Tag Archive for bike share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using funding from the bikeways program, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

 

Finally…

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

 

Morning Links: Bike share is booming, Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt prepares to run the LA Marathon

There seems to be a common thread to today’s news.

LA Magazine looks at the long and winding road to bike share in LA County; in the meantime, private bike share programs are stepping in to fill the gap.

San Diego’s bike share system plans to expand to the popular Pacific Beach nightlife and tourist zone by summer.

And plans are already in the works to expand the Phoenix bike share program after a successful first three months; Cincinnati’s program is in a growth phase, too.

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Local

KTLA-5 profiles Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt as he prepares to run the LA Marathon this Sunday, despite losing his leg to a hit-and-run driver just two years ago.

Flying Pigeon discovers signs of hope in the form of bike racks adorning the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, none are within walking distance of the many doctors I see in the city.

The president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce says the city must choose between a bikeable, walkable and livable future or a return to the dangerous plans of the past at the city’s Planning Commission meeting on Thursday the 18th.

 

State

KNBC-4 looks at the ill-advised legislation to require all California bike riders to wear a helmet, while a new Tumblr site offers photos of people on bikes who would become criminals under the law. Just to be clear: I never ride without a helmet, but they are not the bicycling equivalent of seat belts or air bags; bike helmets are designed to protect against low speed falls, not high speed collisions; mandating their use in all situations will do more harm than good.

The Tour of Murietta continues to grow as it reaches it’s 10th year.

Grist cites an advocate from San Bernardino County to say building bike lanes provides a path to social equity.

San Francisco’s Oak Street Bike Lane is now attractively protected, proving that neither bike lanes nor traffic dividers have to be ugly.

 

National

The 15th annual National Bike Summit opens in Washington DC.

A Portland bike thief is in custody after a friend of the victim spotted the purloined bike. Meanwhile, a Port Angeles WA bike thief reportedly said nothing as he pointed a gun at his intended victim; then again, I’d think the gun spoke volumes.

Now that’s more like it. Chattanooga police start efforts to improve bicycle safety — including a radar and camera equipped bike to catch drivers violating the three-foot passing law.

A Florida cyclist is critically injured during a police chase after a woman steals a Cadillac from a car wash. And another bike rider from the same state suffered life-threatening injuries in a hit-and-run collision with yet another stolen car.

 

International

Cycling legend Jeannie Longo was not among the French athletes killed in a tragic helicopter collision that took the lives of ten of her countrymen in Argentina Monday.

Your old bike parts could be powering a green economy in Guatemala.

A Brit cyclist is “nudged” off her bike by a hit-and-run double decker bus.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid says it’s time for the formerly bike riding country to go Dutch.

Speaking of which, Amsterdam has everything but enough bike parking.

 

Finally…

Tampa is getting a new green bike lane, which will look a lot like this one in LA, which doesn’t look like that anymore. But at least the local press recognizes where the danger comes from.

And one of my life’s goals has always been to get a speeding ticket on my bike; a British rider succeeded, doing more than twice the 20 mph speed limit in a London park.

 

Bike share unexpectedly opens in DTLA

All photos by Patrick Pascal

All photos by Patrick Pascal

But maybe not the way we expected.

LACBC board member Patrick Pascal sends word of what may be the city’s first real bike share system, which opened recently in Downtown LA.

No, not the Live Nation system promised by then-Mayor Villaraigosa what seems like ages ago.

And no, not the one promised by LA Metro, which is supposed to open sometime in 2016, even though a vendor hasn’t been selected yet. And even though it may or may not be compatible with the upcoming system opening soon in Santa Monica.

515-S-Flower-Bikes-3This one offers a single location, inside the office tower at 515 S. Flower. And membership is limited to the bankers, lawyers and other professionals who work within.

According to the sign inside, they just need to present their security badge to check out a bike, complete with optional helmet, for a free three hour ride through the city.

I don’t know about the men and women who work there, but I can go a long way in three hours.

Although presumably, the bikes will be used mostly to run errands, run out to a quick meeting or go to lunch in the immediate area.

But whatever they’re used for, it’s nice to see the building’s operators step up and provide a useful service for its tenants, without contributing to Downtown traffic.

Maybe some other businesses will follow suit.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll actually see a public bike share open up one of these days.

Because it’s damn hard to ride promises.

515-S-Flower-bikes-2

 

Morning Links: SaMo approves bike share, SMPD targets bike & ped safety, and a blast from the BikinginLA past

Let’s start with a quick blast from the past.

It came up in conversation on Tuesday, when the subject turned to the needless divisions between bike riders based on what we ride or wear.

This is how I addressed the topic a couple years ago, in a post called The terrible tyranny of two-wheel tribal wear.

The bottom line is, clothes don’t make the bike rider.

