Tag Archive for Bike Month

Morning Links: LA area bikelash spreads, free Bike Hub memberships, and SUVs are built to kill

In the fight for safe streets, the streets are fighting back.

Or at least, the people trying to keep them dangerous are.

According to City Lab, the bikelash against redesigning streets to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians is spreading nationwide.

And Pasadena and Los Angeles are prime bad examples.

For several hours, opponents voiced their objections into the auditorium’s sound system. Shedding lanes, one said, would be an “unmitigated traffic disaster.” Not only would residents who live along the road never again be able to back out of their driveways, bicycle accidents would increase (because the new lanes would attract more riders). At one point, a city councilmember decided to hold a “voice vote” on the issue. Though several dozen shouted their support for the reconfiguration, their cries were drowned out by hundreds who bellowed their opposition.

The next day, the City of Pasadena announced that a second scheduled meeting on the issue was cancelled. And so ended the road diet of Orange Grove Boulevard.

And then there’s this from the City of Angels.

John Russo, one of Keep LA Moving’s organizers, bristles at this safety argument. “It makes me laugh when people say we’re anti-safety. You’d have to be a psychopath to be anti-safety,” he said. “We’re here to remind the city how most Angelenos use the road. Overall, we don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a step back and think long and hard about how Vision Zero is being implemented in Los Angeles…”

In addition to these kinds of grassroots efforts, UCLA’s Brozen is looking for more assertive leadership from the city’s political class. And so far, she’s not seeing it. “There’s a little bit of a void in the pro-transportation change space in L.A., and it seems like this anti-change backlash is filling that void,” she said. “There’s a lack of understanding as to why these projects are needed. Without that understanding, it gets really personal and very nasty very quickly.”

That is why I’m crashing city hall on May 18th to demand safer streets.

Far too often, our elected leaders listen to traffic safety deniers like Russo, and forget that some of their constituents are drivers. But all of them are people, everyone of whom use the streets in some way.

And it’s long past time we prioritized the needs and safety of people before cars, to create a safe, livable and prosperous city that benefits everyone.

I hope you’ll join me as we crash the 10 am city council meeting one week from tomorrow, and ask our elected officials to have the courage to do the right thing.

Because they already know what that is. We just have to make them to do it.

Photo from FHWA.

………

If you can’t join me on the 18th — or even if you can — feel free to send a letter demanding for safer streets for you, me and everyone else. Just email your letter by Wednesday, May 16th to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor, containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips if you plan to write a letter.

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter. I’ll be happy to put it on here as a guest post leading up to Friday’s meeting.

………

Now here’s a great deal.

To celebrate Bike Month, Metro is offering free one-year Bike Hub memberships through the end of this month.

It’s worth signing up if only to have a safe, free place to lock your bike when you take transit or ride to DTLA, Hollywood or El Monte.

………

More fallout from the Insurance Institute study we mentioned yesterday, which blames SUV design, as well as bad road design, for the dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths.

The study suggests that the high, flat grills on most SUVs strike a person higher, with greater force and trauma than most cars would.

In other words, those massive SUVs we share the road with are just as deadly as you thought they were.

Never mind the distracted drivers in them.

………

Speaking of Bike Month, there’s no better way to celebrate than watching the start of the Amgen Tour of California in Long Beach this Sunday.

Except for getting out and riding your own bike there, of course.

………

Local

13th CD Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is hosting a community conference this Saturday, which will discuss pedestrian safety among other issues. Apparently he forgot to include a workshop on bike safety; maybe you should go and remind him. And tell him that cancelling the Temple Street road diet hurts everyone.

LA’s Jewish Journal asks if the Giro’s Jerusalem start makes Israelis the People of the Bike.

Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem invites everyone to come out and enjoy Bike Month on the city’s 63 miles of trails.

A Streetsblog Op-Ed says that Santa Monica officials and employees have to start paying for parking if the city is serious about using it to discourage driving.

 

State

Today is Bike to Work Day by the Bay, as NorCal celebrates a week earlier than we do.

San Franciscans will now be able to rent ebikes through the Ford Go Bikes docked bikeshare. Let’s hope LA’s Metro Bike catches up soon.

San Francisco’s effort to allow people to report traffic and parking violations through a 311 app turns out to be a disappointment. We tried to get a similar program going here in LA several years ago, but couldn’t get approval from the LAPD and city attorney.

Larkspur is using eminent domain to close a gap in a bike path and make the “path to nowhere” actually go somewhere.

No surprise that San Raphael bike riders and business owners are split over a pilot protected bike lane, since business people usually seem to prefer parking spaces to customers. Although I’ve never heard anyone say “Why do we need a road here, since there’s another one just a block over.”

A Stockton ministry is using bicycles to help people find jobs and housing.

 

National

Ebikes are now free to roam county trails surrounding Aspen CO.

