Tag Archive for cars vs bikes

Traffic throttling bike net neutrality protest, Peter Flax interviewed on podcast, and when animals attack

Call it a brilliant metaphor for net neutrality.

Or maybe just another way to get drivers pissed off at people on bikes.

A video director protested the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality by deliberately throttling traffic.

Rob Bliss made his point by slowly riding his bicycle in front of lines of backed-up drivers outside the DC offices of the Federal Communications Commission.

Then giving drivers the opportunity to go around him.

For $5.

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Red Kite Prayer’s The Paceline Tandem podcast talks with LA bike scribe and beachfront bike commuter Peter Flax.

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Local

The Daily News asks what’s next for LA’s Vision Zero, after traffic deaths fell well short of the city’s goal of a 20% reduction by 2017. Then again, meeting that goal was never realistic, especially when the city didn’t even do anything until last year — then ripped out the lane reductions in Playa del Rey when drivers went berserk.

Speaking of Vision Zero, KPCC looks at the changes currently underway on Spring Street in DTLA, and how the improvements — including a left-side protected bike lane — could help cut traffic deaths. Especially if LA drivers and business owners start to realize a bike lane isn’t the end of the world, so they can go in more places.

A Burbank bike advocate is fighting the ban on bikes on the Mariposa Street over the LA River — and a citation for violating it — calling it unenforceable. It’s also ridiculous and unfair, put in place at the urging of equestrians who said bicyclists couldn’t be trusted to walk their bikes around horses.

 

State

Your next Bay Area Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels, for that matter.

A Marin columnist is back at it, complaining that sharing the road means drivers should get 100% of a new bridge at peak hours. And bike riders and pedestrians can have their own lane, but only once the people in cars are done with it.

 

National

Writing for CyclingTips, James Huang says maybe the bike industry would do a little better if it marketed itself based on how much fun road cycling is, rather than focusing on the joys of suffering.

Washington state is considering adopting the same ebike regulations that were pioneered in California.

A missing link in a Seattle bikeway receives environmental clearance, although opponents threaten to sue to stop it for the third time.

A Wyoming task force calls on the state to spend $10 million a year to create more walkable main streets, community pathways and rural bicycling routes in the sparsely populated state.

Bicycling offers six things you can learn from Fargo ND bicyclists who ride in sub-zero temperatures. Like maybe that even the worst LA winters aren’t so bad.

No, a New Orleans pedestrian wasn’t robbed by a group of cyclists; he was robbed by a group of teenagers who happened to be riding bicycles.

 

International

One more trip to add to your bicycle bucket list — bicycling the volcanic craters and tropical forests of the Azores. Unless maybe you’d rather ride through the French Alps.

A letter writer in the Guardian says riding an ebike isn’t cheating.

A Bristol, England newspaper begs to differ with a city councilor who says replacing a footbridge with a bike crossing is “a scandalous waste of public money” and “pandering to the cycling lobby.”

The war on bikes goes on, as a road raging British driver nearly runs a bike rider off the road, then blocks his way by driving in slow motion.

Nearly 200 bike riders were injured on Edinburg tram tracks in a seven year period; authorities say many never got back on their bikes again.

Aussie bike riders are urged to use bike cams to record dangerous drivers, though a motoring group says it’s likely to inflame tensions. Actually, it’s a good idea for everyone, regardless of where you ride; I use a helmet cam every time I ride in traffic. And no, it’s never enraged anyone, though it has caused a few angry drivers to back down once they realized they were on candid camera.

Brisbane, Australia considers a trial suspension of the city’s mandatory bike helmet law for the city’s bikeshare system. Although one city councilmember says he’d rather have separated bike lanes to get riders out of the way of cars and pedestrians.

An Australian driver claims it’s not his fault he killed a bike rider because he was totally zoned out behind the wheel, and doesn’t remember hitting anyone, possibly because of his diabetes or sleep apnea or something. Sure, let’s go with that.

A Kiwi bike rider is knocked off his bike braving the waves along a beachside street during a king tide.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twelve cyclists competing in the Tour of Costa Rica have tested positive for EPO, including the race winner. But sure, the era of doping is over, right? 

Retired pro cyclist Thomas Voeckler says it wouldn’t surprise him if Lance had motor doped. And he’s sure other cyclists did in the past, but that new tests have stamped it out. Just like they’ve put an end to every other form of cheating.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride on the handlebars all by yourself. Apparently, crashing your bike into a car can lead to a career in fashion.

And evidently, kangaroos aren’t the only animals that have it out for us. Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Serious sentence for a serious crime, memorial for 9-year old victim, and blame drivers, not bikes

They continue to take traffic crime seriously in Orange County.

An unlicensed drunk driver got 18 years — yes, years, not months — for fleeing the scene after killing an elderly woman and injuring her blind grandson as they stood in a Santa Ana bike lane to observe fireworks on the 4th of July in 2013.

When she was arrested two hours later, Kelly Michele Wolfe had a blood alcohol level of .31, nearly four times the legal limit.

Now she’s going to have a very long time to sober up.

