Tag Archive for Burbank

Weekend Links: Bike rider critically injured in solo Burbank crash, and LACBC’s Tamika Butler honored

A 74-year old Bell Gardens man was critically injured after somehow slamming his bike into the back of a parked commercial truck in Burbank early Friday morning.

The victim suffered severe head injuries despite wearing a helmet; he reportedly had his head down and didn’t notice the parked truck ahead of him.

Which should be a reminder to all of us to always watch the road in front of you.

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Congratulations to LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who will be honored as the 2016 Professional of the Year ­– Nonprofit Sector by the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals.

As a former member of the LACBC board, I can honestly say this honor is richly deserved. No one does more on a daily basis to make this city safer and more equitable for everyone who rides a bike.

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A Charlotte NC bike lawyer comments on the road raging Charlotte driver we mentioned here yesterday, who buzzed and brake checked a group of 30 cyclists, then screamed and flipped them off when they tried to calmly talk to her.

And she notes that even though bicyclists have been highly critical of her, online comments when cyclists are killed or injured are far more hateful. Even though the local press is desperately trying to turn her into the victim.

Meanwhile, a columnist for the Charlotte paper says he doesn’t feel sorry for the driver, and the whole thing could have been avoided if she just hadn’t acted like an idiot. And adds that the TV station that interviewed her was irresponsible in painting her as the victim.

Amen, brother.

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Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson says he’s lucky to be alive after hitting a speed bump and going over his handlebars while descending a hill in the British Virgin Islands — which were not named after his company — and watching his bike go off a cliff.

Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured, despite the photos, though his bike did not survive.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

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Hats off to 16-year old Inglewood cyclist Rafael Solorzano, who won two gold medals in the Junior Track Cycling National Championships in Trexlertown PA this month, for team sprint and team pursuit.

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It’s happened once again. An Estonian cyclist was forced to withdraw from the Vuelta after he was hit from behind by a car for another team; his team director stressed that it was a complete accident, rather than the result of careless driving. Which doesn’t make it better; motor vehicles don’t belong on course during bike races.

Alberto Contador went down hard after touching wheels with another rider in the Vuelta, which could ruin his plans for the race.

An 86-year old Catholic nun owns the triathlon record for her age group.

And sad news from Michigan, as seven time world champion triathlete Karen McKeachie was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.

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Local

Streetsblog discusses the future of bikeshare with the project manager of the North American Bikeshare Association.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to tonight’s free Next Night celebration on South Beverly Drive. Never mind that there are no bike lanes to get you there, and nowhere to park your bike if you do.

Burbank police will be holding a free bike registration event from 8 am to 2 pm today, with Bike Walk Burbank on hand to provide bike safety inspections and minor repairs. Or you can just click here to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their periodic bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations this Monday. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the SaMo city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

Just Ride LA is hosting a ride Tuesday night in honor of Michael Jackson, on what would have been the self-proclaimed King of Pop’s 58th birthday.

 

State

A Carlsbad woman will attempt to set a new bicycle land speed record this September.

A Redlands boy passes it forward after police recover his stolen bicycle, donating the bike police offers gave him to replace it to another child.

Just one day after San Francisco Streetsblog wrote about a vital bike bridge that was blocked with homeless encampments, the city cleared them out, while denying any connection to the story.

 

National

The Institute of Transportation Engineers tells the US Department of Transportation it should focus less on moving cars and more on moving people, regardless of how they travel.

Based on stats for the first six months of 2016, this is shaping up to be the deadliest year on American roads since 2007.

People for Bikes is looking for a project manager for their PlacesForBikes program.

Bicycling offers ten things cyclists wish drivers knew, including we’re just people, too.

Not surprisingly, Portland residents have embraced bikeshare, as usage has exceeded expectations since the system’s launch last July.

Who says you can’t make things in the US? The world’s best bike pump is made in Minneapolis, even if it does cost $450.

Despite being required to avoid drugs as a condition of his measly $5,000 bond for killing a bike rider while driving salmon and apparently under the influence, a Wisconsin man was sent back to jail for using heroin and faking a drug test with a bottle of freshly purchased urine.

A writer for the New York Times says everyone remembers their first bike, even if it gets killed by a defective roof rack.

Fox News commentator and prospective New York mayoral candidate Bo Dietl becomes just the latest politician to pander to bike haters by promising to rip out the city’s bike lanes his first day in office.

