Tag Archive for California Bicycle Coalition

Morning Links: CABO opposes protected bikeway bill; Brit driver kills 5-year old, then says shit happens

Once again, CABO — the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, not to be confused with the California Bicycle Coalition — has come out in opposition to a measure that would benefit the overwhelming majority of bike riders in the state.

AB 1193 would legalize protected bike lanes, which are currently considered experimental under California law, creating a fourth class of bikeways in the state to go along with Class 1 off-road bike paths, Class 2 bike lanes, and Class 3 bike routes.

The bill, sponsored by the CBC, would require Caltrans to work with local jurisdictions to establish minimum safety requirements for protected, or separated, bike lanes, rather than rely on Caltrans’ antiquated rules that have severely limited innovation and safety.

I have no doubt CABO is sincere in their opposition, which appears to be based on maintaining the overly conservative Caltrans standards they helped create.

But their opposition stands in the way of encouraging more people to get on their bikes, and improving safety for all road users. And gives needless support to those in the legislature who oppose bicycling and bike infrastructure in general.

Instead of opposing a very good and necessary bill, they should find a way to support it. Or at the very least, stay neutral.

Or they will continue to find themselves out of step with most riders, and further marginalized in a state where the CBC has become the voice of mainstream bicycling.

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Local

Richard Risemberg asks what part of traffic calming doesn’t councilmember Gil Cedillo understand?

A Pasadena bike rider is assualted and robbed by passing motorists, possibly at gunpoint.

Nice. LA’s Milestone Rides prepares to ride from Vancouver to San Francisco.

 

State

San Diego City Beat goes drinking with BikeSD advocate Sam Ollinger.

The inaugural Big Bear Cycling Festival rolls at the end of next month.

A pipe bomb is found next to a Pacific Grove bike trail. The question is, did someone just hide it here, or were they targeting bike riders?

 

National

Good read, as Vice Sports says you can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don’t really mean it.

Great ideas never die. Okay, sometimes. But the self-inflating bike tire is back after a six year absence.

Utah will put rolling billboards on six semi-trucks to promote the state’s three-foot passing law. But will the drivers practice what they preach?

Two New Mexico bike riders find a missing 9-year old girl.

Biased much? A Denver TV station says cyclists are at fault in several bike vs car collisions, but fails to back it up in any way.

If you want to get away with murder, use a car. A Philadelphia judge acquits a driver of vehicular manslaughter for running down his bike-riding romantic rival.

A North Carolina bike lawyer explains why it’s often safer to ride abreast.

 

International

Paris’ Velib bike share system has added kids bikes to their rental fleet.

German bike rider poses for photos atop wrecked cars.

The Deutschland high court wisely rules that not wearing a helmet is not contributory negligence in the event of a collision; I’m told some American juries are starting to find otherwise.

 

Finally…

Sidi unveils a new camo mountain bike shoe. You know, for all those cyclists who want to be even less visible when they ride. Then again, whenever I see someone wearing camo, I want to walk up to them and say “I can totally see you.”

And a Brit lawyer insists his client really is remorseful, despite saying “Shit happens, life goes on” after being convicted of killing a five-year old bike rider while driving at over twice the speed limit.

Big heart, that guy.

 

Three-foot passing law passes, along with bike lane exemption to CEQA; Jensie wins Colorado KoM

The state Assembly voted today to pass SB1461, the latest version of the state’s three-foot passing law.

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, the bill passed overwhelmingly, 50 – 16 — despite opposition from Republican legislators such as Diana Harkey of Dana Point, who insisted bicycling is getting out of control, and the responsibility for safety should be on cyclists.

As if it’s our responsibility to get the hell out of the way of dangerous drivers.

I hope Dana Point cyclists remember that when she comes up for reelection.

Then there was 59th District Assembley Member Tim Donnelly — yes, the guy who tried to take a loaded gun onto a plane — who asked if we couldn’t just trust the judgment of the California people and stop passing law after law.

Evidently, no one told him just who exactly elected the state legislature. And just what exactly they were elected to do.

