Tag Archive for bicycling

Morning Links: Tour de France finally boots podium girls, and gun-related boycott of Vista Outdoor expands

At long last, podium girls are on the way out.

A year after the Vuelta a España stopped using the models paid to look good while posing with the stage winners, the Tour de France has announced an end to the anachronistic practice.

Which just leaves the Giro d’Italia as the last of the three Grand Tours employing the sexist tradition.

Along with our own Amgen Tour of California, which really should know better. Especially in the era of the #MeToo movement.

A woman belongs on a podium because she won the right to stand on it.

Not as prize for a male victor to claim.

Photo by Connor Man from Wikipedia.


The campaign to boycott Vista Outdoor, the parent company of Bell, Giro, Blackburn, CamelBak and Copilot, among other outdoor brands, is gaining speed.

The company, which also makes AR-15-style rifles and is one of the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers, as well as a leading supporter of the NRA, has lost a number of retail clients across the US following the NRA’s tone-deaf response to the Parkland shooting.

REI announced yesterday that they are placing future orders with Vista-owned companies on hold while they encourage Vista to show some leadership.

In addition, Canada’s REI equivalent, Mountain Equipment Co-op, or MEC, has announced that they will no longer sell any Vista products.

Meanwhile, CamelBak has issued a non-commital statement of values, which reminds the public that they operate separately from the company’s shooting sports division.



Great discussion on NPR with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about the dramatic jump in pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles, despite LA’s Vision Zero program.

A Pasadena letter writer says we should really have more compassion for those poor, vulnerable road users. You know, the ones in the cars.



Streetsblog highlights a couple of pedestrian safety campaigns that make some sense.

A Paso Robles magazine looks forward to next month’s Eroica California.



Good read from The Atlantic, explaining how the creation of the NACTO guide helped spread protected bike lanes throughout the US.

The Oregon legislature moves forward with a proposal to expand the state’s bike tax to cover all bicycles over $200, regardless of size.

Las Vegas bicyclists continue to fight for a separated bike path in Red Rock Canyon following the death of a rider in 2005, but keep running into delays and a lack of funding.

Colorado Public Radio discusses a proposal that would allow some cities to permit bicyclists to roll stop signs, even if drivers don’t seem to like the idea.

Escape Southern California’s June gloom and ride nearly 250 miles through northeast Nebraska.

Kindhearted Oklahoma City cyclists crowdfund a new bike for a 14-year old boy after his was stolen from outside a bike shop.

New York is following up on the national Women’s March with a seven-mile Women’s Ride sponsored by a bike advocacy group in conjunction with several women’s groups.

Bicycling talks with NASCAR racer Scott Lagasse about his annual bike ride at Daytona, and dealing with an angry driver.

Caught on video: This is what a right hook looks like, as a Florida bike rider catches his own collision on his bike cam the first time he put it on his bike. Which conclusively proves that bike cams cause crashes.



Get ready to throw away your air pump and CO2 cartridges.

A writer for the CBC says Ottawa is taking a calculated risk by allowing bikes on trains at rush hours, unlike most Canadian cities. Although they will only allow two to three bikes per train; any more riders than that will have to wait for the next train.

No bias here. The London Daily Mail says a woman was killed while walking her dog when a cyclist “ploughed” into her during a mass ride, even though the story makes clear that she had ignored the ride marshal’s instructions not to cross.

Paris is taking over the disastrous rollout of its next generation Vélib’ bikeshare after the chosen vendor failed to get the bikes out on the streets.

Wellington, New Zealand is reviewing traffic speeds in order to actually lower them. Unlike Los Angeles, where traffic studies almost inevitably lead to higher speed limits.

A Kiwi columnist says bike lanes will save Auckland as it reinvents itself, but only if the city can avoid awkward compromises with a small group of anti-bike protesters.


Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclists shower Italy’s Strade Bianche with praise in advance of Saturday’s race.



Lance Armstrong and the hijab-wearing porn star. No, women don’t need permission to wear pants to ride a bike anymore.

And don’t complain about today’s rain. You could be riding in this.

Guest Post: CD1’s Gil Cedillo blocks Vision Zero complete street project on Temple Street

We’ve talked a lot on here about North Figueroa. And how CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo singlehandedly blocked a shovel-ready complete streets project designed to tame the deadly street.

Less discussed is how committed Cedillo has been about blocking any similar projects in his district. Including a long-planned lane reduction on Temple Street that crosses council district boundaries.

Derrick Paul writes today to explain what’s going on with Temple.

Or not, in this case


I recently discovered a proposal to improve street safety near my neighborhood has been quietly canceled. LADOT proposed a group of projects around the middle of 2017 in support of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, which is a commitment to stop tolerating traffic-related injuries and fatalities on city streets.

One of the streets included — Temple Street — is directly adjacent to my neighborhood. The street carves through numerous street-facing residences and intersects several commercial corridors, connecting residents with businesses and public facilities (schools, parks, a library). However, like many streets in Los Angeles, this very localized thru-fare is also very large, and accommodates little else besides passing automobile traffic.

Crossing the street is a daring negotiation, and attempting to use a bicycle along it is hostile and outright dangerous, pushing any reasonable person to the sidewalk. The Vision Zero project called for numerous infrastructure changes to improve safety for all users of the street, but it’s implementation, set for completion last month, never materialized.

I learned that our district councilman stopped LADOT from moving forward. This is very surprising, as there had been no meetings with my neighborhood, no general outreach to constituents of the community. The project had been shelved with no public explanation.