An arrest has finally been made in the fatal shooting of an Atlanta teenager who confronted two men over the theft of his sister’s bicycle.

 

International

In a series of tweets, a conservative and sadly misguided Toronto senator blames bike lanes for turning the city into the equivalent of a third-world country, comparing it unfavorably to New York, London and Paris. All of which have bike lanes, and none of which are third world.

The Toronto cab driver caught knocking a delivery bike rider off the road in a viral video has finally been arrested on an assault charge.

The mayor of Montreal calls for changes to the highway safety code following a series of collisions involving bicyclists, while the opposition accuses him of not doing enough to protect riders.

Who says bike helmets don’t improve safety? A British bike rider credits his with saving his skull when he was beaten over the head with a bottle by a notorious thug and drug addict.

A Brit bicyclist thanks the mean hearted git who stole his bike’s wheel, even though it was locked up in front of the police station overnight, since it kept him from riding when he started suffering dizzy spells.

Caught on video: A cyclist recorded himself covered by swarms of biting midges on a ride through the Scottish countryside.

 

Finally…

Who needs a cargo bike when you can just carry your refrigerator on your shoulders while you ride?

If you’re riding your bike while high on drugs and carrying meth and an illegal handgun, put a damn light on it — and don’t struggle with the cops when they try to stop you; on the other hand, if you’re carrying a sawed-off shotgun on your bike and have an outstanding warrant, don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And no, you can’t get compensation from her parents if you crash your car while staring at a woman riding a bike in a bikini and short skirt.

Though I must confess to riding my bike into a parked car under similar circumstances.

 

Morning Links: Rio Hondo bike path closed, Glendale matches LA’s hit-and-run rewards, and way better wayfinding

The LA River Bike Path isn’t the only major local bikeway closed right now.

Mateusz Suska of Bike LA County tweeted Thursday that the Rio Hondo Bike Path is closed between San Gabriel Blvd and Rush Street through the Whittier Narrows due to construction work.

The county bikeways map shows the closure is due to last through March 10th.

However, I keep getting an internal server error when I try to access the bike path closures page; maybe you’ll have better luck.

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Glendale votes to match Los Angeles in offering rewards up to $50,000 for information leading to the conviction of a hit-and-run driver.

Hopefully, the idea will spread; drivers shouldn’t get away with it just because they ran away on the wrong side of the city limits.

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The Burbank city council votes once again to ban bikes from the formerly bike, pedestrian and equestrian Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River.

But in nearly the same breath, they voted to move forward with a separate bike and pedestrian bridge at Bob Hope Drive. Although one that won’t be ready until at least 2020, while the bike ban on the Mariposa Street Bridge goes into effect right away.

So you’re only screwed for the next four years.

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Now this is a wayfinding sign, as my platinum-level bike friendly hometown installs detailed signage along a key bike corridor.

I’d like to say we could use signs like this here in LA. But first we’d have to get a key bike corridor to put them on.

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Local

Bikeshare is coming to Venice, as LA and Santa Monica approve plans for five Breeze bikeshare stations, with up to 15 more to come. The story adds that LA, Long Beach, West Hollywood and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills are scheduled to get bikeshare systems of their own before the year is over.

Los Angeles Magazine looks at Caltrans’ plans to destroy yet another neighborhood with a flyover HOV lane exit ramp that would go right next to the historic St. John’s Cathedral, and dump drivers in the middle of LA’s first Complete Street on South Figueroa.

One percent of West Hollywood residents bike to work, compared to two percent of the people who work there; 85% of residents prefer to drive by themselves.

Long Beach’s Empact is hosting a free bike safety class this Saturday; everyone who participates will get a free helmet and bike lights.

The Times looks at the soon-to-be bike-friendly makeover of Huntington Park’s Pacific Boulevard.

Bike SGV is bringing the Cycling Without Age program to El Monte next month.

 

State

Coronado police bust a bike thief using a remotely monitored bicycle with a tracking device in it. Or as anyone else would call it, a bait bike.

The head of a San Diego non-profit says it’s great that the city has adopted Vision Zero, but now it’s time to pay for it.

San Diego is investing $750,000 in hosting the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while expecting a return of $2.5 million to the local economy.