More on the two German bike riders who were run down from behind on a Kansas highway; authorities are still trying to inform their next of kin. There’s something seriously wrong when people can’t visit this country without being sent back home in a box, just because they chose to ride a bicycle.

You have to give this Michigan letter writer credit. It takes skill to turn a proposed $10 annual fee on kayaks and canoes into an attack on bicycles.

Apparently not understanding how westerns work, Nashville tells Bird scooters they’ve got 15 days to get out of town, Although some people want to save the Birds. Any fan of cowboy movies could tell you they’re supposed get out of town by sunset.

A small New Jersey town has restricted access to a number of its streets during rush hour to keep New York-bound Waze users off them. Although a better solution would be to install traffic diverters and convert the streets to bike boulevards, which would eliminate cut-through traffic while preserving local access.

Curbed features a one-week diary from a multi-modal Boston city councilor and mom. Show that to the next person who tells you every mom needs a minivan.

 

International

Nice piece from Singletrack, as a writer uses elderly neighbor as an example to make the point that planners should talk about walking, bicycling and driving, rather than pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, because each is a choice that should be an option for everyone, rather than who we are.

Bike Radar examines the six great mysteries of cycling, including why do bicyclists litter — which I’ve often wondered myself — and is it all just a cover for cake addicts?

My favorite story of the day: Costa Rica’s new president rides to his inauguration in a hydrogen powered bus, escorted by people on bicycles, including the new head of the national assembly. And with another bike on the bus rack for good measure.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Montreal mother pleads for drivers to show a little patience, be polite and take responsibility for their actions, as spokeswoman for the city’s Ride of Silence just seven months after her teenage son was killed in a collision with a U-turning driver. Needless to say, the driver wasn’t charged.

HuffPo UK says bicycling can improve mental health. Which anyone who has ever started a bike ride in a bad mood can probably attest to.

London’s hugely successful Mini Holland bikeway has been shortlisted for a people’s choice civil engineering award, even if opponents consider the recognition a joke.

Glasgow is planning to turn a fashionable district into the city’s first bicycle village.

So much for being bike friendly. A bike-riding Indian actor is turned away from six out of seven luxury hotels in Mumbai, which evidently didn’t want bicycles besmirching their parking.

After a two-year trial period, violations of the 1.5 meter passing law in Australia’s New South Wales state — the equivalent of a 3-foot passing law in the US — will now result in a $330 fine and two points off a driver’s license. That compares to just $35 in California, although that rises to $235 once all the court and admin fees are tacked on.

You can now rent an ebike all over Tokyo, as well as reserve maps, guidebooks and helmets in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was Italian day in the Giro d’Italia.

The Giro remembered Wouter Weylandt on Wednesday’s stage of the race, seven years after he was killed in a tragic crash.

Lance says cycling shouldn’t try so hard to stop doping, because it isn’t working. Problem is, he’s probably right; while pro cycling brags about ending the doping era, it’s more likely teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

 

Finally…

If you can’t go swimming with the dolphins, try riding with the emus. When a bike helmet turns into an attack ad.

And doesn’t everyone warm up for a WorldTour race by hosting a gravel gran fondo?

 

Morning Links: May Bike Month, LimeBike ebikes in SaMo, Aviation road diet fight, and LACBC ED leaving

It’s Bike Month Eve in LA.

Both the LACBC and Bike SGV offer their own calendars of activities in the one month of the year dedicated to bicycling.

As always, the highlight of the month is Bike to Work Day, which takes place on May 17th, with Bike Night at Union Station the following night.

The international Ride of Silence rolls on May 16th to honor fallen bicyclists, including a ride through the San Fernando Valley.

My favorite event, the annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital near DTLA on May 15th.

And you can ride the Metro Bike bike share for just one dollar for the month of May when you sign up using the code BIKEMONTH2018; after the first one, it will cost $20 for each additional month.

………

Just in time for Bike Month, LimeBike has started dockless ebike service in Santa Monica.

According to a press release from the company, the bikes will cost $1 to unlock using your smartphone, and 15¢ per minute of riding.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid the problems that have developed in some other cities with abandoned or illegally parked bikes.

Because this could be a huge step forward for personal mobility in the LA area if they can avoid the usual bikelash.

………

Plans for a lane reduction and bike lanes to improve safety on Aviation Blvd face an uphill battle after opponents turned out at a meeting in Hermosa Beach to discuss the project.

As seems to happen in any public discussion of bicycles, at least one person insisted “When bikes start paying the registration fees that fund our streets, then they can start sharing our lanes.”

Which demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both who the streets are for and how local streets are paid for.

So let’s be very clear. Neither gas taxes or registration fees pay for more than a small portion of the building and maintenance of local streets; the overwhelming portion comes from local taxes, which we all pay.

