Tag Archive for bike safety

Morning Links: Phil Gaimon pens his own obituary, balance bike parking, and Bike the Vote endorsements

Take a few moments, right now, and read this hard-hitting piece from Phil Gaimon, who narrowly avoided being turned into road kill by a salmon driver speeding around a curve on the wrong side of the road.

Just like the squirrel he passed several minutes later after he composed himself.

Of course, the squirrel did dart into traffic and he’ll get no mention in the local paper, but if I’d shared his fate I expect that would be the headline for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that this probably is how I’ll die someday and I’m choosing to still do it, but I’d like to set the record straight here. When I die on my bicycle, I didn’t do anything erratic and I didn’t make a mistake. I’m an expert at bike riding, I did it for a living among the best in the world for years, and in my retirement I ride cautiously because I had enough broken bones when it was my job. When I die it’s because of some asshole not paying attention, speeding, texting, or both, on roads where there’s no infrastructure or room for error, and most likely there won’t be much of a punishment. I’m dead, so at least they can get the story right.

I’ve long thought the same thing as Phil Gaimon describes.

Odds are, when I finally meet my maker — which hopefully will be a very long time from now — it will happen on a bike.

Not because bicycling is dangerous, but because I’ve spent far more time on my bike than I have doing anything else. And plan to continue as long as I’m able to remain upright and turn a pedal.

But now that I live it Hollywood, it seems even more likely, thanks to streets filled with aggressive and distracted drivers. Along with a near total lack of bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

Like Gaimon, I fully expect to be blamed if that ever happens.

And like Gaimon, it won’t be true.

That’s why I use a bike cam when I ride, so I’ll have proof I didn’t run a red light or stop sign, or suddenly suicide swerve out in front of traffic.

It’s cold comfort.

But to will have to do until Los Angeles finally gets serious about Vision Zero.

And finally commits to building the bike plan its already committed to.

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On a happier note, this tweet gave me the biggest smile I’ve had in weeks.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Get ready to bike the vote this November, as Calbike offers its endorsements in the coming election.

Interesting to note that all but one of the legislative candidates they endorse supports using clean transportation financial incentives for bike purchases.

Which translates to giving rebate to encourage people to buy bicycles, ebikes or otherwise. And actually use them to replace car trips.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released their own voter guide for the LA area. Nice to see my own Assembly Member made the list.

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Local

A new study ranks the 20 most congested cities in the US; for a change, Los Angeles wasn’t at the top of the list. In fact, LA ranked seventh, behind Chicago and ahead of Seattle.

It’s a busy bike weekend in DTLA this week, with CicLAvia rolling on Sunday, and the Bike! Bike! conference Thursday through Sunday at Los Angeles State Historic Park; Bike! Bike! is intended to bring bike owners, bicycle shops and bike groups together to “workshop new ideas and methods to advocate for urban bicyclists.”

Community stakeholders conducted a “slow jam” on Temple Street, where limited safety improvements are underway after Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell combined to kill a desperately needed road diet on the dangerous street. Although the improvements might help people on foot, it’s not a Complete Street unless it safely accommodates people on two wheels, as well.

Streetsblog visits the new purple curb extensions on the Pico Blvd Great Streets project. But how great can it really be without bike lanes?

CiclaValley races his wife from Westwood to the San Fernando Valley, pitting bike against car. You can guess who won.

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Cameron Smyth explains why you should ride in the city, and explains how Santa Clarita’s Heads-Up traffic safety campaign applies to people on bicycles.

 

State

Unsafe routes to schools. A mother and her eight-year old son were lucky to escape with minor injuries when a turning driver struck their tandem bike while they were riding to school. Police said the driver couldn’t see because he had the sun in his eyes, which makes it okay, right?

The Ventura County Star says it’s time to stop the madness, and do what you can to clean the air by car-pooling, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

San Francisco’s new mayor called on the city to speed up Vision Zero safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be nice if LA’s mayor would say the same thing. But don’t hold your breath.

 

National

A new AAA study shows 80% of drivers overestimate the technical capabilities of their car’s safety devices, especially the ability to detect bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because every other car commercial shows them doing exactly that.

Uber has announced a $10 million fund to advocate for congestion pricing and charging stations for dockless ebikes near transit stations.

Bicycling offers 30 bike hacks every bicyclist should know. As long as you’re willing to put up with their annoying click-through format that only shows one item at a time.

Seattle bike commuting is down to its lowest level since 2007; just 2.8% of city residents rode to work last year, down from 3.5% the year before.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. An Iowa woman faces a 1st degree murder charge for stalking a man who accused her of stealing, and using her car as a weapon to intentionally run him down as he rode his bike in a parking lot, while driving under the influence.

Michigan’s new three-foot passing law goes into effect today.

A road raging Ohio lawyer lost his license to practice for a year — make that six months — after he brake checked a bike rider, and stomped the cellphone of a physician who stopped to record the incident. He also skipped out on the court hearing for the misdemeanor he ended up charged with, leading to his later arrest and conviction.

Seriously? It will now cost DC drivers who park in a bike lane three times as it does to door a bike rider under the city’s new Vision Zero laws; meanwhile, a bicyclist who hits a pedestrian crossing the street will be fined $150, but just $100 for hitting someone walking on a sidewalk.

A DC council member says the city has to do more to protect bike and scooter riders, including building protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, an advocacy site says it’s been just two days since a driver killed someone biking, walking or scooting in DC.

A Tampa FL columnist says a proposed transportation sale tax, which would reserve 12% of funds for bike and pedestrian projects, is a good start to change the city’s ranking as the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders.

 

International

This is the cost of traffic violence. A promising young Canadian ballet student was killed in a collision on Sunday.

No bias here. A deputy mayor on Canada’s Prince Edward Island says requiring bike riders to attach a license plate to their bike or helmets would make the city friendlier to bicyclists. No, really.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard says bicycling must be made safer after decades of half-hearted attempts.

Members of an Oxford, England men’s choir will ride 100 miles to Wales to remember their roots as descendants of Welsh residents who moved to Oxford during the Great Depression.

This is who we share the roads with. A British motorcyclist records a road raging minicab driver running over his parked bike after he got off to confront the man. But the motorcycle rider was no angel, either, kicking and hitting the car after threatening to break the driver’s skull.

An American Vietnam vet with an Ivy League education gave up his life in this county to live as a hermit in Ireland, using his bicycle to get around.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist examines the superstitions and rituals of the pro peloton, and concludes they might give riders a mental edge.

An 18-year old Belgian cyclist insists he’s not the next Eddy Merckx, as he prepares to make the leap from the junior ranks to the WorldTour next year.

Canada’s “starry girl cyclist” of the 1930’s is being inducted into the country’s Cycling Hall of Fame, after a riding career spent leaving fellow riders and stereotypes in her wake.

After years of misfortune, Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis claimed the world champ’s rainbow jersey in the event.

 

Finally…

Before you complain online about a bike riding mom and her child, make sure you’re right.

And when a cop right hooks a bike rider, it’s just a “momentary lapse in attention.”

Right.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Pendleton bicycle restrictions take effect, and LA’s not the deadliest place to bike after all

Let’s start off today with a reminder that this is the last weekend you can ride through Camp Pendleton without registering first.

