Tag Archive for Bob Blumenfield

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

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CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

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Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

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Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

Morning Links: Blumenfield community ride, the fur is starting to fly in CD1, and interactive Vision Zero map

Bike-friendly LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s long-delayed community bike ride will finally roll this Saturday, after a rainout earlier this year.

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It’s starting to get rough in LA’s 1st Council District.

A columnist for Downtown News says it’s just a matter of time before the mud starts to fly in the CD1 council race. Although he confuses Gil Cedillo’s massive lead in fundraising with community support, since most of his money has come from outside the district.

Meanwhile, the LA Times raises questions about an endorsement agreement Cedillo’s challenger, Joe Bray-Ali, signed with former candidate Jesse Rosas, who lost in the primary election.

However, it appears to be much ado about nothing; agreements like this are made in virtually every runoff election to gain the support of a former rival. And the agreement not to build bike lanes on North Figueroa without community consensus is a non-issue, since there was community consensus in favor of the bike lanes before Cedillo pulled the plug.

Correction: I originally identified the former candidate as Jesse Rojas, not Rosas. Thanks to Walt! for the correction.

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A new Vision Zero LA interactive map allows you to explore where and how people were killed in traffic collisions in the city, and your neighborhood, in recent years.

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Don’t forget that bike lanes are on the agenda of tonight’s meeting of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee, 6 pm at the Hollywood Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Avenue.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area — or would like to if it felt safer — you owe it to yourself to attend.

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Dutch cyclist Stephen Blom discusses the unexpected kidney failure that nearly cost him his life.

An 18-year old high school senior from Fayetteville AR with Type 1 diabetes is training with the Team Novo Nordisk junior team as he tries to break into the pro ranks.

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Local

It sounds like a response to Vision Zero, but it’s not. A traffic signal is being installed on Central Ave where Jorge Alvarez was killed in a hit-and-run last December; however, the light had been approved just days before Alvarez was killed.

The Source released renderings of the extensively named Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station, which will offer a people mover connection to LAX, along with a Bike Hub and street bicycle access.

Los Angeles is taking applications for new plazas and parklets to encourage bicycling and walking, calm traffic and improve safety and economic vitality.

The Glendale city council approves funding for the city’s first CicLAvia, just in time for June’s Glendale Meets Atwater event.

Bike SGV is looking for bicyclists who want to be featured on their blog to show the diversity of cycling in the San Gabriel Valley.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

 

State

A man and his dog are passing through San Diego a second time in the midst of their record-setting ebike ride throughout the US; they’ve currently covered over 9,300 miles through 31 states, triple the old record.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

The proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 would run from the Canadian border to Tecate, Mexico, and pass through Truckee as it roughly follows the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

National

A new study confirms what many bike riders already suspected: Most smartphone-equipped drivers use them virtually every time they drive.

The LA Times recommends riding a bicycle to see the lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano up close.

A Wyoming mayor opposes a bike lane in his city because he doesn’t know whether a right-turning driver or a cyclist would have the right-of-way at an intersection. Never mind that question has been settled for about as long as there has been a right-of-way.

A Wisconsin bike advocate and former cop is promoting the use of an ultrasound device that measures an exact three-foot passing distance, and records the results on a Go Pro camera for evidence in court.

The commitment of St. Paul MN to making itself a more bikeable, walkable city is being questioned after city officials nixed two bike and pedestrian-friendly traffic circles from a planned street makeover.

Nashville TN has opened a new protected bike lane in the downtown area, the first of 186 miles of new bike lanes planned for the next 20 years.

A Connecticut bike rider has become the latest bicyclist to be struck by a police car, as the officer was responding to a call with lights and siren. Meanwhile, another rider was struck by a private security officer in North Carolina.

Once again, the NYPD bends over backwards to blame the victim in a bicycling fatality. Never mind that the driver made what should have been an illegal left turn from the right lane.

Philadelphia remembers a literature critic, vampire expert and “warrior bicyclist” who passed away recently at 73.

Once again, they get it wrong. Rather than focusing on the people in the big, dangerous machines, Jacksonville FL cops will be cracking down on their potential victims, instead.

 

International

An adventurer from the Cayman Islands will tackle the Race Across America as a follow-up to climbing Denali and Mt. Everest.

Cornwall, England bike cops are getting helmet cams to help protect vulnerable road users.

An Aussie writer calls for legislation to end the war on cyclists after a 23-year old triathlete is sprayed with industrial lubricant from a passing car. Although the one-meter passing distance he calls for — the equivalent of our three-foot laws — would do little or nothing to prevent harassment like that.

 

Finally…

A new city never really feels like home until you ride naked through the streets. Testing bike lane bollards since people can’t seem to stop driving over them.

And nothing unusual here, just a bike-riding, 125 million-year old dinosaur-loving accused killer from the Planet Argon.

 

Morning Links: Bike berating truck driver, rescheduled Blumenfield ride, and Bray-Ali gets matching funds

This is getting old.

A bike rider in the South Bay gets passed by the road raging driver of a large pickup, who then steps out of his truck to berate him and tell him to get off the fucking road.

LAPD officers have told me that a driver can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his vehicle, since merely exiting the vehicle can be seen as a threat.

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LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s bike ride along the LA River and through the West Valley has been rescheduled for the 26th of this month.