Although that may change to some degree with the state’s recent gas tax increase — if it survives an attempt to have it repealed this fall.

And our streets have never been the property of fee-paying motorists; streets are for the movement of people and goods, some of whom will be on foot, some on bikes, some using transit, and some in motor vehicles. Usually alone.

Funny how so many LA drivers seem to feel they have a God-given right to the road.

And aren’t willing to concede a single inch of it to anyone else.

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is back in the market for a new Executive Director.

According to an email announcement from the organization, Executive Director Erik Jansen, who replaced former ED Tamika Butler less than a year ago, will be leaving at the end of May.

Erik is leaving the organization after two years of working with LACBC, first as its Development Director, then as its Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, and finally as its Executive Director. A father of two, Erik will be moving with his family to Australia, where his wife accepted a position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney…

As LACBC enters its 20th year and begins a strategic planning process to outline the next five years, staff remains committed, more than ever, to making streets safer for those biking and walking in Los Angeles County. It is an exciting time for the organization, and the team is looking for an Executive Director to lead the team, LACBC members, and bicycle advocates across the county, to create safer streets in Los Angeles County. If you have an amazing candidate in mind, please send us an email.

………

Get a whole body workout by using walking canes when you ride.

No, really.

Unless you’d rather play indoor fixie soccer.

………

Local

A Forbes writer says there are holes in Elon Musk’s plans to colonize underground Los Angeles with high speed transportation tunnels, with a professor reasonably noting that most people would rather walk or bike above ground.

The Talking Headways podcast chats with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds, while the New York Times looks at her efforts to bring Play Streets to the City of Angels.

Metro has released a first-of-its-kind First/Last Mile Plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the Blue Line, calling for “better sidewalks, more and safer crosswalks, more lighting for pedestrians, better and safer bike lanes and facilities.”

Speaking of Metro, comments are now being accepted on the transportation agency’s Vision 2028 strategic plan.

 

State

The next time some NIMBY tries to tell you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, tell them about Jenn Ramsey, who’s ridden the eight-day, 575-mile California Coast Classic a dozen times, even though her crippling arthritis prevents her from standing for more than 30 minutes.

An Op-Ed from San Luis Obispo, where NIMBYs have risen up to fight a proposed bikeway, insists that bike riders aren’t the enemy.

A writer for the SF Gate calls out what he calls Car Blindness, the double standard in which people easily see the relatively minor problems caused by bikes, scooters and pedestrians, but can’t see the major problems caused by motor vehicles.

Redding officials consider closing a roadway entirely to allow for a safe crossing for a new bike and pedestrian trail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials won’t even remove a single traffic lane to improve safety for everyone.

 

National

Good piece from Slate, saying no one teaches ebike buyers how to ride them, which is a problem when some bikes can go up to 30 mph; Bicycling offers tips on how to do it safely.

The Wall Street Journal considers the next generation of bike helmets, which may be hidden behind their damn paywall.

There is something terribly wrong with any society where anyone feels the need to give advice on how to properly survive getting hit by a car. Never mind that most cars actually have drivers, which the article fails to mention. Thanks to Steven Messer and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Strava’s CEO explains why the app keeps gaining a million users every 40 days, and where he wants to go from here.

Lawrence, Kansas, population 93,000, could soon have more bike boulevards than Los Angeles.

A Houston Op-Ed says the city doesn’t have to be deadly for cyclists. Then again, neither does any other city, even though most of them are.

The pedaling priests of Peoria have finished their 275-mile ride across their Illinois diocese to call attention to religious vocations. I might have considered the priesthood if they’d told me you get to ride bikes all day.

After a reader complains to a Michigan paper, saying someone needs to teach bicyclists the rules of the road, a columnist responds “Whoever does the training, I’m hoping they do a better job than they did with the car and pickup drivers.”

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an Indiana man dying in the street — and may have stolen his bike, wallet and mobil phone.

After Columbus OH opened a new two-way cycle track, bike collisions nearly tripled; authorities blamed a jump in ridership, combined with a break-in period for people to get used to the new lanes.

A Virginia couple is planning to bike across the US with their three young kids riding a tandem and a three-person bike.

Nice story about a Charlottesville SC cop who started a new community bike program after fixing kids bikes, then returning to ride with them every week.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling rates jump in Victoria, British Columbia, after the opening of a new, safer bridge with bike lanes in each direction.

Heartbreaking news from Canada’s northern Manitoba province, where three boys were killed by a suspected drunk driver while walking and riding their bikes with a group of friends.

The Guardian says smart exercise will keep you young longer.

A writer for the Financial Times says London cyclists are abominable, and she knows because she’s one of them — and she’ll continue to break the law until streets are made with bikes in mind.

An English letter writer says she doesn’t ride a bike in her home town, but would like to if she felt safer. Surveys consistently show that roughly two-thirds of the people in the US feel the same way — including here in Los Angeles.

