Tag Archive for Bike the Vote

Morning Links: An early endorsement for state senate, registration gets bikes back, and OCTA swims upstream

Getting a jump on next year’s elections, the Speaker of the California Assembly has endorsed former representative Steven Bradford for the state senate in next year’s elections.

Toni Adkins joins former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Senator Robert Hertzberg and Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez in endorsing Bradford.

And me, too.

Bradford is a bicyclist himself, and has worked in the legislature to improve safety for cyclists. Including sponsoring the first two attempts at passing a stronger version of the new three-foot passing law, which cleared the legislature before being vetoed by Gov. Brown.

It’s early in the game. But Steven Bradford has my unqualified support, having already proven himself to be an effective legislator.

And one of the good guys.

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This is why I keep pushing the Bike Index bicycle registration and stolen bike reporting available at the top of this page.

In just the last two weeks, the site has helped 11 stolen bikes find their way back home to their owners.

It’s free, period. To register, report a theft, or check a bike against the list of ones reported stolen in the area.

And it could make all the difference if someone makes off with yours.

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Just a week before the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish hurts his shoulder when it’s whacked with a camera by a too-close fan. Victory could be in the cards for Aussie rider Nathan Haas — literally — while Chris Froome risks being upstaged by his cat.

 

London’s Mail looks at how to get away with doping these days. Although that may not be necessary, if you can just get a support vehicle to follow you; a new study says that can be enough to affect the outcome of a race.

And writer for ESPN says women’s sports are boring and not worth watching; not surprisingly, women’s cyclists disagree. As does anyone who has watched women’s cycling for more than five minutes, or plans to watch the US take on Germany in today’s Women’s World Cup match.

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Local

Ding dong, LaBonge is gone. LA’s most outgoing cheerleader led summer bike rides, but blocked planned bikeways on Lankershim Blvd, as well as 4th and 6th Streets, and was a driving force behind the unsafe and pedestrian-unfriendly design recently adopted for the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for a Westwood bikeshare hub to give students greater access to LA. Although they will still need safe places to ride.

CiclaValley looks at Sunday’s successful LA River Ride. I had planned to be there myself, but my health issues knocked me on my ass all day.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Richard McKinnon of Safe Streets Santa Monica about bringing data to street safety discussions. His group mapped 9,600 collisions over a 10-year period, and discovered less than fifty caused by cyclists.

Police bust a bike riding burglar perusing potentially purloin-able property in a subterranean SaMo garage.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered minor injuries after he’s accused of running a red light in an early morning crash. The question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw the victim go through the light. Because no driver would have an incentive to twist the facts, or anything.

A Santa Cruz cyclist really goes the extra mile — or more like a marathon — by riding back and getting his car to drive an injured bike-riding stranger to his home. Then replacing the man’s fluorescent lights and fixing his faucet and electric switches, as well as buying and mounting a new tire for his bike.

A San Francisco cyclist is on a one-woman mission to stop drivers from double parking in bike lanes. Maybe she could come down here next.

Bagdad by the Bay has become Bicyclists by the Bay, to the detriment of those poor, put upon drivers according one SF writer.

Streetsblog asks if a new bike lane in Orinda is the worst bike lane in the world; the lane directs bike riders to go straight between two right turn lanes, almost guaranteeing a high-speed right hook.

Remarkably, two mountain bikers are relatively okay after plunging 150 feet off a Marin County trail in separate incidents nearly seven hours apart, yet somehow landing in the same spot.

 

National

City Lab offers advice on how to hold onto your bike seat. And they take a look at that device developed by Chatanooga police to catch drivers violating the three-foot passing law.

A new bill in Congress would require the DOT to research new technology to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Las Vegas is fighting an epidemic of bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths this year compared to just one last year; four of those have been hit-and-runs. The story advises bicyclists to stay safe by walking across crosswalks, but has anyone ever done a study to determine if that really reduces risk?

Nice piece from Wichita KN, as cyclists surprise a riding buddy who suffered a massive stroke with a custom-made three-wheel ‘bent to get him back on the road. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

LA’s own Swrve is among the bike brands sponsoring musician Ben Weaver’s planned tour around Lake Superior next month.

A Connecticut driver faces a negligent homicide charge after left crossing a cyclist, even though the driver said he never saw him. Although the cops suspect the cyclist may have been speeding, based on nothing but speculation.

A new Delaware bill would encourage transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable economic development.

Boston may be the first proposed Olympic site without a velodrome, since no one seems to want it.

Athletes fight in every sport. But when bicyclists do it at the end of an Massachusetts race, it somehow becomes news.

As Philadelphia has become more bike friendly, surrounding counties have fallen behind.

New York’s Central Park goes partially car-free. Parks are for people, not cars — a lesson the people running Griffith Park still need to learn.

A New York cyclist shoots a TV quiz show, which could go national, from the seat of his bike.

New Orleans plans to narrow the massive neutral ground — aka median, to everyone else — on the city’s Napoleon Ave to make room for a walking path and bike lanes.

 

International

Two cyclists are competing against themselves and each other, riding a combined 150,000 miles in an attempt to break the year record.

An Ottawa writer gets it, saying there’s so much more to bike safety than just wearing a helmet. Note to Metro News: When you show a photo of a bike helmet, a caption saying it’s a bike helmet really isn’t necessary.

A handful of Canadian cities are building protected bike lanes; Montreal leads Saskatoon by 184 km to one.

The owners of a British trucking firm are banned from the business after an unlicensed and uninsured driver killed a cyclist while driving one of their trucks. Too bad we can’t hold business owners accountable like that over here.

A Brit bike rider is convicted of using “racially aggressive language” when a security guard tried to stop him from riding in a mall.

