Tag Archive for bike lanes

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.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

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.

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Local

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.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

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.

 

International

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.

 

Finally…

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.

 

Morning Links: Motions to inspect broken bike lanes move forward, and keeping dangerous drivers off streets

Maybe our broken bike lanes might get fixed after all.

Streetsblog is reporting the approval of both of motions calling for the inspection and maintenance of LA’s bike lanes and bike paths at Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee.

However, assuming the motion passes the full council, there’s still a long way to go, as Joe Linton points out.

Greg Spotts spoke on BSS’s (Bureau of Street Services) efforts to address issues keeping street pavement in good repair. The city faces a reported $3-4 billion backlog in street maintenance. With some recent street repaving monies from the S.B. 1 gas tax and Measure M, BSS is stepping up its efforts to inspect and maintain streets, and now has dedicated staff working to inspect and repair asphalt on city bike lanes.

Spotts noted that BSS has identified 300 bike network locations that need “large asphalt repair.” BSS crews are currently working their way through these sites, having completed 19 repairs to date.

And those are just the ones they know about.

But at least the city has hired six new people to fix and maintain bike lanes.

Meanwhile, there may be hope for LA’s crumbling streets.

Councilmembers Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino say at current rates, streets and sidewalks in Los Angeles won’t be repaired in time for the 2028 Olympics — missing the games by a mere 20 years or so.

But money from Measure M and the new state gas tax increase could provide a source of funding that would allow the city to speed up those repairs.

We can only hope.

Of course, if the proposition calling for the repeal of the gas tax qualifies for the ballot, and California voters decide they’d prefer crappy streets and lower gas prices, all bets are off.

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I’m not always a fan of Bike Snob.

But he nails it this time, saying our current system of licensing drivers and motor vehicles is “woefully ineffectual and does little to keep dangerous drivers off the streets.”

Meanwhile, a Canadian writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke?

It’s like Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it — a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes a deep dive into the subject of sidewalks, and comes to the conclusion that they’re not even necessary.

Yes, the CEO of Ford, the company that essentially put automobiles on U.S. streets, is calling for a “complete disruption and redesign of the surface transportation system.”

What Ford is preparing for—and championing through its bike share and microtransit shuttle services—is the fact that streets will no longer be planned around this binary use of cars versus everyone else. And the place for new modes to mix is not a narrow broken sidewalk: It’s the safe, shared, slow, well-maintained street that has walking at its core.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all equation of lane widths calculated to move cars quickly, with pedestrians pushed off to the side, the definition of a city street will change based on what people need, neighborhood by neighborhood, says Greg Lindsay, director of strategy for the urban mobility festival LACoMotion.

It’s a great read. And may challenge your concept of what a street should be.

It did mine, anyway.

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Great idea. A new youth racing program at the LA Velodrome aims to develop at least one track cyclist for the US Olympic Team at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

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Local

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a fast, 25 – 30 mile woman-led ride tonight, and every Thursday. The co-op is also hosting a moderate paced ride to the East LA Art Walk this Sunday.

Sant Monica Spoke and the Santa Monica Planning department are hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.

 

State

San Luis Obispo decides to move forward with a modified version of the bikeway that’s been drawing all the bike-hating NIMBYs out of the woodwork. Proof that not all NIMBYs live in Los Angeles. It only seems that way.

A new bike and pedestrian trail project would connect downtown Redding to the Sacramento River Trail.

 

National

Streetsblog questions whether the dockless bikeshare revolution is just a mirage.

A former pro explains how he learned to love wearing a helmet mirror.

The new chairman of the Federal Reserve is one of us, as he struggles to convince his security detail to let him keep up his eight-mile bike commute to DC.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune offers tips on how to ride your bike at Mardi Gras, for those lucky enough to go. Pro tip: Avoid Mardi Gras Day, when it’s too crowded move, and go the weekend before when the crowds are smaller and it’s more fun.

 

International

How to roll the dents out of your steel frame bike.

Canadian bicyclists are urged to bike commute tomorrow as part of the international Winter Bike to Work Day. Try not to suffer too much under LA’s sunny skies and 80° temperatures.

Here are ten beautiful places in the UK to add to your bicycling bucket list.

British advocacy groups are “deeply concerned” about plans to ban bikes from a highway that’s a popular time trial route.

In a win for the gig economy, bicycle couriers for Britain’s National Health Service win full employment rights, after their employer had argued that they were self-employed contractors.