It doesn’t matter who you are, how you ride, what you ride, where you ride, or what you wear. Especially not what you wear.

The only thing that really matters that you ride.

The rest is just details.

It’s not a bad piece, if I say so myself. And maybe worth a second look if you’ve got a few extra minutes.

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It came too late to make the news, but word is the Santa Monica city council voted to go forward with a 500-bicycle bike share program, making it the first in the LA area.

And hats off to the Santa Monica Police Department, which will fairly target violations that can lead to bike and pedestrian collisions this Friday.

They deserve congratulations, because unlike previous safety efforts that unfairly focused on bicyclists or pedestrians, this one will look equally at violations by drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

And yes, as we all know, motor vehicles pose the greatest risk.

But police are required to enforce the law equally, rather than targeting one group while ignoring the rest.

Nice to see they get it.

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No page to link to yet. But mark your calendar for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s 2nd Annual Open House on December 4th at LACBC world headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street in DTLA.

And while we’re on the subject, the LACBC is hosting a Basic Biking Skills class for coalition members on Saturday, November 22nd. A good reason to join if you haven’t already.

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Local

Bike thefts are on the rise in Huntington Beach. And pretty much everywhere else, as well.

Student run Tommy’s Bike Shop is gaining momentum at traditionally less than bike friendly USC.

KABC-7 looks at Ride 2 Recovery, a great program that uses bicycling to help bring wounded vets all the way back home.

 

State

San Diego has to address the concerns of the city’s bike-loving residents if it plans to meet ambitious goals to increase bike commuting by 2035.

A San Diego bike manufacturer makes Oprah’s list of Favorite Things, which is pretty much the next best thing to being anointed by God.

Caltrain is looking for new members for its Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Nothing like getting into a bike collision on the way to an interview with a San Francisco paper to discuss your new album.

 

National

This is what can happen when you ride in extreme weather, as a Portland cyclist is hit by a falling tree; fortunately, she’s expected to survive.

If you’re going to steal a bike, probably not the best idea to try to make your getaway through a group of Spokane ROTC cadets.

Louisville KY plans to build 100 miles of bike boulevards.

In response to the city’s panic over speeding cyclists, New York officials propose banning hand-held cell phone use by bicyclists, which should cut the city’s traffic death toll by roughly zero.

No bias here. A Florida TV station blames a teenage bike rider for a sideswipe collision with a driver when the kid’s pedal — yes, pedal — allegedly hit the car, rather than blaming the driver for passing too close. And they freak out over riding his bike safely and legally a whole 30 inches inside the traffic lane. Or at least it would have been safe if the driver hadn’t been violating the state’s three-foot passing law.

Palm Beach officials seriously think Share the Road signs will make bicycling safer. There’s a first for everything.

Thanks to an alert — and caring — bike rider, a Florida Marine gets his missing ring back.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes into histrionics over the supposed wasted space of bike lanes in the winter when no sensible person would ride a bike; clearly, these people would beg to differ.

A British study shows drivers pass bikes more safely on roads without center lines; not too surprising that motorists will give more space when they don’t feel constrained by lane markings.

London Cyclist offers advice on riding safely around potholes — something every LA bike rider should know, considering the decrepit quality of our deteriorating streets.

‘Tis the season. A UK charity is looking for bike riding Santas.

Apparently, I’m not the only one with concerns about that new solar panel bike path in the Netherlands, which will only generate enough power for three households when it’s fully built out.

 

Finally…

Congratulations to the newly married Chris Froome. If Cadel Evans and Oakley have their way, your next bike could have a truly bizarre set of handlebars. Or you could end up with an e-bike that weighs less than 11 pounds and folds down to fit in your backpack.

 

Alleged hit-and-run killer of Jesse Dotson faces charges; LA bike share dead in the water

Last night’s breaking news meant a couple other important stories got pushed aside.

Like the news that we may finally see some justice for the death of Gardena bike rider Jesse Dotson.

According to the LA Times, Vanessa Marie Yanez, the 23-year old daughter of an LAPD Sargent, pled not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, as well as a perjury charge for lying to police investigators by claiming her car had been stolen.

Dotson was riding to work at the local post office just before 10 pm on Wednesday, October 26th when he was allegedly run down by Yanez’ car. She reportedly left him to die in the street, then drove to meet a friend at a Huntington Park club before reporting her car stolen in hopes of evading responsibility.

Her father was not charged, despite extensive speculation that he may have actively aided in the cover-up, or at least been aware that his daughter had been involved in a hit-and-run.

According to the Daily Breeze, Yanez faces up to six years in prison.

Meanwhile, Dotson’s family faces a lifetime without their husband and father.

Thanks to Jim Lyle, Linda Campbell and Mike D for the heads-up.