Seeking further information from Council District 1, which is represented by Gil Cedillo, I reached out through one of his social media channels. I asked why his office doesn’t support mobility safety in our community. A response eventually came, but in the form of another question. “I support vehicle and pedestrian safety in our district. What makes you think otherwise?” he or someone associated claimed. After pointing to his contradicting decisions and pressing for further details, the chat went silent  His form of outreach and accessibility turned out to be lip service, a façade of transparency. So I dug a little further and found this ground had been covered before.

In 2014, residents in Highland Park ran into a similar obstacle. After years of outreach and effort, advocates found their push for better street conditions unilaterally halted by Gil Cedillo. Initially promising constituents he would support their process, which had preceded him under councilmember Ed Reyes (who termed out in 2013), Gil Cedillo changed his mind once winning his election and denied LADOT the authority to implement the project.

Pushes to convince Cedillo to move forward with the project, as he promised, yielded divisive, charade meetings, little reasonable conversation or explanation, and little actual engagement. Pressure from advocates eventually ended with a letter from Cedillo, declaring his decision to indefinitely halt the project and expressing a list of alternatives, which strangely excluded the bicycle lane that formed the centerpiece of the project advocates long pushed for. Nearly four years later, most of Cedillo’s alternatives never materialized.

During this inaction, several people died or suffered severe injuries from traffic collisions along Figueroa Street. The history I reference is well documented in the archives of a blog maintained during the time.

From 2013 to 2017, 23 people suffered severe injuries along the dangerous stretch of Temple Street near me, 5 of them fatal. Under a backdrop of this much carnage, our street has a lot of room for improvement, and our city’s department of transportation recognizes this and has done the hard work of designing, proposing, and funding a project to do so. Yet my city councilman mysteriously wants to keep it from moving forward. It’s really baffling. Is it out of spite? What stake does he have in keeping the street dangerous? None of this is clear. I could understand if Cedillo had made this decision out of a genuine concern of the community, but his decision is unilateral.

Our councilman should be supportive, not disconnecting from his constituents and making these very important decisions on his own. Is it not us who he is representing and responsive to?

The lack of engagement is reflected in our district webpage, where a photo of a smiling Gilbert Cedillo is surrounded by a ghostly shell of text, devoid of many community updates. Our councilmen and councilwomen practically have the power of kings in their jurisdiction, and unfortunately we have to pray they are virtuous enough to empower us. There are engaged constituents in District 1 interested in working to solve problems in our community. Momentum to reconfigure our most dangerous streets to a safer layout, as Vision Zero proposes, is an easy one, and Cedillo should support it. The alternative is dangerous streets that continue to fail us.

Fortunately all is not lost. Temple Street crosses through two districts — District 1 and 13. District 13, overseen by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, plans to support the project.

Photos of Temple Street by Derrick Paul


Here’s the contact page for Cedillo’s office , as well as Mitch O’Farrel’s, if you want to let them know what you think. 

One of them might actually listen to you.


Morning Links: LA raises speed limits, Vision Zero holds course, and LA River Bike Path reopens in Long Beach

One quick note. Come back after 11:00 this morning for a guest post from Derrick Paul about the planned Vision Zero lane reduction and complete street project on Temple Street. 

And why it hasn’t happened.


Los Angeles will be raising speed limits on nearly 100 miles of streets to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits by applying their foot to the gas pedal.

Meanwhile, speed limits will decrease somewhat on a little more than 52 miles of streets.

The tradeoff is that police will now be able to use radar to enforce speeds, which they had been banned from doing on nearly 80% of LA streets.

Under the terms of the law, police can’t use radar to enforce the speed limit if a street hasn’t had a speed survey within the last seven years.

Once the survey is conducted, the speed limit must be set at the speed driven by the 15th fastest motorist driving unimpeded in non-rush hour traffic, although the city does have the option to round down slightly.

So in order to make our streets safer, we have to make them faster and more dangerous.

Or just repeal a stupid, outdated and deadly law.

Correction: In my haste last night, I mistakenly wrote that the 85th Percentile Law was based on the average speed of 85% of motorists, ignoring my gut feeling that I was wrong, but too tired to stop and look it up.

And I was right. That I was wrong, that is. 

The following email from Casey Kerrigan clarifies this complicated law better than any other explanation I’ve seen. 

When doing the speed survey the speed limit is based on the 85 percentile not on the average speed of 85% of the cars surveyed.  Note that speed surveys are conduced under the optimal conditions to speed, ie during the day, at a non rush hour time and only the speed of free flowing cars are measures. Free flowing are cars with no traffic ahead of them for at least 5 seconds on a straightaway and unmarked cars are used to house the speed measurement equipment.
This is from the Caltrans guidelines for how to set speed limits which you can find here.
This paragraph is taken from the Caltrans guidelines linked above on page 36.

3.2.6 Calculating 85th Percentile Speed

If 100 vehicle speeds are plotted, the 85th percentile speed is determined by looking at the speed of the 15th vehicle down from the top speed. Fifteen percent of the vehicles are travelling faster than this speed, and eighty five percent are travelling at or below this speed. If less than 100 vehicles are counted, the 85th percentile speed must be determined by calculating 85 percent of the number of vehicles counted and determining the vehicles’ 85th percentile speed. For example if 70 vehicles were counted, 0.85 x 70 = 59.5. The speed of vehicle 60 represents the 85th percentile. Examples are shown in Appendix A on the Speed Zone Survey Sheet examples.


Speaking of which, Vision Zero Los Angeles has released their 2018 Action Plan & Progress Report.

The city plans to remain on course with the program, despite a sharp jump in pedestrian deaths, and badly missing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of a 20% reduction in traffic fatalities in 2017.