Bicycling could be the answer to providing care givers in rural areas in the UK.

France bans hands-free cell phone headsets, while Paris is making the massive roundabouts at seven major intersections safer for cyclists.

Burundi’s president may be controversial, but at least he bikes the vote. Even if his wife, soldiers and bodyguards had to walk behind him.

Injuries and fatalities blamed on Japanese bike riders have fallen dramatically, but authorities are cracking down on riders because the ratio of fatalities blamed on bicyclists has gone up. So it’s now illegal to hold an umbrella while you ride.

Instead of trying to make a car with two wheels, why not just build a better Korean e-bike?

 

Finally…

Why let facts get in the way, as Donald Trump evidently doesn’t understand the difference between a bike race and a bike ride, even though he used to sponsor one; the former, not the latter. A writer from my home state says bike lanes, potholes and marijuana are all part of a plot to force his city to go car-free; someone should tell him bikes need decent pavement, too.

And a seriously strange video from the Orange County Transportation Authority says don’t be a salmon.

 

Morning Links: Ramsay endorsement, a way to measure 3-foot violations, and Sagan takes the AToC by 3 seconds

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote in tomorrow’s election if, like me, you live in LA’s 4th council district.

I’m casting my vote for Carolyn Ramsay.

Then again, so is every other bike rider I know who has publicly expressed an opinion. Endorsements for Ramsay range from Bike the Vote LA to the LA Times, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti and the candidate previously favored by many cyclists, Tomas O’Grady.

If anyone in the cycling community has endorsed David Ryu, I’m not aware of it.

It’s not that there aren’t a few questions marks surrounding Ramsay.

Like the fact that her boss and mentor, outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge, has publicly supported bicycling for years, while quietly stabbing us in the back time and again. LaBonge was personally responsible for the death of the long-planned 4th Street bike boulevard, as well as killing bike lanes on 6th Street and Lankershim Blvd, at least until he leaves office.

Which can’t happen soon enough.

She has also publicly questioned current plans to put bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd, preferring crowded, high traffic and high speed Sunset Blvd as an alternative.

Yet Ramsay has tried to make it clear she is not LaBonge, and thinks for herself.

When I spoke to her after a debate, she seemed stricken to learn just how poorly her boss was perceived by cyclists. And said her support would go beyond words and an occasional bike ride.

She also said that she would keep an open door and an open mind. And was willing to be convinced in cases like Hollywood Blvd.

Unlike her former boss, who turned a deaf ear to pleas from bike riders if they conflicted with demands from home or business owners. And would often cave in at the first sign of objection, rather than trying to find a workable compromise.

The one advantage I can credit Ryu with is that, unlike Ramsay, who has spent years working in LA’s less than democratic city hall, he would bring a much-needed outside perspective to the office.

But as Ramsay points out, there are advantages to knowing how to get things done on the council, without having to learn on the job.

You can read the responses from both candidates to bicycling issues on the LACBC’s detailed candidate survey.

But whatever you do, get out there and vote.

Because your right to vote doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

And with turnout expected to barely reach the double digits, every vote matters; this election could be determined as much by who doesn’t vote as by who does.

LA bike riders are depending on you to make the right choice.

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In what could be a huge step towards enforcing three-foot passing laws around the country, Chattanooga police develop a radar device that measures the distance between a bike rider and a passing car.

The LAPD, LA Sheriff’s Department and CHP need to get their hands on this ASAP.

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You don’t have to understand French to get the message behind this beautiful TV spot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smREcqxm6D0&sns=tw

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Now that’s more like it. The Amgen Tour of California comes down to mere millimeters in the final stage from LA to Pasadena, as Peter Sagan wins by just three seconds. VeloNews looks at the winding road that put him atop the podium.

Meanwhile, Contador continues to lead the Giro whil taking nothing but over-the-counter pain killers for his dislocated shoulder; a writer for the Guardian says his toughness puts a lie to all-too-frequent homophobic slurs against cyclists. Cycling Weekly looks at what a solo breakaway feels like.

Former pro Jens Voigt settles into life off the bike as a race ambassador and quasi philanthropist, while Wiggo calls for mandatory bike helmets.

And women’s racing has a long way to go to catch up to the men; pay is so low some riders can’t afford to join a pro team even if they get the invitation.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the decision to keep traffic lanes over sidewalks on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was based on outdated Level of Service metrics.

KCET’s Krista Carlson looks at how local resources and social rides can help turn every week into Bike Week.

The Westwood Business Improvement District applies for a Great Streets grant. And considers using the funds for parking improvements. No, really. This is the kind of thinking that has helped keep storefronts empty in what should be one of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo Neighborhood Greenway opens May 30th.

 

State

Not surprisingly, Governor Brown once again ignores active transportation in his proposed state budget.

Writing for Bike Newport Beach, David Huntsman says bicycling would look less dangerous if you’d just take your helmet off when you get off the bike.

The San Diego Association of Governments goes back to the drawing board after an auto-centric regional transit plan was rejected by the courts.

A planned 50-mile Coachella bike path is threatened by a dispute over funding for maintenance.

Writing for the Fresno paper, a CHP officer says cyclists and pedestrians can be discourteous, just like law-breaking drivers. I’d call breaking the law in a dangerous, multi-ton machine more than mere discourtesy. But hey, that’s just me.

Fresno riders take over a local freeway. Hopefully, courteously.

The cyclist who crashed into an 80-year old woman on a Marin County pathway tells his side of the story, insisting she stepped into his path as he tried to avoid her; the CHP is investigating the crash.

Instead of embracing a socially and environmentally friendly form of tourism, the Sausalito city council continues to complain about the up to 1,000 bikes and riders who visit the city each day. Maybe the town should find a way to accommodate bikes instead of fining the people on them. Or bike riding tourists may decide to spend their money somewhere they’re actually wanted.