A British father and son planned to ride Penny Farthings 50 miles in top hats and tails yesterday to raise funds for the Aston Villa soccer team’s charity foundation.

This is who we share the roads with. A man in the UK learns the hard way that if you’re going to put your Tesla on autopilot, at least stay in the driver’s seat.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walks on charges of killing a bicyclist, despite attempting — and failing — to overtake the rider on a blind curve.

The Telegraph says the best way to see the Netherlands is by boat and bicycle.

No bias here. An Aussie paper says “bike riders are still dicing with death.” Even though the article is really about dangerous drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

New British pro discusses how his dream of making a WorldTour team nearly hit the rocks.

Yahoo previews Friday’s Jerusalem start of the Giro d’Italia. Tainted pro Chris Froome clearly intends to allow his alleged doing case to overshadow the Giro.

Organizers are confident that the Cascade Cycling Classic stage race will be back next year, despite its cancellation for 2018. Which is what bike event organizers usually say just before you never hear from them again.

 

Finally…

When spending $15,000 for bespoke bike is a relative bargain. If you’re going to drive in the bike lane while drunk and with a suspended license, at least stay closer to the speed limit.

And you haven’t got bike skills until you can flip pancakes while riding.

………

Thanks to Stephen K for his generous donation to help support this site. I am constantly blown away by the kindness and generosity of our supporters. 

 

Morning Links: Idaho Stop Law dead for this year, and 13-year old may have died due to misaligned handicap ramps

So much for that.

A California version of the Idaho Stop Law that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields is dead on arrival at the state legislature.

The bill’s sponsor, Big Bear Assembly Member Jay Obernolte, pulled AB 1103 off the docket following a harsh review at its first committee hearing on Monday in the face of opposition from the usual auto-centric suspects, who can’t seem to grasp that it only legalizes what most bike riders have done for decades.

And the sky hasn’t fallen yet.

………

KCBS-2 reports classmates of Ciara Smith wore bright colors to school today to honor the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus in Redondo Beach on Friday.

At least one parent blames her death on misaligned crosswalks, which are a result of the single diagonal handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps that would line up with the crosswalks. In order to turn or cross the street, her bike would have angled out into PCH, exposing her to traffic.

Fatally, in this case.

Which means the city could be ultimately responsible for placing a higher priority on reducing costs rather than improving safety.

………

This year, the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen cyclists falls right in the middle of next week’s Bike Week, between Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles and Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

There will be two Los Angeles rides this year, the traditional Pasadena Ride of Silence beginning at the Rose Bowl, and a new North Hollywood ride sponsored by the LACBC beginning at the Metro station.

There will also be rides in Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties, so you’re likely to find one near you.

………

No doubt feeling the need to get a jump on LA, the Bay Area will celebrate its Bike to Work Day this Thursday, with 10,000 people expected to participate.

Meanwhile, OC will celebrate with Bike to School Day tomorrow, Bike to Work Day next Tuesday, and a Bike Rally next Thursday.

You can find a calendar of LA-area Bike Month events on the Metro website, while the LACBC offers their own very crowded Bike Month map.

………

Still more in the ongoing CD1 saga.

LA Downtown News says Joe Bray-Ali has a chance in next week’s CD1 election, even if it’s a million-to-one.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman uses the Bray-Ali story to challenge bike and safety advocates to examine our own biases, saying the approaches and narratives of the Livable Streets community can silence voices on the margins.

And there’s something seriously wrong when the incumbent blocks the LA Times transportation writer on Twitter for no apparent reason.

………

If you’ve been watching the Giro, you may have wondered about those black sticks under the rider’s seats.

The ex-winner of the 2005 Vuelta will get his title back, along with $794,000, after Spanish courts threw out his positive test for EPO.

Chris Froome’s high-speed tuck may not be aerodynamic as everyone thought.

Newcomers won the Redlands Bicycle Classic in a pair of upsets. And speaking of upsets, this RBC rider probably was when a drone sent him over the handlebars.

………

Local

Metro’s long-delayed Hollywood Bike Hub is finally scheduled to open next Friday.

Streetsblog reports on Downey’s three-mile open streets event this past Sunday, while Rancho Cucamonga is hosting their own open streets even this Saturday.

 

State

Newport Beach will be conducting a pair of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Wednesday the 17th and Monday the 22nd. By now you know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego is facing another lawsuit from a man injured while riding his bicycle on a broken sidewalk, just weeks after paying out $4.85 million to settle a similar case.

Oakland cuts the ribbon on the city’s first protected bike lane. Or rather, make that its first curb-protected lane.

Another Sacramento bike rider was bitten by a leashed dog on the American River Parkway, after a rider was bitten by a loose dog from a homeless encampment last week.