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In news that should surprise absolutely no one, LA’s long-promised Bike Nation bike share program appears to be dead in the water.

The announcement of the bike share plan was unexpectedly made at the April, 2012 CicLAvia, apparently with no competitive bidding — or much thought, for that matter.

Now the Downtown News reports that the program appears to be on terminal hold due to the city’s famously burdensome permitting problems, as well as a contract giving exclusive rights to advertise on sidewalk furniture to another company. Without the income from advertising, it would be impossible for Bike Nation to make a profit on the program, which they had promised to provide at no charge to the city.

The good news is, without the Bike Nation program in the way, Metro is free to explore a county-wide bike share program, which may or may not include Bike Nation as a participant. And which could prevent the Balkanization caused by each city developing their own incompatible bike share systems.

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Connecting UCLA is attempting to start a conversation on traffic and mobility surrounding the campus, and how that affects the livability of the neighborhoods around it.

So far, the conversation is surprisingly civil.

Then again, there’s only two comments up to this point.

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Finally, a San Bernardino patrol car left crosses cyclist, resulting in minor injuries. And of course, the local press blames the rider. The question is whether the SBPD will hold their own accountable for cutting off the bike rider, or follow the Sun’s lead in blaming the victim.

And a Brit writer complains — tongue-in-cheek, by his own account — that far too few bike riders are being killed on the country’s roads. Is hate any less ugly when it’s well written, or when you’re supposed to get the alleged joke?

I miss CicLAvia, but it doesn’t miss me; L.A. gets a new bike share program courtesy of Bike Nation USA

Did you miss me?

I didn’t think so.

Yesterday marked L.A.’s fourth CicLAvia. And the first one I’ve missed, thanks to a combination of family obligations and a lingering cold that has me feeling just this side of six feet under the weather.

And yet, it didn’t seem to matter.

Countless L.A. area cyclists turned out anyway, on a day that, by all accounts, exceeded the already high expectations of virtually everyone in attendance.

And that’s the point.

In previous years, it seemed like we all had to turn out every time to guarantee the day’s success, and help ensure that the next CicLAvia wouldn’t be the last CicLAvia.

Now I think we’re well past that point. The overwhelming success of each event — even if they oddly seem to draw the same number of participants each time (see below) — has already made it an L.A. institution, which will continue as long as the city and its residents and visitors continue to fund it.

And one that will continue to grow and expand into new areas, whether you’re there, I’m there or anyone else does or doesn’t go this time or the next.

And that’s a good thing.

It’s a sign of a strong, healthy and successful event that has quickly become part of the fabric of our city.

I may have missed this CicLAvia. But I won’t miss the next one.

And we call all expect many more opportunities to attend as it continues to transform the image and livability of this city we call home.

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The Claremont Cyclist captures the spirit of CicLAvia in a single photo. CicLAvia itself offers just a few more photos of the day, while Bicycle Fixation’s Richard Risemberg provides video of the day. Los Angeles CM offers a great photo collection, as does USC’s Neon Tommy. And even on a car-free day, you can expect traffic jams, although Gary says he noticed — and stopped for — even more by taking it in on foot rather than bike.

According to the Times, CicLAvia organizers estimate that 100,000 people turned out for this edition. Just like the one before, and the one before that, and the one before that. Evidently, 100,000 is shorthand for “a lot of people showed up, but we don’t really have any way to count how many.” Of course, it might have been even more if Metrolink hadn’t turned some riders away, but the paper reports a good time was had by all, anyway.

And future CicLAvias could run from North Hollywood to Glendale and Burbank. However, Texas may get the jump on us by making Ciclovia de Dallas permanent.

The Design Observer Group offers a good overview of CicLAvia and its history.

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You may have heard that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unexpectedly announced Sunday that the city will get a bike share program in the fourth quarter of this year.

Managed by Bike Nation USA, the program will eventually be the second largest in the country, behind only the coming system in New York, with 400 kiosks and 4000 bikes scattered throughout the city. This will be just their second bike share program, after a 200 bike system expected to open in Anaheim this June.

On the surface, it sounds great. Bike Nation is picking up the full $16 million cost, with no city funds at risk.

But clearly, there’s still a lot of details to be worked out.

Or revealed, anyway.

One of which is whether this system will be compatible with bike share systems currently under consideration in L.A. County, Long Beach and Santa Monica, just to name a few.

As the region’s 800 pound gorilla, L.A. could influence the development of those programs, encouraging them to select the Bike Nation system to create one unified bike share reaching into every corner of the county.

Or they could ignore L.A.’s lead and develop their own bike share system, resulting in an incompatible mishmash that could limit the success and viability of bike share in the region.

Time, and more details, will tell.