A 50-year old cyclist is killed in a collision with a truck during a double century race in Solano County; witnesses report he went through a stop sign.

The Turlock newspaper apparently believes a bike helmet could have kept an 11-year old bike rider from suffering a leg injury in a collision.

 

National

A planned Montana bike path is rerouted to preserve a century-old landmark tree.

Three upstate New Yorkers face charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; the driver was on the phone when she veered off the road, and her sister and boyfriend allegedly helped cover up the crime.

Today Show host Matt Lauer will be riding 250 miles from New York to Boston, in support of NBC’s Red Nose Day to call attention to children living in poverty.

New Jersey has the nation’s second highest percentage of fatal bicycle and pedestrian deaths; a proposed four-foot passing law has stalled in committee.

The DC area’s Bicycle Bandit is busted after a series of two-wheeled getaways following bank robberies; thanks to Nancy Duley for the heads-up.

Instead of saying a bank robber used a bike to make his getaway, a Florida paper writes that a local bank was robbed a bicyclist. No bias there. Has anyone ever said that a bank was robbed by a car driver?

 

International

Famed theologians, including Albert Schweitzer and C.S. Lewis, rode bikes; the story quotes Schweitzer saying he used his “abundantly and with delight.”

Sad news from Mexico, as a 17-year old BMX rider is killed in a fall attempting to qualify for the national Olympics.

London’s Telegraph says one way to make London better would be bike lanes that don’t make riding more dangerous. Busting more bike thieves, as London police did at the famed Brick Lane Market, would help, too.

The owner of a UK trucking firm who called bike riders the worst of all road users joins with a bike shop owner to metaphorically sing Kumbaya and call for détente on the streets.

A European study says traveling by car instead of bike costs society six times more. And yes, bike riding really is environmentally friendly.

Nigerian cyclists threaten to give up the sport if there aren’t more races.

A Kiwi cyclist gets a two-year ban for doping.

 

Finally…

Brooklyn’s love affair with the bicycle goes back nearly 150 years; even before a certain baseball team threw its first pitch. An Alaska truck driver somehow manages to see a salmon cyclist sneer at him as she blows through a stop.

And both discredited American former Tour de France winners continue their legal pissing match. If anyone other than their lawyers still care.

 

Morning Links: Dismal turnout but bike friendly results, and a new video says safer streets can make a big difference

Once again, a handful of Angelenos decide the future of the city, as less than 9% of registered voters bothered to cast a ballot on Tuesday.

Nine percent.

With a dismal turnout like that, bike riders could rule this city. Except most of us stayed home, too.

However, it looks like it will be bike friendly Carlolyn Ramsay vs David Ryu in a runoff to replace Tom LaBonge in CD4. Third place Tomas O’Grady, who finished just 61 votes behind Ryu, could still sneak in after outstanding ballots are counted.

And incumbent Jose Huizar rolls to an easy victory over Gloria “Where will we all park?” Molina.

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A new video from Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament illustrates how investing in safe spaces for bicycling can bring big changes for everyone.

Although the doctor who said Katie’s stick-thin father needs to lose weight should go back to medical school.

Thanks to my favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate for the heads-up.

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LA bike advocate, bikewear maker and bike blogger Richard Risemberg has released the e-book version of his first novel, The Dust Will Answer, described as an urban noir mystery. It’s available at Amazon and Smashwords; use the code PZ82G on Smashwords through March 28th to get a $1 discount.

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Local

Metro is expected to award a contract for LA’s long delayed bike share program in June, with the first bikes hitting the street a year later. Although for some reason, there won’t be any stations in Chinatown, the Fashion District or City West; no station on Skid Row makes a little more sense.

Just 2.8% of UCLA employees bike to the campus, a figure that could rise dramatically if they just had a safe way to get there.

Santa Monica’s California Incline connecting the city with PCH will close for one year for reconstruction beginning in April; the new ramp will include bike and pedestrian lanes for those willing to tackle the steep slope.

Helen’s Cycles host their monthly group ride for intermediate and advanced riders this Saturday.

The traditional Marathon Crash Ride looks like a go for Sunday, March 15th, though final approvals are still pending.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at bills affecting Livable Streets in the state legislature — including one stealth bill about bikeways.

The Oxnard Fire Department raises $34,000 to distribute new bike helmets to kids. That would be a far better approach than mandating them for adults, too.

Clearly, there’s more to this story than they’re telling us. Police investigate the case as an assault with a deadly weapon after a Porterville boy is struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Palo Alto approves the first two segments of the city’s new bike and pedestrian plan. Don’t hold your breath, though; it will take 30 years to build out the 24 planned projects.

Cupertino moves to improve bike safety near schools by restricting trucks and requiring early morning trash pickup.

A compromise plan is finally reached to place protected bike lanes on San Francisco’s Polk Street, though not to everyone’s satisfaction.

 

National

No surprise here, as fear of being hit by a vehicle is the biggest obstacle keeping Americans off their bikes.

A bill in the Oregon legislature would require cyclists to wear a reflective coat or vest after dark.

A DC writer explains why some bicyclists ride outside of the city’s bike lanes, such as the risk of being turned into a toad. He said it, not me.

 

International

CNN looks at London’s bike superhighway proposals — practical and otherwise — calling bicycles an old technology with a very bright future.

A UK TV station says every moment spent on a bike is a judgment call. And the consequences can be catastrophic when someone gets it wrong.

 

Finally…

Let’s hope it’s just a bad translation, as a Dutch cyclist on a stolen bike drove off after hitting a baby and her money; no really, that’s what it says. Levi’s finally gets around to making bikewear for women.