That gold-inlaid custom bike built for Irish mixed martial arts champ Connor McGregor cost the equivalent of nearly $21,000.

More proof that bike riders face the same problems everywhere. An Aussie bicyclist complains about pedestrians and dog walkers making a beachfront pathway a nightmare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s 3,500-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled following the death of pioneering ultra-distance rider Mike Hall in a collision during last year’s race.

A French design firm reimagines the dreaded broom wagon. Although they somehow think riders in the Tour de France will be able to hop on board to catch a rest, then rejoin the race when they’re feeling better.

 

Finally…

Why should ‘bent riders miss out on all the fat bike fun? Anyone can race a dual snow slalom on skis; try it on a bicycle instead.

And when a dockless bikeshare company fails, it becomes the UK’s cheapest bicycle.

In every sense.

Morning Links: LA Council committee considers bikeway pavement, and including everyone in Complete Streets

Maybe it’s good news. Or maybe not.

The LA City Council’s bizarrely combined Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will take up two motions regarding the safety and maintenance of bike lane pavement this Wednesday.

The first, #17-1142-S1, would require the city to inspect and repair the pavement on any existing bike lanes, and certify that the pavement is in good condition before any new bike lanes are installed.

The second, #15-0719-S17, requires city inspectors to examine the pavement on every mile of bike paths and bike lanes in the city, and develop a plan to bring them up to appropriate safety standards.

Which is something that should have been done a long time ago.

However, it appears to be a significant change from the original version of this motion, which would have prohibited installing any new bike lanes on streets with anything less than an A grade. And required the removal of existing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade lower than that.

Which would require ripping out most bike lanes in the city. Even though most of the crashes involving bad pavement that inspired these motions didn’t happen in bike lanes to begin with.

So let’s be clear.

Inspecting bike lanes and bike paths is a good thing. Fixing the pavement is even better.

But using bad pavement as an excuse to block or remove bike lanes could bring what little progress Los Angeles has made towards safer streets crashing to a halt.

Which means it could be worth your time to show up for the committee meeting tomorrow at 1p at City Hall if you can make it.

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Our old friend Karen Karabell forwards this piece by longtime bike commuter and League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Martin Pion, arguing that real Complete Streets would accommodate inexperienced riders, as well as more experienced vehicular cyclists.

You won’t get any argument from me.

I’m a strong supporter of safe bike lanes and Complete Streets that can be safely used by anyone from 8 to 80, and get more people out on bikes.

But I also support the repeal of restrictive ride-to-the-right and must-use laws that are too often misinterpreted to require riders to hug the curb or use unsafe bikeways.

People should be able to ride wherever and however they feel safest, whether thats a protected bike lane or mixing with motor vehicles in the traffic lane.

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Local

No, a coastal ferry will not solve the Westside’s traffic problems, but it could provide a way to get your bike from Santa Monica to Malibu without having to ride PCH.

Mobile bike repair shop Beeline Bikes is expanding to Los Angeles.

A letter writer in the LA Times says if London and Copenhagen can get people out of their cars, Los Angeles can, too.

The San Gabriel Vally Tribune offers a nice profile of Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the stars of the new documentary MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), which premiers on the 21st. He’s also one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet.

 

State

Bay Area bicyclists complain that plans for new Caltrain bike cars that separate riders from their bikes is an invitation to theft.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 69-year old man was killed when he rode his bicycle into a parked car.

A Sonoma paper says the market is surging for folding and electric bikes — and folding ebikes — in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Streetsblog says the Marin Independent Journal is continuing to push to convert plans for a new bike and pedestrian pathway on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle use, in the mistaken belief it will somehow solve their traffic problems. Apparently, they’ve never heard of induced demand.

 

National

Treehugger writes in praise of riding slowly through the city.

No, you don’t need a fat bike to ride on snow, as long as you’re willing to go downhill.

Forbes says belt-drive Priority Bicycles are being ridden by the cool kids all across New York City.

Former 1984 Olympic cycling gold medalist Alexi Grewal, who recently married a woman from Punjab, India, says Punjabi youths could shine in international cycling with enough institutional support from the government.

 

International

Four Canadian men are riding over 600 miles around Lake Ontario in the dead of winter to raise funds for charity and to encourage young people to be more active. Then again, they’ve already ridden to the North and South Poles.

A new British group is pushing to get the Labour Party to commit to more bike-friendly policies.