Of course, that was overly ambitious, since the program is just now gaining its footing and getting its first real funding.


The LA River Bike Path has reopened in Long Beach, where it had been closed for construction work, now that a large construction crane has been removed.

However, work vehicles and flaggers will remain on the path, and riders may be required to slow down or walk their bikes through the construction zone.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officers Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.


Rent-a-cops driving on a Chicago bike path lose it when a bike rider complains that they don’t belong on the path. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.



The victim’s missing head was finally found in an LA multi-modal murder.

A UCLA letter writer says scofflaw Bird scooter users are no worse than bike riders, who he can’t recall ever having seen “obey the traffic laws to the letter.” Unlike pedestrians and motorists, who evidently always obey the letter of the law in his eyes.

CiclaValley imagines what a re-imagined, bike-friendly Ventura Blvd could be.

The Pasadena Star News looks at the proposal to reconfigure Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street that welcomes everyone.



Seven proposed U.S. Bicycle Routes could soon be coming to, and through, California.

Encinitas-based cruiser bike-maker Electra Bicycle Company turns 25.

Cycling Without Age comes to Merced.

A pair of dueling Op-Eds in the Sacramento Bee say a bill to allow mountain bikes in wilderness areas would be good for the backcountry, while another calls it a Trojan horse that would put wheels over wilderness.



Bike Snob says enough with the helmet shaming, already.

Streetsblog says American cities aren’t making much progress on Vision Zero, except for New York and San Francisco. Although for some reason, they aren’t tracking Los Angeles on their chart.

A Seattle-area man had his bike stolen after he was hit on the head with a pipe. No word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have helped. Or not.

Washington is the latest state to approve an ebike classification bill based on the one pioneered in California.

Great idea, as a Washington bike school teams with a woodworking school to teach everything from wrenching to wood frame and wheel building.

Evidently, LA drivers aren’t the only ones who complain about removing traffic lanes from massive streets. Tempe AZ will restripe a roadway to remove bollards protecting a bike lane and add back a third traffic lane in response to motorist complaints.

You’ve got to be kidding. Just days after the Utah house approved an Idaho stop law, a bill that would allow drivers to also treat red lights as stop signs passed a legislative committee. After all, what difference could there possibly be between someone on a 15-pound bike and someone wrapped in two tons of high-speed glass and steel? I mean, other than the bodies the latter would likely leave behind?

Plans for a new bridge on I-10 in Mobile, Alabama will be required to include options for bicycle and pedestrian pathways.



Cycling Tips offers advice on how to use music to get the best out of your rides. They probably don’t mean singing Hank Williams out loud while you ride, as someone who looks a lot like me may or may not have done on occasion.

Toronto rejects a staff recommendation to remove lanes from a major street, and keep it six lanes and dangerous instead.

Caught on video: British police use bike cam video to prosecute a 50 mph punishment pass, resulting in the equivalent of a $365 fine. A much better punishment would be to make the driver stand in the roadway while someone else does it to him.

The Irish government will introduce a safe passing law mandating that drivers pass bicyclists with the rough equivalent of three feet on roads with a speed limit below 31 mph, and five feet above that.

Eat and bike your way across Italy with Top Chef contestants.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war bikes is all too real, as Aussie bicyclists find thumbtacks spread across at least four popular riding routes. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can cause serious injuries — or worse — if a flat causes a rider to fall. And should be prosecuted as such.

The government of Queensland, Australia, has introduced a presumed liability bill, which would presume that the operator of the more dangerous vehicle has a greater responsibility to avoid crashes, and would be considered at fault in a collision; the head of the local auto club calls it a divisive bill that pits motorists against cyclists. Actually, motorists have done that themselves for decades.



Your WiFi depends on a Hollywood bombshell who escaped Nazis and an unhappy marriage on a bicycle. It’s golf balls over bikes on the beach.

And can a serial burglar really be a bad guy if he rides a bike and leaves the homes neat and tidy?


Thanks to View-Speed for their generous contribution to help keep BikinginLA coming your way every day. Click here if you’d like to donate to help support this site


Morning Links: LA Vision Zero turns two, US traffic deaths are up, and close calls in LA bike commuting

Say happy birthday to LA’s Vision Zero program.

It’s been two years since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Los Angeles was finally getting around to doing something about traffic fatalities.

Although not much has actually been accomplished in that time, as traffic deaths fell 6% last year after spiking in 2016.

Meanwhile, some of what was has already been ripped out at the behest of angry drivers who insist that the road does, in fact, belong to them.

And don’t seem to care who has to die as a result.

Hopefully, that will change now that the city has finally provided some funding, dedicating $27 million for the program.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton seems to have summed up the current status of Vision Zero in the City of Angels.

Some critics are quick to blame L.A.’s Vision Zero programs for the unhealthy trend. Playa Del Rey road diet critics cite their own documentation showing a doubling of “accidents” since Vision Zero safety improvements were implemented. (If true, this would argue for more traffic calming, though that is not the conclusion they come to.)

The actual reasons for the alarming trend appears to have more to do with increased driving, low gas prices, a strong economy, and a lack of political will to take Vision Zero seriously. The program was barely funded for the first two years, until council leadership recently shepherded $27 million for the current fiscal year which just began on July 1. On top of the paucity of funding, several councilmembers have actively blocked safety improvements in their districts.

The simple fact is, we will never cut traffic deaths in Los Angeles without the political will to make it happen.

And that seems to be sadly lacking, both in the mayor’s office, and in far too many council districts.


Speaking of Vision Zero — or in this case, zero vision — US traffic deaths have topped 40,000 for the second year in a row.