And it has nothing to do with bicycling, but this Kickstarter project for a film about African American cowboys in Compton looks too cool for words.

 

Morning Links: Waking the sleeping giant in LA and Pasadena, and a gut-wrenching Colorado hit-and-run

Lots of news leading up to next month’s elections.

LA’s Bike the Vote reviews Thursday’s Livable Streets forum for candidates running to replace termed-out Tom LaBonge, while Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers his detailed analysis, along with sound recordings of the event.

My take on night was that Tomas O’Grady and LaBonge staffers Sheia Irani and Carolyn Ramsey stood head and shoulders above the rest, although Mexico City native Fred Mariscal got the biggest applause of the night for insisting LA has to move past its overdependence on cars.

On the other hand, I had major concerns about the ability of the two LaBonge staffers to step out of the shadow of their bike-friendly-in-name-only boss to actually support bicycling and other non-automotive transportation the way they promised.

But in talking to them afterwards, both seemed sincere in wanting to improve safety and make room for bikes on our streets. And while I disagreed with Ramsay on a few points, I came away convinced she would actually listen to bicyclists and be willing to change her mind if presented with compelling arguments, unlike the man she’s running to replace.

Then again, Gil Cedillo made some pretty good promises, too.

But all eight candidates deserve a degree of support for simply showing up, unlike the other six who apparently had better things to do that night.

Meanwhile, Orange 20’s Richard Risemberg seems sold on O’Grady, while the Daily News splits their endorsement between O’Grady and Teddy Davis, who was one of those who didn’t bother to show up on Thursday.

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The LACBC offers great information on how to bike the vote, including responses to candidate questionnaires for council district 4, as well as district 14, where termed-out County Supervisor Gloria Molina is challenging incumbent Jose Huizar, one of the best friends bike riders have had on the city council in recent years.

Personally, I won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t complete the LACBC’s questionnaire. And I hope you’ll base your vote on their responses, as well.

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The candidates in CD 14 talk housing costs and basic services in Boyle Heights. And several candidates, including Molina, O’Grady, Irani and — apparently grudgingly — Ramsey, pledge to take a pay cut if they get elected.

It should be noted that LA city councilmembers receive the highest pay of any large city in the US. Which is one reason the office seems so attractive to politicians who have been termed out of other seats.

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The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has posted audio of the complete streets portion of a recent mayoral candidate forum for their city, as well as responses to their own candidate questionnaire.

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Why does all this matter?

Because bike riders remain, potentially, one of the largest voting blocks in the City and County of Los Angeles, capable of swaying elections to ensure safe streets for all of us.

But only potentially, until we finally manage to wake the sleeping giant.

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My hometown newspaper offers a gut-wrenching look at the effects a violent left cross and hit-and-run had on a triathlete and father; an exceptionally well written piece almost guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. Or at least, it did mine.

On Monday, they follow-up with a story asking if justice was served.

That would be a no.

Hell no.

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Local

Confirmation that LA Times automotive writer Jerry Hirsch is one of us. I can personally attest he’s one of the good guys.

A Lakewood bike rider saves the life of a newborn baby who had been abandoned by her mother, scooping up the infant and racing to a nearby fire station. She can be grateful her rescuer wasn’t in a car, or he might not have heard her cries. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

UC San Diego is building a new Class 1 bike path on campus.

A non-cyclist rides the bike lanes of Redlands.

 

National

The bike that Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett commandeered from the local police to celebrate winning the NFC championship raises $10,000 for charity.

A Michigan bike rider survives a head-on collision with a truck in France to come back and rescue the medical company he built.

A good Samaritan who helped a Florida woman after she fell off her three-wheeled bike ends up stealing it.

 

International

Drawing a thread through today’s news, a proposed mandatory helmet law draws mixed reviews in Saskatchewan; The Netherlands is unlikely to require bike helmets for the young and elderly despite the recommendations of a recent report, and a New Zealand writer says those irritating cyclists need to get over themselves and wear one, already.

The Economist says London is slowly becoming a better place for bicyclists.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis becomes the third cyclist in the last few months to break the previously long-standing hour record, as Bradley Wiggins waits in the wings.

Thai authorities are building bike lanes to accommodate a bicycling boom in Chiang Mai.

 

Finally…

A 13-year old paracyclist sets a new world record for the second time, but it won’t count because doping authorities failed to show up. And a cake, ale and cigarette-loving plump Paddy — his word, not mine — rebels against hectoring from “broccoli-loving cycling fascists.”

Actually, I’m more of a spinach guy, myself.

 

Morning Links: A sad goodbye to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduño, and it’s up to you to Bike the Vote this spring

Sad news from Long Beach.

Octavio Orduño, one of the world’s oldest bike riders, passed away recently at the age of 106.

Orduño rode his three-wheeled bike nearly every day, after giving up his two-wheeler at the insistence of his wife — at the ripe old age 100.

Here he is riding on his 104th birthday, captured on bike cam by his good friend and neighbor, former Long Beach mobility coordinator and Calbike board vice president Charlie Gandy.

I don’t even know what to say.

Except we should all be so lucky as to live and ride that long.

Rest in peace, Octavio. You’ll be missed.

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More on your chance to bike the vote in this spring’s elections.

Flying Pigeon points out how easy it is for a few voters to make a big difference, thanks to LA’s dismal voter turnout. Which could be a big opportunity for bike riders — if we get out and vote for our own self-interests.

With that in mind, be sure to make your reservation for the CD4 Livable Streets Candidate Forum at the Hollywood United Methodist Church on February 5th to meet the candidates in LA’s most competitive district. And yes, I’ll be there, after moving into the district a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the LACBC has developed a list of hard-hitting questions for city council candidates to gauge their support for bicycling in their district.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but I won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t complete it.

