Tag Archive for Bureau of Street Services

Morning Links: Motions to inspect broken bike lanes move forward, and keeping dangerous drivers off streets

Maybe our broken bike lanes might get fixed after all.

Streetsblog is reporting the approval of both of motions calling for the inspection and maintenance of LA’s bike lanes and bike paths at Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee.

However, assuming the motion passes the full council, there’s still a long way to go, as Joe Linton points out.

Greg Spotts spoke on BSS’s (Bureau of Street Services) efforts to address issues keeping street pavement in good repair. The city faces a reported $3-4 billion backlog in street maintenance. With some recent street repaving monies from the S.B. 1 gas tax and Measure M, BSS is stepping up its efforts to inspect and maintain streets, and now has dedicated staff working to inspect and repair asphalt on city bike lanes.

Spotts noted that BSS has identified 300 bike network locations that need “large asphalt repair.” BSS crews are currently working their way through these sites, having completed 19 repairs to date.

And those are just the ones they know about.

But at least the city has hired six new people to fix and maintain bike lanes.

Meanwhile, there may be hope for LA’s crumbling streets.

Councilmembers Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino say at current rates, streets and sidewalks in Los Angeles won’t be repaired in time for the 2028 Olympics — missing the games by a mere 20 years or so.

But money from Measure M and the new state gas tax increase could provide a source of funding that would allow the city to speed up those repairs.

We can only hope.

Of course, if the proposition calling for the repeal of the gas tax qualifies for the ballot, and California voters decide they’d prefer crappy streets and lower gas prices, all bets are off.

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I’m not always a fan of Bike Snob.

But he nails it this time, saying our current system of licensing drivers and motor vehicles is “woefully ineffectual and does little to keep dangerous drivers off the streets.”

Meanwhile, a Canadian writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke?

It’s like Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it — a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes a deep dive into the subject of sidewalks, and comes to the conclusion that they’re not even necessary.

Yes, the CEO of Ford, the company that essentially put automobiles on U.S. streets, is calling for a “complete disruption and redesign of the surface transportation system.”

What Ford is preparing for—and championing through its bike share and microtransit shuttle services—is the fact that streets will no longer be planned around this binary use of cars versus everyone else. And the place for new modes to mix is not a narrow broken sidewalk: It’s the safe, shared, slow, well-maintained street that has walking at its core.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all equation of lane widths calculated to move cars quickly, with pedestrians pushed off to the side, the definition of a city street will change based on what people need, neighborhood by neighborhood, says Greg Lindsay, director of strategy for the urban mobility festival LACoMotion.

It’s a great read. And may challenge your concept of what a street should be.

It did mine, anyway.

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Great idea. A new youth racing program at the LA Velodrome aims to develop at least one track cyclist for the US Olympic Team at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

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Local

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a fast, 25 – 30 mile woman-led ride tonight, and every Thursday. The co-op is also hosting a moderate paced ride to the East LA Art Walk this Sunday.

Sant Monica Spoke and the Santa Monica Planning department are hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.

 

State

San Luis Obispo decides to move forward with a modified version of the bikeway that’s been drawing all the bike-hating NIMBYs out of the woodwork. Proof that not all NIMBYs live in Los Angeles. It only seems that way.

A new bike and pedestrian trail project would connect downtown Redding to the Sacramento River Trail.

 

National

Streetsblog questions whether the dockless bikeshare revolution is just a mirage.

A former pro explains how he learned to love wearing a helmet mirror.

The new chairman of the Federal Reserve is one of us, as he struggles to convince his security detail to let him keep up his eight-mile bike commute to DC.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune offers tips on how to ride your bike at Mardi Gras, for those lucky enough to go. Pro tip: Avoid Mardi Gras Day, when it’s too crowded move, and go the weekend before when the crowds are smaller and it’s more fun.

 

International

How to roll the dents out of your steel frame bike.

Canadian bicyclists are urged to bike commute tomorrow as part of the international Winter Bike to Work Day. Try not to suffer too much under LA’s sunny skies and 80° temperatures.

Here are ten beautiful places in the UK to add to your bicycling bucket list.

British advocacy groups are “deeply concerned” about plans to ban bikes from a highway that’s a popular time trial route.

In a win for the gig economy, bicycle couriers for Britain’s National Health Service win full employment rights, after their employer had argued that they were self-employed contractors.

That gold-inlaid custom bike built for Irish mixed martial arts champ Connor McGregor cost the equivalent of nearly $21,000.

More proof that bike riders face the same problems everywhere. An Aussie bicyclist complains about pedestrians and dog walkers making a beachfront pathway a nightmare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s 3,500-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled following the death of pioneering ultra-distance rider Mike Hall in a collision during last year’s race.

A French design firm reimagines the dreaded broom wagon. Although they somehow think riders in the Tour de France will be able to hop on board to catch a rest, then rejoin the race when they’re feeling better.

 

Finally…

Why should ‘bent riders miss out on all the fat bike fun? Anyone can race a dual snow slalom on skis; try it on a bicycle instead.

And when a dockless bikeshare company fails, it becomes the UK’s cheapest bicycle.

In every sense.

Morning Links: Union Station Bike Hub opens today, and LA wastes millions earmarked to fix crumbling streets

I hope you’ll forgive my unexcused absences for the past few days.

The good news is, my wife is doing well, and should be back home from the hospital before the week is over.

And my beleaguered laptop is up and running again, leaving me somewhat poorer, but back on the job. Let’s hope it stays that way.

We’ll just assume that nothing important happened while we were gone.