Besides walk around with loaded pistols in their briefcases, that is.

The next step for the bill is a brief trip back to the Senate to reconcile a few technical amendments, then on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

Of course, this is the same Jerry Brown who vetoed a similar bill last year, joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only governors to veto safe passing distance legislation. And making Jerry Browned a synonym for getting dangerously buzzed by a too close driver.

No, seriously Jerry. You earned that one.

Word is that he intends to sign it this time, as virtually no one, other than a few sadly misguided legislators, opposed it this time.

On a related note, legislation to exempt painted bike lanes from CEQA review passed the state legislature today, as well.

This one could ultimately prove the more important of the two, as it removes a roadblock that has been used to block bike lane projects in San Francisco. And that has caused LADOT to proceed with extreme caution — and expensive environmental reviews — for fear the same thing could happen here.

Thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike for shepherding the three-foot bill through the legislature.

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In a thrilling finish, Christian Vande Velde comes from behind to clinch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge by finishing second in the final stage time trial won by cycling scion Taylor Phinney. George Hincapie wraps up his long and storied career at the end of the Denver time trial. And in an unanticipated victory guaranteed to warm the heart of any aging long time bike race fans, the ageless Jens Voigt wins the King of the Mountain title.

The Guardian asks if professional cycling really wants to clean up its act. Surprisingly, Alberto Contador has good things to say about former arch-rival Lance Armstrong, even as he struggles to make a comeback in the Vuelta. A mathematician dissects the wording of the charges against Armstrong, and finds them fully consistent with being false. The French anti-doping agency says Lance was regularly tipped off about pending drug tests; thanks to CLR Effect for the link. Former framebuilder Dave Moulton says Landis and LeMond got screwed as part of the doping scandal.

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Friends and family speculate Mt. Washington bike victim Jean Carlos Galaviz may have been a hit-and-run victim, despite drinking two beers before riding and leaving with a third; note to Highland Park Patch, getting doored or riding without a helmet is not the hallmark of a risk taker. If you missed it Saturday, you can still listen to Where to Bike Los Angeles authors Sarah Amelar and Jon Riddle on Bike Talk. Examined Spoke examines the city council’s backward bike thinking in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. The LACBC rides to the rescue when a film crew blocks a Hollywood bike lane. A 70-year old cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s hit by a bus in a Baldwin Park crosswalk. Evidently, Amanda Bynes really is the new Lindsey Lohan, as the City Attorney’s office re-examines her second hit-and-run in four months, along with a previous DUI. Glendale officials hope a revised bike plan results in a five-fold increase in ridership, while a Glendale Riverwalk project faces a one month delay. A Long Beach teenager chases down her stolen bike with the help of some strangers.

A former Santa Ana College student makes bike theft a family affair at her alma mater. Authorities seek a man who attempted to sexually assault a Murrieta cyclist. Paso Robles commits to becoming a bike friendly community. Seventeen-year old Concord driver pleads not guilty in deaths of a bike riding father and daughter; he faces less than four years in juvenile hall. Guilty plea from the driver who ran down a cyclist because he was wearing plaid — the cyclist, not the driver.

People for Bikes offers six ways to ride more; the most effective way is just get fired for riding when you should be working and you’ll have all the time in the world. A look at Evan Schneider, editor the bicycling literary review Boneshaker in my hometown. A road raging Michigan man is arrested for brutally assaulting a cyclist, but only charged with misdemeanor assault on just $5,000 bail; nice to know how lightly authorities take a violent attack on a bike rider. Gothamist effectively dismantles an anti-bike review of bike messenger movie Premium Rush. New York cyclists and pedestrians complain about a rough bikeway surface installed to slow down speeding riders. Suri Cruise is rapidly becoming one of us. A DC-area cyclist says it’s time to hold other cyclists accountable — besides him, that is. A Bethesda MD hit-and-run victim is unsure if she’ll ever ride again.

A Nova Scotia cyclist is threatened with a knife after getting hit by a road-raging driver. A UK cyclist is badly injured after he’s pushed off his bike by passing motorists. A one-handed Paralympic cyclist hopes to add to her seven gold medals. Urban cycling is getting more popular in Prague, though not without problems.