Cathedral City moves forward with a 2.5 mile segment of the inexplicably controversial CV Link, a planned 50-mile multi-use path circling the Coachella Valley that has faced intense opposition in some cities along the route.

Palo Alto’s new bike-riding mayor says traffic won’t improve until more people get out of their cars. Which is pretty much the answer just about anywhere.

 

National

A Portland writer suggests five ways Vision Zero should address race and income injustice.

Oregon is becoming the next state to phase out Share the Road signs.

Las Vegas will take a year to complete the city’s first Complete Street, replacing two traffic lanes with wider sidewalks, buffered bike lanes, narrower lanes and a raised center median.

A Texas doctor raises funds to give nearly 4,000 bike helmets to local kids.

After a Cleveland man is acquitted for fatally left crossing a group of cyclists, a local bike advocacy group says being sorry for his actions should not excuse him from being accountable to them.

New bamboo bike maker Pedal Forward will employ the homeless to build bikes in New York, while 10% of sales will help fund bicycles for people in Tanzania and Uganda.

Like some creature from a horror film, the lawsuit to rip out NYC’s highly successful, five-year old Prospect Park West bike lanes refuses to die, even after all the major players have moved on.

Now that’s taking traffic crime seriously. An Alabama man gets one year for criminally negligent homicide for running down two cyclists in 2014, and 10 years for assault.

 

International

People for Bikes goes bike riding through Cuba.

A Vancouver website asks if British Columbia’s mandatory bike helmet law will kill the city’s coming bikeshare system. It certainly won’t help; Seattle’s helmet law is often blamed for the failure of that city’s program.

Not surprisingly, 42% of Brits surveyed say they live too far away to bike to work, while 20% cited the country’s notorious weather as their reason not to ride; nine percent don’t let either excuse get in the way.

Evidently, LA isn’t the only place where the streets are crumbling. A British cyclist complains that potholes are a disgrace after flatting both tires and narrowly avoiding the truck behind him. Maybe what he needs is a bike light that tells bicyclists where to expect them.

As bicycling booms in Israel, Tel Aviv plans to spend 30 million shekels — about $7.5 million — to expand and connect their existing network of dead-end bikeways.

Evidently having solved all other traffic and crime problems, Brisbane, Australia police crack down on bicyclists who don’t have a bike bell. Because apparently, just using your voice just isn’t good enough Down Under.

 

Finally…

For anyone unclear on the concept, getting drunk and throwing your bike at passing cars is not the correct way to use it. Your next bike could shoot lasers and run on the Android OS.

And the South Pole is about to become bike friendly. Sort of.

 

Morning Links: Prize winner’s new bike, Burbank considers bike/ped bridge, and Ventura tow truck driver ID’d

Just a quick follow-up to our recent contest to give away a new bicycle courtesy of Torrance-based Beachbikes.net.

John sends a photo of his daughter on the custom bike that she won, noting that not only was she able to get the bike made to her specifications, but the store also assembled the bike, fit it to her and made all the adjustments.

It looks great. And I think we can all agree she looks good on it.

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CiclaValley reports the Burbank city council will meet tonight to consider a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River to connect with a future bike path extension.

Considering the city’s recent decision to ban bikes from a long-shared pedestrian, equestrian and formerly, bike bridge, it can use all the support it can get, whether in person or by email; CiclaValley provides full details in the above link.

And hopefully, Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy won’t vote against this one because a cyclist flipped her off once.

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Ventura police have identified the driver of the tow truck that killed a 14-year old bike rider in a hit-and-run caught on surveillance video early Friday morning. However, no arrest appears to have been made.

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Just what every parent needs. A cargo bike that converts to a stroller once you reach your destination.

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Local

The LA chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are hosting a La Loteria and charity Mexican drag bingo night tonight at Redline DTLA to raise funds for the LACBC.

Beverly Hills begins testing its two-station pilot bikeshare system this week, in preparation for throwing bike riding tourists to the wolves in the historically bike unfriendly city.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks murals and bicycle education in El Monte in the latest Damien Talks podcast.

Long Beach announces the entertainment and activities planned for Beach Streets Downtown, the city’s second ciclovía, scheduled for March 19th.

 

State

A man riding a bike was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Santa Ana early Monday; fortunately, his injuries were not expected to be life-threatening. Police say the shooting does not appear to be gang related.