After all, let’s not forget that CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo didn’t respond to the LACBC’s questionnaire when he was running for office two years ago, despite promising elsewhere to support the planned bike lanes on North Figueroa.

And look how that turned out.

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Interesting idea.

Instead of insuring their bicycles, some riders are forming syndicates by agreeing to pitch in to pay for each other’s bikes if they get stolen, so they only have to pay up if something bad happens.

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Local

A cyclist who lost his leg when a big rig truck cut a corner on Alameda Street now struggles to lead a normal life and support his family.

An OpEd in the Daily News says we should embrace climate change as an opportunity to rethink transportation in LA, and get people out of their cars by making it easier to walk, bike and use transit.

KCRW talks with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton about LA’s proposed bike share program.

Boyonabike joins in on a exploratory ride through east Pasadena to raise awareness of the need for better bike infrastructure. Or virtually any, for that matter.

The Milt Olin Foundation and Yield to Life are sponsoring a fundraising rally against distracted driving next month.

 

State

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver, this time in Berkeley.

Oh, please. Despite successful bike share programs around the world, the Orange County Register concludes it just doesn’t work, based strictly on the recent failure of the Fullerton system. Evidently, they think the world ends at the Orange Curtain.

 

National

The conservative AASHTO bikeway guide, the bible for street planners across the country, is slowly moving towards endorsing protected bike lanes.

Cyclelicious offers photos of Viking biking from the East Coast blizzard.

Young professionals come out in force to support endangered bike lanes proposed for Cheyenne WY.

The Oklahoma City council calls for uniform regional bike regulations after turning down a ridiculous reverse three-foot law requiring bikes to stay three feet from motor vehicles.

A pair of mixed-use developments in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are offering their own private bike share programs.

Now that’s what I call a good life. A 93-year old South Carolina woman passed away Saturday; she’d toured Europe by bike shortly after the end of WWII.

 

International

Bike riding is up in Calgary thanks to warmer weather; I’d love to see a bridge like that over the LA River.

London’s Mayor Boris gives the okay to begin work on two protected bikeways crisscrossing the city at a cost of over $88 million.

London planners ask for one bike parking space per bedroom to approve a new residential project.

Celebrate the Cannibal’s birthday with a $17,500 limited edition Eddy Merckx bike.

Egyptian women defy conservative social norms to ride bikes; actually, it doesn’t sound all that different from what women bike riders complain about here.

At least that’s one thing we don’t usually have to deal with here. South Africa attempts to increase cycling despite a rash of bikejackings.

 

Finally…

Evidently, kangaroos have declared open season on cyclists Down Under. You may never have to wash your bike again.

And repeat after me: When you’re carrying a stolen driver’s license and credit card, don’t swerve in and out of traffic while riding salmon.

 

Morning Links: Bikes could sway the race in LA’s CD4; WeHo candidates debate banning sidewalk riders

It’s election time once again in and around the City of Angels.

The LA Times looks at the very crowded race to replace Tom LaBonge in CD4, where LA’s pitiful voter turnout and 14 candidates splitting the vote means it could take only a few thousand votes to win the race.

Which means that a single dedicated group — like bike riders, for instance — could be enough to sway the outcome.

Let’s hope the candidates remember that. And that we do, too.

Meanwhile, candidates for the West Hollywood City Council discuss pedestrian safety and whether to ban all sidewalk cycling in the city.

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Local

Public Radio station KPCC wants to know how you learned the rules of the road. Would that be the legal rules of the road, or the ones we have to live by to survive on them?

UCLA Transportation shares an infographic that makes the case for protected bike lanes.

A man walking on a Santa Clarita bike path is pepper sprayed, then whacked on the head with an unknown object.

 

State

The good news is, it’s not going down; the bad news, it’s not going up. Caltrans’ director assures legislators that the state’s funding for active transportation will remain unchanged for the next two years.

San Diego’s Business Association has discovered a great new way for its members to network and get to know each other: form a bike club.

A Salinas teen receives a national extraordinary courage award for competing on his school’s mountain bike team after losing a leg to cancer.

Nice. After a pancreatic cancer patient on a national bike tour had his bike and equipment stolen in Turlock, locals pitch in to get him back on the road.

A cyclist killed in a rear-end collision on a Sunnyvale highway over the weekend was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, which is likely where the investigation will both begin and end, regardless of any other factors.

 

National

It should come as no surprise to anyone that 75% of people who have had their licenses suspended continue to drive anyway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Shocking, but not surprising.

People for Bikes offers up five reasons why you should talk your boss into allowing a lunch ride; personally, I usually get my best ideas on a bike.

Bikes are under attack once again in bike-friendly Oregon, as a bill in the state legislature proposes licensing all riders over 18, instituting a mandatory $10 bike registration plan, and barring the use of state highway funds for bike projects.

I don’t even where to start with this one, as a teenage St. Louis-area driver is charged with the hit-and-run death of a man sleeping on a bike path.

Evidently, they take human life seriously in New Hampshire, as the unlicensed driver who killed two cyclists when she plowed into a group of riders while under the influence of drugs gets up to 40 years in prison, with a minimum of 15.

 

International

Next City says cyclists and pedestrians are the best of frenemies, as a Canadian study shows shared paths and sidewalks increase the risk of severe injury. Which you probably already know if you’ve ever ridden the beachfront bike path through Santa Monica.

No. Just no. After a man calls out a bike rider for rolling a stop sign, the rider returns a few minutes later and beats him with a baseball bat.

In an interview with the BBC, Lance Armstrong says if he had to do it all again, he would do it all again.

A cyclist in a UK city suffers two broken fingers when he’s kicked off his bike by a moped rider, something that seems to happen there every January.