Bike advocacy groups in the UK criticize members of the House of Lords for insisting that bike lanes cause congestion and increase pollution, without having any evidence to back it up.

Britain won’t develop any new standards for dockless bikeshare because it’s too busy trying to kiss Europe goodbye.

A local website looks at the state of eco-friendly bicycling in Bangshal, Bangladesh, where newly married couples used to be given bicycles, until Hondas became more popular.

A letter writer in Islamabad complains that ebike riders don’t get any health benefits, apparently unaware that ped-assist ebikes help the rider, but don’t do all the work.

Demand for ebikes is still high in Japan, 25 years after Yamaha introduced the first one.

A 19-year old Singaporean fixie rider gets nine weeks behind bars for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a collision while riding brakeless.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will compete in the five-day Ruta del Sol in Andalucia, Spain, despite the doping cloud hanging over his head.

Mark Cavendish wants to go faster, while sticking to two wheels.

 

Finally…

Why just sell bikes, when you can steal them, too? Now this is how you promote a bike race.

And who says there’s no such thing as fixie rap?

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

………

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

………

Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

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Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

………

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

………

CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

………

As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

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Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

Morning Links: Leading climate change denier attacks bikes, and problems bicyclists face on the road & with police

He’s back.

The anti-bike writer in the Financial Post who called for banning bicycles last week, saying cities made a huge mistake in promoting bicycling, is back with a second screed even less informed than the first.

Fake news, indeed.

Lawrence Solomon, executive director of the Urban Renaissance Institute, is back to misstate and misinterpret bicycling crash statistics to suggest that bikes have made the streets more dangerous, going so far as to cite unnamed studies “not funded by bike-path proponents” that show bike infrastructure actually increases crashes.

Which is the exact opposite of every study I’ve ever seen, few, if any, of which have been funded by “bike path proponents.”

It’s the worst kind of drivel, taking unrelated data points to support his arguments, such as suggesting that the recent increase in overall traffic fatalities is somehow due to the increase in bicycling, and that bike riders are almost always the ones at fault in any crash.

The problem is, his baseless arguments have given cover to other writers to attack bikes and bike lanes, like a Staten Island columnist who asks if we’re watching the beginning of an anti-cycling bikelash, or the writer for an alt-right website who does little more than repost Solomon’s arguments.

However, few of those echoing his arguments have bothered to consider who it is who’s doing the writing — a leading climate change denier and anti-vaxxer funded by the oil and gas industry, posing as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.” Solomon has gone so far as to call the groundbreaking Kyoto Protocol “the single biggest threat to the global environment.”

Which would suggest that everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

If not an entire bag.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the alt-right link.

………

A writer for Outside captures succinctly the problems bike riders face on the roads.

Let that sink in: I was in a bike lane, wearing a bright orange helmet, sans earphones, when a car traveling over the speed limit and completely off the road struck me from behind—and the police tried to ticket me and let the driver go free. I realized that day that altercations between cars and bikes aren’t so much about the risk factors, like distracted driving, bike lanes, or mountain versus road. They’re about a car culture that devalues bikes.

Over the years, passing motorists have thrown and struck me with eggs, fountain drinks, and, once, a half-empty can of beer. I’ve been shouted at, flipped off, menaced, driven into the shoulder, and even chased on foot. My own father-in-law grouses regularly about cyclists on the road and likes to joke about “door-popping” them. If cyclists can’t even rely on our families or the police, it’s clear that we are on our own.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

If you’ve been hit by a driver, you may recognize yourself in the story. I certainly do; when I was run down by a road raging driver, the police officers who responded believed her story. And ended up threatening to arrest me for filing a false police report, leaving me to limp home with a broken arm and damaged bike.

If not, it’s fair warning that you may be blamed in a crash even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s not right. But it’s the battle we have to fight far too often.

Note: I originally left out the link to this piece; thanks to Mike Wilkinson and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

BOLO Alert: A bike rider was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in La Tuna Canyon on Saturday; the victim was still unconscious after 20 hours in the ICU. The vehicle was described as a newer black Mazda SUV. Thanks to Mike Kim for the tip.

………

A reminder that if you haven’t signed it already, you can support one of LA’s most underserved communities by signing a petition calling for bike lanes in DTLA’s Skid Row.

We the undersigned residents of the City of Los Angeles, sign this petition calling on Council member Jose Huizar of the 14th District and the Department of Transportation to begin the process of creating Skid Row specific bike lanes on 5th street heading west and 6th street heading east. Skid Row has one of the largest bicycle riding populations in Los Angeles and because of this, we feel that we need bike lanes on these streets to improve public safety.