San Diego will be hosting an ebike expo this weekend.

Next City reports San Diego plans to remake its city core with over nine miles of protected bike lanes and 5.5 miles of pedestrian greenways. Meanwhile, the city’s DecoBike bikeshare program is reportedly struggling after its first year, with only 88 of a projected 180 stations installed.

Ventura County will open a new campground for bike tourists in Foster Park, at the trailhead for the Ojai Valley Trail.

Santa Barbara bicyclists speak out in favor of the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan, which goes before the city council for approval tonight. And the Riverside County community of Eastvale considers its new bike master plan on Wednesday.

San Francisco installs a green bike lane next to the center line, rather than the curb, on one street to formalize the practice of cyclists passing cars on the left as they line up to make a right turn; the city also replaces a former freeway with a new condo complex that has no car parking, but offers bicycle parking for every resident.

 

National

An Arkansas cyclist needed 17 stiches after being attacked by a pit bull while training for a race; the dog’s owner insists he must have done something to provoke it. Like riding his bike, for instance.

A Chattanooga man is under arrest for allegedly pushing an eight-year old boy off his bike and climbing on top of him, then throwing his nine-year old brother off of his bike when he tried to intervene. Maybe we can lock him up with the Arkansas pit bull.

You know hit-and-run has become a major problem everywhere when an off-duty Massachusetts cop is accused of fleeing the scene after hitting a cyclist; his punishment so far amounts to a paid vacation while police investigate.

WaPo says riding too hard won’t kill you after all. More or less.

New Orleans police are looking for four men who severely beat bicycle pizza delivery man just because he refused to sell them a slice.

 

International

Orangetheory Fitness expands its orange-colored ghost bike-rip-off marketing campaign to British Columbia; the local manager claims no one would confuse them with actual ghost bikes, even though the issue has come up in virtually every city they’ve used it in.

London bicycle funding is scheduled to be cut in half at the same time the city encouraging more people to ride their bikes.

British bike writer and historian Carlton Reid takes a stroll through the comment section of a bikelash petition to block a London bike superhighway, including a signed comment by actor Tom Conti insisting that bicycles cause pollution.

Scottish transportation and environmental advocates join in calling on the country to spend less money on roads and more on biking and walking.

A UK parish councilor who flipped off a group of cyclists after running them off the road — leaving one rider hanging upside down in a tree — has resigned his position after being charged with careless driving. Never mind that his actions appeared to be intentional, and not the least bit careless.

A new book looks at bike racing in the time of five-time Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil, the Lance Armstrong of his day — in more ways than one.

A French senator calls for a mandatory helmet law for all bike riders.

Even in the blockaded Gaza Strip, Muslim women are defying conservative traditions and cultural disapproval by riding their bikes, noting that nothing in their religion prohibits it.

A New Zealand writer says reimagining our streets isn’t about cycling or being anti-car, it’s about making cities for people the top priority.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, taking one honoring a fallen cop from the local police headquarters probably isn’t your best choice. What do porn and mountain bike racing have in common? More than you might think.

And with apologies to Snoop and Dre, this rider’s attire ain’t nothin but a G-string.

 

Morning Links: Bikes banned from Burbank bridge; defaced signs led San Diego cyclists astray

It’s official.

Burbank has now banned bikes from the Mariposa Street Bridge over the LA River — whether riding, walking with one, carrying it or standing perfectly still — after speakers in favor of the ban referred to bike riders as “arrogant scofflaws and jerks,” who are apparently incapable of following the rules.

A Burbank councilwoman voted in favor of the ban, apparently because a bike rider advocating for continued access to what was originally intended as a bicycle, equestrian and pedestrian bridge looked like someone who flipped her off once.

No, seriously.

Meanwhile, horse riders arguing in favor of the ban misrepresented LA municipal codes by saying bikes are banned entirely from Griffith Park trails, when the codes actually allow people to walk their bikes like any other pedestrians.

Calls for a compromise that would allow riders to walk their bikes across the bridge, or cross when no horses were on it, were dismissed by the council.

What’s sad is that the city council not only allowed their residents and others who ride bikes to be unfairly disparaged, they seem to have agreed with them.

Which does not bode well for Burbank bicyclists.

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In case you’ve wondered why so many mountain bikers have had their bikes confiscated for straying onto military property in San Diego, this defaced sign should give you a pretty good idea.