LA Cyclist captures a couple of close calls on yesterday’s bike commute from Burbank to Culver City.

He calls it a typical commute.

Even though people keep telling us that no one will even ride a few miles to get to work, let alone through a handful of cities.

And especially not in LA’s unbearable winter weather.



It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from author and bike lawyer Bob Mionske, who writes about the obstacles to justice for bicyclists.

…If you ask the motoring public, you will likely hear that scofflaw cyclists create their own problems by choosing to ride in the street.

Convincing a driver that a lack of vigilance could potentially take someone’s life is a difficult task. After all, most drivers overestimate their driving ability — particularly when it comes to using a device at the same time. Worst of all, most of us don’t have the discipline to put our devices down when we get behind the wheel. No group is more vulnerable to this lack of discipline than a human on a bicycle. And as a roadie, you probably face the risk of being hit more than anyone else based on the hours you spend weekly on a bike in traffic…

It’s a good read, and should give you a lot to think about.



An Op-Ed in the LA Times makes the case for accepting Bird scooters as part of the city’s transportation network. Although while people on bikes still die far too often on our streets, saying bicycling is “often lethal” is an extreme exaggeration. Last year, LA County saw one bicycling fatality per 357,000 residents; the City of LA was even safer, with one death per 442,000 residents.

KCRW looks at the new bike and pedestrian Red Car Bridge planned for the LA River.



Galt, California is starting work on a $5 million Safe Routes to School project, including two miles of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes. Not bad for a town of just 23,000. And no, I never heard of it before either.



Peter Flax interviews Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss in a clash of bike writing titans.

An Oregon newspaper calls on the state to scrap the $15 tax on new bike sales, even as lawmakers consider broadening it.

The Utah house has overwhelmingly approved a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law, which now moves to the state Senate.

Iowa decides that instead of fixing the roads, they’ll just make bike riders wear hi-viz on roads with speed limits above 45 mph. But only in groups of 500 or less; apparently, they think drivers may actually  see over 500 people riding bicycles.

A Chicago website profiles the woman responsible for ghost bikes in the Windy City.

The New York Times illustrates — literally — why self-driving cars can’t save cities.

Sad news from New Orleans, where 32-year old Muhiyidin d’Baha, a well-known leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, died after he was shot in the leg in an apparent robbery while riding his bike; he rode another six blocks before collapsing in the street.

An Orlando street will go on a four-week road diet to judge its effectiveness and reaction of the public before any permanent changes are made. Although a single month seems like a very short amount of time to give it a reasonable test.



How to avoid a flat.

A new Canadian study suggests that good bicycling infrastructure encourages winter bike riding. Which would be even more true here in sunny Los Angeles, if we actually had some.

A writer for the Guardian complains about “over-entitled” cyclists and their abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes clogging UK sidewalks.

It’s a well-deserved 16-months behind bars for a British driver caught on camera intentionally running down a man on a bike.

Tehran’s Car-free Tuesdays is losing momentum after 117 weeks due to a lack of safe streets and infrastructure.

Frightening dispatch from Australia, where a 72-year old man describes how he played dead after he was shot by an attacker, apparently at random, as he rode a gas-powered motorized bike on a bike path.

Australia has slapped an unexpected 5% tariff on ebikes — and is considering a similar tariff on premium bikes and frame sets — after a local bike maker complained, in a country where native bike makers make up just 1% of the market.

A New Zealand woman has restarted an off-road race series for kids that had been founded by her husband, two years after he died from a heart attack while riding.



Cracking down scofflaw bicyclists and moped riders in the world’s most bike-friendly country.

And the best day ever is the one where you get back on your bike after an injury.

Especially a 21-day coma caused by a failed stunt.


Morning Links: More proof lower speed limit cuts casualties, and CA bill could allow lower limits on dangerous streets

One quick question before we start.

Does it count as Viking Biking in Los Angeles when there’s water falling from the sky?


Evidently, 20 really is plenty.

Overall traffic injuries in Edinburgh, Scotland have dropped 24% since the city instituted a 20 mph speed limit. And fatalities and serious injuries dropped nearly a third.

More evidence that if Los Angeles is serious about Vision Zero — something that remains to be seen — it will have to get serious about lowing speed limits.

Which will be difficult to do under current state law.


That effort could be aided a little by a new bill in the state legislature that would allow cities to lower speed limits on streets with a high crash rate.

The bill, AB 2363, sponsored by Glendale’s Laura Friedman, is a long way from repealing the state’s deadly 85th percentile law, which allows speeding drivers to set dangerously high speed limits.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

And one Los Angeles should support if we hope to make a dent in the city’s far-too-high fatality rate.

Then again, one death is one too many.



Ewan McGregor is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going for a bike ride with his daughter in LA.



A woman was seriously injured in San Diego County’s Imperial Beach when she was struck by a left-turning driver as she rode with two other people in a bike lane. Needless to say, the driver claims he never saw her — and somehow concludes, based on that total lack of knowledge, that she never saw him, either. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

People for Bikes offers lessons learned from San Francisco’s “lightening-fast, dirt-cheap” protected bike lanes.



In news that should surprise absolutely no one, studies show that Uber and Lyft are adding to the congestion on our streets, rather than reducing it.

Hawaii bike riders complain that drivers give cyclists less space on the road than they’d give a dog.

A Wisconsin city is making efforts to become more bike-friendly, nearly two centuries after bicycles first came to town. Even if one of the two bike-friendly businesses is the local tackle shop.

Dozens of Illinois cyclists took a 40-mile winter bike ride to promote year-round bicycling, and raise funds to buy a new bicycle for the local police department.