A 65-year old woman sets off on a 5,000 mile tour around the British Coast to raise money for charity, and takes her golden retriever in a trailer behind her. Which is exactly what I’d do if my wife ever kicks me out, except she’d probably keep the dog.

Bike riding is booming in Ireland; unfortunately, deaths are on the rise, as well.

Government officials debate whether to pull the cord on Melbourne’s troubled bike share program or exempt it from Australia’s ill-advised mandatory helmet law.

Once again, a Facebook page is accused of inciting violence against bike riders, this time in New Zealand; operators insist it’s not a hate site, despite the death threats to cyclists. Well, what the hell did they think would happen?

 

Finally…

In today’s nod to literature, an ode to a nun on a bike. And for those of us who are cash-challenged, the next edition of English bike scribe Carlton Reid’s excellent Roads Were Not Built for Cars will be published online for free.

 

Weekend Links: UCLA Transpo group honored; Bike the Vote next month and score a Wolfpack Hustle T-Shirt

Congratulations to UCLA Transportation for winning California’s top environmental award.

The university group was honored for developing a sustainable transportation program that led to a 23% drop in driving to the campus; nearly half of UCLA commuters use alternative transportation.

Just imagine how many more might bike to campus if they only had safer ways to get there.

………

Bike the Vote by riding to the February 5th Livable Streets Candidate Forum to replace Tom LaBonge in LA’s 4th Council District, and get a free Wolfpack Hustle T-Shirt.

Speaking of which, the Times published profiles of the candidates; of the 14 people in the race, only one — Tomas O’Grady — even mentioned bicycles, making him the early favorite in my book.

Meanwhile, 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield leads his constituents on an eight mile bike ride through the district, including the Orange Line and LA River bike paths.

And the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition posts the first responses to their questionnaire for candidates for mayor of the Rose City.

………

Local

A study of transit users in LA, Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul suggests that making the area around transit hubs more bike friendly could help get more cars off the road.

The executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance asks if it’s time for a road diet on Hollywood Blvd. The correct response would be yes. Or maybe, hell yes.

Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt goes for an LA bike ride with wife Anna Faris.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to ride a bike, as a man just walking his bike in West Covina is seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver.

 

State

Wait, are they pranking us? The director of California’s traditionally auto focused state transportation agency says they need to consider pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users in planning Complete Streets.

Eighteen teams sign up for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, including eight of the world’s top pro teams.

Bosch opens their American eBike headquarters in Irvine.

Maybe cluelessness is another cause of hit-and-runs. A Santa Barbara driver keeps going after hitting a cyclist; a friend of the victim had to chase her and tell her she’d been in a collision.

Santa Rosa goes to court to preserve the right for cyclists to ride on a bike path through private property.

Bike advocacy jobs open up in either side of the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Biking while blind through echolocation.

Bicycling looks at the 10 best car-free bike paths in the US, not surprisingly, none of which are located in Southern California.

A Santa Fe sheriff’s deputy ends up using a Taser on cyclist he stopped because the guy looked “suspicious” walking his bike, despite — or maybe because — of its flat tire.

A Wyoming newspaper says educating drivers about the rights of cyclists could save more lives than a three-foot law. Then again, who says they can’t do both?

A Chicago Alderman suggests allowing seniors to bike on the sidewalks; evidently, making the streets safe enough for older people is just too darn hard.

 

International

A British mom uses the power of Facebook to get her autistic son’s stolen bike back.

Germany considers banning drunk bicycling. Or very drunk bicycling, anyway, since the proposed max is well over the limit for drunk driving in the US. Thanks to D D Syrdal for the heads-up.

Huh? A member of a British driver’s group says not only is bicycling dangerous, but without drivers, we’d all be dead. I’m sure that must make sense to someone.

An Aussie paper says cyclists should be required to carry liability insurance. Or maybe jerks who string ropes across routes popular with cyclists should, instead.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying three kilos of heroin and coke under the hood of your car, make sure your bike rack doesn’t obscure the license plate. Here’s your chance to buy a British bike shop for less than $1.50; most I can scrape together right now is about a buck seventeen.

And when a driver asks if you want him to crash into your bike, the correct response is “no.” A Brit cyclist sarcastically said yes to a road raging driver, who promptly backed his car into him.

 

Morning Links: CM Cedillo turns a deaf ear to pleas of bike riders, portraying cyclists as bullies from the 1%

Evidently, 1st District Councilmember Gil Cedillo doesn’t understand how democracy works.

Word from yesterday’s LA City Council session is that Cedillo turned a deaf ear to the pleas of bike riders begging for a safer street on North Figueroa, and instead went forward with a plan to install diagonal parking rather than the bike lanes called for in the city’s already approved bike plan.

As anyone who has ever ridden or driven past cars attempting to back out of an angled parking space can attest, that does the exact opposite of improving safety.

Standing in the same chamber where retired councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously declared that “the culture of the car is going to end now!,” Cedillo insisted that he would not be bullied by cyclists.

I didn’t know that the pleas of a traffic minority group begging for a safe place to travel on our streets amounted to bullying; it seems more like a constituent group lobbying an apparently uncaring elected leader for relief, to me. Which is the very definition of democracy in action.

But what the hell do I know.

Cedillo also described bike riders as “the one percent,” deliberately miscasting cyclists with a term used to imply social and economic exclusivity, based on census data that bike riders make up just one percent of LA’s commuter traffic.

Never mind that the one percent stat only refers to rush hour commuters, and does not count the many people who ride to school or to do errands. Or the many low income, often immigrant, riders in his own district who ride to and from their jobs any hour of the day, often because they have no other way to get there.

And this from a man who publicly professes his support for immigrants to anyone who will listen.