 

National

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Idaho man plans to ride 100 miles in a charity ride this Sunday; he didn’t take up riding until five years ago following a double knee replacement. Then again, I’d settle for being able to ride 80 miles when I’m 100.

A Denver bike cop will retire, less than a year after he finally was able to return to work following critical injuries when he was hit and dragged half a block by a driver who suffered a seizure.

Denver drivers are up in arms over a nine-second delay in travel times due to a new road diet and protected bike lanes on a major commuting corridor, as the city reprioritizes its transportation policies to make room for everyone. This should be required reading for everyone at LADOT, the city council and the mayor’s office.

No bias here. An Omaha NE bike rider gets the blame for crashing into a police cruiser whose driver apparently cut him off on the sidewalk.

The LAPD officers participating in the first Hollywood Memorial Ride to honor fallen officers have made it to Nashville TN.

A New York writer describes what it’s like to join 32,000 other riders in a one-day journey through all five of the city’s boroughs.

A Brooklyn judge has ruled that a bike-riding lawyer can proceed with his case against the city following a crash with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Louisiana driver is brought to justice by another bike-riding lawyer in the first application of the state’s anti-harassment law. Los Angeles has had an anti-harassment measure on the books for nearly six years, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually used it, let alone received a settlement.

 

International

No justice in the death of rising Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, who was killed in a collision during a training ride last December.

A Toronto writer says Vision Zero won’t become reality because it’s written in a report, but only when it’s written in the streets.

British bike historian Carlton Reid uses Google Street View to rediscover the country’s lost and abandoned WWII era bike paths.

A writer for the Guardian comes to terms with the death of famed endurance cyclist Mike Hall, counting himself among the lucky ones to have been inspired by him.

The Philippines has a five point action plan to cut traffic deaths in half by 2020. Oddly, reducing driving rates isn’t one of them.

 

Finally…

The world may be coming to an end, but at least your bike has less bacteria than what passes for a bike at the local spin club. If you’re already high, carrying a controlled substance and riding the bike you just stole, maybe you should try obeying the damn traffic laws.

And who needs toilet plungers for a DIY protected bike lane when you’ve people?

 

Morning Links: Bicycling examines our deadly streets, Bike Month heats up, and Bray-Ali story travels the globe

Bicycling Magazine gets it.

No, really.

The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.

They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!

Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:

  • 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
  • 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
  • 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
  • 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
  • 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
  • 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
  • 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men

In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.

It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.

As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.

It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.

………

Bike Month is starting to heat up.

Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.

The LACBC is celebrating by profiling bike riders throughout the month, while Bike SGV profiles bike riders in the San Gabriel Valley.

And thanks to Portland bike advocate and mom Kath Youell, you can now track your Bike Month Challenge miles online, even if you don’t have a workplace team to join.

………

The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.

………

In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.

A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.

A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.

Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.

………

The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.

African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.

………

Local

Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.

While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.

Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.

Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.

 

State

No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.

Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.

An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.

Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.

Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.

 

National

The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.

A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month

Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.

A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.

Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.

 

International

Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.

A new report from members of the British Parliament calls for changing the driving code to require drivers to yield to people on bicycles.

Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.

One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.

Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.

Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.

 

Finally…

Touring the world on a smuggled bikeshare bike. Your next ebike could be a hippo. Or maybe a panda.

And nothing like teaching your son the family business.

The bike theft business, that is.

………

Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.

Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.

Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.

Morning Links: The aftermath of a bike collision, bikeshare’s really happening, and cop dogs behaving badly

Great news! We’re now up to 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So who wants to be the next to sign up now or renew your membership and get it up to 20 today? It’s worth it just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get — let alone the difference you’ll help make on our streets and in our communities.

………

Mike Wilkinson, who frequently forwards news tips — and graciously serves as my unpaid proofreader — came upon the immediate aftermath of what thankfully appears to have been a relatively minor bike collision on Monday.

Yesterday while out for my lunch time “blast” I came upon the scene of a collision just a minute after it happened. The photo shows what I saw as I arrived. Look carefully, and you may see that the car’s rear view mirror is broken, and there is a dent above the front wheel.

Collision

I’m not going to write about the details of what I saw and heard. I will say that the things I saw and heard reminded me of the importance of gathering information immediately after any kind of collision, even if the collision seems to be minor. The following items seem important to me:

  1. Get a picture of the other party’s driver’s license.
  2. Take a picture of the other party’s insurance ID.
  3. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, including the licenses plates.
  4. Get contact information from any potential witness.
  5. Don’t say anything about who may be at fault for the crash.

I’m sure that more experienced minds have more comprehensive lists. Remember also that the state of California DMV requires notification for any crash that results in injury, no matter how minor, or damage exceeding $750.

Finally, be careful!

I’ve offered my thoughts on what to do if you’re in a collision here and here, based on my personal experience. And BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass provided expert advice from a bike lawyer’s perspective.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said a crash must be reported to the DMV if there was property damage over $500, rather than $750, and failed to note that injuries must be reported, no matter how minor. 

