Tag Archive for blocked bike lanes

Morning Links: Bike thefts from Westwood Expo Line station, and blocked MyFig bike lane

How many people would continue to use transit if they had to worry about their cars being stolen from the station while they’re away?

Yet that’s exactly the problem people in West LA are facing after a series of bike thefts from the Westwood Rancho Park station on the Expo Line.

Jonathon Weiss writes to report that his son’s bike was stolen from the bike corral at the station, just months after his own bike was stolen from the same place.

And as he continues to wait for a response to his request for temporary bike lockers at Metro stations without a Bike Hub.

Which would be almost all of them.

He also notes that his son’s bike was securely locked with a good quality U-lock; the thieves apparently pried it open to get the bike.

That doesn’t bode well for most of us, who have long been told that a good U-lock was the most effective theft deterrent.

Weiss is right to call for more bike lockers at Metro stations. I’m told the Westwood Rancho Park station has a waiting list over 50 names long for the few available lockers on site.

Rather being reserved 24/7 for one person, like Metro’s existing bike lockers, the kind he proposes would be available for a single, short-term rental, allowing users to lock their bikes securely without having to worry about frequent bike thefts, while only paying for the time actually used.

And making it much safer and more convenient to use bicycles to solve the first mile/last mile problem.

Because no one is going to be comfortable leaving their bikes at the station if there’s no guarantee they will be there when they get back.

And right now, there isn’t.

The bike that was stolen Monday

Let this serve as yet another reminder to register your bike for free before something like this happens. Because that offers your best hope of seeing it again if it does.

Top photo shows the empty Expo Line bike corral where Weiss’ bike should have been earlier this year.

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Chris forwards a brief video clip of yet another driver blocking the MyFigueroa bike lane at 22nd Street Friday afternoon.

Or as he calls it, the MyFig Loading Zone.

He also notes that the semi-protected bike lane didn’t manage to protect one rider.

Also, there was a crash involving a cyclist further up at Fig between 7th and 8th, in the far left lane, closest to the plaza. Did not witness the crash but I did see police questioning a motorist and a witness. The cyclist was in an ambulance and the police put the bike in the ambulance with him or her. Not sure how it happened or the condition of the cyclist. Perhaps something to look into, but I couldn’t find any news or police reports.

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The exceptionally popular beachfront Marvin Braude bike path will be closed for construction work near the border of Santa Monica and Venice through the end of October, except for Sundays.

Hopefully there will be a well marked detour around the construction zone.

Thanks to Alt Housing California for the heads-up.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

And it claimed a new victim in Seattle, where an 18-year old man was hospitalized after crashing into a tree because some sick schmuck cut the brakes on the Lime Bike he was riding.

Let’s hope they find the person responsible, and lock ’em up for a long damn time.

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Local

LA Downtown News says the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project has potential — if the bugs can be worked out.

A new proposal would build a pedestrian bridge at the secluded Los Angeles River & Aliso Creek Confluence Park in the San Fernando Valley, as well as adding bike and pedestrian paths leading from the bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

A Pasadena columnist invites e-scooters to besmirch the city’s streets now that Metro Bike has been given the boot, while blaming high user fees for the demise of the bikeshare program.

 

State

Streetsblog questions whether recent news stories about the dangers of e-scooters are an attempt to derail a newly passed bill that would remove the requirement to wear a helmet, as it sits on Governor Brown’s desk.

The CHP is recommending a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge against the woman who killed Grossmont College professor Brian Jennings near El Cajon while allegedly sleeping behind the wheel.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with apparently driverless pickup.

Sacramento police are looking for whoever brutally attacked a 73-year old bike rider on a secluded trail; a 76-year old man was killed in an attack on the same trail earlier this year.

 

National

A new report suggests that improving transit systems can improve traffic safety, because cities with a higher level of public transit usage have a smaller proportion of road fatalities.

REI offers advice on how to chose an ebike.

A Texas public radio station asks if e-scooters are the key to getting better bike lanes in San Antonio. We can only hope that works in LA, since the limited adoption of bikeshare hasn’t done the trick.

Friends struggle to make sense of the hit-and-run that left a popular San Antonio restaurant manager in the hospital with critical injuries; she was injured when her bike was rear-ended by the driver, knocking her into a tree. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

Detroit is rapidly shedding its reputation as the Motor City, with a five-year plan to build out a complete protected bike lane network, as well as making improvements for pedestrians. Compare that with LA’s mobility plan, which calls for improvements over the next 17 years. And which we’re told is only aspirational.

The hit-and-run epidemic has hit Ohio, with a 50% increase in drivers fleeing the scene since 2012.

A Maine driver has admitted to driving under the influence of a sleep-inducing medication when he allegedly hit a bike rider in the face with the mirror of his truck, before crashing into two other cars; police suspect he was on other medications, legal or otherwise, but were unable to get a blood sample after the crash. He had a previous DUI, as well as a long string of other traffic violations. Yet another example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone. Or in this case, nearly.

A Delaware man faces up to 30 months behind bars after he was convicted of killing the bike-riding owner of a TV station; he unsuccessfully tried to blame the victim by saying the rider swerved out onto the roadway.

Another reason to hate Elon Musk. A New York Tesla dealer is converting the streets, sidewalks and two-way bike lane in the Red Hook neighborhood into its own private car storage.

Bicycling helped save the life of a DC Iraq War vet who suffered from Gulf War Illness; she’s now competed in 27 triathlons.