A Detroit newspaper looks at calls to boycott the maker of Giro, Bell, Camelbak and Copilot bike gear, because their parent company also make guns and ammunition, and supports the NRA.

A 77-year old Pennsylvania woman has donated the funds needed to finish a $1 million bike and pedestrian bridge over a highway, which will be named after her surgeon husband, who passed away last year.

Bike riders in Atlanta are complaining about cars blocking bike lanes. In other words, just like drivers do virtually everywhere else.



Nice story, as a mother worries, and does the research, when her 5-year old daughter asks if she can ride to school by herself.

A Toronto newspaper sings the praises of bicycling in Mexico City, while noting it’s still far from a bike paradise.

An Ottawa, Canada newspaper complains that bikes were an afterthought in plans for a new train line, after commissioners reject plans to ban bikes from the trains at rush hour.

Ebike sales are surging in Europe, as they give older and disabled people the opportunity to ride, while others look to reduce their carbon footprint.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver tries to run a bike rider off the road, before getting out and pushing him off his bike.

An automotive website looks at the problem of introducing dockless bikeshare to Amsterdam, where most residents already own one or more bikes, and don’t welcome the new bikes cluttering their sidewalks.

A Spanish man tells the tale of how he spent 28 days in a coma after being struck by lightening, then recovered enough to win a bronze medal at last year’s paracycling world championships. Oddly, he was struck just days after getting a lightening bolt tattoo.

New Zealand bicyclists complain that moving a bike lane to the opposite side of the street to avoid conflicts with bus stops has actually made it more dangerous.

Auckland, New Zealand turns to polka dot streets in an effort to get drivers to slow down and protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Caught on video: A lane-splitting Aussie bike rider slams into an 80-year old man who was crossing mid-block between stalled cars.


Competitive Cycling

Locals fear Philadelphia’s 33-year old professional bike race is over for good, after being canceled for the second straight year.

VeloNews offers photo essays from the winter Omloop and Muur cycling classics.



When you feel the need for a hard ride, but don’t actually want to go anywhere. That feeling when the hit-and-run driver who ran you over is a Nintendo character in a go-kart.

And why bother building more bikeways when you can just declare your city bike-friendly?


Morning Links: Englander proposes temporary dockless bikeshare ban, and BOLO Alert in El Monte hit-and-run

Not everyone is welcoming dockless bikeshare to Los Angeles.

CD12 Councilmember Mictch Englander has introduced a motion that would ban any dockless bikeshare programs in the city, with the exception of pilot projects sponsored by various councilmembers.

The motion calls on the city to develop guidelines for any future dockless programs, as well as penalties for providers who fail to live up to those standards.

This would allow existing programs from LimeBike and Ofo to continue in the port cities and Griffith Park, respectively, but could prohibit the LimeBikes at Cal State Northridge from being taken off campus.

While the motion seems a little heavy-handed, the experiences in other cities make it clear that unregulated dockless programs invite problems, along with the inevitable bikelash from people who find the bikes on their lawns or blocking the sidewalk.

Let alone in their trees or swimming pools.

Hopefully Englander and the council can find a way to develop effective regulations without stifling the growth of what could be a very effective way to reduce motor vehicle traffic.

Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up.


Police in El Monte are asking the public to be on the alert to help find a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike rider.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.


There will be a pair of public meetings next month to discuss a proposal to convert Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street.


A man riding a bicycle was injured in a collision near the Calgrove onramp to the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita; no word on his condition.

Nina Moskol, chairperson of the Santa Clarita Bicycle Coalition, had this to say afterwards.

The location of this crash is a known bike corridor. The County has proposed bikeways plans to improve this area. The Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has been discussing this area at every opportunity with LA County, Cal Trans, and City transportation officials.

To date, we have had no word as to what proposed improvements for safety will be implemented, when, or where exactly. What we do know is that this freeway/County road interchange is complex and under heavy use because of ongoing construction on the I-5 to complete pavement restoration (and possible HOV lanes). We encourage everyone to ride safely and carefully.



Curbed says the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge will feature protected bike lanes on both sides, which would be a change from the painted bike lanes called for in the original plans, but it would still have just one sidewalk on the north side.

Somehow we missed this one, as Metro’s BEST program hosted a tweed ride in Culver City yesterday.

Clear your schedule next Sunday for Los Angeles Walk’s annual fundraiser and free block party



The LA Times reports on Montclair’s ridiculous law banning pedestrians from crossing the street while using any electronic device, including headphones or earbuds.

Officials opened the first section of the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley. Or it would be 50 miles, if Rancho Mirage was willing to let it besmirch their fair city.

Protected bike lanes could be coming to Oakland’s Lake Merritt.

Marin’s anti-bike lane crank columnist ridicules comments of a mode shift on a Bay Area bridge, saying 235 bike crossings a day pale in comparison to 71,000 motor vehicles. He’s got a point, although the question is whether there are any safe connections on either side of the bridge that encourage people to ride across.



Good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says we need to get more kids on bikes.

Some Portland bike shops are beginning to shun brands owned by Vista Outdoor, which has been linked to a maker of ammunition and AR-15-type weapons.

A Wisconsin nonprofit intends to refurbish 1,000 bicycles to donate to local kids next month.

Heartwarming story from Milwaukee, where motorcycle maker Harley Davidson helped design a custom adaptive tricycle for a four-year old boy born without legs and forearms. And no, the story doesn’t explain how he’s going to pedal it.

Two Indiana men face up to 30 months in prison for building an illegal singletrack trail through an Indiana nature preserve.