And give the riders a pretty good defense.

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Just weeks after calling the technology highly implausible, Cycling Weekly profiles an e-bike prototype from Lightweight that uses an electromagnetic wheel, based on maglev technology, that can reportedly generate 500 watts and reach speeds up to 62 mph.

Which should greatly enhance sprinting speeds once the pros figure out how to get their hands on it.

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Michael Eisenberg forwards video of a horrifying crash in which a rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he was sideswiped by a merging truck.

Looking at the video, the cyclists were clearly in the through lane, riding to the left of an exit lane, rather than in the middle lane as the headline suggests; they appear to be positioned exactly where they needed to be in order to continue straight on the roadway.

It’s the driver who broke the law by continuing straight instead of exiting, and merging on the painted shoulder without apparently noticing the cyclists to his left.

Or perhaps, not caring.

And trust me, you really don’t want to read the comments.

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Local

Police at LAX give a regular Tuesday/Thursday group ride an official police escort, complete with a 3-Feet Please sign; Cycling in the South Bay thanks the officers for giving the riders protection instead of tickets.

Work is scheduled to begin this week on a road diet and bike lanes on Alamitos Ave in Long Beach.

Downey will host a four hour, 5.5 mile ciclovía on May 1st.

 

State

Tustin’s 22-year old Coryn Rivera is riding her way to Rio after winning 71 national championships.

A Sonoma County writer says the Amgen Tour of California helped make the area bike country.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, as a four-year old boy is killed while riding in bike in an apartment building parking lot. There is something seriously wrong when children don’t have safe places to play and ride their bikes.

 

National

The suspension of Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge will mean the loss of $130 million for the state’s economy.

If you’re looking to challenge yourself, you could do a lot worse than this September’s West Elk Bicycle Challenge, a 134-mile timed Western Colorado road tour — 29 miles of that on dirt — offering 9,300 feet of climbing through some of the most beautiful country on earth.

A Maine editor remembers one of her favorite weddings, when the bride and groom rode in on bikes, along with all the guests.

Homeless people in South Carolina build their own BMX park.

After trying to jack a car, a Miami man hit a bike rider as he made his getaway in another vehicle. And somehow, the local press still calls it an accident.

 

International

London’s assembly votes to urge the next mayor to support bicycling, and vetoes a plan to let local residents veto bikeways.

A UK parish official was fined the equivalent of just $203 for forcing four cyclists off the road on a blind curve, then flipping them off on camera afterwards.

After riding his bike across six continents in the last six years, a British doctor finds the world is a friendlier and more welcoming place than he thought. But did he do it dressed as a super hero?

Britain missed the opportunity to become a Dutch-style bicycling nation in the ‘70s by dismissing bicycles as a form of recreation; now it will take the county decades to catch up. If ever.

Spend part of your summer studying Planning the Cycling City in Amsterdam. In English.

Germany is called a nation of cyclists, as 82% of people in the country ride a bike at least infrequently, though bikes trail cars and motorcycles in popularity.

A bike rider was swept away by massive floods in Portugal.

Aussie advocates fear new restrictions on cyclists and greater enforcement of helmet laws will cut down on beachfront bicycling in Sydney. Meanwhile, riders in Canberra may soon be allowed to ride sans helmet as long as they promise to go slow.

Ride your bike to visit the best temples in Cambodia.

In today’s history lesson, Japan used 6,000 bikes in a bicycle blitzkrieg to capture Singapore in WWII.

 

Finally…

You could do worse than looking for love on two wheels. Every bike rider gets flats; not every rider gets the Manx Missile fix them — and on Valentines Day, no less.

And evidently, driving a Zamboni is good training for working with a cargo bike moving company.

 

63-year old bike rider dies over a month after Burbank collision

Sad news from Burbank, as a bike rider has died more than a month after he was injured in a left cross collision.

According to a press release from the Burbank Police Department, 63-year old Henry Peter Kuen was riding east on Magnolia Blvd when he was hit by a car turning left onto Buena Vista Street at 2:25 pm on December 9th.

Kuen was hospitalized with a severe head injury, where he remained in critical condition. It’s unclear exactly when he died; the press release only notes that the police were informed of his death yesterday.

He was not wearing a helmet; in this case, it’s possible that it might have made a difference.