………

Metro’s still unnamed bikeshare system is finally becoming a reality; thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood decides to name its new bikeshare WeHoPedals. Although the rejected WeHoGo name was a lot better. Or maybe even Zuzu’s Pedals.

And Global Green celebrates Bike Month with Santa Monica’s much better named Breeze bikeshare, and the coming of the Expo Line this Friday.

………

Let’s catch up on Bike Months news here in the LA area and around the US.

Commuting on Bike to Work Day is about to get a little easier as a new BikeHub opens in Covina on Thursday.

At least 20 Santa Clarita businesses will compete against one another to see which can get the most employees to ride to work.

An OpEd in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says every month is Bike Month, and education is the key to encouraging more, and safer, bicycling.

A Minneapolis bike commuter offers practical advice on how to do it yourself.

And a Louisiana radio personality explains why he bikes to work. Anyone who names his dog named after a zydeco legend has my undying respect.

………

This time it’s a four-legged cop, and a cop’s dog, behaving badly.

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot a CHP officer’s pit bull after the dog bit his 12-year old son as the family was getting ready for a bike ride.

And a Mississippi police dog chewed his way out from under a fence, and bit a boy riding his bike.

………

First year pro Giulio Ciccone won the 10th stage of the Giro, while Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels moves into the leader’s jersey. The race now moves into the brutal climbs of the Dolomites, as a writer remembers falling in love with his first Giro.

Twenty-three-year old French rider Julian Alaphillipe won Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California on the slopes of the famed Gibraltar climb above Santa Barbara, dropping American Peter Stetina with an uphill sprint to take the leader’s jersey.

CiclaValley offers some great pictures from Monday’s Stage 2, while a Santa Barbara website posts photos of Tuesday’s Gibraltar finish.

Sacramento is looking forward to the added exposure of hosting the finish of both the men’s and women’s races in the ToC.

Cycling Tips has a preview of the four stage women’s tour, which starts Thursday in South Lake Tahoe. But good luck if you actually want to watch it if you can’t be there in person.

And you’d ride faster if there was a guy in a chicken suit chasing you, too.

………

Local

MyFigueroa offers an update on the long-delayed project which will result in what would have been DTLA’s first protected bike lane, if Los Angeles Street hadn’t jumped to the head of the line.

The Daily News looks at tonight’s Ride of Silence in the San Fernando Valley.

The LA Weekly provides a slide show from Sunday’s CicLAvia. Not bad for a publication that wrongly predicted the first one would create a traffic nightmare.

 

State

Westminster’s mayor pro tem recounts the journey to convert a rundown two-mile strip of Hoover Street into a landscaped recreation corridor for biking and walking.

The head of CABO teaches a 14-hour bike safety class tailored to San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.

The San Francisco cyclist hit by a police car last week says the city must do more to protect bike riders, and do it faster.

A Sacramento ER doc wants you to ride your bike, but put on a helmet when you do; he also says to follow the rules of the road and ride defensively. And a physician with the Cleveland Clinic says make sure it fits correctly.

 

National

Redfin ranks the nation’s most bikeable downtownsBut forget finding LA or any other SoCal city on the list.

Bike lanes build jobs.

A new line of women’s bikewear from Scott promises to eliminate road rash, at least on the parts it covers.

Now that’s more like it. A travel company is offering a trio of bike tours leading to the some of the nation’s leading microbreweries.

Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira was one of us, as he passed away in Texas Monday, despite riding his bike every day to get back into shape.

Sinead O’Connor lashes out at her family following her disappearance on a Chicago ebike ride.

Leave the car at home and join an organized group bike ride to see the Indianapolis 500. Now if they could just get the drivers to ride to work.

A Philly cyclist makes the argument that crashes aren’t accidents and can be avoided, while the Associated Press finally agrees, more or less.

Pennsylvania releases a new interactive mapping tool that combines detailed bike routes, traffic volumes and speed limits, and as well as state parks, forests and trails.

A New York website calls Janette Sadik-Khan the prophet of bike lanes, and lists the best things about biking in the city. Meanwhile, Sadik-Khan’s heirs at NYDOT make plans to put bikeways and improved sidewalks on bridges connecting Manhattan and the Bronx.

A New Orleans bike rider barely survives a robbery attempt, after a gun misfires when a trio of men force him off his bike and rifle through his pockets.

 

International

Thirteen cities around the world where bicycling is gaining modal share. None of which are named LA. Or anywhere else in North or South America, for that matter.

A Winnipeg woman gets back on a bike for the first time in 18 years, and likes it.

A London bike rider is mugged by moped riding thieves.

Paris ups the ante in its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, including cleaning up the Seine River and building a bike path linking venues for the games. Your move, Los Angeles.