A Philadelphia councilwoman proposes requiring city council approval for any bike lane that could affect the flow of traffic. Never mind that people on bikes are traffic, too.



A Caribbean-based physiotherapist explains how to avoid minor injuries when you start riding.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver who threw oven cleaner on a bike rider — with her two kids in the car, no less — and leaving the victim with severe chemical burns, walked with a 12-month suspended sentence.

A British soldier has gotten six years for fatally slamming his car into a man riding his bike, after he was shown on video downing five beers and three shots in a pub.

Road.cc looks at presumed liability, which is the norm in most of Europe, and whether it would make streets safer for cyclists in the UK. If we ever want to end car culture and the automotive hegemony on our streets, we’ll have to adopt some form of presumed liability, which assumes the operator of the larger vehicle is at fault in any crash, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid a collision due to their greater ability to cause harm.

A Scottish newspaper makes the case for a 20 mph speed limit, saying initial opposition has died down nearly a year after it was implemented.

CNBC has discovered Copenhagen, where officials say traffic would come to a standstill if 15% to 20% of bicyclists switched to motor vehicles. Which suggest that getting 15% to 20% of Angelenos on bikes might get traffic moving again.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Gobee has pulled out of Paris without warning, after quitting other European cities due to extensive vandalism.

Evidently, bike riders are second-class citizens in Kolkata, where they’re required to get off and walk their bikes across major streets.

A Canberra, Australia newspaper says there’s no reason for the country’s Capital Territory to reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which it calls a proven lifesaver. Even though multiple studies have questioned whether the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the benefits of bike helmet laws, which have depressed bicycling rates in Australia.

Japan is considering plans to build a suspended bikeway under a bridge connecting Shikoku and Awajishima islands. Or you can ride a 44-mile route connecting six islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea right now.


Competitive Cycling

ESPN considers how Cal Berkeley law school dean Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the 12-year old hour record in 2014.

Yes, the cycling season is underway already, as Spain’s Alejandro Valverde takes the Abu Dhabi Tour, and Dylan Groenewegen wins on the frozen cobbles of Belgium’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.



The best way to get over a bad breakup? Ride across the US. When the real Tour de France leads leads to fictional romance.

And now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike to leave anywhere you want.


Morning Links: Traffic survey for Hollywood Bowl, and Orange Grove Blvd complete street petition

Take a few minutes to fill out a new survey asking for your input on solutions for traffic problems at the Hollywood Bowl. Better access for bikes, and more and better bike parking at the Bowl are obvious answers.

Thanks to Cheryl Holland for the heads-up. Photo by Natmanso09 from Hollywood Bowl Wikipedia page.


A Pasadena petition calls on the city to move forward with shovel-ready plans to remake Orange Grove Blvd into a bike and pedestrian friendly complete street.



Curbed’s Alissa Walker considers how a 15-year old ad for a defunct car brand makes the case for getting rid of cars.

The LA River bike path will be closed between Ocean Blvd and 7th Street in Long Beach next Tuesday and Wednesday.



Federal legislation currently under consideration would preclude California from taking any steps to regulate self-driving vehicles.

A Simi Valley writer suggests taking advantage of the warm winter weather, and taking up enduro, cyclocross or road racing. Although that warm weather seems to be past tense right now. 

A 77-year old Arroyo Grande man was critically injured when he allegedly swerved into the side of a passing car. Funny how often  people on bicycles seem to swerve into passing motor vehicles. Because no driver would ever pass too close to someone on a bicycle, or carelessly cross the line into a bike lane.

A San Luis Obispo writer accuses the city council of violating California’s Brown Act and caving in to a “small clique of bike advocates” after it reverses course, and votes to implement the original plan for a bike boulevard after approving a compromise plan two weeks earlier.

Staying on the SLO beat, the city is installing bicycle traffic signals at several locations around town to cut collisions involving bicyclists.

Wired says San Francisco’s Jump Bike e-bikeshare could be the potential Uber slayer.



Giro, Bell, Camelbak, CoPilot and other bike brands owned by Vista Outdoor are facing calls for a boycott after it was learned that the $3 billion company is one of the nation’s leading ammunition makers and a supporter of the NRA.

Honolulu is honoring a fallen cyclist by naming bike lanes in his honor; the 18-year old victim was killed in a hit-and-run in 2010.

Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph led staff members, players and their families in building 110 bikes in just 45 minutes to donate to kids at a Denver elementary school. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Michigan is trying to cut crashes involving people on bicycles by mandating better driver education on laws involving bikes, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

It’s a well-deserved 14-years behind bars for an Ohio driver who admitted using heroin before getting behind the wheel and killing 61-year old bicyclist; he told police he thought he’d hit a bird. The victim’s sister gave him a book on Alcoholics Anonymous at the sentencing, and told him to keep reading it in prison until it sinks in.

Massachusetts police arrested an 18-year old BMX rider after a group of 50 to 60 cyclists swarmed traffic and performed stunts; he was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, among other counts, after allegedly riding his bike into one of the cops in an attempt to get away.



Who needs skis to traverse snowbound Niagara trails when you’ve got a fat bike?

Taking a page from Donald Shoup, a Manchester, England website looks at the high cost of free parking, arguing that it discourages people from using transit or riding a bicycle.

British cops will be riding bikes in plain clothes to bust drivers violating the five-foot passing distance. Which is something the LAPD should start doing.

The first person beatified by the Catholic church in Ireland was one of us, leaving him one miracle short of sainthood. (Insert joke about surviving LA traffic here).

A French court ruling could force Paris to return cars to a popular, car-free promenade on the right bank of the river Seine.