The driver remained at the scene, and police note that the driver was not under the influence. However, there is no word on who had the right of way, or why he or she apparently didn’t see Kuen on his bike.

A street view shows a typical urban intersection with traffic signals and four lanes, plus turn lanes, in each direction.

Police note that the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact BPD Traffic Detective Sam Anderson at 818/238-3100.

The press release ends with this, which should be a mantra for everyone on the streets:

The Burbank Police Department logged four fatalities in 2015 as a result of traffic collisions. We would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and avoid distractions while traveling on our roadways. Drive at a safe speed for conditions, don’t text/talk on your cellphone, always maintain safe distances and look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists.

This is the 73rd, and hopefully last, bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 29th in Los Angeles County. Kuen appears to be the first person to die while riding a bike in Burbank since at least 2011.

My deepest sympathy for Henry Peter Kuen and all his lived ones. 

Thanks to Melissa Pamer and GhostBikes.org for the heads-up.

Kuen BPD Press Release

Describe Your Ride: A very fast ride home through the San Fernando Valley

We recently started a new feature in which bike riders tell us about the everyday experience of riding a bike, wherever and however they ride.

Or in this case, show us. 

kdbhiker with a very fast paced video condensing an 18-mile roundtrip ride from Burbank to Lake Balboa via the Chandler/Orange Line bike paths to just 35 seconds. 

If you’d like to share your ride with us, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page. It can be a rant, rave or anything in between, from a few sentences to a detailed description. Or any other format you think tells the story best, wherever you ride.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

 

Help stop hit-and-runs, stop a Burbank equestrian bridge grab, and your Morning Links

Stop whatever you’re doing — like reading this, for instance — and sign this petition in support of AB 2197.

You’ll find my signature there among the 800 plus current signees.

The bill, currently before the state assembly, would require every car sold in California to leave the dealership with some form of license plates.

Currently, drivers have up to 90 days to license their cars. But some never do, as you may have noticed; if not, try counting all the unlicensed cars, trucks and SUVs you see the next time you ride.

And imagine how the police would find them if one were to hit you and take off, even if witnesses were able to give a description of the vehicle.

Without a plate number, hit-and-run drivers too often get away with it.

And too often, we pay the price.

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I’m told Burbank equestrians are attempting a land grab by demanding that bikes be banned entirely from the Mariposa bridge over the LA River.

The bridge was originally built to provide bike riders, pedestrians and horse riders access to both sides of the river near Griffith Park. The proposal would prevent cyclists from even walking their bikes across the bridge, as most do now.

The City Council will take up the matter on Tuesday, May 6th at pm, Burbank City Hall, 275 E. Olive.

Thanks to Mike Kim for the heads-up.

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Local

A real estate developer proposes putting a 9-mile extension of the LA River bike path directly on the concrete riverbed through Downtown LA. Sounds good in theory, but wouldn’t that adversely affect plans to restore the river to a more natural state?

The next Spoke(n) Art Ride rolls this Saturday, while the USC Bicycle Coalition invites you to join them in biking to the beach the same day.

Mark your calendar for the first bike-in movie of the year on April 26th at Reseda Park on the LA River.

Pasadena gets a brief open streets, aka ciclovia, event of their own on Saturday, May 17th, while Glendale offers the Jewel City Fun and Fitness Ride the next day.

CICLE’s next bike Traffic Basics Class will be held at Caltech on June 7th.

A double-amputee Marine will arrive in Long Beach on Friday after a 5,200 mile cross country bike trip driven by prosthetic legs.

 

State

In a remarkable display of common sense, Redlands builds a new bike trail after a dispute over whether riders are allowed on an access road.

NACTO brings their Cities for Cycling Road Show to Oakland; maybe they’ll make it down here eventually. Meanwhile, Caltrans has finally joined the 21st Century by endorsing the NACTO guide in a surprise announcement.

A three-year old San Francisco boy is hit by a truck, even though he was riding his bike in a crosswalk with the walk signal and family members nearby.

Yo, Sacramento Bee — what’s wrong with this sentence? “Many drivers similarly are discourteous toward the rare cyclists who do obey rules of the road.”

Rare my ass.

 

National

A Muncie IN man is arrested for intentionally running down a bike rider, telling police that drivers have the right-of-way and cyclists were taking up the whole road. He also claimed he hit the rider because the cyclist somehow struck his driver’s side mirror — even though the rider was on his right.