To make matters more complicated, you have to register in person, on base at Camp Pendleton, at an office that’s only open Monday through Friday.

Which is a problem, considering that the popular route through Pendleton is the only way to get from southern Orange County to North San Diego County by bicycle without riding on the 5 Freeway.

One more reason Caltrans needs to create a protected bikeway — if not a separate bike path — through the base.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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A new study from the Wall Street Journal pinpoints the most dangerous place in the US to ride a bike.

And for a change, it’s not Los Angeles. Or even in Southern California, for that matter.

Instead the study, which ranks bicycling deaths per capita, lists the Sacramento area as the nation’s fifth deadliest, after four Florida cities.

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida ranked number one, with an average of seven deaths per 100,000 people.

Previous studies have shown Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest city for people on bicycles. However, those fail to consider that LA is the nation’s second largest metropolitan area.

While even one death is one too many, Los Angeles ranks just ninth on the Journal’s list at 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people, above San Jose and behind Riverside San Bernardino.

So we still suck when it comes to providing safe streets for bicyclists.

We just don’t suck as much as some other places.

Note: You may or may not hit a paywall when trying to access the Journal article; I was blocked trying to access it directly, but was able to get in by clicking the link in the Sacramento pieces.

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Unbelievable.

A Florida man is under arrest for grabbing a woman’s bicycle and throwing it off a bridge as she was walking across it with a flat tire.

Then he threw her boyfriend off when he tried to intervene.

Fortunately, he only suffered a cut and a bloody eye in the 30 foot drop to the ocean, and was able to swim to a pylon to await rescue.

The whole thing was witnessed by a cop who just happened to be crossing the bridge at the same time, and caught part of the incident on video.

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Sometimes, showing a little courtesy and respect is appreciated.

And it’s not that hard to do.

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Local

Good piece from CiclaValley, as he accuses CD4 Councilmember David Ryu of having a one-size solution to traffic on Rowena Ave, and pursuing 20th Century solutions to 21st Century problems.

The Verge looks at LA’s scofflaw underage e-scooter underground. Which is ridiculous, when you consider that a 16-year old can legally operate two tons of high powered glass and steel, but can’t legally ride a 15 mph scooter.

 

State

Abandoned Ofo bikes are still strewn about in San Diego after the dockless bikeshare provider pulled out of the city, but left its bikes behind.

The annual Eroica California ride for classic bicycles will now be based in Cambria.

Marin bike shops are the latest to feel the effects of Trump’s trade war with China.

 

National

A new baseball cap-style bike helmet folds down to the size of a water bottle.

Texas Monthly looks at the cyclist safety that isn’t happening in the Rio Grande Valley, after city commissioners walked out on a 19-year old woman as she spoke passionately about the death of her friend, who was killed in a collision as he was riding.

The Vision Zero program in San Antonio, Texas awarded a $10,000 prize to the city’s safest driver, after an app tracking the winner’s speed, hard braking and distracted driving showed he beat out over 14,000 other participants.

A local paper says that despite what people say, thousands of people bike and walk in Houston; the proof is the number of people hit by cars.

Bizarre tragedy in Chicago, where a motorist chased down a driver who fled after striking a bicyclist — moments after telling another rider in the group that he was going to jail — then was shot and killed by someone in a third vehicle as he argued with the hit-and-run driver. He was facing trial for discharging a weapon in a road rage incident last year, which he claimed was self-defense. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

A blind DC woman now rides a tandem bike once a week, after not riding since she was a girl. And discovers that riding a bike really is just like riding a bike, whether or not you can see.

Instead of demanding safer streets, the Washington Post calls for kicking e-scooters off the sidewalk and requiring helmets for users. Never mind that mandatory helmets are impractical for a device that encourages spur of the moment usage, and could halt their rapid spread; few people just happen to carry a helmet with them everywhere they go on the off chance they might want to ride one.

 

International

Business Insider ranks the best bike lights.

A writer for Bike Radar examines ten things to consider when commuting by bike.

New aero wheel fairings — think hi-tech fenders — claim to cut wind resistance more than aero wheels.

The new VeloGuide website developed by a pair of Calgary men acts like a combination of Tinder and Airbnb for bicyclists, connecting riders with local guides in cities around the world.

Hamilton, Ontario police blame a bike rider for not wearing a helmet and riding on the sidewalk after she swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed into a stone wall, instead of blaming the dangerous street that made her feel safer on the sidewalk.

A Cayman Islands website says danger lurks around every corner for bicyclists, on a daily basis.

A Manchester, England teen pleads guilty to beating a man to steal his bicycle in a daylight attack that that went viral.

An annual program in the UK has given away over 750 refurbished bicycles to Londoners who can’t otherwise afford them.

Strava says it hasn’t seen any verified cases of bicycle theft related to the platform, after a British rider blames the app for leading bike thieves to his home.

This is who we share the roads with. A road raging Brit driver was sentenced to three years behind bars for deliberately running down a bike rider after the victim complained about a dangerous pass.

Great idea. A new website in the UK is designed to help local bike shops compete with internet dealers by allowing bicyclists to shop online from multiple shops across the country, and have their purchases shipped to them or pick them up at the store.

The director of a Scottish sportive has dropped charges against two farmers who allegedly attacked participants with sticks to protest the road closures during harvest time, saying they’ve learned their lesson. And that the decision doesn’t give others a green light to attack bicyclists.

Well organized Dutch bike thieves stole 33 bicycles worth over $117,000 from a single shop.

Bike riders in the Netherlands face a ban on distracted bicycling.

University students in India can now take a short course in bike culture and learning how to use European bikeshare systems.

An Aussie woman says the key to a happy marriage is a spouse who keeps your bike in working order.

Two other drivers report nearly hitting famed enduro cyclist Mike Hall on the morning he was killed while competing in an cross-Australia endurance race, saying he came out of nowhere — even though other drivers said he had front and rear lights, as well as reflective gear.

Hong Kong will lift bicycling bans on 16 bridges and underpasses, while keeping them in place on another 324.

Singapore will deal with the problem of dockless bikeshare bikes blocking sidewalks and private property by charging users $5 for improperly parking bikes; three fines in a single year will result in a 12 month ban.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Bicycling says the cyclocross race between Dutch veteran Marianne Vos and young American Ellen Noble was a battle for the ages. Even though she didn’t actually, you know, see it.

Cycling Tips gives a shout out to the “ageless” six-time cyclocross World Cup winner Katerina Nash, who finished third behind Vos and Noble.

An Emirates website goes behind the scenes with the UAE Team Emirates at the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

No spoiler here; this race ended — tragically — 122 years ago. Why choose between beer and bikes when you can roll out the barrel with a single Octoberfest?

And who wins a fondo when neither rider finishes rubber side down?

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Crowdfunding campaign for Cudahy bike crash victim, and why you don’t pass a school bus

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help pay funeral expenses for Daniel Romero, who was killed in a collision while riding in Cudahy last weekend.

It’s raised over $2,100 of the $10,000 goal in less than 20 hours. And hopefully can reach the rest of the way, as his family struggles to cope with his loss.