Police traffic guards in Kolkata, India, will be stopping bicyclists for a few minutes to educate them on bike laws, after concluding that bike riders “break all traffic laws.” Apparently, all drivers in the city obey all the traffic laws, giving them plenty of time to focus on the people on bicycles.

Canberra, Australia will consider loosening the mandatory bike helmet laws in the country’s capital city under some slow-speed conditions in preparation for a new bike share program.

An Aussie bicyclist will ride 3,400 miles across the country to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall, who was killed in a collision during last year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race.

Taiwanese bikeshare users will get free insurance when they ride, paying out the equivalent of up to $68,000 in the extremely unlikely event they kill someone.




Probably not the best idea to crash into a motorcycle cop when you’re carrying drugs on your bike and/or riding stoned. Your next tri bike could look like something from another planet.

And this is what happens when the other woman is a bicycle.


Morning Links: Wasted time at HHWNC meeting, Glendale-Hyperion Bridge meeting, and Bob Blumenfield bike ride

So much for that.

I sat through three hours of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council last night, until they finally got around to discussing the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Then stormed out after chairwoman interrupted my comment to argue with me, denied she was arguing with, then told me my time was up. All before I barely said anything.

Which is the second time I’ve attended one of their meetings, and been denied a chance to speak.

Nice when your neighborhood representatives refuse to listen.

Although I did stay long enough to hear a Hollywood Hills homeowner on the council tell us that we don’t need a bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass when bicyclists can just take the Red Line from NoHo to Hollywood.

Which pretty much sums up windshield bias. And tells you what we’re up against.

Update: A much calmer India Brookover stayed after I left, and offers this recap of what happened.

I was at the council meeting tonight and wanted to let you know how they voted, which actually ended up being pretty interesting. Also wanted to highlight some clarifications that were made.
The subjects of the motion were really unclear. The addendum, particularly the “infeasible” part is actually language gathered from a letter from the Outpost Estates Homeowners Group of the 5th district, not Anastasia Mann’s words.
Suzanne Warren, chair of district 5 (where homeowners group was located) actually ended up questioning the language of determining the lanes as unfeasible and said there was no reason to preclude a feasibility study. The transportation chair introduced a motion to strike the language regarding infeasibility from the addendum and remarkably, it passed unanimously.
I hope I’m getting everything right (its been a long night) so please check the minutes when they are posted. I found that the meeting turned out surprisingly successful. I was happy to see we had some allies on the board who countered the car-centric ethos I was expecting to hear.
It’s not a gigantic win but its certainly notable.

Hopefully, this will lead to a more promising discussion of Hollywood bike lanes and lane reductions in the days to come.

And maybe I’ll actually get a chance to speak next time.

Apropos of nothing, a here’s nice, calming, pretty bike photo downloaded from Pexels.com that I intend to stare at until I calm down.


There will be a meeting tonight to discuss progress on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Project, which is slated to get bike lanes on both sides, but a walkway on just one.

Also on the agenda is design options for the nearby Red Car Pedestrian Bridge.


Third District LA City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield will host his 5th annual bike ride next month.




Los Angeles is adding more Leading Pedestrian Interval signals, giving people crossing the street a head start before motorists get the green light. Now they just need to change the law so bicyclists can go with the LPI signal, as well.

The LA City Council has voted to develop a plan to inspect and repair all the cracked and crumbling bike lanes in Los Angeles. Or you can read about it in a surprising good report from Chinese news agency Xinhua. Of course, developing a plan is not exactly the same as doing it.

Culver City is asking for input to help update their Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast talks about the coming complete street project and protected bike lanes in Monterey Park.

LA County has approved a grant to develop an East San Gabriel Valley Active Transportation Plan.



There’s something seriously wrong when a six-year old Fullerton girl isn’t even safe from a drunk driver when she’s playing on the sidewalk.

A San Diego TV station asks if the Hillcrest neighborhood should have more parking or bike lanes. But somehow can’t seem to find a single bike rider to talk to.

Streetsblog looks at the creeping criminalization of walking, in the wake of Montclair’s idiotic law prohibiting pedestrians from using an electronic device or listening to headphones while crossing the street. Meanwhile, new motor vehicles come equipped with high-resolution touch screen displays, built-in WiFi and high-power sound systems.



A one cent increase in the gas tax would more than fund all federal spending for bike and pedestrian projects in the United States.

Cycling Tips offers photos from some of the great bikes at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Bicycling looks at the growing NASCAR bicycling community, asking if they could be cycling’s best safety advocates.

You might want to think twice before you buy a Giro or Bell helmet, or a Camelbak water bottle, unless you’re okay with your money going to a company that also makes AR15-style assault rifles.

Great idea. A nonprofit group donated 200 bicycles to help Las Vegas kids get to school.

A Salt Lake City Op-Ed says Utah’s proposed stop as yield law is all about safety.

A new Colorado bill would leave it up to individual cities to decide whether to implement an Idaho Stop Law, allowing riders to go treat stop signs and red lights as yields. The problem with that sort of local control is that what is legal in one town could be banned in the next, leaving riders subject to tickets if they unknowing cross city limit signs.

A fellow rider remembers his friend, fallen cyclist and author Andrew Tilin, who was collateral damage in a crash between two drivers as he knelt to fix a flat in Austin TX.

The Des Moines Register profiles the city’s new active transportation planner, one of 16 new positions created by a 12 cent property tax increase.

A Philly weekly dispels common myths about bicycling.

A writer in Savannah GA complains it’s been six long years since the city had built any bicycling infrastructure.

You know bikeshare is catching on when it comes to the Florida Keys.