A Boston writer explains why he rides a bike, and why you should, too.

Two Iraq veterans are biking from Boston to Seattle in memory of a fallen fellow Marine.

A New York Community Board bars on-street bike corrals to protest the imaginary war on cars.

An Alexandria VA writer says becoming friendlier to bikes shouldn’t come at the expense of pedestrians, something I’d have to agree with.

A Tennessee town anticipates up to 500 cyclists for the fourth annual Pedal for Paws event to raise money for spaying and neutering. So who wants to bring something like that to LA?

 

International

In tragic examples of what not to do, a London cyclist is killed jumping a red light, while another celebrated his 21st birthday by getting drunk — then riding into the path of an oncoming bus.

British Cycling says it’s succeeding in getting more women on the saddle.

A 25-year old rider gives up on pro cycling in protest of his 15-month doping suspension.

An Aussie paper gets its knickers in a serious twist over bike riding young women taking a selfie.

 

Finally…

Police in my hometown find a fleeing driver locked in the restroom of a nearby auto parts store after she runs away from a collision with a bike rider, leaving her car behind.

And would you ride a big wheel bike with hind legs instead of wheels?

 

Important meetings on Main St road diet and Verdugo Ave bike lanes tonight, and bike safety in Signal Hill

Just a few quick notes before I get back to work.

First up, the Venice Neighborhood Council meets tonight to discuss the planned Main Street Road diet, among other issues.

While I strongly support the plans to make the street safer and more inviting for everyone, a work deadline is going to keep me home slaving over a hot laptop long into the night.

But if you’re free this evening, I strongly urge you to attend the meeting to show your support.

Here’s what long-time bike advocate and former fellow LACBC board member Kent Strumpell has to say on the subject:

SUPPORT MAIN ST. BIKE LANE PROPOSAL AT SEPT. 20TH VENICE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MEETING

The City of Los Angeles proposes to extend the bicycle lanes on Main Street in Santa Monica to the Windward Circle in Venice.  This project will be on the agenda for the VNC Board of Directors to consider supporting at their Sept. 20th meeting.  Please come show your support for this important bikeway improvement.  You can also email the Board (see below).

LADOT counted 730 cyclists on Main St. in Venice in a 6 hour period earlier this year, making it one of the most important bicycle routes in Venice.  Providing bike lanes on Main Street from Navy to Windward Circle will create a “Complete Main Street”. The proposed bike lanes will rebalance the street and provide more safety for all road users whether they be on bicycle, foot, or in a car.  Creating a complete Main Street will require removing a travel lane in each direction in order to accommodate the bike lanes and a two-way left turn lane in the center of the road. All on-street parking will remain.

This reconfiguration of Main Street will provide better bicycle connectivity to nearby areas, help achieve more sustainable transportation in our beach community and encourage a more bike-able, and walkable Venice!

Proposed changes for Main Street in Venice

PROJECT BENEFITS

1. Encourages more bicycling and walking in Venice and fewer car trips

2. More trips by bicycle means less demand for parking

3. Businesses can benefit: increased customer access by bike and foot traffic, reduced demand for parking, calmer traffic allows more people to notice businesses

4. Deters speeding, increasing safety for all road users

5. Provides a dedicated center lane for left turns, decreasing rear-end and side-swipe collisions

6. Improves visibility for motorists exiting driveways or turning onto Main Street

7. Provides dedicated space and enhanced safety for bicycles on Main Street

8. Provides better visibility of and for pedestrians crossing Main Street

ACTION

Attend the Venice Neighborhood Council meeting and speak in support.  Fill out a speaker card for the Main St. agenda item when you arrive.
When:  Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, 7PM
Where: Westminster Elementary, 1010 Abbot Kinney (just south of Main).

Email the Venice Neighborhood Council board to express your support and why you think it is needed.  Please send a email even if you plan to attend, to: board@venicenc.org

More info at:  LADOT’s blog post – https://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/main-street-bike-lanes-need-your-support/#more-4279

Damien offers more on the story on Streetsblog, and Gary Kavanagh offers his support after initially opposing the plan.

And on a somewhat related note, Joe Linton looks at LADOT’s approach to the proposed 4th Street Bike Boulevard, and foresees a forthcoming failure snatched from the jaws of apparent victory.