Of course, no one should be surprised by the cold shoulder bicyclists received from Cedillo. Ever since his election last year, it has been clear that he intended to renege on the promise he made to support bike lanes on North Figueroa, back when he still needed our votes.

Cedillo has evidently made the political calculation that he doesn’t need our support to retain his office, in a city where incumbent councilmembers almost never lose elections.

Let’s hope we can prove him wrong.

More disappointing is that no one else on the council, or in city government — all the way up to the mayor’s office — has had the courage to stand up to the real bully in the room.

On that day nearly five years ago when LA bike riders finally found the voice we so desperately needed at City Hall, Rosendahl proclaimed, speaking for the full council, “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

Unfortunately, Rosendahl has left the council.

And the support for cyclists appears to have gone with him.

……..

Be careful riding in Glendale, which once again ranks near the bottom on a list of America’s worst drivers.

……..

Local

Who says no one rides in the rain?

LA Curbed offers a look at the design finalists for the planned bike/ped bridge over the LA River at the Glendale Narrows.

The Mid City West Community Council is teaming with the LACBC to offer a bike safety class on Sunday, January 11th.

Streetsblog spinoff Longbeachize celebrates its first anniversary tonight with a happy hour at the Blind Donkey in Long Beach.

 

State

An arrest is finally made after at least six cyclists were knocked off their bikes by a thief who then rode off on the bicycles in San Francisco’s Panhandle area.

Another would-be bike thief is busted after trying to wrestle a bike from a man inside a store in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers ten tips for successful bicycling in traffic.

Bounce back from your next hard ride with a little tart cherry juice.

More Denver residents are biking and walking to work, thanks in part to the city’s investment in better bike infrastructure.

An 18-year old Boston hit-and-run driver was allegedly under the influence of prescription drugs when he took out a cyclist and five parked cars while fleeing police; the rider is expected to survive, no word on the cars.

In more bike thief news, a Louisiana man is busted for burgling a $5,000 bike from a Mandeville bike shop.

 

International

We all know about the most popular bicycling movies, but what about the top five unknown cycling films?

No, really, the doping era in pro cycling is over. Even though a Mexican rider was arrested smuggling EPO through an airport.

Turns out bicyclists in the UK’s north may be marginally tougher than their southern counterparts.

Excerpts from a new book reveal the ugly drug-fueled final days of Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani.

 

Finally…

No, seriously, if you’re going to rob a pedestrian while riding your bike, make sure he’s got more than $7 on him first. It might have been more helpful if advice on how to bike home with your Christmas tree had come before most people had already bought one.

And caught on video: A cyclist survives a collision with a hit-and-run deer that violated his right-of-way, then fled the scene without stopping to render aid or exchange IDs.

Today’s post, in which I don’t exactly endorse anyone — and urge you to wake the sleeping bike giant

The future of bicycling in LA County and the State of California is in your hands.

Or more precisely, awaiting your vote.

Bike the Vote LA offers a full slate of endorsements for your voting pleasure in tomorrow’s election.

I’ll leave it to you to make your own choices.

Though I will point out, for those in his district, that District 43 Assembly Member Mike Gatto has proven himself to be one of the most effective members of the legislature — and one of the best friends bicyclists and pedestrians have among California’s elected officials.

……..

As for myself, I plan to cast my ballot for Bobby Shriver for LA County District 3 Supervisor to replace Zev Yaroslavsky.

While I have a great deal of respect for Shiela Kuehl and all she has accomplished at the state level, I’m troubled by her responses to the LACBC’s candidate survey earlier this year. Especially this one, in response to a question about whether she would support protected bike lanes in her district:

Yes, I would, so long as it doesn’t reduce the total number of lanes available to cars.

In other words, she would automatically rule out road diets, even though a US government study shows they can improve safety for all road users by 20 to 50%. And protected bike lanes have been shown to reduce injuries by as much as 90%.

Meanwhile, Shriver expressed strong support for complete streets, and pledged to build at least 40 miles of new bikeways each year.

But don’t take my word for it. Click the links above to read both candidates’ responses, and decide for yourself.

I also plan to vote for Jim McDonnell for LA County Sheriff.

While I’m troubled by his heavy-handed crackdown on the nascent Lang Beach Critical Mass — including bogus tickets and the illegal seizure of some riders’ bikes — I’m impressed by his responses to the LACBC survey. Especially his willingness to meet with cyclists and establish a bike liaison program similar to the LAPD’s to help resolve conflicts between the department and the riding community.

And I have a real problem voting for a candidate who has barely campaigned for the office he’s seeking, and has spent his entire career in a department riddled with allegations of corruption and civil rights violations, as his opponent, Paul Tanaka, has.

On the other hand, I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to throw my vote away by casting it for Republican Neel Kashkari, who has virtually no chance of beating incumbent Governor Jerry Brown. Particularly in light of his misguided pledge to halt California’s planned high-speed rail system — or as he calls it, Jerry Brown’s crazy train — which was approved by voters in 2008, long before Brown took office.

But I can’t in good conscience vote for a man who vetoed every piece of hit-and-run legislation that passed his desk, as Brown did this year.

Is it too late to vote for Meg Whitman?

……..

One last note. Or rather, vote.

I will be voting in favor of LA County Proposition P, which in effect replaces two soon-to-expire property taxes that have funded parks and bikeways throughout the county.

Prop P would create a 30-year stream of funding for parks and open space, beaches and trails — including, possibly, a 22-mile bikeway from Claremont to Rosemead.

Yes, we could all benefit from lower taxes.

But if Prop P fails, everyone in LA County will be poorer for it.

……..

Finally, a quick reminder.

As we’ve noted before, LADOT estimated in the 2010 bike plan that there are roughly 400,000 people in the City of Angels who ride a bike on a monthly basis.