Thanks to Bobby Peppey for the heads-up.

………

‘Tis the season.

Over 400 Cathedral City students got new bikes for getting good grades.

One hundred ninety Clovis kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit group.

Hundreds of Sonoma County fire victims got new bikes on Sunday.

Five hundred kids in Tucson got new bicycles thanks to a local community activist.

Eighty Aurora IL volunteers built 350 bicycles to donate to kids.

Roughly 100 San Antonio kids took home new bikes as part of an earn-a-bike program.

One hundred bikes were donated to children of law enforcement officers in College Station TX.

Around 35 Santas rode their bikes to raise $5,000 for a Green Bay, Wisconsin children’s hospital.

Around 90 people took part in a 1.2 mile bike ride through an underground cavern in Louisville KY, decorated with more than 2 million lights and past 850 holiday displays.

An Ulster NY bicycle club donated 30 bicycles and helmets to the local county children’s services.

………

It’s Day 18 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

By all reports, Los Angeles enjoyed another successful CicLAvia yesterday; next year could see one in running through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

Metro Bike Share wants your feedback, whether or not you’ve ever used bikeshare.

David Wolfberg points out that even the LA Auto Show doesn’t recommend driving there.

 

State

Smoking dope will soon be banned in motor vehicles in California. But bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles under California law, so puff away. As long as you don’t do it in public or ride under the influence.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting looks at efforts to clear homeless camps off the Santa Ana River Trail, even though the people living in them have nowhere else to go.

UC Santa Barbara students are having to bike through smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire to get ready for finals.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a 60-year old driver gets 90 days behind bars for illegally crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle, and killing a bike rider in a head-on crash; he’s expected to actually serve just half of that. The driver is reportedly grief-stricken. Although likely not as much as the relatives of the victim.

A San Luis Obispo man responds to recent anti-bike columns by asking city officials to make it safer for people on bicycles, and for local residents to spare a few moments for the safety of cyclists.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bicyclist was killed by a suspect drunk hit-and-run driver.

A tragic find, as a bike rider discovered a young woman’s body in the water along a Sunnyvale bike trail.

Life is even cheaper in Napa, where a 77-year old woman got three years probation and had her license permanently revoked for the hit-and-run death of a popular cyclist.

A Boston website says Marin County’s West Ridgecrest road up Mt. Tamalpais may be one of the best bike rides in the US.

An Oak Park man in riding his bicycle around Sacramento, collecting garbage and scraps to turn into compost. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says gadget obsessed cyclists need a data detox, while a writer for Slate complains that he doesn’t even know how turn off the tech and ride his bike for fun anymore. Seriously, turn everything off, and for the rest of this month, just ride for the fun of it. You might even remember why you love bicycling again.

NPR looks at automakers attempts to woo members of Gen Z, who have shown little interest in owning cars so far.

California Congressman Tom McClintock discusses his bill to allow bicycles back in wilderness areas.

A Denver weekly looks at how the murder of mountain biking legend Mike Rust was finally solved, seven years after he disappeared; his killer was found guilty of 1st degree murder last week, along with a host of other charges.

A Colorado newspaper applauds plans to make the town more walkable and bikeable, but worries about the loss of 162 downtown parking places. Because everyone knows people never walk or bike to go shopping. Right?

A group from my hometown is asking the public for another 75 bicycles so they can donate 400 bikes to kids for the holidays. And they can drop off those bikes at the shop where I bought my first bike, back when dinosaurs still walked the earth.

A Chicago letter writer suggests everyone walking on the river walk should wear a bike helmet, since city hall somehow ignored his letter demanding that bikes to be banned from the path.

Still no explanation for what drove a bike-riding doctor to attack his neighbor, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The surgeon who treated Bono after his Central Park bicycling crash was found dead in his New York apartment with a knife plunged into his chest, the victim of an apparent suicide.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Georgia man is riding from Northern California to Atlanta.

Seriously? A Tallahassee FL writer welcomes dockless bikeshare to town, but worries where people will park their cars to use them.

 

International

A Canadian cycling magazine calls on the country to adopt a National Cycling Strategy. Something you’re not likely to ever see in the US.

The war on bikes continues, as someone vandalized a bike belonging to the mayor of Victoria, British Columbia for the second time; she doesn’t want to believe it has anything to do with her support for bike lanes.