No bias here. Black bike riders get two-thirds of the bicycling traffic tickets in New Orleans, but make up just one third of the city’s riders.

 

International

After a Toronto city councilor urges pedestrians to point in the direction they want to go to cross a street — even in a crosswalk with the right of way — a columnist compares it to using an automotive air bag or a bike helmet to improve safety.

An Anglican bishop rode his bike nearly 4,500 miles across Canada, raising over $187,000 to support his church’s ministry; that converts to over $147,000 US.

A European website looks at the adoption of graphene in bike tires and clothing, predicting internet-connected bikewear with embedded electronics to help prevent collisions.

This is the benefit of ebikes. A 93-year old English letter writer says his ebike has changed his life, allowing him to get uphill to the local market — and pass younger riders along the way.

In a new survey that should surprise absolutely no one, most people in the UK — but especially women — prefer riding in bikeways that are physically separated from vehicular traffic.

Britain offers incentives to buy any kind of electric vehicle — except ebikesThat’s also true in the US, something that will have to change if the country every gets serious about reducing traffic and fighting climate change.

A pair of bike tourists from Slovenia and the Czech Republic pause in Pakistan on a world tour that began twenty years ago.

Bicycling is making a comeback in India.

A sharp eyed South African driver helped bust a bike theft ring when he spotted a pair of vans with $26,000 worth of high-end bikes carelessly thrown in the back; the bikes had been stolen from a bike shop that same day.

Nothing has been done to fix a deadly Brisbane, Australia intersection, despite the city’s promise to install protected bike lanes after a woman was killed riding there four years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says five moments in the last two weeks have given American cycling fans a reason to cheer.

Cycling Tips profiles America’s newest cycling hero, newly crowned world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney.

 

Finally…

Now you can get on your bike at spin class, and get off somewhere else. You can own Robin Williams’ fixie — if you have an extra $4K to $6K lying abound.

And apparently, Alabama has repealed the law of gravity, and mountain bikers can now ride horizontally.

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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 on September 30th!

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: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

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File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

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Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

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I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

Morning Links: Council splits on speed for scooters, cabs banned from bike lanes, and 10 years for Oceanside driver

The city council’s Public Works Committee recommended that e-scooters be allowed on LA streets with their current top speed of 15 mph, rather than the 12 mph limit recommended by the Transportation Committee.

The full city council will now have to make the final decision.

The committee also approved a lengthy laundry list of other proposed scooter requirements, while leaving the door open for other providers to step in, in addition to the current Bird and Lime.

You can thank bike-friendly Joe Buscaino if the higher speed limit gets approved.

https://twitter.com/JoeBuscaino/status/1029859925218930688

Today’s photo reflects a more subtle form of vandalism, spotted on the streets of Hollywood.

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As long as we’re talking about scooters, we might as well keep going.

The Santa Monica Daily Press looks at Tuesday’s demonstration at SaMo City Hall in support of Lime and Bird scooters, and finds somewhat underwhelming. Although the 20,000 or so form emails city leaders received were just the opposite.

Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole reminds us that even though the process for legalizing scooters hasn’t been easy, few remember how the first motor cars turned cities upside down.

Streetsblog says the hyperventilating stories about scooters have been blown out of proportion, because the rollout is going well in most places.

And an Atlanta doctor gives a e-scooters a negative review, calling them dangerous to people on and off them, and recommends giving them the boot.

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The Los Angeles Taxi Commission has officially barred cab drivers from parking or waiting in bike lanes for any reason, other than to pick up or drop off handicapped passengers.

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The stoned driver who killed 70-year old endurance cyclist Paul Cornish in an Oceanside bike lane last year will spend 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Twenty-six-year old Felix Ruiz Bazan was high on meth, and driving a stolen car without a license when he ran down Cornish, who once set the record for fastest crossing of the continental US by bicycle.

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While we’re at it, let’s catch up on a few other updates on more recent crashes.

A young father of two has been identified as the victim of Monday’s collision in Bellflower; Timothy Maurice Lewis was allegedly riding against traffic when he was struck and killed. A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay his funeral expenses.

A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for funeral expenses for Apolinar Venancio; the popular Glassell Park resident known as Don Polo was killed while riding his bike last week.

And the road cyclist killed in East San Diego County earlier this month has been identified as 61-year old Daniel Lusteg of La Mesa.

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Forget the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. Security video shows a British bike thief making off with one in about four.

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Local

Curbed suggests five ways to make isolated Dodger stadium more accessible that aren’t Boring, including improving bikeways and making Vin Scully Ave a pedestrianized street.

The Morning Ride Cycle Club presents photos from last weekend’s LA Handmade Bicycle Show.

Santa Monica-based Bird has established a global safety advisory board to help improve safety for e-scooter users — and presumably, those around them.

A Malibu program teaches kids how to be safe on PCH, where even adult bicyclists take their chances with drivers distracted by topless selfie takers.

 

State

Seriously, what’s the point of doing a story about a San Luis Obispo bike show if you’re not going to include photos?

The JUMP dockless e-bikeshare has been a success in Santa Cruz.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 65-year old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in the city’s Tenderloin district; the driver was later arrested on DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

San Francisco unveils plans for a protected bike lane along the Embarcadero, where a pedicab operator was killed earlier this year.