Considering how some members of the council don’t seem to give a damn about us, you should take advantage of a chance to ride and talk with one who does.

Speaking of which, one of those bike-unfriendly councilmembers has raised nearly 10 times the funds of Josef Bray-Ali, his Bike the Vote-endorsed challenger in CD1, who qualified for matching funds by raising $49,000 in mostly small contributions.

Clearly, Bray-Ali’s route to victory will depend on volunteer efforts and word-of-mouth, rather than trying to outspend his opponent.

Which means we have to do everything we can to get a more bike and safety-friendly voice on the council, in a district that desperately needs it.

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If your bike flats on Mandeville and you don’t have any tubes left, maybe you can catch a ride with some helpful cops.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson sort of reviews LA-based ex-pro cyclist and cookie lover Phil Gaimon’s new book, and says it’s subversive, insightful, and really, really funny.

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Apropos of nothing, and nothing to do with bikes, but this totally cracks me up.

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Pro cyclist Andriy Grivko has been kicked out of the Tour of Dubai after punching race leader Marcel Kittel in the face; a very pissed off Kittel says he deserves a six month ban.

Cycling Weekly highlights the best bike punches caught on camera.

Two Aussie cyclists are riding the exact route of the 1928 Tour de France to honor a four man team from Down Under who competed in the race.

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Local

Streetsblog says Los Angeles has striped new bike lanes on Heliotrope Drive in what used to be known as the Bicycle District, replacing sharrows that should have been bike lanes to begin with.

The LACBC looks at three things they learned during the recent Ask An Officer panel discussion with BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass, including that there aren’t enough cops on the street, and the ones who are too often don’t have enough resources or receive adequate training. Which is something we’ve been pushing for since this site was founded.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy. I’d take it, but I refuse to wear a badge.

Help distribute books to free street libraries on Saturday’s Street Librarians Ride.

A Claremont paper looks at the last, sad days of 82-year old Coates Cyclery.

The mayor of Santa Clarita invites residents to get in shape by using the city’s 115-mile bike network, including 85 miles of natural and paved pathways.

CiclaValley goes bike lane shaming in Solvang and Santa Paula.

 

State

People in San Diego’s La Mesa neighborhood are being frightened by a bike-riding man with a gun. Or maybe not.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old Pauma Valley man plans to ride across Canada with a hundred other bicyclists next summer.

A road improvement project in Victorville will include six miles of new bike lanes.

A Fresno letter writer says the city needs to embrace bicycling to clean the air and defeat asthma.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane through the city’s McLaren Park this Saturday. Plans are also in the works for protected lanes on the Embarcadero, where traffic has reached “brutal” levels.

Marin mountain bikers band together to demand better access to the county’s trails, saying they represent up to 45% of all trail users, but are allowed on only 10% of them.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time to pump up your bike tires and join the city’s Bike Party.

 

National

Outside Magazine asks if gravel bikes are marketing hype or the future of cycling. Short answer, probably neither.

A Chicago paper says the judge missed an opportunity to send a strong message on DUIs when he sentenced a drunk driver to just 10 days in jail for killing a bike rider. Gee, you think?

You can now legally ride your bike in downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

Tennessee’s Bike Elf fixes up bikes and gives them to kids who get straight A’s, after signing an agreement to do their best.

A 2002 New York public access TV show offers a look at how bad bicycling was back in the city’s dark ages before Janet Sadik-Khan.

A DC rider creates a simplified, easy-to-read bike map based on transit maps. If someone did that here in LA, all they’d get is a bunch of disconnected lines looking like someone spilled a box of matches. And almost as useful.

Speeding in DC will cost you a cool $500, but running over a bike rider is a relative bargain at just $150.

A new Virginia law would prohibit drivers from using bike lanes to pass stopped cars on the right, while another would create a vulnerable user law.

Sometimes, all it takes to form a band is riding your bike past another New Orleans musician.

 

International

The Canadian driver caught on video forcing his car into a bike rider who was trying to block his path has finally been charged with assault, among other charges, after police falsely claimed the victim didn’t want file charges.

Caught on video: Doesn’t look like much; just a guy riding his bike on the sidewalk. Except it’s a London cop’s official police bike, which he just stole from a rack after cutting the lock.

London’s Heathrow Airport actually wants people to bike there, calling for one of the city’s bicycle superhighways to be extended to the airport to make it easier for passengers to leave their cars at home.

Eight Welsh midwives will ride from London to Paris in hopes of delivering £14,000 — the equivalent of over $17,400 — for women’s cancer research

Stealing one or two bikes is bad enough; taking 22 from an English bike shop is unforgivable.

Irish police investigating a jewelry store heist are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed the crime.

Horrifying story from India, as onlookers filmed a teenage bike rider for 30 minutes after he was hit by a bus, rather than helping him or offering comfort as he lay dying. A newspaper asks if the country needs a “Duty to Help” law.

Caught on video too: A South African website freaks out over footage of a woman happily riding her bike in the middle of a busy highway sans helmet.

A group of Taiwanese and Tibetan cyclists demonstrate in Taipei to call attention to the 60th anniversary of the Tibet National Uprising Day next month.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re going to carry cocaine on your bike, don’t ride salmon — and put some damn reflectors on it. For once, you can count roadkill on the highway, rather than risk being it.

And bicycling doesn’t require a co-pay.

 

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