Maybe someone who lives or rides in Cudahy can give us some insight on what needs to be done to improve safety in the city, so this doesn’t happen again.

Because one death is one too many.

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This is why you don’t pass a school bus when its lights are flashing. Even on a bicycle.

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Local

Bicyclist offers a lesson in bike path etiquette, which mostly concerns not using the Ballona Creek bike path as your personal race track.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses municipal regulation of e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in the wake of Beverly Hills ban on both.

Santa Clarita is painting “Heads Up!” on local bike paths in an effort to get bike riders to pay more attention to their surroundings. Which doesn’t exactly seem like the biggest threat riders face.

 

State

Calbike wants you to tell the state DMV that self-driving cars aren’t ready for the road. Then again, many of the ones with drivers don’t seem to be, either.

La Mesa is working to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to the industrial part of the city. Not to mention the wineries and breweries that have opened there.

Santa Barbara gets $15 million from the state to build a 2.6-mile bike and pedestrian path, while Santa Maria gets $300,000 for a similar project; both would be defunded if the state gas tax increase is repealed in the fall election.

Atherton busts bike riders for rolling through stop signs, issuing eight $238 tickets along with two warnings.

Sad news from Crockett, where a 42-year old bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by a truck driver, who fled the scene.

 

National

A website for gay and bi women lists the top 25 cinematic dykes on bikes — their words — with no distinction between women on bicycles or motorcycles. Or spin classes, for that matter.

In an apparent effort to force everyone back into their cars, the next round of Trump’s China tariffs will target ebikes. Which could kill their growth just as it’s taking off.

A Washington writer says there’s no such thing as being too old or too out of shape to ride a bike.

A road raging New Mexico driver faces up to five years behind bars after being charged with intentionally backing into a group of bicyclists, seriously injuring one of the riders. He denies any responsibility, claiming the victims just ran into his car when he stopped after they flipped him off for no apparent reason.

A Minnesota paper talks with Melody L. Hoffmann, author of Bike Lanes Are White Lanes: Bicycle Advocacy and Urban Planning, about the invisible cyclists and the need for equity in advocacy.

Apparently, Detroit isn’t exactly the safest place to ride a bike after all.

Not satisfied with getting off with a slap on the wrist for killing a woman on a cross-country bike ride, an Ohio woman is asking the court to seal the record of her conviction so she can “heal from this accident.” And apparently not suffer any repercussions, unlike the victim and her family.

Like bike riders virtually everywhere, residents in Atlanta are questioning the lack of bike funding in the city budget.

A North Carolina bike rider was collateral damage in a police chase, losing his leg when the driver of a stolen car slammed into him after fleeing police at speeds up to 100 mph. Warning: This story includes a deeply disturbing bodycam video of the police tending to the victim, who is in extreme pain and in fear for his life. The newspaper showed a severe lack of judgement in posting it. 

Evidently it’s not just Los Angeles. Officials in South Carolina rip out a road diet and bike lanes after complaints from angry drivers. Which leaves the situation just as bad as it was before, if not worse.

A Tampa bike rider says bicyclists don’t ride on the sidewalk because they want to, but because it’s safer. However, studies have repeatedly shown just the opposite, demonstrating that bicyclists are safer on the street than on sidewalks, where multiple driveways and limited sight angles dramatically increase the risk.

 

International

A Vancouver video shows bike riders aren’t the only ones who roll stop signs.

A Montreal cemetery that has been open to the public for the past 166 years is now banning bike riders. Though I’m sure it would welcome any run down on the roads after losing a safe place to ride.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s cycling superhighways, the network remains patchy after five boroughs and other authorities blocked plans for new lanes.

London’s Mirror shares eight secrets to help build your child’s confidence bicycling on the road.

An American man is calling for safety signage after his wife was killed when she crashed her bike into a trailer full of sheep after rounding a sharp turn on an Irish trail; two other American tourists were killed on the same trail recently.

Europe’s high-powered ebikes continue to take a toll, with over 100 ebike riders killed in the Netherlands since 2014.

A New York bike advocate says Millennials are the key to brokering peace between bicyclists and drivers on the streets of Perth, Australia.

Fifteen Taiwanese children from disadvantaged families are riding around the island nation to provide support and comfort to elderly people in nursing homes. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News recounts last weekend’s 57th annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

This is what it looks like when you finish the last 30 miles of a Tour de France stage with a broken kneecap after tumbling over a retaining wall.

Peter Sagan vowed to continue in the Tour after the world champ misjudged a corner and crashed into the forest on Wednesday; fortunately, nothing was broken.

Costa Rican pro cyclist Andrey Amador wants to make history for his country in the Tour.

A book excerpt recounts the shotgun shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, before Greg LeMond came back and won the tour two more times.

The New York Times says American flags are disappearing from the Tour, along with American cyclists.

The Undefeated website recounts the day seven years ago when Guadeloupe native Yohann Gene became the first black cyclist to compete in the Tour de France.

A writer for the Telegraph learns what it’s like to sort-of ride a grand tour.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a new protected bike lane leaves the street too narrow for cars to get through. Note to world: It’s not an annual event until there’s a second one.

And you know you’re having a bad day in the Tour de France when police mistake you for a fan and try to kick you off the course.

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in hit-and-run protest; driver charged with murder in Tour de Palm Springs death

Just one day after Frederick Frazier was killed in a brutal hit-and-run in South LA, another rider was struck in the same intersection.

During a protest over Frazier’s death.

And yes, that driver fled the scene, too.

A group of Frazier’s friends gathered to block the intersection at Manchester and Normandie with their bicycles to call attention to the death and demand justice for their fallen friend.

The protest got out of hand after several people attacked an LAPD SUV when police arrived to break it up, smashing its windows with their bikes.

According to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, the young men were angered after graphic photos of the man they knew as Woon were posted online overnight, showing their friend splayed out on the street as another rider attempted to comfort him in his final moments.

A woman in a tan car, who had previously gotten out to argue with one of the protesters, forced her way through the intersection, running a red light in the process, and deliberately slammed into a rider identified as Quatrell Stallings, throwing him into the air.

She then gunned her engine and fled the scene as Stallings stumbled to the curbed.

He was taken to a local hospital; reports are he was not seriously injured.

Now police are looking for two hit-and-run drivers.

One with a $50,000 bounty on his or her head for leaving Frazier to die in the street; another who could — and should — be facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

A memorial ride will be held for Frazier this Friday.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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A Desert Hot Springs man has received a well-deserved murder charge in the death of Washington man participating in this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Twenty-one-year old Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. is accused of driving up to 100 mph while stoned before slamming into 49-year old Mark Kristofferson, killing him almost instantly. He was taken into custody after the arraignment hearing, and held on a $1 million bond.

He’s also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

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The LAPD’s Van Nuys Division misses the mark with a bike safety awareness flier.

The piece tells bicyclists to “Always ride in single file,” even though there’s nothing in state law that prohibits riding two or more abreast. And riding abreast is often safer in lanes that are too narrow to share with a motor vehicle by increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

The piece also says riders should walk their bikes across busy intersections, which increases the risk by decreasing mobility and exposing riders to careless and distracted drivers for a longer period of time.

And never mind that a bike helmet may be a good idea, but it’s not required for anyone 18 or older.