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In another important bike-related meeting on a busy Tuesday, the Burbank City Council will consider making the bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue permanent.

As you may recall, a road diet was installed on Verdugo over a year ago; after complaints from some motorists, the city council voted to keep the lanes in place on a trial basis.

Today, that trial comes to an end.

If you ride in the area, you’re urged to attend the council meeting tonight starting at 6 pm at 275 E. Olive Ave in Burbank. Or if you can’t attend in person, the LACBC offers a sample email you can send to express your support.

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The Signal Hill Police Department has kicked off a campaign to increase bike and pedestrian safety — which usually translates into a crackdown on bad bike behavior, rather than dangerous practices by drivers that have the potential to kill or injure cyclists, law abiding or otherwise.

However, they say the right things, for the most part, offering valid advice to cyclists and pedestrians on how to remain safe, and advising motorists on how not to kill someone.

Although nothing in state law requires cyclists to ride single file, particularly in substandard lanes where it can actually be safer to ride two or more abreast in order to hold the lane and prevent unsafe passing. And the law is quite specific that slow moving vehicles — which includes bikes — aren’t illegally blocking traffic unless there are five or more vehicles following behind and unable to go around.

But good luck arguing that point with a traffic cop who may not be as well verses in bike law as well as you are.

And I wouldn’t exactly take comfort in this comment from Signal Hill PD Traffic Department Supervisor Sgt. Chris Nunley:

“Unfortunately some people forget that the roadways are primarily for vehicle traffic and walk or run four deep across lanes of traffic.”

Actually, roadways are intended for all legal road users, which includes cyclists and pedestrians. And everyone is entitled to use the roads in a safe and legal manner, with no preference given to mode of travel.

In other words, bikes have as much right to the road as motor vehicles, though no one has the right to needlessly block the roadway.

The program is intended to start with an educational campaign before moving to an enforcement phase.

It remains to be seen whether it will be targeted equally towards all road users in a genuine attempt to increase safety, or simple be used as an excuse to crack down on cyclists.

Read more at the Signal Tribune (scroll to page 9); thanks to Nate Baird for the heads-up. (Note — all comments are mine, so don’t blame Nate; he just pointed out the story.)

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A new study from a Dutch consulting group shows that the benefits of properly constructed biking infrastructure significantly outweighs the cost.

In fact, the return in improved travel times, better health and environmental benefits outweigh costs by margin of 44% — increasing to a whopping 358% if ebikes continue to gain in popularity.

It would be interesting to see if the results could be duplicated on this side of the Atlantic.

Thanks to @bplusradsport for the tip.

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Much has been made of a report released over the weekend showing that roughly 1,000 pedestrians are injured badly enough by bicyclists to require hospitalization in New York State every year; roughly 500 of those are in New York City.

While that sounds damning, the report fails to note who was at fault in those collisions, merely that they occurred. And also fails to note how many cyclists were injured, as well.

So instead of suggesting, as the authors seem to imply, that it is the result of out-of-control scofflaw cyclists riding rampant on sidewalks and blowing through crosswalks, the collisions could just as easily be the result of pedestrians walking illegally in bike lanes or stepping into the path of riders.

And even that surprisingly large number pales in comparison to the roughly 15,000 New York pedestrians injured by motor vehicles each year. Yet no one seems to be calling for a crackdown on dangerous scofflaw drivers.

It should also be noted that the number of pedestrians injured in bike collisions is trending downward, despite a dramatic increase in ridership in recent years.

Testament, perhaps, to the efforts of that crazy NYDOT director Janette Sadik-Khan to make NYC streets safer for everyone.

Including cyclists and pedestrians.

Note: While I largely dismiss the results of this study, it’s important to remember that pedestrians are the only road users more vulnerable than cyclists. So it’s up to you to concede the right-of-way to pedestrians — even when they’re wrong. And never, ever ride through a crosswalk when someone is using it.

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Finally, a timely reminder from L.A. cyclist, bike advocate and attorney Rosh Hirsch that if riding your bike doesn’t make you smile, you’re not doing it right.

My smile wasn’t quite that big when I was riding yesterday, but it was there.

Third grade student Tristan Hirsch demonstrates proper cycling technique, starting with the huge smile; photo by proud papa Ross Hirsch

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