Richmond’s mayor and at least one councilmember decry the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari “Naj” Smith in neighboring Oakland for apparently Biking While Black.

 

National

No, the problem isn’t that self-driving cars can’t spot humans, on two wheels or two feet. It’s that human beings are too unpredictable. So autonomous car makers want to make us follow the rules, or else.

Strong Towns makes the case for why drivers should support bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five scientific reasons why riding a bike is the best way to get around. And why you get addicted to bicycling social media, and what to do about it.

Portland’s master bike thief is at it again, getting 25 months in prison for violating his probation with his 80th arrest in 20 years of stealing bicycles. Yes, eighty.

Reddit solved a Washington hit-and-run, as an online discussion helped identify a tiny part left behind by the driver who killed a bicycling grandmother.

The Seattle Times recommends adding a ferry to your rides.

If you have a little extra cash lying around — preferably in pounds — consider investing in a documentary about a 75-year old man’s attempt to break the record for a human powered vehicle at Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Three hundred fifty bike riders turned out for a 350-mile ride around the Yellowstone region.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a speeding, allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider got seven years behind bars — but will probably only serve four months.

Illinois will now teach the Dutch Reach to all student drivers, as well as adding a question about it on the driver’s test to help reduce dooring.

Minneapolis is preparing to take the middle ground between docked and dockless bikeshare, while providing marked parking spaces for the latter.

A local paper talks with Massachusetts custom bikemaker Alex Meade, who took over an old factory for his business.

A Gettysburg PA bike rider explains for motorists why we do the things we do.

 

International

Fifteen cities around the world are fighting air pollution by curbing the use of cars. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A story in Outside tells how bikepacker Kate Harris saw more than Marco Polo ever did. On the other hand, no one’s ever played “Kate Harris” in the swimming pool.

Cycling Tips‘ Angry Asian says enough with the ebike hate. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a damn good rant, and damn well worth reading.

Can’t decide whether to buy a roadie, commuter or mountain bike? Then just get all three in one. Or maybe you’re tired of riding everywhere and want to go un-carfree.

A crowdfunding campaign for the five Edmonton, Canada bicyclists injured by a driver who couldn’t manage to see two lines of riders directly in front of her has raised over $10,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Forget whether it’s safer for Edmonton bicyclists to ride single file or two abreast; real safety requires separated bike lanes.

Winnipeg bans right turns on red lights to protect bike riders and pedestrians. But only in one district.

A Toronto city counselor and a Vision Zero advocate debate how to make the streets safer. Hint: Don’t do it the first guy’s way.

A Toronto man walked away from his MBA and law degree to co-found titanium bikemaker No. 22.

A Guardian writer goes fat biking on the beach.

Talk about blaming the victim. London’s Daily Mail urges the UK government to crack down on Ofo’s yellow dockless bikeshare bikes because people are vandalizing them and dumping them in lakes and trees. Because God knows, they wouldn’t want to go after the vandals who are destroying them or anything.

Not even people a heartbeat away from royalty are safe on the streets, as the Queen’s personal homeopath was killed in a crash while riding his bike just seconds from the hospital where he works.

Oxford, England shut down its docked bikeshare in the face of competition from dockless bikeshares.

A British man is riding 211 miles on his daughter’s little pink bicycle to raise money in her memory, after she died of a brain tumor at age seven.

The Chicago Tribune asks if Tajikistan is safe for American tourists after terrorists killed four bike tourists, including an American couple. And no, they weren’t trying to make a point by riding through ISIS-controlled territory — and no, they weren’t naive to try.

An Indian website talks with bike clubs across the country to take the temperature of India’s bike scene.

An Aussie website explains how riding two abreast improves safety. And why it’s good for drivers, too.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a judge tells a driver who smashed into a bike rider that driving with a windshield so frosted over he couldn’t see where he was going was a mistake anyone could make.

Forget a custom bike. What you really need are custom Kiwi bike shoes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The four-day Colorado Classic bike race kicked off on Thursday, as women cyclists wonder what they have to do to get a little attention, and one rider asks who you’d rather see in spandex. Good point.

Chris Froome and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas will skip the Vuelta in favor of the Tour of Britain.

Ritchie Porte will ride for redemption at the Vuelta and the World Championships.

A New York cyclist got tired of bike races. So he created his own.

A 20-year old Israeli cycling champ was killed in a left cross when a turning driver cut her off.

A writer for VeloNews says Donald Trump’s alleged Russian connections date back to his sponsorship of the Tour de Trump bike race in the 1980s.

 

Finally…

Yes, you’re invited to ride on a new highway before it opens — just don’t bring your own bike. If you name your company Cycling Porn, don’t be surprised when it gets blocked on social media.

And your next bike helmet could text for help if you crash.

Note: We originally ended with a police report that turned out to be a hoax. Thanks to Sam for the correction.

 

 

Morning Links: LA backslides on Spring Street bridge bike lanes, and NY crash shows why blocked bike lanes matter

Once again, the City of Angels is backsliding on commitments to build the bike lanes called for in the mobility plan.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, the Spring Street bridge was widened and rebuilt for the express purpose of installing bike lanes and improving sidewalks.

But now that the $50 million project is finished, the long-promised bike lanes aren’t there.

Instead, there’s a stripped-off area where the bike lanes would normally be, nominally directing riders into the traffic lane, where most riders would have to struggle uphill in front of speeding traffic.