Two Canadian cyclists had their bikes stolen just day’s after completing a 500-mile winter fundraising ride around Lake Ontario.

Caught on video: A 13-year old British girl with a helmet cam records a near head-on collision on a narrow country road when an impatient driver couldn’t wait a few more seconds to pass her. But sure, tell us again about those scofflaw cyclists.

An Irish website offers advice on beating bike thieves. And no, it’s not about what kind of club to use. Unfortunately.

Your next job could be bicycling and filming through Europe and West Africa for the next four months. Just don’t expect to get paid.

Al Arabiya offers a little more information about the horrific crash that killed four teenage Saudi cyclists on a club ride, and seriously injured six others; the murderous schmuck behind the wheel driver attempted to flee after smashing into them at more that 100 mph before crashing into another car. And four other members of the club were injured when their car was hit by a truck as they rushed to see their friends in the hospital.


Competitive Cycling

The Manx Missile, aka Mark Cavendish, suffered a concussion and whiplash after colliding with four other riders when a team car driver unexpectedly hit the brakes in front of them in the Abu Dhabi Tour.



When your bike light maps potholes for you. A new crowdfunding campaign promises to give you eyes in the back of your helmet.

And who says mountain bikes can’t fly?

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.


To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.


Ted Rogers


Morning Links: Hollywood Hills West NC considers call to reject bike lanes in proposed community plan tomorrow

This is what we’re up against.

In an interview on KABC radio — which doesn’t appear to be online, unfortunately — Anastasia Mann, President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, said road diets create safety problems. And people in favor of them need a reality check.

Then she added this.

The bicyclists are supposed to follow the same rules of the road that the rest of us are. I’ve had near misses, where bicyclists turn right in front of me, turn against the lights, run stop signs…. nothing against bicyclists, God help me if I have to say anything that sounds like that, but it’s just impractical. You’re going to have safety issues because you cannot get emergency vehicles through.

Got to give her credit for squeezing in virtually every anti-bike lane cliche in a few sentences.

But this is the windshield-perspective attitude Hollywood bike riders have had to face in one of LA’s busiest and fastest growing neighborhoods, with no safe way in or out by bike.

Or across, for that matter.

The matter will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s meeting of Mann’s neighborhood council, which will take up the proposed Hollywood Community Plan. As well as their proposed response to it, also written by Mann, and a more detailed addendum.

Along with calls to take most, if not all, of the bike lanes out of it.

Infeasible, is the term they use, echoing the original draft of the 2010 LA bike plan. Which the city planning commission wisely rejected after bicyclists rose up to oppose it, demanding the safer, and more detailed, hard-fought plan we eventually won.

That’s from a letter written from the Outpost Estates Homeowner’s group (scroll down), which seems to be far more concerned about the problems faced by the privileged few in the hills than the multitudes who live and work and travel down below.

The meeting is at 6 pm Wednesday, at the Will and Ariel Durant Library Branch, 7174 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area, you need to be there. To once again defend the bike lanes we fought for, before they ever even hit the pavement.

Just be prepared to listen to people who live in multi-million dollar homes complain about traffic and density until you’re ready to poke your ears out.



Boyonabike offers good advice for would-be bike commuters.

A 74-year old man was critically injured when he was hit by a driver in a left cross while riding his bike in San Gabriel on Sunday. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Monica votes to continue their annual COAST open streets festival on the same route through 2020. Unbelievably, though, the story talks about LA County holding open street events “more often than any other place in the country,” without ever even mentioning CicLAvia.



No news is good news, right?



If you have a Specialized Allez, your bike may be subject to a recall due to a defective fork crown that could affect safety.

Wired says the dockless bikeshare wars are heating up after an infusion of funding. Thanks to Allan Margolin for the link.

Minneapolis approves a proposal to build protected bike lanes around the University of Minnesota campus. Which should also be done at both USC and UCLA. Not to mention every other university campus.

A writer for the Washington Post says yes, you can park your dockless bikeshare bike anywhere, but you shouldn’t.

The homeless man who fatally stabbed a man riding his bike from Connecticut to Florida to propose to his girlfriend was once again ruled incompetent to stand trial.



BBC presenter Jeremy Vine told a London government committee he sees 30 to 40 traffic violations by drivers every day as he rides his bike to and from work, and that roads have to be redesigned to “prevent ‘angry, dangerous drivers’ harming cyclists.” Which is a sentiment most bike riders would probably concur with.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is caught in the equivalent of a right hook by a driver turning into a police station. Hard to tell from the video, but it’s possible that the driver may have passed the rider just before left-hooking him. And it’s also possible the rider may have undertaken the turning vehicle after it stopped and signaled.

A Glasgow bicyclist says pedestrians have an obligation to help prevent crashes with bike riders, too.

Perth, Australia puts the law of unintended consequences to test by installing speed bumps on a shared pathway to slow speeding bicyclists. Never mind that even expected bumps can knock bike riders off balance — especially when riding fast — resulting in falls and crashes into other people on the pathway. And lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits.

Brisbane bike riders say it would be a big mistake to ban bikes from a new pedestrian bridge.


Competitive Cycling

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) will conduct a two-year study to determine if high school mountain biking is more dangerous than other sports, such as football

Tragic news, as four teenage members of a Saudi Arabian cycling were killed in a horrific crash when a driver lost control and slammed into them during a training ride; six others were injured.



Nothing like a stupidly hard gravel race through somebody’s house. If bored teenagers are causing problems, just offer to fix their bicycles for them.

And the war on bikes cost West Australian insurers $60 million.

The mythical war on cars, not so much.


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