Maybe someone should tell the LA DA this is what can happen when you don’t bargain away all the serious charges.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

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Hundreds of mourners turned out on Sunday to remember the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike in Irvine on Sunday.

He was a recent Chinese immigrant whose parents had come here looking for a better life.

Instead, they lost a son to this country’s deadly streets.

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Great piece from Boyonabike, who says we should “tell car companies to take cynical marketing gimmicks like ‘Volvo Life Paint’ and shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

Because, he says, the real problem is dangerous and distracted drivers, a lack of safe infrastructure, and a “car culture that sells cars on TV by overt appeals to fantasies of speed and danger”

Seriously, read it, already.

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Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins examines the investment priorities for a proposed transportation ballet measure.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan says bikeshare has the potential to revolutionize transit in Los Angeles if anyone actually uses it, while a writer for the Los Angeles News Group questions if people will pay $3.50 a trip to ride a bike.

Western Avenue in Palos Verdes could trade street parking for buffered bike lanes; for a change, the primary concern of local residents isn’t over the loss of parking spaces.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg offers advice on how to winterize your riding to prepare for El Niño and what passes for winter in the City of Angels.

Santa Clarita wants your opinion on the city’s off-street biking trails.

People for Bikes looks at Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

 

State

A San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision after allegedly bicycling under the influence; no word on why police think he’d been drinking.

San Francisco completes its 24th Vision Zero bike and pedestrian safety project three months ahead of schedule. Which puts it about 23 ahead of LA.

 

National

Great news from Arizona, as former US Representative Gabby Giffords takes her recumbent on a 40 mile ride less than five years after her near-fatal shooting.

Evidently, a Colorado letter writer really hates bike lanes; he condemns any government official who puts more than 20 cents into bike lane construction to suffer an eternity of spilling hot coffee in their laps while driving.

A Colorado mountain biker relates the frightening story of how he got lost for nearly two days after falling into a river during a recent Costa Rican race.

A discussion of installing crosstown bike lanes in New York’s Upper East Side draws little opposition, even if one community board member says bicyclists’ lawlessness has resulted in a “complete and total Armageddon.” Not to exaggerate or anything.

A Philadelphia magazine explores the challenges of being African American in white suburbia, including a troubling story of black teenagers just out for a bike ride.

The World Championships didn’t turn out to be the financial windfall for the Richmond area that had been promised.

 

International

London’s Cycling Commissioner says banning large trucks during rush hour won’t save as many lives as making trucks safer and building protected bike lanes. He also called a reporter a liar over claims bike riders weren’t using one of the city’s new cycle superhighways.

London plans to close a busy and dangerous junction in the heart of the city to motor vehicles for at least five years to improve safety and “all round congeniality,” while making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

A UK publication says leave the car at home if you don’t want to die young.

Two Brit bike thieves have been jailed for a long running con; they’d leave a laptop bag as security for taking a bike for a test ride, which turned out to hold nothing but books when they didn’t return. They’d gotten away with 23 bikes worth $93,000 before they were caught.

A British woman is left with a broken hip after a collision with a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. But if he just rode off without stopping, how do they know he had a foreign accent?

Forty Americans biked the length of Israel to show support for the Israeli military.

An 18-year old South African man designed and built his own very cool custom bike from scratch.

An Aussie website says it may be time to rethink the country’s bike helmet requirement.

A Kiwi earthmoving company has installed cameras with a dashboard monitor in their trucks to eliminate blind spots that put cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

A five-year old Chinese boy is able to ride his bike again after getting a 3D-printed hand.

Japanese police are looking for a man who smacked a woman in the head with a blunt object after her clothes somehow got caught in his bike when he rode up behind her.

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s okay to steal a bike from a celebrity restaurant as long as you’re a hunk with washboard abs. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, wearing a cycling cap sets the right stylistic tone.

And who says beautiful bikes don’t grow on trees?

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Thanks to Wes High and Matthew Robertson for their donations to support this site. Thanks to their generosity, the first ever Biking in LA Holiday Fund Drive is now up to, uh, three contributions!

Weekend Links: Bikes vs Cars, weekend events, a dangerous intersection and good news from Newport Beach

You really don’t want to drive to see Bikes vs Cars, do you?

The documentary is screening in a free outdoor showing Sunday night at the Bowtie Project as part of the Ambulante Film Festival.

There will be a free bike valet, and at least three feeder rides, starting from North Hollywood, Exposition Park/USC, Glendale and El Sereno Parkett.

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A few other notable events this weekend.

The SoCalCross Prestige Series: SCOS2 Krosstoberfest cyclocross races roll in Long Beach’s El Dorado Park today.

Update: Bike SGV is hosting a free, family-friendly Ride to the Twenties Festival at the Workman Homestead Museum Saturday afternoon. My apologies for not mentioning this earlier.

The LACBC’s Sunday Funday Ride rolls through Pasadena this Sunday.

Metro’s Rideshare Week starts Sunday.

And on the 10th, women are invited to join Hrach and the Velo Studio crew for a gentle road ride through Griffith Park.

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Margaret Wehbi sends word of a dangerous intersection at 135th St and La Cienega Blvd in the Wiseburn section of unincorporated LA County, near Hawthorne, where a young girl was hit by a car while riding to school.

She adds that the person who posted the notice dictated her comments, and apologized for the errors.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at September 30, 2015 15.25.00

Apparently, the girl suffered a broken growth plate, and will be in a sling for awhile. And both she and her mother have been traumatized by the incident.

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Good news from Newport Beach, as a 14-year old girl who was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding her bike has made a full recovery.

Meanwhile, the driver turned himself in, and could face up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $10,000.

Although I always question whether hit-and-run drivers who come forward a day or two later just gave themselves enough time to sober up.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

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A writer for Sky News celebrates Peter Sagan’s victory at the world’s last week, saying the people’s champion is now the world champion.

World cyclocross champ Mathieu van der Poel is out for the foreseeable future after surgery for a knee injury suffered in an August crash.

And a car racing tour steals a page from bike racing’s book by introducing a team time trial.

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Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot calls for traffic mitigation to protect the safety of bicyclists during the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd.

A letter writer in the Times says while 11-year old Matty Grossman wants a safe place to ride his bike, her son can’t walk home from school because of the cut-through traffic caused by the Rowena road diet.

LADOT Bike Blog looks at the new California laws to establish traffic diversion schools for bicyclists and a hit-and-run yellow alert system.

Caught on video: CiclaValley watches the owner of H & S bike shops climb the Hollywood Hills wheelie well.

Campus police bust a bike thief at Cal State Northridge on Friday.

Santa Monica’s new Breeze bikeshare system is still on track for a November rollout; the initial test system has proved popular enough that it will be extended past the planned October 1st end date.

Any Hermosa Beach city council candidate who poses for a campaign photo on a fat tire beach bike can’t be all bad.

Get your resume ready. Bike-friendly Long Beach is looking for an assistant city traffic engineer.

 

State

A writer for the Contra Costa Times says too much blood of bicyclists has been spilled on Mt. Diablo. Apparently, drivers have to receive a verbal warning because they don’t have enough sense not to pass on blind curves.

A Palo Alto road diet has won over the city’s skeptics, and will be made permanent after a successful trial phase. Installing road diets on streets like Rowena and North Figueroa on a trial basis could help overcome opposition here, while identifying issues that need to be addressed.

Modesto will conduct a year-long, nearly $300,000 traffic safety campaign, including a focus on bike and pedestrian safety.

 

National

Census data shows bike commuting continues to rise across the US as city’s build more bikeways; Los Angeles is up to 1.3%. However, census data dramatically undercounts the number of transportation cyclists, since it doesn’t include multi-modal commuters who bike part way or people who bike to shop or other destinations.

Talk about a miraculous recovery. A Wisconsin woman turned up at a police station to ask for her bike back after she had been declared brain dead and sent to another hospital as an organ donor.

A Minnesota writer rides with a bike messenger and learns being late is the cardinal sin of the business, even if that means getting back on your bike with a broken hand after flying over the car that cut you off.

Battle Creek MI police conclude no one was at fault for the wreck that killed a cyclist. Except for whoever was responsible for maintaining the crumbling asphalt that caused him to fall in front of a 15-year old driver.

A Harlem bicyclist sues UPS for repeatedly parking in the bike lanes. The same suit could be filed over delivery trucks blocking the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente in Santa Monica.

A 25-year old New York teacher who worked with disadvantaged children is honored as a Hometown Hero in Education; sadly, the award came two months after he was killed while riding cross country to raise money for the charity Bike and Build.

A New York writer says NYC cyclists might not have Boulder CO’s 300 miles of off-road pathways, but they enjoy the excitement of riding in the city. And instead of signs warning about puma attacks, they might have to dodge a rat or two.

City Lab looks at the benefits of slower traffic as measured in terms of both money and lives; a New Jersey road diet penciled out at a net benefit of between $2.6 million and $37 million over the 20-year lifespan of the project.

Maybe someone’s trying to tell them something. After a 7,000 rider strong charity ride was pushed back by the papal visit, it’s cancelled after heavy rains and fears of Hurricane Joaquin result in a state of emergency.

Nice. A Pennsylvania sheriff is placing signs reminding drivers of the state’s four-foot passing law on popular bicycling routes.

 

International

Not every cyclist wants a carb-burning workout; a new Brit route planner currently under development promises to get you to your destination with the least amount of effort.

Now you, too, can ride the same bikes that carried the Royal Mail, albeit in a more elephant friendly hue.

Belfast will hold its first ciclovía on Sunday.

The husband of a fallen Dubai cyclist and elephant polo champ leads her former teammates in climbing 100 French passes in 10 days in her honor.

In the latest example of wealthy Arabs behaving badly, a Mercedes driver is wanted in his native United Arab Emirates for a massive, choke-inducing burnout after arguing with a London cyclist.

 

Finally…

It’s never too soon to learn the ABCs of bicycling. Who needs an e-bike when your dogs can do all the work for you?

And the next time you rob a gas station, try using a mask instead of a trash bag over your head before making your escape by bike.

 

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