Lawyers for an Australian woman argue she shouldn’t face jail for killing a cyclist while high on meth because she has a 10-month old baby, even though her actions left the victim’s three children without a mother.

What the hell did Aussie officials think would happen when they protected pedestrians from bicyclists, instead of protecting riders from cars?

 

Finally…

Don’t throw a fit if your bike doesn’t fit in a Fit. Nothing like a bike path where bicycling is banned, unless it’s telling Danny MacAskill he’s no Danny MacAskill in a nearly undecipherable brogue.

And yes, we cyclists are just here to fuck you up.

 

Today’s post, in which pent-up sarcasm breaks forth over our own month and the fight over bike lanes

By now, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the kind waves and smiles from the people you pass on the streets.

Not to mention the extra space drivers give you as they pass, and the care they take driving around you. Along with the spoken thanks for riding your bike, reducing the traffic congestion they have to contend with as they make their work to work or school.

Then there’s the way people are speaking up in meetings, requesting — no, demanding — bike lanes in their neighborhoods. And merchants requesting that a traffic lane or parking be removed from in front of their businesses, because they know more customers would spend more money, more often if they only felt safer on the streets.

That’s because it’s Bike Month.

And that changes everything.

Right?

Meanwhile, advocacy group People for Bikes joins with Volkswagen to celebrate with a new PSA calling for peace on our streets and urging cyclists and motorists to roll together.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but while I share the sentiment, this spot doesn’t really work for me.

………

Maybe we should be shocked! shocked! to learn that some San Pedro residents are up in arms over the recent installation of bike lanes.

Yawn.

Yes, while some appreciate the traffic calming and safer cycling the lanes afford, others cry out in fear of automotive Armageddon, as if the loss of a single lane will prevent them from ever getting home again.

Driver, please.

But the reaction has been largely one-sided. The problem, opponents say, is that no one seemed to realize the new lanes would take away traffic lanes.

“The neighbors are furious,” said David Rivera, a member of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council’s issues committee. “Coming out of those shopping centers, you’re going to have to be real careful.”

Wait.

Shouldn’t drivers be careful exiting shopping centers anyway — let alone anywhere else?

Sounds like the road diets may be doing exactly what they were intended to do.

At the same time, the battle over bike lanes in North East L.A. spreads to — or more precisely, is centered in — the business community; maybe someone can tell me why opposition from a handful of business people outweighs the overwhelming support that has repeatedly been voiced in community meetings.

And tonight the proposed bike lanes on North Figueroa will be discussed at yet another Neighborhood Council meeting, where a small minority of bike lane opponents will undoubtedly attempt to pretend they represent the the wider community.

Richard Risemberg says battles like that are suppressing demand for bicycling, while Flying Pigeon smartly dedicates this weekend’s Brewery Ride to winning over some of those reluctant business owners.

If it sounds like I’ve grown weary of the seemingly endless battles over a simple stripe of paint, I have.

As NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn famously said while speaking here in L.A., it’s just paint. If it doesn’t work, paint over it.

Yet those opposed to bike lanes, let alone bikes, fight any attempt to accommodate riders on our streets as if we were irrevocably yanking out all access for motor vehicles. And turning over every inch of every road to the hordes of scofflaws they insist don’t exist, yet somehow blame for all the dangers on our streets.

The only rational approach would be for those opposed to let the bike lanes go in. Then study the results, and if the lanes successful, enjoy the benefits.

If not, then they can raise hell and get them removed, just as speeding pass-through drivers did on Wilbur Ave in the Valley.

Meanwhile, less contentious bike lanes go in on Figueroa from Wilshire to Cesar Chavez. And I captured a photo of the new bike lanes on Wilshire Blvd through the Condo Corridor.

Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the San Pedro link.

SAMSUNG

Wilshire Blvd looking east from Beverly Glen

………

The League of American Bicyclists announces their ranking of bike-friendly states — or unfriendly, as the case may be. California ranks 19th; with our bike-friendly weather and terrain, it takes some major screw-ups to rank that low.

………

Cycling in the South Bay offers a hard-hitting, and very disturbing, look at racism in bike racing, including accusations that L.A.’s own former National Crit champ is being unfairly singled out.

This policy of ignoring great black cyclists and turning a blind eye to the development of cycling in the black community isn’t limited to ignoring old heroes. The best black bike racer in cycling today, Rahsaan Bahati, former national champion and perennial force in big national crits, continues to be singled out by USA Cycling because he’s black.

Two years ago Bahati was deliberately crashed out at the Dana Point Grand Prix. The video is breathtaking. After the accident, Bahati slammed his sunglasses to the ground in anger, for which he was fined and suspended. [Update: Readers noted that Bahati actually threw his glasses at the oncoming pack, and later took responsibility for his fine and suspension.]