But if the point is to increase awareness of bike safety, where is the companion piece telling drivers to always watch for bikes, pass with at least a three foot distance, and open doors with your right hand to prevent dooring?

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Local

Metro released their draft strategic plan for the next ten years, as they transition from a transit provider to focusing on the entire mobility ecosystem.

CiclaValley explains what it’s like getting cut off in the bike lane by a Metro bus driver in DTLA.

A writer in Azusa encounters a 43-year old gang member at his local bike shop, realizing that bikes bring everyone together.

 

State

A pair of UC Santa Barbara graduates are nearing the completion of their self-supported bike tour from California to Columbia.

The bizarre anti-bike hysteria continues in San Luis Obispo, where the city council is accused of dirty tricks after re-affirming plans for a bike boulevard. Meanwhile, older SLO residents are up in arms over plans for an e-bikeshare system with a hub on the coast, worrying about whether they’ll be run off the sidewalk.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares the five best bike rides around Santa Cruz.

Testimony in a preliminary hearing fills in some of the blanks in the death of a San Francisco woman run down in Golden Gate Park last year, one of two people killed in the city by hit-and-run drivers just hours apart.

 

National

Another good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who considers the ethics of breaking traffic laws, noting that obeying the letter of the law isn’t always the safest way to ride.

Wired says Uber’s acquisition of dockless ebike provider Jump means they want to control every way you move, while Bicycling examines dockless bikeshare in the wake of Uber’s entry into the field.

Curbed says cities need to step up to the challenge of controlling streets and sidewalks as bikeshare and shared scooters begin to take over.

Don’t count on glowing infrastructure lighting the streets anytime soon.

A local news site says Honolulu drivers are complaining about the loss of a few hundred parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, somehow blaming that for the traffic congestion in the city.

No bias here. Police in Portland OR ignored a road rage assault on a bike rider that left him with a broken jaw, refusing to even file a report on the case.

A local weekly says Portland’s bike renaissance begins now.

A Lincoln, Nebraska man gets three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a city councilmember from a nearby town lying badly injured in the street.

The Catholic bishop of Davenport, Iowa is one of us; he’ll be riding across the state in this year’s RAGBRAI.

Three Illinois priests are riding across their Diocese to promote religious vocations.

Seriously? A road raging North Carolina man gets a gentle caress on the wrist for punching a bicyclist in an attack caught on video, as he’s sentenced to just three days behind bars. That will certainly send a message — one that says go ahead and attack other people on the roads.

 

International

A British man has been charged in the death of a 91-year old cyclist, who was killed while trying to set a national age record.

A transportation technology project from the University of Melbourne says to improve safety and performance on our streets, we’ll all have to be connected in a single network including cars, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

An Aussie ultracyclist set a new record by riding 555 miles in 24 hours.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body says women cyclists deserve more than they’ve been getting, and he dreams of a Paris-Roubaix Feminine.

An autopsy concludes that Michael Goolaerts suffered a heart attack while riding in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday; there had been speculation that his heart stopped as a result of the fall.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Jonathan Vaughters reminds us that bike racing is a dangerous sport, where tragedy can happen any day.

 

Finally…

Hit a pothole on your bike, and get a bill for breaking it. Your next wheel could weigh ten pounds and make riding easier.

And no, dockless bikes don’t belong in trees.

 

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: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index, LA bike safety sucks less, and new tax bill screws bikes

Another stolen bike has been returned to its owner thanks to Bike Index and the LAPD.

How the bike was recovered: A Good Samaritan searching for a used road bike saw a Craigslist posting for my bike for a suspiciously low price and thought to check for stolen postings online. He came across my posting on Bike Index, contacted me to confirm it was mine, and set up a meeting with the seller. I approached seller with the Los Angeles Police Department and had my bike returned! It was a very good day.

Let this be a reminder to register your bike. It doesn’t cost a dime, but could be the best investment you could make if your bike is ever stolen.

Although it never hurts to make a tax-deductible donation to Bike Index to help support their efforts to bring bikes back home to their owners.

………

Good news for LA bike riders, as Forbes Magazine reveals we’re only the tenth most dangerous city in America for people on bikes.

So we may suck, but not as much as San Jose and San Francisco, which came in fifth and seventh, respectively, or Albuquerque, which claimed the prize for the most dangerous city in the US for bicyclists.

And who knows, the way the city’s Vision Zero plan is going, one day we may move all the way down to eleven. Or maybe even twelve.

That’s something to celebrate, right?

Right?

………

People for Bikes wonders what the US Senate could have been thinking, as the new tax bill eliminates a small monthly benefit for biking to work, while maintaining much larger tax breaks for driving and using transit.

Here’s what they had to say.

Today, the Senate voted to eliminate the $20 per-month tax benefit available for those who bike to work while maintaining both the $255 per-month parking and transit benefit.

“What is the Senate thinking? Why single out a modest incentive that encourages people to bike to work, increasing community health and reducing congestion, while maintaining a significantly larger and more expensive incentive for people to drive?” said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes. “We encourage the conference committee to include this popular and common sense bike tax benefit as the House did in its version of the bill.”

PeopleForBikes spearheaded a letter from bike industry leaders calling on both the Senate and House to maintain the bike tax benefit. You can read the full letter here.

PeopleForBikes also joined a coalition 20 national organizations in support of the tax benefit. You can see the full text of the letter here.

………

‘Tis the season.

Four hundred Portland kids got their first bicycles, thanks to an organization that has given away over 10,000 bikes to lower income families since 1995.

Another 400 kids are expected to get new bicycles from a Boise ID nonprofit.

Employees of a New Jersey insurance company built 26 bicycles for a local toy drive.

On the other hand, the Salvation Army in Akron, Ohio turned Scrooge for the holidays, refusing to accept bikes as gifts for their Angel Tree program because they don’t have any room to store them.

………

This is day twelve 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.

Thanks to Christopher M, Tyrone C and Robert K for their generous donations to help support this site.

………

Local

LA Magazine suggests the best ways to experience LA without a car, including taking a bike tour.

CiclaValley celebrates a new, if somewhat bee barricaded, drinking fountain in Griffith Park.

 

State

San Diego may be left behind when it comes to dockless bikeshare, thanks to the city’s exclusive contract with docked bikeshare provider DecoBike. Although a little inconvenience like may not stop some of the dockless providers from flooding the city’s streets with their bikes, by following the Uber model of coming in first and asking for permission later.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the winners of their 2017 Golden Gear Awards.

Caught on video: San Francisco advocates once again form a human protected bike lane to call for protected lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Oakland, where a West Oakland bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run collision.

Chico police are looking for a bike-riding transient who may have started a fire that destroyed a local business.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid injuries common to people over 40. And no, staying 39 is not one of the options.

Honolulu joins Orange County and San Francisco in evicting homeless encampments from a separated bike path.

The upscale Robb Report looks at how Denver’s Alchemy Bicycle Company hand builds their bespoke carbon, steel and titanium bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Colorado man faces charges of DUI, vehicular assault, hit-and-run, careless driving causing bodily injury and driving without a valid license for fleeing the scene after hitting a bike rider.