Right?

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LA’s biggest Bike Hub is opening today at Union Station. The new Metro site will offer secure parking for up to 200 bikes for $5 a week, or $60 a year.

Photo by Metro’s Julia Salinas, taken from The Source website.

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KCET examines the crumbling state of LA’s streets, and the risks it poses to people on two wheels.

Not to mention the needless expense to the city, as the Bureau of Street Services has returned tens of millions of dollars to the city, rather than making desperately needed street repairs, even as the city pays out millions in legal settlements to injured riders.

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It’s been a heartbreaking few days for elderly bike riders.

A 76-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Bakersfield; John Rous was a well-known and longtime member of the local riding community.

An 80-year old British bike rider was killed in a collision with Tesla, which may or may not have been driving itself.

An 83-year old man in the UK was killed when his bike apparently hit a pothole; new rules could mean that more British potholes won’t get fixed.

An 86-year old Indian man was killed in a collision with a truck as he was riding his bike to an outdoor gym.

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Rest easy, folks. Ed Sheeran is playing guitar again, and promises he’ll keep riding his bicycle, despite injuring both arm in a recent crash.

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Let’s catch up with a couple of stories we missed from last week.

Manhattan Beach voted to install sharrows and bike route signs throughout the city. Even though one councilmember is afraid they’ll just embolden cyclists to ride exactly where they’re supposed to.

UCLA students plan to form their own neighborhood council, and split with the “NIMBY and obstructionist” Westwood Neighborhood Council. While the story is about housing, the Westwood NC has also been active in blocking much needed bike lanes in the area.

Mobility advocates gathered in Leimert Park for Untokening California to discuss creating greater equity in transportation.

Next year’s CicLAvias will include a seven-and-a-half-mile route from Disney Hall to the Hollywood Bowl on September 30th, with performances by the LA Philharmonic orchestra along the way. And ending with a free performance by the orchestra at the Bowl.

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Local

A writer in the UCLA paper calls for an awareness campaign to get students to walk and bike more safely.

Bike SGV names Doug Strange their Community Advocate of the Year; the founder of the reborn La Verne Bicycle Coalition will be honored at their 2017 “Noche de las Luminarias” awards dinner next month.

Pasadena-area Rotarians will meet this weekend to assemble 300 bicycles for underprivileged children.

Santa Monica is moving forward with plans for a “radical” transformation of traffic-choked Lincoln Blvd into a more human-scale Complete Street.

 

State

Newport Beach police are looking for man riding a red cruiser bike who was seen following a San Bernardino County prosecutor before she was severely beaten while jogging in a park this past August.

A Riverside bike rider was shot in the leg as the result of an attempted robbery.

In a bizarre story, a Bakersfield man died in police custody shortly after using a fake gun to threaten a woman riding her horse on a bike path.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a 19-year old North Highlands man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Sacramento State University is now a silver-level BFU. And no, that does not stand for Big Effing University.

A Marysville woman has been arrested in last week’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured; she was taken into custody after calling the police to claim her car was stolen before the crash. An excuse that never seems to work in real life.

 

National

The GOP Senate wants to take away your measly $20 monthly benefit for riding your bike to work; the Bike League has more information on what you may be about to lose.

Architectural Digest examines how the threat of vehicular terrorism will change our cities in the wake of the New York bike path attack.

Bicycling offers tips on how to wash your bike.

A Seattle grandfather is suing after being left a paraplegic when he crashed into an unmarked bollard on a bike trail, which probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

An Iowa bicyclist says no, really, it’s much safer if she doesn’t give you any warning as she glides past on the sidewalk. That is what is technically known as a load of crap.

Evidently, flipping off the president pays. A Virginia woman who was fired from her job after her employers learned she was the bike rider who was photographed flipping off the presidential motorcade will receive at least $77,000 from a crowdfunding campaign. She says she did it because he wouldn’t have heard her through the glass.

 

International

A new crowdfunding campaign promises to turn your bike into an ebike for just $299, with an extra eight pounds of weight.

The Cuban record holder for the world’s tallest tall bike is working in tandem with the previous record holder, LA’s Richie Trimble, on a 20-foot tall tandem.

A Montreal website offers tips on how to stay safe and warm on your bike this winter. Which is especially good advice here in Los Angeles, where it sometimes gets down to a frigid 60 degrees.

Actor Robert Pattinson is one of us, as a gossip site freaks out when he’s spotted riding his bike in London without a helmet. Which is perfectly legal there, just as it is here.

A new UK survey shows 78% of people support protected bike lanes, even if the politicians don’t.

Three people were injured when a French driver with “psychiatric problems” deliberately plowed his car into a group of students.

Lithuanian students illustrate how much space cars take up, and how little bikes need.

A Mumbai website says everyone has a right to be safe when they ride a bike, from milkmen to champion cyclists.

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Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reminisces about the great Bernard Hinault on his birthday.

Cyclist magazine explores why Chris Froome isn’t considered a legend.

Phil Gaimon released a statement about repeating the rumor that Fabian Cancellara was a known motor doper in his new book, after the Swiss rider’s lawyers demand the removal of the book.

 

Finally…

It’s a sad day when a dog has better form on an upright bike than I do — even if he does need training wheels. No matter how threatened you feel by drivers, riding with an AR-15 is probably not the answer; neither is claiming you just found it in the street and were taking it to the police station.

And if you’re going to ride your bike with a stolen Glock in your pants, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is, not the gun.

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Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous contribution to support this site, as well as his kind wishes for my wife and laptop.

 

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