Roughly 180,000 Quebec residents ride their bikes all through the winter, despite the cold and snow. Tell that to the next person who tells you Angelenos won’t ride their bikes to work year-round.

This is what happens when you install a temporary bike lane around a Toronto construction site, but don’t do anything to accommodate people on foot.

Ed Sheeran gets back on a bike in London for the first time since he broke both arms in a crash, even if it did have training wheels.

Shades of Children of the Corn. A British town is installing bollards designed to look like little children, and stare back at drivers to get their attention. Thanks again to David Wolfberg.

A Bulgarian expat has formed a volunteer crew to rescue damaged and abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes in Singapore; he may have his work cut out for him.

A Pakistani woman became the first woman to ride a bike up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

An Indian man is riding across the country to encourage people to ride to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

A freshly bearded cycling great Bradley Wiggins craps out in his attempt to make the British rowing team, after mistakenly lowering his oars in a “schoolboy error.”

The very busy Peter Flax has written a great profile of lifelong bike racer Bill Elliston, saying that Elliston, while never quite fast enough to make the pros, “represents much that is pure and good in the sport of bike racing.”

 

Finally…

Kylo Ren is one of us. We may have to worry about distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have dodge zebras.

And Australia chose their bird of the year even though it attacks bicyclists.

Or maybe because of it.

 

Morning Links: CBS2/KCAL9 forms charity cycling team, no new SoCal Bike Friendly Cities, and a war on bike lanes

Jeff Vaughn is one of us.

The CBS2/KCAL9 news anchor spent his first few months after moving here with his family familiarizing himself as much with where to ride his bike as with the city itself.

Now he’s joined with some of his coworkers to give back to the community by forming a station cycling team to participate in fundraising events in the Los Angeles area.

Here’s what he had to say.

The CBSLA Cycling Team is training for the 2018 cycling season and is committed to the June Pasadena BikeMS ride and Malibu Triathlon benefiting Children’s Hospital of LA. We would love to attend area charity rides to spread awareness for their cause and for our cycling team. We started with four members and have grown to around ten for 2018. If anyone is interested in joining us to help local charities through fitness and donations, drop me a line at [email protected] Or follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more info.

You can click here to support Jeff in the BikeMS Ride, or back other members of the CBS2/KCAL9 team.

………

The Bike League released their list of new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities.

Coronado renewed its status at the Silver level, even if all those bike lanes look like graffiti and give local residents vertigo. Riverside and Temecula were both renewed at the Bronze level.

And yes, Los Angeles is still a Bronze BFC, even as councilmembers block needed bike lanes, motorists demand their removal, Vision Zero doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and the city’s vaunted bike plan remains nothing but vaporware.

………

Today’s common theme seems to be a war on bike lanes.

A Minneapolis doctor says bikes are good, but bike lanes don’t belong on the street because most people drive cars, and all those cars get in the way of ambulances.

A Chattanooga TN columnist looks at the bikelash caused by the “horrors” of bike lanes in the city. Although what he describes sounds like the real problem is crappy bike lanes.

A New York assemblyman is demanding that the city rip out a newly installed protected bike lane put in after a bike rider was killed, which drivers can’t seem to avoid crashing into.

And a columnist in Ontario, Canada says bike lanes offer no benefits and waste tax money, and are just a needless pet project unless their success can be guaranteed in advance.

………

‘Tis the season.

Nearly 300 children got new bikes in San Bernardino County, thanks to the 14th annual Doris Davies Memorial Bicycle Giveaway

An Iowa woman spent her year raising funds to buy 71 kids bikes to donate to the Salvation Army, for the 12th year in a row.

………

We’ve reached the halfway point of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

The LACBC’s planned Mulholland cleanup with Phil Gaimon has been postponed until next year due to the Skirball fire.

Caltrans could give PCH a Complete Streets makeover in Wilmington, a much-needed improvement for a small section of LA County’s killer highway.

CiclaValley discovers that Burbank is outdoing Los Angeles when it comes to Valley bike lanes.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an ebike from an 80-year old Laguna Hills man — as he was hanging Christmas lights for his pastor’s widow, no less.

Talk about missing the point. Bakersfield officials want to know how to educate pedestrians about traffic safety, after a driver jumps the curb and kills a five-year old girl walking on the sidewalk. When your stats show bicyclists and pedestrians were at fault in nearly three-quarters of fatal crashes, chances are, the real problem is with the crash investigators, not the victims.