Finally, in a remarkably wrong-headed move, manufacturers of a new pill want to empower drunk drivers to kill more people by masking breathalyzer results.

13-year old girl critically injured in OC hit-and-run; Tour of California press conference in Beverly Hills

A 13-year old girl was critically injured in yet another Southern California hit-and-run when she was run down in a Santa Ana crosswalk on Monday.

She was riding north on Greenville Street when she was hit by a vehicle travelling west on Warner Avenue at 7 p.m. The jackass who hit her — and I use that term advisedly — kept going without making any attempt to stop, leaving it to bystanders to attempt to offer aid and comfort as she lay bleeding in the street.

Do I really need to mention what I think should be done if they ever catch the jerk?

Anyone with information is urge to contact the Santa Ana Police Traffic Division at (714) 245-8214.

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Actor Patrick Dempsey, and pro cyclists Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson will hit Beverly Hills Wednesday morning for a press conference for the Amgen Tour of California.

Do I really need to point out the irony the Westside’s least bike-friendly city — with not one inch of bikeway anywhere within the city limits — hosting the nation’s biggest professional race?

No, I didn’t think so.

But maybe Patrick, Dave and the gang will stop by tonight’s Bike Up! LA benefit for the California Bicycle Coalition while they’re in town.

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A road raging driver runs a young L.A. cyclist — and afterwards, says he’s glad he did.

In 1908.

Sad how some things never change.

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Roadblock asks what will it take to create safe streets in L.A. — and offers advice on how to ride safely in the meantime. LACBC’s highly successful City of Lights starts a youth program on the Eastside. Matthew Ruscigno explains how to travel fast and light on your next bike tour. Gary writes about exception bike writer and advocate Elly Blue. LADOT is testing surfaces for the Spring Street green bike lane to find one that will stick around for awhile. Better Bike looks at the laws governing cycling in California, and says you’ve got 30 days to convince the Westside COG to make it more ridable. Learn how to maintain your bike for just $10 in Santa Monica. An unnamed 22-year old Lancaster man is killed while riding without lights in Butte County.

A Santa Rosa runner suffers a broken skull when she turns in front of a passing cyclist who fled the scene; and yes, while it’s up to the runner to make sure the way is clear before turning around, a hit-and-run cyclist is every bit as much of a schmuck as a hit-and-run driver. A Santa Barbara cyclist wants to thank the people who came to her aid — and talk to the driver who failed to see her in the bike lane. Kern County could get a new bike master plan. An Orange County cyclist is awarded a $6 million settlement following a 2009 collision with a John Wayne Airport shuttle bus.

Engineering streets to improve health. Looking at Lance Armstrong as the fallen hero of a Greek tragedy. Biking non-profits are doing well despite the bad economy. An advice columnist explains why cyclists should ride with traffic. Las Vegas’ very own Gran Fondo will start on the Las Vegas Strip the day after Interbike, and offer a ride over the Hoover Dam. Organizers of a Denver century ride drop a requirement that riders reveal their income in order to register; gee, who could possibly object to that? Houston cyclists are being harassed by a man in a black Honda. A Philadelphia driver faces charges for running down a rider while high on drugs — the day after he was arrested following a three-car collision. Dave Moulton’s legendary Fuso frames are about to be born again.

The Telegraph’s London Editor says the vast majority of British cycle lanes are either totally pointless or actively dangerous, but the carnage claimed by some simply isn’t real; meanwhile, a writer for the Evening Standard says he gave up cycling because it was too dangerous — but blames other cyclists, as well as bad streets. A British father uses cycling to fight back from brain cancer; thanks to Ed Cable for the heads-up. London cyclists may get a jump on other traffic at red lights, while Paris cyclists get permission to go through red lights.; thanks to David Huntsman for the link. Odd math, as Alberto Contador is banned for two years but could be back racing by August, which seems somewhat less to me. New Japanese road markings tell bike riders where to go.