A Michigan man will spend somewhere between 18 months and 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a popular nun as she was riding her bike; he tried to claim he’d hit a deer instead. So he could end up with a slap on the wrist, or some serious time. Or anything in between.

A New York cruiser bike rider complains that he can’t obey the requirement to ride to the right when the bike lanes are on the left side of a service road.

 

International

Treehugger says almost all successful cities are clamping down on private cars and promoting bikes. Which would suggest — or maybe confirm — that Los Angeles isn’t one.

Ontario, Canada is investing $93 million to expand bike infrastructure across the province.

A new report delivered to London’s mayor says the way to improve safety is to reduce speeds to 20 mph, fix potholes and give bike riders priority at intersections.

A London bike rider describes what it was like to be attacked by three muggers who punched him in the face and stole his Brompton, part of a trend of violent bike-jackings in the city.

Maybe there is a war on cars after all. Someone left large bricks and rocks on a UK highway, damaging dozens of cars.

A report from the British transportation agency says meeting the country’s goals for bicycling and walking could prevent 13,000 pollution deaths over the next ten years, and save the equivalent of over $12 billion.

Relatives of a fallen Belfast bike rider were angry that someone stole a bicycle painted in his club colors, which had been installed as a memorial; the bike was recovered after they made an appeal on Facebook.

Speaking of stolen Belfast bikes, a student who posted a noted asking the person who “borrowed” her bicycle to please return it didn’t get it back, but she did get a used bike from a kindhearted stranger.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist barely avoids sliding out into traffic after slipping on a wet sidewalk.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A new Australian campaign examines the ripple effect roadway trauma has on the victim’s families and communities.

Who needs a bike car on a train, when you can have an entire Japanese bike train?

 

Finally…

This is why you don’t blow through red lights. Please don’t throw dockless bikeshare bike in front of an oncoming train.

And how can drivers to avoid bike riders when they can’t even avoid a rock?

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Norm Bradwell for the last link.

 

Morning Links: Governors Highway Safety Assoc. study looks at bike safety — and gets it right for a change

Last week, we mentioned a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicating that bicycling fatalities had spiked 12.2% in 2015.

Now the Governors group has released their full report on bicycle safety.

The new study, A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety, offers an in-depth examination of both the causes and possible solutions to the problems facing bike riders in the US.

And for the most part, seems to get it right.

Starting with a title that establishes our unquestioned right to the road right off the bat.

Admittedly, I haven’t gotten very far into the Governors study yet, making it only through only about a third of the report’s 75 pages.

But unlike some of their previous efforts, the GHSA attempts to put the facts — or at least, more of the facts — in context, noting that the jump in fatalities could be due in part to an increase in ridership.

Why hasn’t the percentage of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways decreased? The simplest explanation may be the lack of protection afforded to bicyclists and the difference in mass when they collide with a motor vehicle. This results in asymmetric risk – bicyclists are likely to sustain a serious injury; the vehicle occupants are not (Ragland as cited in Williams, 2014). Also, noteworthy is the impact weather can have on bicycling. A mild winter, for example, can change bicycling patterns, resulting in increased exposure risk from motor vehicle crashes. Another factor is the economy – more traffic fatalities tend to occur with low unemployment and low gas prices (NHTSA, 2016).

Changes in exposure may also be due to the increase in popularity of bicycling because of its health and environmental benefits. It is estimated that 34 percent of Americans (103.7 million) three years of age and older rode a bicycle in the past year (Breakaway Research Group, 2015). While most rode for recreational purposes, bicycle commuting is also increasing, although the U.S. continues to lag behind other countries in the percentage of people who commute by bike (McKenzie as cited in Williams, 2014). Even so, according to the latest U.S. bicycling and walking benchmarking report, the percentage of adults biking to work has increased from 0.4% in 2005 to in 0.6% in 2013. The increase is more significant in large cities, which saw commuting by bicycle increase from 0.7% to 1.2% during this same time period (Alliance for Biking & Walking [ABW], 2016).

Bike share programs are also helping to spur the growth in U.S. cycling, as the number of systems has increased from four in 2010 to 55 in 2016, with users logging 88 million trips over the past six years. In 2016 alone, bike share riders took over 28 million trips; that is equivalent to Amtrak’s annual ridership and tops visits in a single year to Walt Disney World (National Association of City Transportation Officials [NACTO], 2016a). Despite this unprecedented growth, it is important to note that there have been only two deaths associated with bike share programs.

Although I once again have to object to their lack of nuance regarding helmet use, which fails to take into account the limitations of bike helmets, or whether collisions that resulted in head injuries could have been survivable with one.

Or that the best way to protect yourself is to avoid crashes and falls to begin with.*

The value of wearing a bicycle helmet cannot be overstated, since in a majority of bicyclist deaths the most serious injuries are head- related (Sacks et al., as cited in IIHS, 2016). Helmets are estimated to reduce the risk of head injury by 50 percent, and head, face or neck injury by slightly more than 33 percent (Sacks et. al, as cited in IIHS, 2016). However, a 2012 national survey of adults found that slightly more than half reported never wearing a helmet (Schroeder & Wilbur, 2013).

It’s also surprisingly progressive in places, like this section on where to ride.

Where a bicyclist may ride has been debated by roadway users and elected officials for decades. Where to ride laws generally tell bicyclists where they should position themselves on the road, which in most states is typically as far to the right as practicable.

The challenge comes with defining practicable, which likely means different things to a cyclist, a motorist and a law enforcement official. The LAB notes that “what is practicable is often context sensitive based upon road and traffic conditions” and therefore “recommends that cyclists ride in the right third of the lane with traffic” (2017).

Safety should be the primary focus when it comes to where a bicyclist rides in the roadway. To that end, Colorado’s law states that a bicyclist should ride “far enough to the right as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of…overtaking vehicles” (LAB, 2017). The language strikes a balance between a cyclist’s safety and the efficient movement of traffic.

That progressiveness continues into their their recommended action steps for state officials, ranging from educating policy makers about Complete Streets to developing ebike policies and legalizing speed and red light cameras.

We could all benefit if most, if not all, of the Governors recommendations are carried out. Whether you choose to travel by two feet, two wheels or four.

Let’s just hope the people responsible for making those decisions read it, too.

*Just to be clear, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But they should always be considered the last line of defense when all else fails.

………

Once again, the rain in Spain failed to remain on the plain, as riders slogged through the 11th stage of the Vuelta; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights of the race.

How to change your shoe mid-race.

……….

Local

KCRW’s Design and Architecture program discusses the over-the-top rage over the lane reductions in Playa del Rey, while saying they only saw three bicyclists using the bike lanes over a one hour period. However, it would have been nice if someone had pointed out that the lanes were removed to slow traffic, not make room for bike lanes; it shouldn’t be up to us to make LADOT’s arguments for them.

Bike SGV will be providing a free bike valet at UCLA’s season opener at the Rose Bowl this weekend.

The recently closed Coates Cyclery in Pomona is officially no more, as its landmark sign was replaced with one for the pet hotel that’s taken its place. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Clarita deputies ticketed 45 drivers in Wednesday’s bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation; no bicyclists or pedestrians received tickets.

After a decade of discussion, Long Beach is moving forward with planes for a 9.5 mile bicycle boulevard connecting North Long Beach with downtown and the shore.

 

State

Caltrans hired Jeanie Ward Waller, the former Calbike policy director, to head its new Sustainability Program. Which seems like a contradiction in terms for the department responsible for California’s unsustainable highway system.

A new bike and pedestrian safety project designed to improve safety for San Clemente students promises to make things a lot worse before they get better.

San Diego opened a one-mile protected bike lane connecting the Mission Valley and Mid-City neighborhoods.

Police in San Diego are looking for a bank robber who fled the scene by bicycle.

A Thousand Oaks resident says wait just a minute to plans for a bike lane through Potrero Valley, insisting it’s too high a cost for something that will only be used by recreational cyclists. Which is a common argument against bike lanes, based on nothing more than the writer’s own groundless prejudices.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 22-year old student at Cal Poly was killed in a hit-and-run while riding near his home; a 17-year old girl was arrested later, admitting to police she’d been drinking before the crash.

The hit-and-run driver accused of killing the top lawyer for UC Berkeley as he paused on a bike ride has a reputation for public drunkenness, though too much time had passed before his arrest to test him following the crash.

 

National

Slate says security bollards are the best defense against using motor vehicles as weapons, while helping to make cities more livable; an Op-Ed in the New York Times says expanded, smartly designed pedestrian areas will help reduce the danger, as well. Both could help improve safety on Hollywood Blvd and the area around the Chinese Theater and the Hollywood & Highland shopping plaza, which remain dangerously vulnerable to an automotive terrorist attack.

Good question. Streetsblog asks why automakers are allowed to sell cars that can go faster than 100 mph, exceeding the speed limit anywhere in the US. Judging by their ads, car makers go far beyond enabling speeding to actually encouraging dangerously aggressive driving.

A Bicycle Times Op-Ed says don’t be part of the problem by breaking the law on your bike, because everyone is watching. And judging.

A HuffPo writer heads to her local bike shop to ride a bicycle for the first time in 55 years.

Portland residents hang banners and signs urging drivers to slow down after a woman was killed riding her bike. Meanwhile, Portland’s bikeshare system now offers $3 a month memberships for anyone with a food stamp card.

A Bloomberg editorial in an Idaho paper says speed cameras save lives, and we need them everywhere. Nowhere more than California, where speed limits are mere suggestions, and speed cameras are currently illegal.

Montana residents will get their wish and get their parking back, after the Missoula city council votes to remove bike lanes that people continued to park in anyway.

Denver Streetsblog says glowing balloons aren’t the answer to keeping people safe on the city’s streets.

A teenaged Rhode Island bike rider escaped serious injury when he was collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers who chased each other around a Burger King parking lot.

The company behind New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is developing a dockless bikeshare bike that would also be compatible with existing docks.

New York City is installing free bike pumps in a trio of popular riding locations.

Philadelphia’s bikeshare bikes will sport fine art from Van Gogh and other artists.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers advice on how to keep riding once you have kids.

A British boy gets his bike back after it was stolen while he helped rescue a two-year old who had fallen into a pond, albeit much worse for wear.

Irish bike riders have been fined 1,660 times since on-the-spot fees for bicycling violations took effect two years ago; bike advocates just wish drivers would receive the same treatment.

French bike couriers say not so fast to plans from the country’s new president to relax labor laws.

A road raging Aussie bike rider has turned himself in for punching a bus driver after confronting him at a nearby bus depot. Note to Daily Mail: Of course he was still in his riding gear; was he supposed to strip naked first?

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bikeshare idea whose time has come 40 years later. Don’t believe everything your GPS tells you.

And you know you’ve got a problem when the people being paid to build a bikeway aren’t allowed ride their bikes, on or off it.

 

Morning Links: Bike deaths up in US, lawsuit filed in death of Newport Beach boy, and bike lanes coming to Cal Poly

A new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows bicycling fatalities rose 12.2% in 2015, climbing faster than the overall increase in traffic deaths.

However, that could be due to the continuing rise in bike ridership.

Without placing the figures in context, it’s impossible to know if bicycling is actually becoming more dangerous, or if overall safety is improving as the rate of deaths per million cyclists or miles traveled may be decreasing.

Your guess is as good as theirs.

In other findings from the study, which was funded by State Farm insurance —

  • One-third of Americans surveyed reported riding a bicycle in the last year.
  • Drivers had been drinking in 12% of fatal bike crashes, while 22% of the victims had alcohol in their systems. Which is not the same as saying they were intoxicated.
  • Distracted driving was blamed for just 76 out of the 818 bicyclists killed nationwide. However, that’s likely to be a dramatic undercount, since police need a warrant to check phones after a crash. And seldom ask for one.
  • More than half of the victims weren’t wearing a helmet. Although there’s no information on whether those victims suffered a fatal head injury, or if their injuries could have been survivable with or without a helmet.
  • Intersections are no longer the most dangerous place to ride; 72% of deaths occurred on the roadway, rather than at an intersection.
  • Roughly half of all bicycling deaths occurred at night, even though 80% of all bike rides take place during daylight hours.
  • The average age of bicycling victims was 45.

………

The parents of eight-year old Brock McCann have filed a lawsuit in the death of their son.

The third grade student was killed by the driver of a garbage truck as he rode his bike home from school in Newport Beach last year.

Video allegedly shows the driver never looked to his right as he turned from a cul-de-sac, and that he rolled through a crosswalk without stopping.

McCann’s parents are suing the driver, as well as the city trash hauler he worked for.

………

Boyonabike’s John Lloyd sends photographic proof that the formerly auto-centric Cal Poly Pomona really is installing the promised protected bike lanes on Kellogg Drive.

Photo by John Lloyd

The school received a lot a well-deserved criticism for failing to improve safety following the death of Ivan Aguilar four years ago.

It’s nice to see that this year’s students will finally find the campus more welcoming for those who don’t come by car.

………

In today’s spoiler-free Vuelta report, someone won his first Grand Tour stage, while someone else wore the leader’s jersey. No word on whether either was kissed by a podium boy.

Italian olive oil maker Colavita is pulling out of bike racing after 15 year of team sponsorship.

……….

Local

A ride will be held this Saturday to explore the new protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, which have been only slightly less controversial than the lane reductions in Playa del Rey.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies patrolling on bicycles made four drug busts Tuesday evening, as the bikes allowed them to ride in undetected.

Santa Monica’s two-mile COAST ciclovía will return on October 1st.

 

State

A new report shows overall emissions of toxic and greenhouse gasses are going down in California, while transportation emissions are going up. Which means the state and local governments need to do more to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

The Watsonville driver sentenced to eleven years behind bars for the death of a bicyclist was high on Valium and methadone at the time of the crash, and fell asleep during the investigation.

A new bicycle master plan promises to improve safety in Stockton, where 70% of streets are rated high stress. Of course, even the best plan is nothing more than lines on a map until they actually put paint on the ground, which seems to be a step too far for most cities.

More details on the off-duty Modesto police officer who was killed riding his bicycle on Tuesday. The driver was arrested for DUI, and could face a murder charge after a previous conviction for drunk driving in 2014.