A Bay Area TV station honors an Antioch police officers for not giving up until he found a $4000 adaptive tricycle stolen from a special needs girl.

San Francisco fast tracks bike and pedestrian improvements to a notorious tangle of highways and bikeways that had recently been overrun by a homeless camp.

Sad news from Oakland, where a man was killed in a collision as he was getting on his bicycle; the victim was thrown 160 feet by the — allegedly — speeding driver.

 

National

The International Mountain Bicycling Association announced that it will not support a proposed federal bill that would allow mountain bikes in some wilderness areas for the first time in 33 years.

Thanks to biomed students at Ohio’s University of Akron, a six-year old boy with a rare genetic condition can now ride a bike with his friends for the first time.

A Philadelphia petition calls on the city to speed up safety improvements under its Vision Zero plan.

A new report on health equity calls for more bike lanes in poor neighborhoods in New Orleans. Which pretty much goes for every large city, although bike lanes are sometimes seen as a symptom of gentrification.

A Miami bicyclist decided to avoid crappy bike lanes on a 3.5 mile causeway, and ride on the raised center median instead.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a truck driver killing a bike rider in a right hook is only worth a lousy $1,000 fine.

The war on bikes goes on, as someone has been tossing tacks on a popular British bike commuting route.

Distracted bicycling could be on the way out in the Netherlands, which plans to ban texting while cycling starting in 2019.

Australia’s prime minister is looking for the anonymous artist who left a rainbow colored yarn-bombed bike outside his residence on the day the country legalized gay marriage.

The Department of DIY strikes in Melbourne, Australia, where bike advocates used tape to create their own protected bike lane, on a street that only has a designated bike lane two hours a day during the morning rush hour.

Caught on video: An Aussie man throws his bike at mall security guards after one of the guards kicked his bike while throwing him out of the mall, in a racially tinged incident.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News names Peter Sagan’s third world championship the year’s most memorable moment in men’s cycling, while a sports journalists association names Chris Froome their Sportsman of the Year.

Team Sky cyclist Luke Rowe is back to training again after shattering his leg in a rafting accident, knowing another break could mean he might never ride a bike again.

Ella Cycling Tips talks with American cycling legend Connie Carpenter-Phinney, winner of the first women’s road cycling gold medal back in the leather hairnet days at the ’84 LA Olympics; these days, she’s better known as a mother of three-time US time-trial champ Taylor Phinney.

 

Finally…

Seriously, this is an ebike. What to get your favorite pro cyclist for Christmas.

And don’t punch drivers, no matter how much you think they need it.

No, really.

Morning Links: Second LA River Valley Bikeway meeting tonight, and protesters go nuts over Nazi bike lanes

CiclaValley reminds us about tonight’s public meeting to consider the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway project.

The project, which will link Universal City to Canoga Park along the LA River channel, is a key step in plans for a continuous bikeway along the entire length of the LA River.

But as he points out, some of the sections are a little problematic, to say the least. And as always, there are those who oppose any sort of bikeway, anywhere.

………

In what has to be the most absurd bikelash story of the decade, twenty people and a dog turned out to protest bike lanes in Minneapolis, calling them Nazi lanes and Mafia lanes.

Seriously?

A little white stripe of paint on the side of the roadway is somehow comparable to the hate-based regime that murdered millions of innocent men, women and children?

It makes a little more sense you consider that the protest began as a hoax before sucking in the kind of people who apparently believe everything they read online, including a pair of city council candidates.

Although something tells me the dog wasn’t there by choice.

………

After that, let’s take just a moment to regain our sanity and consider the thoughts of a professional truck driver from the UK regarding those of us on two wheels.

………

Local

Evidently, once cars can drive themselves, traffic congestion will cease to exist.

LADOT proposes the latest round of speed limit adjustments mandated by the deadly 85th percentile law; surprisingly, there are a number of decreases, as well as the expected increases.

A writer in the LA Times relates the challenges of dating with a carfree lifestyle.

Caltrans and LA County consider reopening Highway 39 through San Gabriel Canyon, which has been closed since it was shut down by a rock slide in 1978.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system has begun installing sensors to help avoid collisions with bike riders.

Cycling in the South Bay reveals the winners of Saturday’s 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

 

State

Transit has languished in San Diego as driving mode share increases; bike commuting has decreased by a third since 1990.