The question of what happened to the missing lanes appears to come in the next to last sentence, where Linton mentions that the councilmember representing the project is our old bike-hating friend, Gil Cedillo.

Yes, the same Cedillo who has singlehandedly halted the much-needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on North Figueroa. As well as cancelling the planned Complete Streets project on Temple Street, in conjunction with neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who should know better.

It was also Cedillo who attempted to remove all the bike lanes in his district from the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, he’s just kept them from getting built.

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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If you’ve ever had someone tell you that blocking a bike lane in no big deal, this is why it matters.

A 23-year old Australian tourist was killed when an livery cab driver swerved into the New York bike lane she was riding in, forcing her out into traffic where she was hit by a dump truck.

It probably didn’t help any that the driver had been drinking.

The New York Times quoted the city’s mayor about the crash —

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw the creation of more than 66 miles of bike lanes last year under his Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities, visited the scene on Friday and said he was disgusted by what happened.

“This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving, and we’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences for anything that happened here that was illegal,” he added. “A 23-year-old, that’s very painful.”

Yet that same Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said that he doesn’t think drivers should be ticketed for blocking bike lanes. And has done it himself more than once.

Maybe he’ll want to rethink that now.

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So-called experts insist bike riders have to wear hi-viz to make sure drivers see us.

On the other hand, 15 people riding side-by-side in the middle lane of a highway should be pretty damn easy to spot. Yet somehow, an Edmonton, Canada driver couldn’t manage that, either, injuring five riders after plowing into them from behind.

Meanwhile, the president of the bike club says don’t blame the victims, because the law requiring cyclists to ride single file doesn’t make sense.

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A new law proposed by the British government could mean that bike riders who kill a pedestrian or other riders could face up to 14 years behind bars.

The bill, which would create the crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, comes in response to the death of a woman earlier this year, when authorities struggled to find a crime to charge the reckless rider with.

On the other hand, it didn’t help when the country’s Conservative Party tweeted that the law would protect the “most vulnerable road users” from dangerous cyclists.

As if bike riders aren’t vulnerable road users themselves.

Or that 445 of the 448 pedestrians killed in the country in 2016 were killed by people in the big, dangerous machines, not the people on two wheels.

Needless to say, bicyclists were not pleased.

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Opponents of bike lanes will inevitably claim that they only benefit fit, able-bodied young people who can ride a bicycle.

Nothing is further from the truth. Especially given the popularity of ebikes, which virtually anyone can ride.

Case in point, Yusuf Çelebi, the head of the department for the disabled in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who had this to say on the subject —

“The disabled also need bicycles, just like everybody else. They’re ideal for avoiding traffic jams and getting exercise,” Çelebi said.

“I ride my bike to show that we stand together with the disabled, not only in the home or office, but in every field.”

 

Its also worth mentioning that the bike he rides is a tandem, which his official driver uses to steer around the city’s traffic problems, since Çelebi is blind.

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Local

That study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu to reconsider the Rowena Ave road diet has finally been released. And as expected, three of the four options involved removing all or part of the bike lanes. Which is not surprising, since that seems to have been the whole point all along.

Lime says LA’s proposed 12 mph speed cap for e-scooters could increase the risk for users, noting that the slower speed could disrupt the flow of traffic in bike lanes. However, at 15 to 20 mph, they vastly overestimate the speed of an average bicyclist, who is more likely to travel at a relatively sedate 10 to 12 mph.

LA-based nonprofit Bikes4Orphans has just delivered four bicycles to an Indian orphanage; the group, which was founded by a high school student, uses bikes to help children get an education and lift themselves out of poverty.

The Long Beach Post looks at adventurous ways to escape the city by bike or on foot.

 

State

At least one person was critically injured when an out-of-control San Clemente pickup driver slammed into a light post, jumped the center divider and smashed into a pedestrian and a pair of bike riders before crashing into four parked cars. Police say it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role, but it’s a safe bet excessive speed did.

A retired Alameda County sheriff’s deputy has finished a 68-day ride across the US to honor his partner, who was killed in a shooting in 1998.

An employee-owned San Francisco bike shop was cleaned out by burglars last week, losing 21 bicycles worth $60,000 as the thieves took every bike in the shop.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is demanding changes after a rash of bicycling deaths in recent weeks.

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a bike lane under construction in Seattle with fireworks; a group fighting the lanes denies doing it. Which doesn’t mean their supporters didn’t.

A South Dakota TV station says bike shops and riders could be in the bullseye for Trump’s next round of tariffs, with a proposed 10% increase on most bicycles, parts and accessories, to go along with a 25% tariff on ebikes that just went into effect.

When technology put an end to his bike courier business, a Minneapolis man switched gears to open a bike food delivery service.

Even the recent death of a bike rider doesn’t seem to be enough to get a protected bike lane built on the South Side of Chicago.

A Chicago woman decides not to report a crash to police, after the driver who crashed into her bike begged not to have her deported — which means she can’t collect payment for her injuries. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses.

A writer for Streetsblog captures New York pedestrians running in fear, cyclists blocked, and drivers fuming as they try to funnel into a too-small street near the Holland Tunnel.

This is who we share the streets with. A cab driver is accused of biting another driver in an ongoing Battle Royale that raged down a New York street

Streetsblog looks towards the death of a North Carolina man as a prime example of how lazy reporting obscures the dangers on our streets; the 80-year old victim was accused of running in front of oncoming traffic, and not wearing reflective clothing even though the crash occurred in daylight. Too many news outlets simply retype whatever the police say without question, regardless of whether it makes any sense.