 

National

A Seattle weekly says safety in numbers resulting from an increase in bikeshare riders could do more than bike helmets to improve safety. Meanwhile, a sports website tries out Seattle’s new Ofo dockless bikeshare, which could be coming to SoCal soon.

After an Oregon woman sideswiped a bike rider, she demanded $200 to pay for the damage to her car, then fled when the rider, who is traveling cross country to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, suggested calling the police.

A Chicago letter writer urges bicyclists to follow the rules like she does when she drives. Because apparently, she’s the only driver who never speeds, always comes to a full stop at stop signs, and never makes an unsafe lane change or drives distracted.

Illinois becomes the sixth state to follow California’s lead and adopt a three-tiered system to classify ebikes.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a stoned driver walked with one year of probation after killing a bike rider, who reportedly “came out of nowhere” to crash into her car.

A Maine court rules that authorities don’t have to prove what a distracted driver was doing at the time of a crash, saying they can presume distraction based on the driver’s behavior.

Tolls could double on a Miami causeway to pay for a fully separated bike lane and other improvements on one of the city’s most popular and scenic cycling routes. Which might improve safety, but won’t win any friends with drivers.

 

International

Los Angeles isn’t the only city facing an angry bikelash. A Vancouver man has started a petition to rip out protected bike lanes on a bridge eight years after they were installed, arguing that the 7,000 riders who use them each day during the summer months aren’t enough to justify the impact on traffic.

Caught on video: Dozens of young British bike riders swarm the streets, pulling wheelies and circling around the roadway in front of drivers, in the latest fad sweeping that’s been sweeping America’s East Coast as well as the UK.

Caught on video too: A London man uses his bikeshare bike to defend himself after a man lunges at him with a knife when he was asked to move aside so they could pass.

A British fixie rider faces up to two years behind bars after he was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of a mother of two kids when he crashed his brakeless bike into her, but was convicted under an obscure 1861 law that forbids “causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving.” And yes, it’s illegal to ride brakeless in the UK.

Nice story from Wales, where an eleven-year old boy rode a bicycle for the first time after being fitted with two mechanical hands.

Wednesday marked the 104th anniversary of a Russian bicyclist completing his round-the-world ride in Harbin, China; sadly, he died three years later in World War I.

An Indian man has ridden over 11,000 miles through 12 Indian states to fight gender-based violence and injustice.

An Aussie website asks if cyclists are fair game in Australia. It’s a hard-hitting piece, and very difficult to read in places. But well worth the effort — especially since you’ll see exactly the same attitudes expressed by LA drivers.

 

Finally…

Next time, try to time your breakaway so the drawbridge rises after you go past. Who needs tires when you’ve got soles?

And riding to the right is right, except when it’s wrong.

 

Morning Links: LA Council revives Vision Zero funding, New York and Chicago show what can be done

Maybe they care after all.

Or maybe they were just stunned by the outrage.

Just days after the LA City Council’s Budget Committee zeroed out funding for Vision Zero in the city’s proposed budget — while saying they had no intention of doing exactly that — the full council passed a final budget allotting $27.2 million for Vision Zero over the next year.

Which is still nearly $53 million less than LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds says is needed to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% by the end of the year.

Let alone eliminating traffic fatalities entirely by 2025.

Surprisingly — and not surprising — the vote was unanimous to adopt the budget; not surprising, since the council usually votes in lockstep, but surprising that safety curmudgeon Councilmembers Koretz, Cedillo and Ryu went along.

It’s just a fraction of the amount New York spends on Vision Zero each year — let alone the additional $400 million in Vision Zero funding the city will spend over the next six years.

But it’s a start.

Only a start.

………

Demonstrating what Los Angeles could — and should — be doing, New York’s infamous Boulevard of Death has gone two years without a traffic fatality after being selected by the city as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor.

NYC added bike lanes, increased space for pedestrians and slowed traffic on Queens Boulevard, choosing to save lives at the risk of slightly inconveniencing drivers.

Meanwhile, as Chicago increased bike infrastructure 135% over the past decade, crashes dropped 54%, deaths and serious injuries fell 60%, and ridership jumped 167%.

Now that’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

………

Just in time for Bike Week, the Bike League announces two new Bicycle Friendly Businesses in California, including one in Los Angeles.

And strangely, the Coronado City Hall, where residents complained that bike lanes make them dizzy and compared them to desecrating their daughters.

………

The Sacramento Bee celebrates local rider Evan Huffman’s breakaway victory in Wednesday’s 4th stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while Thursday’s Big Bear stage ended in a surprising sprint finish after nearly four hours of climbing.

Bicycling looks at how Toms Skujins’ Cannondale team reacted to his crash in the Tour of California.

………

Local

After surviving this year’s election, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo thanks voters and touts his accomplishments, barely hinting at the raging discontent that nearly cost him his seat. Meanwhile, defeated challenger Joe Bray-Ali swears to hold his nemesis accountable “…for every misstep, every false move, every idiotic proposal…”

The Daily News looks at Wednesday’s North Hollywood Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox 11 discovers it’s Bike Month after nearly three weeks.

Burbank residents took to their bikes for Thursday’s Bike and Walk to Work Day in the city; no word on whether more people strapped on their sneakers.

Nothing like inciting a little panic about Pasadena traffic due to a confluence of events in the city, including the finale of the Tour of California; the Pasadena Star-News shows it’s possible to take a more measured tone.

Long Beach is collecting unloved and unwanted bicycles this Saturday to help find them a new forever home.

 

State

Bike Month puts the spotlight on bicycling in Solano Beach, thanks to the local advocacy group.

Thousands of San Diego residents took advantage of the 100 Bike to Work Day pit stops in the county.

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run murder of a Barstow bike rider, who was deliberately run down after an argument with a pickup driver.

A Santa Barbara chiropractor says wear your darn helmet, already.

A candidate for the Olympic track team was injured in a collision with a trash truck in Santa Barbara while he was riding his bicycle; he was riding, rather than running, due to an ankle injury.

San Francisco’s Ride of Silence was longer this year to remember the too many people killed while riding their bikes in the city.

The Sacramento Bee maps where you’re most likely to get hit by a car while riding your bike in the capital city, just in time for the start of the city’s bikeshare system.

 

National

Clean Technica says no, 80% of private cars will not disappear from American roads in the next 13 years.

Bicycling talks with long distance cyclist Brody Levin about how to have the ultimate bikepacking adventure.

Pro wrestler Dean Ambrose is one of us, as he talks about crashing his mountain bike a week before Wrestle Mania.

A Portland man is suing the police department claiming that he was just trying to ride his bike home from work when a cop stopped him, knocked him to the ground and arrested him, apparently for the crime of riding while black.

Seattle has the right idea. Instead of Bike to Work Day, they celebrate Bike Everywhere Day. Meanwhile, a Seattle bike rider writes a thank you note to everyone who came to her aid following a collision on Monday.

Forget toilet plunger protected bike lanes. A Texas bike club designed and built their own four-ton steel truss bike and pedestrian bridge.

An Arkansas newspaper looks at the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride, a 950-mile bike tour following the route of the 1830s Trail of Tears that devastated the Cherokee Nation.

A Chicago woman is suing the police department, claiming that she was struck by an unmarked police SUV while riding her bike, and the officer falsified the report to blame her for the crash.

Caught on video: Columbus, Ohio drivers are using an off-road bike path to bypass heavy traffic.

That’s more like it. A Pennsylvania man gets five to ten years behind bars for causing the chain reaction crash that led to the death of a woman on her bike; he was driving despite a suspended sentence and had synthetic marijuana in his system.

The war on bikes continues, as four Virginia bicyclists were attacked with a paintball gun from a passing car.

A Florida doctor somehow feels the need to point out that pro cycling is dangerous before offering safety tips for bike riders. Just like you should always point out how dangerous F1, NASCAR and IndyCar racing is before telling drivers to buckle their seatbelts.

 

International

Caught on video too: This is how quickly a dooring happens. And how close it can come to disaster.

Bike Radar offers six reasons you should leave your headphones at home on your next ride.

Political campaigning was suspended in Wales after former First Minister Rhodri Morgan collapsed and died while riding his bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero, as a Scottish man riding his bike home from work rescued a fawn drowning in a canal.

Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden remains in extremely critical condition in a Milan, Italy hospital with severe brain damage.

 

Finally…

Yes, your Ganesha bike shorts are offensive. Why teach people how to bike around cars when you can teach people how to safely drive around bikes?

And this is what happens when you get your bike too close to a crossing gate.

 

Morning Links: Bike-friendly council candidates still in running, and DSS poster makes biking look dangerous

It looks like three of the four remaining city council candidates could be good for bicycling.

And you can guess who the other one is.

Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian will be in a runoff for the CD7 council seat. Rodriguez was one of the three candidates who got the nod from Bike the Vote LA before this month’s primary election. I’m told Torossian would have received strong consideration if he had gotten his response in before the deadline.

Meanwhile, the results in CD1 are expected to be certified today, with long-time bike and community advocate Joe Bray-Ali taking on the extremely bike unfriendly Gil Cedillo. As you’ll recall, it was Cedillo who singlehandedly blocked the desperately needed road diet on North Figueroa, and attempted to have all the proposed bike lanes in CD1 removed from the Mobility Plan, earning him the moniker “Roadkill Gil” from some in the district.

The Times sums it up nicely, calling Bray-Ali’s forcing the runoff a victory for a new vision of a sustainable LA.

Although it’s not a victory yet.

Think of it as the game going into overtime. Both candidate start out on even footing, and who wins will depend on what happens in the coming weeks.

It will take the support of the entire bicycling community, and everyone who wants a better LA, to overcome the massive amounts of special interest money that will inevitably flow in from outside the district to help keep a career politician in office.

………

Streetblog’s Joe Linton takes the L.A. County Department of Social Services to task for making bicycling look dangerous.

The ad depicts a fallen spandex cyclist. The text reads “When life gets rough.” The ad falls into the alltoocommon grim bicycling-equals-danger trope which shames cyclists and reinforces misperceptions about cycling safety.

To be honest, it really doesn’t bother me.

Given the unpaved surface, I read the image in the ad as a face plant by a mountain biker, which is just part of the sport.

But maybe that’s just me. What do you think?

………

Former Stallone stunt double Eric Barone beat his own record with a 141 mph downhill on a snowy French ski slope. Which is just a tad faster than most of us have done on dry land.

………

Sad news from South Africa, where an Egyptian cyclist died of a heart attack while competing in the African track cycling championships.

Cycling News offers five things they learned from last weekend’s Milan – San Remo, including that Peter Sagan is no Cannibal as he slips to the 78th second place finish of his career, compared to 92 wins.

………

Local

The LA Times says Los Angeles needs to become a more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented city, and the city needs to channel Angelenos’ desire for a more urban city into more effective new planning guidelines.

Los Angeles Magazine calls Sunday’s CicLAvia your next chance to experience LA free from the tyranny of the automobile.

Take a great rear-facing bike cam view of this past Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride. CiclaValley also joined in on the ride.

Pasadena Now looks at the recently approved state grant to build a two-way protected cycle track on Union Street.

 

State

Back east, they have to plow bike paths. Out here, we mow them.

After missing last year, Garden Grove will host its third almost-annual Open Streets event on April Fools Day. Let’s hope they don’t say that when we all show up.

Bay Area bicyclists ride to consider what can be done to fix the Hairball, a maze of intersecting highways where a bike path that runs underneath has turned into a de facto homeless camp.

A pair of bike-riding UC Berkeley researchers take a deep dive into the physics of why bike riders hate stop signs. Speaking of which, Calbike wants your support for AB1103, which would legalize the Idaho stop in California. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the heads-up.

 

National

NACTO says Trump’s budget would be a disaster for cities and their transportation systems. No shit.

Performance Bike is using the world’s most famous computer to get inside your head, or at least your browsing history, to target their marketing at you.

Outside recommends an e-fat bike to power your way over backcountry terrain. Because don’t we all want to rip up endangered terrain by riding off trail, while annoying the crap out of everyone else on trail? Or is that just me?

The heartbreak of people who can’t ride bikes.

The Mayor of Maui tells bicyclists to ride in the door zone to avoid salmon cyclists in the bike lane, and misreads the law to suggest that’s required anyway. There is no law, anywhere in the US, that requires people to ride to the right in a bike lane. And it’s usually safer to ride in the center to left third, depending on the width of the lane, to ensure you’re outside the door zone.

Idaho police shoot and kill a rampaging armed man on a mountain bike who was threating dog owners on a popular trail, and killed one dog.

Au contraire, Findley, Ohio’s The Courier; the city is not proposing a ban on bicycling in the downtown area, just against riding on the sidewalk. Big difference, mais non?

A road raging Ohio driver faces a minimum of two and a half years in prison for a screaming punishment pass and brake check that left a bike rider injured. Meanwhile, Ohio becomes the latest state to adopt a three-foot passing law; 28 states now require drivers to give at least three feet while passing someone on a bike.

The Village Voice asks if racism will derail plans for bike lanes and other safety improvements on 111th Street in Queens; one opponent insists the lanes won’t be necessary once Trump deports all the illegals, since there won’t be anyone left to ride a bike. Maybe someone should explain to her that lots of people who ride bikes were born in this country, including the many of the ones she assumes don’t belong here.

They’re onto us, comrade. A North Carolina letter writer insists a group of new hotels under construction are a plot to make driving so impossible everyone would be forced to bike or walk.

 

International

The premier of Manitoba plans to ride 100 miles this June to honor indigenous peoples in the province.

London is about to get protected bike lanes on the Westminster Bridge, providing safer access to Parliament and the palace.

A new British report says new roadways damage the countryside, quickly get jammed due to induced demand, and discourage alternative forms of transportation like biking and walking.

Something happened between a bicyclist and a pedestrian in a British town. No, really, that’s all the story says.

A new French law requires kids under 12 to wear a bike helmet when they ride. And they want kids to nag their parents to wear one, as well.

An Aussie man got a $1,000 fine for biking under the influence, adding to his 17-page rap sheet.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the way to clear a crowded bike path is to raise your voice in song; thanks to Scott Larsen for the heads-up. Yes, bicycling can be boring, but only if you are.

And nothing like snuggling up around an ebike fire on the beach.

 

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