Finally, BMC phenom Taylor Phinney has a discussion with his body; evidently, the guy is as funny as he is fast. And I wish I had this T-shirt when I still lived in Colorado.

Is an anti-bike fraud being committed in your name?

As a rule, I make a point of not criticizing other bike advocates.

Even when we may disagree, we’re all working towards the same goals of improving safety and increasing ridership, even though our vision of how to achieve that may sometimes vary.

Though clearly, not everyone agrees with me on that.

But when that so-called advocacy runs counter to the interests, safety and desires of the overwhelming majority of California cyclists, I feel I have no choice but to speak up and point the finger.

Especially when it purports to be done in our name.

That’s exactly what happened this week when CABO — the California Association of Bicycling Organizations — successfully opposed AB 819, a bill in the state assembly that, in its original intent, would have allowed California counties and municipalities to implement advances in bicycling infrastructure that have been proven to work in other places.

Things like separated bike lanes, cycle tracks and bike boxes that have been proven to work in places like New York, Chicago and Portland, but are currently considered experimental under Caltrans’ antiquated guidelines.

In other words, why re-invent the wheel when we already know it works?

Unfortunately, CABO took the position that such innovations are still unproven and potentially dangerous — despite their inclusion in the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

And CABO successfully lobbied the State Assembly Transportation Committee to require that any bikeway designs considered nonstandard under Caltrans guidelines must be studied and approved by Caltrans before installation — potentially adding years of delays and needless additional costs to the design process.

Or risking denial by one of the most conservative, foot-dragging and anti-bike transportation agencies in the nation. After all, this is the same massive bureaucracy that, along with the CHP, successfully encouraged Governor Jerry Brown to become just the second state governor — along with current GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry — to veto the state’s three foot passing law.

Something else that CABO initially opposed, before later switching sides.

And earlier this week, the Transportation Committee voted to gut AB 819 by adopting CABO’s proposed wording.

Wheel, meet endless study and bureaucratic delays.

But, you may think, if the original wording of AB 819 was opposed by one of the state’s leading bike advocacy groups, they must have had a darn good reason.

Yeah, you’d think.

However, that presupposes something that just isn’t true. Despite their protestations to the contrary, CABO isn’t the state’s leading bike advocacy group. Or even one of the leading groups.

In fact, I suspect they are a fraud.

Their name may have been accurate when they were founded in 1972. But they have long since ceased to represent the state’s leading bicycling clubs and advocacy organizations.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is not a member of CABO, nor is Bikeside LA or the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, by far the state’s largest bike advocacy group. Fosuch as the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, the Orange County Bicycle Coalition and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition have left the organization, as have a number of other groups that have allowed their previous memberships to lapse.

Also missing from their membership are such prominent riding clubs such as Velo Club La Grange and former members Los Angeles Wheelmen.

No wonder the CABO doesn’t list the groups that support them on their website.

In fact, a list of active member organizations, as of November, 2010, named only 12 cycling groups as then-current members, as well as six individuals.

Short of contacting each of those clubs individually, there’s no way of knowing which remain members of CABO 14 months later. But it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the total number of cyclists they represent is less, perhaps far less, than that of the LACBC alone.

And it’s certainly significantly less than the number of cyclists represented by the California Bicycle Coalition (Calbike), which supports AB 819 in its original form. And which drew hundreds of riders from throughout the state to their recent California Bike Summit.

And that’s the problem.

Calbike conducted dozens of seminars over the Bike Summit weekend to gauge the interests of organizations and individuals representing tens of thousands of California cyclists. And the sort of innovative infrastructure that would be allowed under AB 819 in its original form ranked very high among their desires.

So while CABO’s opposition to AB 819 may or may not reflect the desires of its members, it’s far from the desires of most bike advocates in the state, as well as that of most mainstream cyclists.

Yet CABO continues to lobby state officials and legislators, purporting to speak on your behalf, while actively opposing your interests.

And those lawmakers and bureaucrats listen, having no idea that CABO actually speaks for just a fraction of the state’s cyclists — mostly the tiny minority of exclusively Vehicular Cyclists who actively oppose separate cycling infrastructure of any kind.