 

International

A psychologist offers advice on how to overcome the fear of getting back on your bike after a crash.

In a bizarre Catch-22, a ban on cars in a Toronto Park is in jeopardy after it made the park more dangerous because too many drivers ignored the ban and drove there anyway.

Road signs intended to slow Toronto drivers down have been removed because they actually worked.

Caught on video: Three thousand young bike riders take over the streets of London to call for an end to knife crime.

A new app confirms that bicycling is the fastest way to get around London.

London’s Metro newspaper vows to be more careful when tweeting from now on, after initially blaming a bike rider who was nearly run over by the driver of a large truck in the British equivalent of a right hook.

A British driver was severely beaten following a dispute with two men on bicycles. No matter what started it, violence is never the answer. The riders can, and should, be prosecuted for the attack.

Edinburgh will celebrate Scotland’s first open streets events, making select streets carfree on the first Sunday of every month.

Five ways to find a bike on your next trip to the Netherlands.

They get it. A Ghanian website asks how safe is it to ride a bike in the country, while saying drivers should direct their anger at the authorities who failed to consider bicycles when designing roadways.

Speaking of the war on bikes, the Australian press has finally discovered the death threats and hate comments and emails that bike riders receive.

Evidently, foreign tourists aren’t any safer in Australia than they are in New York, as a Dutch tourist was killed by a car thief making his getaway as she rode her bike on a busy street; police are looking for the killer, who ran away after crashing into a pair of parked cars, saying he may have been on drugs.

A Malaysian letter writer says something must be done to stop the “mat lajak menace,” groups of reckless teen bicyclists who take over highways to perform stunts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Lars Ullrich continues his recent meltdown, as he was sent to a psychiatric facility after attacking a prostitute in his Berlin hotel room; he suffered a panic attack after he was released following his arrest for investigation for attempted manslaughter. That comes a week after he was arrested for fighting with a neighbor in Mallorca, Spain.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine talks with former world champion Johan Museeuw about his three Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders wins, his comeback from a shattered kneecap that nearly cost him his leg, and confessing to doping after he retired.

Former US mountain bike champ Sepp Kuss dominated last week’s Tour of Utah; the 23-year old rider finished second last year in the same race last year in just his second year as a pro road cyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like catching your mountain bike faceplant on your bike cam. Why push yourself on your bike when you can just shvitz your way to better health?

And this is how you define a Dad of the Year candidate.

 

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

………

What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

………

Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

………

Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

………

Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

Morning Links: Pedestrian deaths misrepresented, near miss caught on cam, and taxis barred from bike lanes

Let’s catch up on a few things that fell through the cracks recently.

Like the Tennessee study that found the public has a misunderstanding of how pedestrian deaths occur.

According to researchers, part of the problem stems from the fact that many deaths never get reported by the news media. And those that do are often misrepresented by the police and press.

That’s a problem we’ve seen too many times with bicycling crashes, when the police are quick to blame the victim, only to reverse themselves later.

Or too often not, leaving it up to the victims’ families and their lawyers to correct their mistakes.

And the public usually never hears about it.

………

Then there’s this video forwarded by Eric Lewis of a near sideswipe collision captured on his new bike cam.

Which is a perfect candidate for the new #NearMissLA hashtag.

………

There may be action taken to stop cab drivers from parking in the new bike lanes on Figueroa, and elsewhere, after all.

As a result of a recent flurry of tweets and videos showing the blocked bike lane, the LA Taxi Commission has proposed a new order prohibiting taxis from blocking bike lanes.

So keep up the pressure. Sometimes it does get results.

Now if they could just do something about cops and Uber drivers in the bike lanes.

………

Speaking of Uber, their primary competitor Lyft has endorsed Vision Zero, as well as serving underserved communities with bikeshare and e-scooters.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Sentinel profiles the East Side Bike Club and its mission to improve vulnerable communities through riding and maintaining bicycles.

Bicycling gives a thumbs up to the slim fit bike jeans made by LA’s own Swrve.

 

State

The wife of a fallen cyclist calls for a bike bridge over Santa Cruz harbor to keep it from happening to someone else; the long-time rider was killed crossing the only existing bridge.

Oakland plans to extend the road diet and bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue, though current plans call for buffered lanes, rather than extending the current parking protected lanes.

 

National

Men’s Health explains how you can get in shape to ride the Tour de France. You can start by getting your weight under 140, which for most of us would require removing a limb or two.

A bike industry writer questions whether we’ve reached peak bicycle. Short answer, unless we get more safe places to ride, probably yes.

The good news is, there was nothing wrong with the cougar that attacked two bike riders in Washington this past May. The bad news is, it attacked them anyway.

A Denver writer says our transportation system is unbalanced. Which could be why even Denver bike cops are afraid to ride on the street.

Riding a handcycle, Michigan’s Laura Stark finished the cross-country ride she started two years ago, before she was paralyzed from the waist down by a distracted driver in Idaho; her riding companion wasn’t so lucky.

Curbed describes eight beginner’s bike rides for your next trip to the Big Apple.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. DC responded to the death of a bike rider by removing four parking spaces from an intersection to improve visibility.

Maybe Dracula is one of us, too. Transylvania has a ten-year plan to become more bike-friendly. But it’s the one in North Carolina, not Romania.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a Georgia man threw an injured stray dog onto his back and rode into town to get help; he met a woman who took the dog to the vet, and later adopted it.

So much for golf. A Florida retirement community is the first to be named a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community.

 

International

A new study says skip the hi-viz, because a small percentage of drivers will pass you unsafely no matter what you wear.

Forbes talks with the founder of TDA Global Cycling, formerly Tour d’Afrique, the company behind epic global bike tours.

Eight riders tag-teamed to ride 3,600 miles non-stop across Canada in just eight days.

A Winnipeg woman held a yard sale to benefit the families of three young boys who were killed by an alleged drunk driver earlier this year, as they walked and biked on the side of a road.

Bicycling is up in seven Toronto neighborhoods, where housing density near employment and education centers make bike commuting more practical.

A writer for the Guardian says children miss out on too much when they don’t learn to ride a bike, including fitness and confidence.

A German club is teaching Muslim refugee women to ride bicycles.

Road.cc reports on six cool things from this year’s Eurobike show in Germany. But I can’t get the damn page to load, so you’ll have to see for yourself what they are.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News looks at the team effort that’s keeping Lawson Craddock in the Tour de France, despite a broken shoulder bone; he’s now raised over $97,000 for a Houston velodrome.

USA Today discovers the role of domestiques in pro cycling.

The troubled BMC Racing team has finally got a new sponsor and will compete next year.

Bicycling offers a recap of everything you might have missed in the women’s Giro Rosa. Like the entire race, for instance.

Trek is forming a new women’s team headed by former world champion — and expecting mother — Lizzie Deignan. Another women’s team is great, as long as they pay them what the men make, which is highly unlikely. And get them some TV coverage so people might actually be able to watch for a change.

 

Finally…

What happens when your therapist’s couch is a mountain bike. When you need a $52,000 car to carry your bike.

And this is who we share the roads with.

But it was the gym’s fault for not wearing hi-viz.

 

Update: La Quinta bike rider dies after crashing into truck parked in bike lane

A bike rider has died due to an ambiguous state law.

According to The Desert Sun, a bike rider was killed in a crash with a truck parked in a La Quinta bike lane this morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding north in the bike lane on Avenida Bermudas around 8 am when he rear-ended the truck.

He was taken to a hospital in Indio, where he was pronounced dead.

The Desert Sun places the location as the 54-000 block of Avenida Bermudas, while other sources place it a half mile south near Calle Chillon. The latter location seems more likely, since the paper says a road diet narrowed the roadway to two lanes and a single northbound bike lane in the area of the crash last December; the northern location still shows two lanes in each direction, along with a parking lane in both directions.

According to the paper, the driver has not been ticketed or charged.

The gardening truck was parked in the bike lane, but no one was cited, according to the sheriff’s department. The crash is still under investigation.

California law states vehicles may park in a bike lane if there aren’t any “no parking” signs present and it isn’t impacting the normal movement of a bicyclist, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

It’s hard to argue that the truck wasn’t blocking the lane if the victim couldn’t safely get around it.

This is yet another well intentioned law that actually makes things worse for people on bicycles.

The apparent purpose behind CVC 21211(b) is to keep cities from having to choose between parking and bike lanes. Yet in effect, it confuses drivers who don’t know whether or not they can park there, since it’s hard to park any vehicle in a bike lane without blocking it.

And as this tragedy shows, the consequences can be deadly for people on bicycles.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 81-year old Indio resident Larry Lee Ortner. The Riverside County News Source places the scene of the crash at the southern location, around the bend of the road above Calle Chillon. Thanks to Victor B for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Larry Lee Ortner and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Griffith Park bike lane blocked, misguided Brit bike safety ad, and real Lance talks with fake Lance

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

………

CiclaValley shares video of a Griffith Park bike lane obliterated by a load of dirt.

Which basically makes it impossible to ride there, forcing riders out into unforgiving, often high speed traffic.

But no big deal, it’s only a bike lane. Right?

I wonder what the reaction would be if someone dumped a pile of dirt into the right traffic lane, making it impossible to use.

………

A new British road safety ad offers a number of things your shouldn’t get caught between, including a truck and a left turn — or right turn, in this country.

Even if the truck is overtaking the cyclist and illegally left-hooking him, apparently.

Needless to say, the online community was not pleased with the apparent victim blaming.

………

Somehow I missed this earlier this month, as Lance Armstrong talks with actor Ben Foster, who played Lance in the film The Program about the doping scandal.

……….

Local

Metro officially approves $4.14 million for 17 open streets events in LA County over the next two years.

The Grove and Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso promises new crosswalks and bike lanes at his latest project at San Vicente and La Cienega — if it gets built. Let’s hope he plans to install much needed bike lanes on La Cienega, and fixes that dangerous and confusing three-way intersection at La Cienega, San Vicente and Burton Way that’s almost impossible to ride through safely.

LA’s own Pure Cycles offers some great tips on how to bike to campus. Although maybe their next photo shoot could use a little more diversity.

Bike SGV is the latest advocacy group to endorse Measure M to improve transportation option in LA County, including dedicated funding for active transportation.

Evidently, Caltrans efforts to transform itself into a modern Complete Streets transportation agency hasn’t filtered down to the local level yet.

 

State

Cathedral City moves forward with its section of the 50-mile CV Link, even as other cities are fighting the planned bikeway around the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Santa Barbara, as an 88-year old man was killed when a driver took his eyes off the road, and drifted into the bike lane where he was riding. Cars are big, dangerous machines; there’s never any excuse for not paying attention behind the wheel. And as this tragedy shows, the consequences for even a moment’s inattention can be deadly.

San Francisco has a plan to reclaim streets from automobiles.

It’s Car-Free Month in Davis, as the city and UC Davis partner to offer events, prizes and giveaways designed to encourage residents and students to bike, walk, or use transit or car-share. Although the latter wouldn’t seem to do much to reduce the number of cars on the road.

 

National

Bike Index helps return more stolen bicycles to their owners, as an off-duty Portland cop helps nab a prolific high-end bike thief. You can register your bike or report a stolen bike for free with Bike Index through this site. And yes, LAPD officers now use it to find the owners of bikes they recover.

Around 90 Portland cyclists rode against hate on Sunday, in response to an ugly incident in which a cyclist pepper-sprayed a family with young kids while yelling racial slurs.

Las Vegas is opening a bikeshare system in the downtown area this Friday.

A Boston man rode a bikeshare bike through a highway tunnel, to the shock of motorists and the chagrin of the city’s bikeshare system.

ABC News producer Michael Koenigs continues his journey by bicycle to cover the American election cycle, riding to Monday’s debate at Hofstra University after traveling to both parties conventions.

Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher tragically killed in a boating wreck over the weekend, once rode his bicycle 600 miles a week to get back into shape during the offseason.

 

International

Good essay from City Metric, saying it’s time to rethink how the world’s great cities manage traffic, as urban residents are forced to bear the burden for today’s flawed policies.

The Guardian offers images of World Car-Free Day from cities around the world. Needless to say, here in LA, it was just another day of car-filled streets and freeways.

A Swedish Vision Zero expert says if Toronto wants to get serious about protecting cyclists and pedestrians, it needs to lower speed limits and think about road safety in a completely new way. The same goes for LA; we’ll never achieve Vision Zero without reducing speed limits. Let alone the near freeway speeds on some streets.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a driver was fined a whopping $100 for an unsafe turn that left a bike rider paralyzed from the waist down.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine writes in praise of the cycling jersey.

The Guardian says wearing a bike helmet may reduce the very small risk of injury even further, but that’s no reason to make them mandatory. Meanwhile, a writer for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph says it’s time to scrap Australia’s mandatory helmet law so bicycling will become safer as more people get on bikes.

A New Zealand man has possibly become the first person to bike every road in Singapore, traveling roughly 6,800 miles on his Brompton.

China’s Uber-equivalent bets big on bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Who needs a golf cart when you’ve got a trike? If you’re ever tempted to punch a 14-year old boy after your bicycles collide, just don’t.

And it’s finally easier to drink, uh, eat a cup of coffee while you ride.

 

Morning Links: Water-blocked in a Santa Monica bike lane, and real sportsmanship in a Spanish bike race

Water keeps posing a risk to cyclists, and El Niño hasn’t even started yet.

Wes High wants to know why a Sparkletts truck has to park in a Santa Monica bike lane to make a delivery, when there’s plenty of parking just a couple spaces up the road.

Why indeed?

Then again, that’s nothing new in Santa Monica.

………

Caught on video: When the third place rider in a Spanish race suffered a flat shortly before the finish, he picked up his bike and ran for the finish line. A competitor followed closely behind, refusing to pass even though it would have meant a podium finish.

Unfortunately, not all of the day’s bike racing news showed sportsmanship, as Olympic track cyclist and US national champ Bobby Lea gets a 16 month ban for doping; he claims it was an accident. Then again, so does everyone else who gets caught these days.

A Dubai cyclist gets a four year ban for doping.

And the official pro cycling team of India’s Uttar Pradesh state gets to share just one bicycle between all 21 cyclists on the team. On the other hand, the state government has distributed 4,500 bikes to the poor, though you’d think they could spare a few for their racing team.

………

‘Tis the season.

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department donated 167 bicycles to children in need, while another 33 bikes went unclaimed.

Twenty kids get new bikes and helmets from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League.

Two hundred children in Pacheco, CA got new toys and bikes through Toys for Tots, thanks to the generosity of one woman.

An anonymous donor gave a St. Helena, CA girl a new trek mountain bike to replace one she lost in a fire; her two-year old sister got a new tricycle, too.

And a Maui car dealer gave away 250 bikes to kids from the local Boys and Girls Club.

………

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………

Local

The LA Planning Commission approves minor amendments to the Mobility Plan, which had been stripped from the approved plan a few weeks ago to address a lawsuit filed by the non-profit group Fix the City; more serious amendments to remove streets from the plan will be considered after the first of the year.

Speaking of Fix the City, they re-filed their lawsuit to address the city council’s action to address their initial lawsuit. Odd that a group named Fix the City is fighting LA’s efforts to do exactly that, attempting to use the courts to undo six years of public process.

The Bike League looks at the LACBC’s efforts to build bike equity in the cities of southeast LA County.

Bicycling profiles Boyle Heights’ Ovarian Psychos Cycles, sponsors of monthly Luna Rides and the annual Clitoral Mass.

CiclaValley offers advice on what to wear for those cold LA winter bike rides. Relatively speaking, of course.

 

State

San Diego attempts to fix a dangerously congested intersection by increasing capacity and changing signal light timing; the redesign will also include much needed bike lanes and sidewalks.