The rider who crashed him out received no penalty at all, even though the whole thing was on video and is one of the most brazen examples of evil and malicious bike riding you have ever seen. Check the video here if you don’t believe me. Seconds 39-42 are unbelievable, but not as unbelievable as the fact that the rider who got punished was Bahati.

You may or may not agree with what he has to say. Personally, I sincerely hope he’s overreacting, but fear he isn’t.

But you owe it to yourself to read it.

Then again, maybe it’s nit just a problem with pro cycling. Streetsblog suggests biking or walking while brown could be the city’s latest crime wave.

………

Paddy Cahill and Phillip de Roos, the founders of the Dutch in Dublin blog, have started a new blog called Cycling With. They plan to release a monthly interview with someone on a bike, with a goal of showing how normal and social city cycling actually is.

Their most recent video features a ride through Amsterdam with the city’s former mayor, Job Cohen.

………

A recent arrival from Portland is looking for collaborators to form a bike orchestra.

No, you won’t ride to performances.

You’ll actually play your bike.

………

Bicycling is becoming normal in L.A. Caltrans invites you to their new bike-themed exhibit (pdf) at their Downtown headquarters during bike month; thanks to Cyclelicious for the heads-up. LADOT offers notes from the most recent BPIT meeting. Los Angeles is asking for money to extend the L.A. River bike path into the Sepulveda Basin. The next CicLAvia will feature the art and architecture of Wilshire Blvd. A fatal car collision in South L.A. involved eight cars and a bike rider; no word yet on the cyclist’s condition. A salmon cyclist gets a ticket in Highland Park. A week after CicLAvia, residents demand repairs to Venice Blvd. As reported last week, the city is offering a $50,000 reward for the hit-and-run death of teenage cyclist David Granados. Just four months after barely surviving a head-on collision, a Santa Clarita bike advocate and amputee is selected to ride down the California coast in the Million Dollar Challenge. Congratulations to Caltech on being named a bronze-level Bike Friendly University. South Pasadena gets $400,000 to spend on bicycling. The Plain Wrap Ride rolls in Pomona on the 18th. Thanks to Road.cc, who reported on the Mulholland motorcycle crash that took out two cyclists and incorporated my story into theirs.

Two new bike bills in the state legislature; one smells like a poison pill to kill the 710 Freeway extension. There will be a Ride of Silence in Rancho Cucamonga on the 15th; I hear there are also last minute plans to hold one in Downtown L.A. A Redding bike rider was shot by a police officer last month after he allegedly tried to punch the cop. A Thousand Oaks letter writer says a proposed road diet is beyond stupid and a death sentence for everyone on the road. A protected bike lane in San Francisco is being held up by a paint shop. Turns out a drivers license really is a license to kill.

Don’t just watch Cookie Monster, ride him. What your bike looks like completely disassembled or if you somehow blew it up; Cookie Monster parts optional. Raisins are as effective as sports gels and jelly beans, but you knew that, right? An Oregon psychiatrist, who could probably use one himself, gets 30 days for sabotaging local mountain bike trails. A Washington state trooper recognizes the bike he just sold in the car of the guy who stole it afterwards. After a Seattle cyclist is killed at a dangerous intersection, the city’s mayor asks for ways to improve safety there; does anyone remember Los Angeles ever responding to a traffic fatality by demanding solutions? Anyone? In response to that death, readers of West Seattle Blog offer some of the most polite comments I’ve ever seen on a bike story. A South Dakota cyclist says a pickup driver used his truck to push him into a busy intersection. A paper in the Twin Cities says ditch the spandex for new bike commuter attire. After a sheriff’s deputy in my hometown cites a cyclist for not moving to the right — a law that was repealed four years ago — he Jerry Browns the rider in an apparent attempt to drive the point home, or perhaps, the rider off the road. Chicago residents are up in arms over plans to remove parking for a protected bikeway.

Rachel McAdams rides a bike, or two, in Toronto. You can smooth out that bumpy ride by putting slick tires on your mountain bike. British bike justice, as a rider receives a bigger fine for punching a driver than most drivers get for killing a cyclist. UK cyclist is killed in a gang drive-over, as opposed to a drive-by. The defense fund for journalist Paul Kimmage in his defamation fight against UCI appears to have been drained without anyone’s knowledge. A Spanish judge orders doping evidence from Operacion Puerto destroyed; the rest of the world smells a seemingly obvious cover-up. Can African cyclists achieve the same success the continent’s runners have? Maybe not, if Cycling in the South Bay is right.

Finally, how to use your bike for self protection. LAist offers a photo of what may be the most ironic blocked bike lane ever.

And Brent Kuhn forwards a wanted poster he spotted he spotted riding home on the L.A. River bike path; actually, it’s not unusual for riders and pedestrians to lose their heads there.

Headless man poster

%d bloggers like this: