Tag Archive for California climate change goals

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

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No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

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A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

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Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

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There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

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Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

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The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

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Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

Morning Links: CA needs big bike boost to meet climate goals, screw the Rules, and riding on glass through NYC

It’s election day. Get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already.

And if you haven’t made a final decision in where to put your X, check out the voting guide from Bike the Vote LA.

I’m voting no on Measure S and yes on H. And wishing I was in CD1 to vote for Joe Bray-Ali, or still in CD5 to vote for Jesse Creed.

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California will require a nine-fold increase in the rate of bike ridership, along with dramatic increases in walking and transit use, to meet the state’s 2030 climate change according to the LA Times.

Not to mention a corresponding decrease in driving rates, and an increase in density — which would be blocked if Measure S passes.

But it will take more than denser neighborhoods to get people out on their bikes.

Like a real commitment to building out the bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets contained in the Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035. A commitment we’ve yet to see from our certain to be re-elected mayor or the city’s Department of Transportation.

And one that will have to be replicated in cities and towns up and down the state.

Not to mention a genuine commitment to LA’s Vision Zero Plan, which the people in charge of implementing it still see as “aspirational.”

That suggests they’re not willing to make the tough choices necessary to actually end traffic deaths, but will gladly settle for merely reducing them.

Which means people may still not feel safe on the streets unless they’re wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass. And as long as they don’t feel safe, those lofty bike and walking goals won’t be met in the next 13 years.

Or maybe ever.

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Another great piece from former Bicycling editor in chief and current Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax, who says the Velominati’s Rules were funny at first, but it’s time to give them a rest.

Seriously. Just get out on your bike and ride. Everything else is just details. And if someone else doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, this may be the coolest video you’ll see all day. Or maybe all week.

Bored New Yorker magazine illustrator Christoph Niemann sketched a simple illustration of a bike rider on the inside of a car window as he rode in the backseat. And filmed it as the rider appears to magically come to life, riding alongside as they travel through the city.

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More news from around the world about the Para-cycling Track World Championships that took place in our own backyard. But which no one seems to know about, since the local news media hasn’t bothered to mention it.

The US won its first-ever gold in the men’s team sprint event as the meet came to a close, with American Joseph Berenyi claiming double gold in the sprint and scratch C1-C2-C3 events.

Britain dominated day three with six medals, including a sweep of the tandem time trial; Brit rider Jon Gildea won two golds and a silver.

Slovak cyclist Jozef Metelka defended his title in the individual time trial.

And after so much bad news from Malaysia lately, it’s nice to see the country’s athletes shine in LA, taking bronze in the 200 meter sprint.

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The US and the UK are finalizing plans for an every-other-year Olympic-style competition involving a half-dozen sports, including cycling; the first could take place in 2019.

After months of accusations of sexism and doping, Britain’s governing body for cycling has chosen a female soccer executive to head the organization.

Cycling Weekly hunts for the truth about the prevalence of asthma in the peloton, and the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.

You should be able to see the inaugural four-day Colorado Classic bike race, as NBC Sports has agreed to broadcast it and stream it live online.

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Local

KPCC reports on plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in DTLA. The streets will eventually get concrete islands and curbs to protect riders and pedestrians at intersections.

The Source offers great photos of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley. Streetsblog reports on the event and solicits comments from readers who attended it.

 

State

Helmet cam video from the Santa Ana River trail shows it’s becoming a homeless encampment for several hundred people, potentially putting riders at risk. This is a lose/lose for everyone involved. A bike path should be safe for the people who use it. And everyone should have the right to have a roof over their heads, something Measure H will help accomplish in LA County.

San Francisco’s bike coalition object to the sudden removal of protected bike lanes from plans to improve safety on Upper Market Street. Maybe city officials want to improve safety, just not that much.

The San Francisco Weekly questions whether a proposal to put an end to bike chop shops in the city targets the most vulnerable. So, they’re saying stealing bikes is okay if you’re poor?

A Berkeley ghost bike memorializes a 78-year old man who had been riding in the city since he was a child.

 

National

Popular Mechanics says gravel cycling is terrifying — and exhilarating.

Legislation was introduced by California Representative Tom McClintock that would end the blanket ban on bicycles in federal Wilderness areas. Since it’s sponsored by a Republican, it might actually have a chance of passing in the current GOP dominated Congress.

The official report has been released into the death of a Montana Forest Service officer who was mauled by a grizzly bear, after crashing his mountain bike into it while rounding a blind curve at high speed.

Billings MT is struggling to find a way to pay for the city’s bike and pedestrian plan as federal funding dries up.

Austin TX has embarked on a three-year plan to reduce traffic congestion by doubling the number of people on bikes.

Muhammad Ali started boxing after his bike was stolen in Louisville KY; if he was still around this summer, he could just take the city’s new bikeshare, instead.

Bike Portland looks at day one of the first National Bike Summit of the Trump era.

 

International

Good news and bad news when it comes to the effects of bicycling on your sex life.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Carlos Vives and Shakira say their song La Bicicleta wasn’t copied from a Cuban singer.

Winnipeg officially decides it’s up to you whether or not to wear a helmet.

Bizarre tragedy from great Britain, where a bike rider died days after suffering a broken leg when he fell on a descent.

A British driver gets eight months for a “catastrophic error of judgment” for passing a bicyclist at the wrong time, even though the rider was wearing more hi-viz clothing than is “normally necessary.” So just how much is necessary?

Odd posters of a faceless boy on a balance bike have got residents of an English town talking.

Berlin is the latest city to plan a network of bicycle superhighways. You’ll note that Los Angeles is not rushing to join them.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to fuck someone in the bushes, get off your bike first — and maybe don’t do it in full view of a passing bus. If you’re going to steal a bike, promising to return it later probably isn’t going to work.

And no, sneaking your gun past airport security hidden in your bicycle probably isn’t the smarted move, either.

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help support this site. And a special thanks to Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for another year.

 

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