call for 16 months to three years in state prison, with a fine of $1,000 to $10,000. Severe bodily injury brings an additional one-year enhancement, while permanent injury or death calls for another two to four years.

You’d think titanium rods permanently embedded in your back just to hold your body together would qualify as permanent injury.

But you would be wrong.

As a result of an incredibly generous deal, and despite the felony conviction, Chin was sentenced this past April to just 120 days in jail.

County jail.

Not state prison.

And given the current overcrowding conditions in LA County lockup, Livingston was warned that she wasn’t likely to serve anything close to the full term.

But he was shocked to learn she’d been released after just two days behind bars.

Two days.

Combined with another day in jail following her arrest, her total incarceration adds up to just three days, compared with the minimum 26 months in state custody she should have received. And just half the time Livingston spent in a coma because of her actions.

On the other hand, she was ordered to pay $638,434 in restitution.

Not that he will ever see the money.

Livingston’s insurance company has a $468,000 lien on any judgment. Cedars has another for $150,000. And whatever is left when they’re done will go to St. Vincent Hospital.

And not like anyone realistically expects her to pay.

Like most California drivers, she had the minimum liability insurance coverage of just $15,000 required by California law; an amount that hasn’t been increased since it was established in the 1970s.

Which also means that, while he’s almost assured of winning his civil suit, Livingston probably won’t see a dime for his lost wages, pain or suffering. The only hope is that Chin may — key word, may — have been driving as part of her job that day; if that turns out to be the case, her employer could be on the hook for the full amount of what should be a multi-million dollar settlement on top of the restitution.

Let’s hope so.

……..

Despite everything, Paul Livingston remains remarkably upbeat.

“I’m so lucky,” he says. “I got so lucky.”

Without the herculean efforts of the paramedics and ER staff, he probably wouldn’t have made it through the first night. Even after that, so much could have gone wrong that could have changed his life forever.

Yet today, he pronounces himself fully recovered, physically anyway. He’s jogging a couple of miles every other day, doing push-ups and pull-ups, even lifting weights.

And he’s back to work as a drummer in a reggae band.

On the other hand, as Streetsblog noted, he’s not back on his bike, and probably never will be.

“I’m not riding anymore and I miss it. But there’s absolutely no way I would get on a bike in traffic again, anywhere.”

He also has to bite his tongue when he sees someone else riding a bike on crowded city streets.

“I want to tell them, if you only knew the danger you’re in, not just of getting hurt, but of the person who hit you never being brought to justice…”

His voice tapers off, leaving the thought dangling in the air.

He’d never actually say it, of course.

He knows the sheer joy that comes from riding a bike, and wouldn’t want to take that away from someone else.

But for all his upbeat attitude, the pain and financial stress has taken its toll.

I’ve gotta be honest. I’ve been really bummed out about the medical liens, insurance bullshit, and the reality of possibly not getting anything financially for my pain, suffering and all the emotional stress. I’m a professional musician and I lost my studio in Hollywood, my apartment, my job, my medical insurance. It’s been just one gnarly fight after another.

I had to fight to stay alive, I had to fight to learn how to walk again, I had to fight to get disability payments, I had to fight to get the Beverly Hills DA’s office to press charges and it just keeps going.

The hell I went through is something anyone would go to great lengths to avoid and that’s what’s hard to explain to people.

Until you experience trauma like that, you just don’t know. Imagine not being able to sleep while in pain waiting for spine surgery wondering if you’re going to still be able to walk again, go to the bathroom by yourself, and have sex again.

The physical pain was absolutely brutal but the emotional trauma is something that still haunts me. And I have to live with titanium rods and screws in my back forever.

So yeah, she took a lot away from me and the fact that she only did 3 days in jail makes me want to pack my shit and move to Montana.

But I want to try and help change things here so that other people don’t have to go through the hell I went through.

Yet remarkably, Paul Livingstone is not a vengeful man.

If she had shown some sign of remorse; if she’d just come up to me one time to say she was sorry, I might have let the whole thing go.

But she never did.

……..

Maybe I should let the story end there.

But as someone who has long argued for tougher hit-and-run laws, and applauded the efforts of Don Ward, Damian Kevitt, state Assemblymember Mike Gatto and others to pass hard-hitting legislation, I realize it doesn’t really matter.

This obscene epidemic will never end, and the physical, emotional and financial toll of hit-and-run will continue to build as long as police, prosecutors and the courts refuse to take it seriously.

This should have been an easy case for the police to investigate. But they didn’t care.

It should have been a clear-cut prosecution for the DA’s office. But they didn’t care.

It should have been a chance for the judge to send a message that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated in a civil society, and that there are serious consequences for running away like a coward and leaving another human being to bleed, and possibly die, in the street.

But he didn’t care.

Or if anyone did, not enough to actually do anything about it.

Until we change the attitude that traffic crime doesn’t matter and people don’t have to be held accountable for their actions, nothing will ever change.

Livingston is right. We can expect a lot of things when we ride.

But justice isn’t one of them.

Especially not in Beverly Hills.

 

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