Santa Ana approves a citywide bike safety program, including workshops to teach bike safety skills, light and helmet distribution, and certifying new cycling instructors.

The San Jose paper discusses how drivers can politely toot on the horn to warn cyclists they’re approaching. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing; as one person notes, even a light tap can startle a rider and cause a dangerous fall.

San Francisco’s Market Street bike counter records its one millionth rider. Meanwhile, the city completed a road diet and added cycle tracks to improve safety on a dangerous street after two boys were hit by a drunk driver. People get hit by cars in LA all the time, but it seldom results in a significant safety improvement to the street where it happened.

Marin County “foot people” complain the county is catering to mountain bikers after cyclists are given access to just six of the 50 miles of trails in local preserves.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a practical guide to urban bicycling. Which actually offers some pretty decent advice, for a change; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

People for Bikes looks at America’s 10 best new bike lanes. You don’t need any fingers to count how many are in Los Angeles, but the new Harbor Drive cycle tracks in Redondo Beach check in at number nine.

Bicycling looks at what eight top bicycling cities have done to promote safer cycling. CicLAvia draws as more people in one day than Minneapolis drew all year with their eight Open Streets events.

Lincoln NE gets a two-way protected bikeway spanning 17 blocks through the downtown area. Which as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out, is 17 more than Beverly Hills has; then again, LA isn’t much better.

The DC-area AAA objects to an increase in fines targeting dangerous drivers, complaining that they don’t address law-breaking cyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because people on bikes and foot don’t pose the same risk to others that speeding and distracted drivers do.

 

International

E-bikes are becoming more popular, but at the loss of bicycling’s long time carbon neutrality. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is developing standards for e-bike helmets, which will be required in the country by 2017.

Bike lanes could be included on a new bridge spanning the international border between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

A Toronto website says “vigilante” cyclists posted a video showing the dangers riders face in designated bike lanes. “You keep using that word…”

A Zimbabwean cyclist sets a new record by riding the length of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town in just 38 days.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t throw your bike at a car that just barely missed you, and don’t punch the driver through the open window, no matter how much you think they deserve it. Don’t quit mountain biking when the snow falls; just replace your wheels with skis.

And you don’t have to worry about cold weather flats if your tires don’t have any air in them.

………

In case you missed it yesterday, here’s a link to the second piece in our new Describe Your Ride series; we’ll have a third one on tap next week.

 

A ride through the Westside, in eight parts

Cars blocking bike lanes. Doors blocking bike lanes. Trucks blocking bike lanes. Nannies blocking bike lanes. Elderly drivers ignoring right of way. New sharrows in front of Catholic churches. Missing sharrows. Useless sharrows. Decrepit Victorian VA churches. Last second left cross drivers.

Or as I like to call it, Thursday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a video from my helmet cam.

It’s not that I haven’t captured anything worth sharing. It’s just that by the time I usually get around to editing the video, the limited storage left on my ancient Mac means I’ve usually had to delete the footage before I can do anything with it.

So I wanted to get this one out while it’s fresh.

This is footage I captured on yesterday’s ride through L.A.’s Westside and Santa Monica. The sad thing is, there’s absolutely nothing unusual about it. Other than discovering new sharrows on my usual route through Westwood, things like this happen virtually every time I get out on my bike.

Maybe just not so many on the same ride.

And this wasn’t even everything I saw, good or bad.

There were a couple of Jerry Browns that the camera didn’t pick up – it seems that the fisheye lens on the cam means that a driver has to virtually brush me before the video looks anywhere as close as it feels in person. And I also have to avoid flinching, since the helmet mount means I miss the whole thing if I turn my head away.

I also noticed the county has been busy with the sharrow stencils, as well, adding a single symbol on Washington between the beachfront bike path and where the bike lane picks up on the next block. They also put in a few behind the Marina library, where riders on the Marina bike path have to share a brief roadway with drivers using the parking lot or moving their boats.

And in a nod to the Cycle Chic crowd, I wanted to offer a look at a well-dressed woman I encountered who looked about as good as anyone could on her bike. But when I saw the video, it felt a lot more like Creepy Stalker Guy than an honest appreciation of a fellow cyclist.

Delete.

As for those newfound sharrows on Ohio, maybe someone can explain to me why they skip the two blocks between Selby and Glendon on the westbound side, but not on the east.

Did they just forget? Or is there some incomprehensible reason why those two blocks on that side of the street, where they’re most needed, don’t qualify for sharrows?

Because it’s right there, in that direction, where I feel most pressured by drivers when I take the lane, since it’s far to narrow to safely share.

A little pavement-based support from the city for the proper road position would have gone a long way towards telling impatient drivers that’s exactly where I belong. And encourage more timid riders to use the street and move out of the door zone, despite pressure from drivers coming up behind them.

There seems to be no reason to omit them from the street.

But omitted, they are.

And don’t get me started on the oddly placed sharrow further west that forces riders to duck beneath a low tree branch as they hug the curb.

Or the oddly undulating placement that may keep riders out of the way of vehicular in places without parking, but encourages them to weave in and out of the traffic flow in a dangerous manner, as some motorists may not be willing to cede the road space to let them back into the traffic lane.

Look, I’m not complaining. Much.

I’d glad to have sharrows on a street that needed them.

But these need some serious improvement before they meet the apparent goals of encouraging more ridership and keeping riders safer on the street.

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