Which is about 22,000 more than bothered to vote in the last city election.

And there’s no reason to believe the same doesn’t hold true throughout the county, where only 17% of registered voters bothered to cast their ballots in the June primary.

That makes bicyclists the sleeping giant of LA politics, with the power to sway elections — especially close ones.

But only if we remember to vote in terms of our own self interests.

Or bother to vote, period.

Because we have the power to ensure a bike-friendly future for the City and County of Los Angeles.

And as we’ve seen, it only takes electing the wrong person to undo hard-won the gains we’ve made.

 

Morning Links: LACBC Bikes the Vote in June’s county elections, and anti-bike San Marino NIMBYs attack

Things are starting to get interesting.

As we discussed earlier, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee* crafted questionnaires for the candidates for LA County Supervisor and Sheriff in next month’s primary election.

Now responses have finally come in from some of the leading candidates, including Hilda Solis in the 1st District, and Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl in the 3rd, as well as Jim McDonnell, considered by many to be the front runner for county sheriff.

And they have some intriguing things to say.

Personally, I’ve been leaning towards Kuehl. But I’m starting to seriously question that choice based on her comment — which she repeats twice — that she supports bike lanes as long as they don’t reduce the total number of lanes available to vehicles.

In other words, she’s not in favor road diets.

Even when they reduce speeds and improve safety and livability for everyone. And she seems to be in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony that has made a shambles of our city and county, and put the lives of their residents at risk.

But other than that, she has some good things to say.

On the other hand, Shriver seems to get that overcapacity encourages high speeds and dangerous driving, and that narrowing lanes and installing bikeways can help tame traffic.

Meanwhile, McDonnell has some good things to say about the role law enforcement can play in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bikes, and improving relations between the department and county cyclists.

I don’t know yet how I’m going to cast my ballot, whether for these or any of the other candidates who’ve responded to the surveys. But one thing I can guarantee you is that I won’t vote for anyone who didn’t respond.

Because we have a right to know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to us. And to make an informed decision based on their responses.

Whether or not we happen to agree with them.

*Full disclosure: I chair that committee, and helped write the questions along with LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins and some truly outstanding volunteers, including the guy in the next paragraph — and I don’t mean Gil Cedillo.

………

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg agrees that you should read what the candidates have to say about bikes now, or be sorry later. And uses 1st District City Councilmember Gil Cedillo — who didn’t respond to the LACBC’s questionnaire for last year’s city election — as the poster child for what could happen otherwise.

The LA Times notes Kuehl and Shriver also disagree on the plans for the Subway Not Quite to the Sea as it passes through Beverly Hills and under the high school. And whether that really matters at this point.

………

Evidently, they have NIMBYs in San Marino, too.

Annonymous opposition has arisen to what had been expected to be a fairly smooth route to adoption of the city’s draft bicycle and pedestrian plan (pdf).

Their objections seem to focus on the plan’s regional connectivity with other local jurisdictions — which could bring dreaded outsiders on bikes! to their fair city. And worse, those dirty, smelly cyclists might “freshen up, shower and change clothes” in their precious parks and schools.

Ooh, scary!

The only thing missing is a reference to Agenda 21. Although I’m sure someone will bring that up at today’s meeting to discuss the plan (pdf).

San Marino flyer front

San Marino flyer back

If you live or ride in the area, you might want to be there.

Because your voice will be needed.

Thanks to BikeSGV for the heads-up.

San Marino Meeting

………

Mark Cavendish bookends the Amgen Tour of California with victories in the first and final stages, while Bradley Wiggins wins the overall title and sets his sights on making the team for the Tour de France. Bike prodigy Peter Sagan won the penultimate stage in a sprint to Pasadena City Hall, as a Spanish cyclist celebrates one lap too early.

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans is back in pink at the Giro d’Italia, as Pieter Weening sprints to victory.

………

Local

Former LACBC board member Michael Cahn writes that a bike rider was injured by a car in Santa Monica on Saturday. And examines both how it happened, and what can be done to prevent something similar in the future.

Paramedics rescue a bicyclist who apparently suffered a heart attack while riding on a bike path next to Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

 

State

Not even pedestrians are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a UC San Diego professor is killed while walking on the sidewalk with her husband; thanks to Mark Ganzer for the heads-up.

KCET looks at Bike Week in Ventura County.

 

National

Passersby help free a Seattle bike rider trapped underneath a truck after she’s apparently right-hooked by a drunk driver.

The bicycling equivalent of a dude ranch is planned for a location near Arizona’s Saguaro National Park.

A 90-year old Arizona driver “thought” he had enough room to pass a trio of bike riders; instead, he hit all three, killing one. Something has to be done now to ensure older motorists are still safe to drive before they kill someone, not after.

A Colorado e-bike builder develops a bike-pulled emergency response trailer to help people stranded by natural disaster.

A Michigan bike builder specializes in wood frame bikes.

 

International

Former Trinidad and Tobago national team cyclist Roger Smart was killed while driving on the island, the second member of the team killed in a collision in the last two months.

An Irish bike rider on 3,000 kilometer fundraising tour for his sister’s medical expenses says the county’s drivers are going to kill someone, and it might be him.

Drivers in an Aussie state could now face up to two years in jail for endangering cyclists, motorcyclists and “riders of animals.” I assume they mean horses. Or do they have a lot of koala and wallaby jockeys Down Under?

Nice. A 60-kilometer Hiroshima expressway has bike and pedestrian lanes for its full length, even as it connects six separate islands.

 

Finally…

Cambridge, UK cyclists are being targeted by a drive-by egger. And an Aussie writer wraps her story in so much anti-bike bile it’s impossible to take seriously. Which is too bad, because she  actually has a point.

 

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