A couple were both stabbed as they searched for a stolen bicycle in Coachella early Saturday; fortunately, they should recover.

Johnny Cash’s daughter Cindy officially opened Folsom’s new Johnny Cash Trail.

A San Francisco columnist goes undercover to discover if cyclists really are jerks like some drivers think we are. And discovers happy, healthy people, without a single jerk in the bunch.

We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth repeating for anyone who missed it, as a Santa Rosa woman escaped the Sonoma County wildfires by bicycle, with her 70-pound dog in a duffel bag. Thanks to Doug Moore for the reminder.

 

National

If you’re in the market for a new job, VeloNews is looking for a pro cycling reporter with limitless energy and an inquisitive mind. Both of which count me out.

Bicycling explores the reasons people started riding their bikes, including thank you letters to Greg LeMond, and Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law comes with a $260 fine for a first offense, rising to $435 for a second offense or one causing a crash, and up to six months in jail for a third. That compares to California, which has a measly $20 fine for the first offense, and $50 for each additional offense, thanks to Jerry Brown’s veto of a bill that would have increased the absurdly low penalties.

Phoenix installs its first protected bike lane. If you consider a few flimsy plastic posts protection.

A Colorado man rode and biked to the summit of each of the state’s 100 highest peaks in just 60 days.

An Idaho baby visited ten states by bike before she’s even a year old.

A Milwaukee writer says his problem with a proposed bike boulevard is that it isn’t about bikes, it’s about a mindset that historically favors people on four wheels.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d intentionally shoot a 12-year old Chicago boy as he was riding his bike.

A Chicago-area writer says bicycling to work in the suburbs requires more risk and effort, but it’s worth it. Meanwhile, the Washington Post says bike commuting means better health and a longer life. But you already knew that, right?

A Michigan man faces up to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of a nun riding her bicycle; he claimed he had hit a deer.

A former Tennessee hall of fame basketball player is riding nearly 1,100 miles to honor her late coach, and raise money to fight Alzheimer’s.

Police in a Massachusetts town plan a crackdown on packs of teen bicyclists who swarm cars and block traffic.

Don’t blame a van for trying to strike a South Carolina bike rider twice, it was the effing jerk behind the wheel.

A group of Atlanta lawyers formed an organization called Cycling for Good to deliver food, toiletry and personal items to areas frequented by homeless people.

 

International

You’d think cops would know enough not to door someone, but evidently, you would be mistaken, as Toronto police officers hit a passing bicyclist with the door of their cruiser.

Also in Toronto, the debate over bike lanes goes on, as a writer says we got used to traffic lanes for motor vehicles, and we’ll get used to bike lanes, too. Meanwhile, another writer says enough with the data, we already know bike lanes work. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

In celebrity news, Ed Sheeran broke his arm when he was hit by a car while riding his bike in London. And Taylor Swift is one of us, riding a bike on London’s Millennium Bridge as she films her latest video.

An Op-Ed in the Guardian says we need fewer cars, not cleaner ones.

Caught on video: A British bike rider learns the dangers of riding salmon around a blind curve the hard way.

A British writer asks why some people hate cyclists, concluding that the solution lies in less pontificating and more mutual understanding.

Killer drivers in England and Wales could face life in prison under a proposed new law, however, it would not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Copenhagen’s bike boom hits a speed bump, as bike commuting rates have dropped 4% since 2014.

A French website says Lance brought dishonor to the Legion of Honor; he was removed, while Mussolini and Vladimir Putin — and so far, Harvey Weinstein — remain on the list.

In a photo that’s gone viral around the world, the new prime minister of the Netherlands locks his bicycle up on his way to meet the king; a Pakistan website seems to like the idea. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A South African website asks if violent attacks on bicyclists are increasing in the country.

A change in the law allowing bicyclists to share footpaths in Australia has not resulted in any additional problems, although one paper looks at the same stats and sees a lack of enforcement.

An Aussie pro cyclist tells Viennese border guards to Google him after a visa mix-up leaves him in danger of deportation.

 

Finally…

LA bicyclists hardly ever have to worry about kangaroo crashes. If you’re going to steal a bike, it’s only polite to leave another one in its place.

And if you insist on running down the jerk who stole your bicycle, try not to hit a pedestrian and ruin your own bike in the process.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikinginLA.com

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).

………

Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.

………

A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.

………

In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.

………

VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?

………

Local

Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.

 

State

San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.

 

National

A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.

 

International

A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.

 

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