Speaking of details, I have an unconfirmed report that Bike Nation is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG — the people behind the L.A. Kings and Galaxy, Staples Center, LA Live and Downtown’s proposed Farmers Field football stadium. However, I can’t find any information about ownership on Bike Nation’s website, or about Bike Nation on the AEG website.

Update: Tom reminds me that AEG also owns the Tour of California, even if Amgen gets title sponsorship.

Update: I’ve received word that Bike Nation is actually owned by First Pacific Holdings, not AEG.

I’m also told that the contract was handed out without a competitive bid.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against AEG; if they really are involved in this, it bodes well for the ultimate success of the program. They have a track record of success in our city, and billions of dollars to back whatever programs they commit to.

On the other hand, I think we’d all be more comfortable with a more open selection process that aired the plusses and minuses of the various interested parties to allow the people of this city, rather than just the mayor’s office, to make a fully informed decision.

I know I would, anyway.

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Just in time for the city’s big bike weekend, the Sunday L.A. Times included a copy of the Red Bulletin, a monthly magazine insert with a great feature on Don Ward, aka Roadblock, and the Jet Blue-vanquishing Wolfpack Hustle.

Great, that is, except for the story’s over-the-top framing device.

To ride a bike in the City of Angels might just be the riskiest proposition on two wheels anywhere in the world. But the ringleader of a growing legion of fearless Angelenos is riding to change all of that.

Clearly, the writer hasn’t spent much time riding in our fair city.

Or most likely, any.

While L.A. may not be the cycling paradise it should be, riding our streets is far from the most dangerous thing you can do on a bike. In fact, the City of Los Angeles isn’t even the most dangerous place to ride in Southern California.

And while the city’s current biking infrastructure, or the lack thereof, doesn’t exactly encourage timid riders to take to the road, those who do usually find a far safer and more enjoyable riding environment than outsiders and non-cyclists would expect.

Yes, there are jerks who use their cars to enforce their self-appointed position on the transportation food chain, just as there are in every city and town where cyclists and motorists mix on the streets. And yes, we have more than our share of careless and/or distracted drivers.

But in most cases, it only takes a modicum of care to arrive safely at your destination by bike — and in a far better mood than most other means of getting there.

It’s long past time we put this offensively anti-L.A. and anti-bike myth to bed.

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Bicycle Kitchen needs your help to buy a new home. Evidently, you can live in L.A. without a car. Is it really a pipe dream that people will walk, bike or take transit to a new Downtown football stadium? Palos Verdes will see a benefit ride for Habitat for Humanity later this month. An Orange County couple rides 45 miles on a tandem to their own wedding. Enjoy a VIP finish on the Big Bear stage of the Amgen Tour of California. A San Francisco rider tries to cut through the anger to present a realistic look at Chris Bucchere, the cyclist who recently killed a pedestrian who was walking in a crosswalk  — even though his GPS shows him going 35 mph at the time of the crash; thanks to Eric Weinstein for the tip.

Women drivers are more likely to mistake the gas pedal for the brakes, even though men are more likely to get into crashes. Chicago cyclists form a chapter of Red Bike and Blue to promote bike riding in the African American community; sounds like something we could use here in L.A. Normal teens in Normal IL organize a bike train to Normal Community High. How to fight a ticket for not riding close enough to the curb. A collision with her husband’s bike puts a 9-month pregnant woman at death’s door and on a long, difficult path to recovery. The good news is, the bike racks are overflowing; the bad news is, the bike racks are overflowing. A fascinating Baltimore study shows drivers violate Maryland’s three-foot passing law nearly 25% of the time — except when the rider is in a bike lane. The Washington Post says if you want more cyclists, build more bike lanes. Dave Moulton suggests that good cycling habits need to be ingrained. A year later, an arrest is finally made in a deadly South Carolina hit-and-run; thanks to Zeke for the heads-up. Huntsville AL police have ticketed just 11 cyclists in the past four years.

London cyclists plan to have an impact on the city’s upcoming mayoral election. Clearly, the Times of London gets it, as they correctly expose seven cycling myths. And clearly the Daily Mail doesn’t, as they say only a £10,000 bike will do for the country’s MAMILs, while the Telegraph would settle for a £8,250 Pinarello Dogma. Nine out of 10 UK riders report close calls with drivers who didn’t see them; and when they get hit, the driver gets a slap on the wrist. Eddy Merckx, perhaps the greatest bike racer of all time, says it’s time to stop attacking cyclists for doping. For the second time in the last few weeks, a top pro cyclist is hit by a car, this time in near Zurich. A Zambia writer calls for flogging, not ticketing, speeding drivers, while a bicyclist is charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Taipei commuters take to their bikes.

Finally, a bike ad is banned for being too overtly sexual. Meanwhile, a Dutch PSA campaign apologizes for speeding just a little. And even Barbie thinks you should signal.

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