Let alone understand the conflict between Vehicular Cyclists and more mainstream riders, who may ride vehicularly when appropriate, but prefer effective infrastructure over sharing uncontrolled streets with dangerous motor vehicles.

I have no problem with CABO fighting for what they believe in — even when it goes against my own interests, as well as the majority of riders in the state.

But I do have a problem when they imply — if by name only — that their positions reflect anything other than the small number of riders they represent.

It’s time to speak up.

And tell your state representatives that CABO does not speak for you.

And you want AB 819 passed in its original form.

Update: Sam Ollinger of the excellent Bike SD contacted the Channel Islands Bicycle Club, which wrote back to say they are not, and never have been, members of CABO. Instead, they support the California Bicycle Coalition and the League of American Cyclists.

Also, Sam made a suggestion I should have thought of – contacting the members of the Transportation Committee directly to let them know that CABO does not speak for you, and ask them to reconsider their ill-advised changes to AB 819.

Update 2: Jim Parent, Chairman of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition — which I mistakenly referred to as the San Diego Bicycle Coalition — reports they are members of CABO, as well as the CBC. 

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I had promised that I would look at the startling stats behind last years Southern California bicycling fatalities this week, after remembering the names behind the numbers. But an usually heavy workload has kept me from being able to do that; I’ll try to get it in the coming days.

An open letter to California Governor Jerry Brown in support of SB 910, the 3feet2pass bill

Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing to urge you to sign SB 910 to require motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a person on a bicycle.

As a long-time bicyclist, I have ridden a bike on the streets and highways of California for nearly 25 years; over 130,000 miles by a conservative estimate. Yet there has not been one moment in all those miles that have I been free of the fear of being sideswiped or hit from behind by a driver attempting to pass too close, or being run off the road — intentionally or otherwise — by a driver interpreting the current requirement to pass at a safe distance as anything short of actual contact with a bike rider.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bike on our streets knows the dangers posed by being passed too closely. A rider can lose control after being startled to find a speeding car just inches away or swerve to get away from it; both can potentially result in serious, even fatal, accidents, without the vehicle ever coming in contact with the rider. Bike riders can be boxed in by passing cars and forced into parked cars, open doors or other objects, edged off the road or even knocked off their bikes by the slipstream of a large vehicle zooming past.

Serious collisions can also result when cyclists are forced to swerve to avoid potholes, broken glass or other obstacles in the road, only to find themselves in the path of an oncoming vehicle with potentially disastrous results.

At one time or another, all of those things have happened to me as I rode my bike in an otherwise safe and legal manner. It’s only through a combination of luck and the skills developed over a lifetime of bicycling that I am here today.

You have the power to take that danger away. By signing SB 910, you can ensure that California drivers understand just what a safe passing distance is when passing a bicyclist. And replace the current vague and misunderstood standard with one that is clear, easy to understand and enforceable, with no cost to the state.

I beg you to sign SB 910. My life, and the life of millions of California bicyclists, is in your hands.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers
bikinginla.com

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This is my letter.

Now the governor needs to hear from you.

There are powerful forces that oppose this commonsense legislation to make our streets safer for California cyclists. And it will take all of us joined together in support of SB 910, the 3feet2pass pass bill, to make sure he hears our voices.

You can write your own letter and email it to the California Bicycle Coalition to forward to the governor, or fax it to the governor’s office at 916/558-3177. Or simply go here and fill in your personal information to send a pre-formatted email containing all the key points, along with your personal comments, in just seconds.

Don’t wait.

Send your letter in support of SB 910 today. Now, in fact.

And make your voice heard for safer streets for all of us.

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One other quick note — I received the following announcement from Eric Weinstein about Friday’s Park(ing) Day:

Santa Monica is getting a new park. For Park(ing) day tomorrow ( Friday ) SPOKE is setting up a temporary park in front of Swingers cafe on Broadway where it intersects Lincoln. Starts at 9AM or so – come on by and park! More info: www.parkingday.org

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