Tag Archive for CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino

Morning Links: Cooler heads in the e-scooters debate, improving MyFig, and parking in a protected bike lane

Here are a couple of the smartest takes on the great e-scooters debate I’ve seen yet.

LA’s own CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino penned a great Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Daily News, in which he pointed out the real problem on our streets.

And it ain’t scooters.

Most of those concerned cited safety as their primary issue with dockless scooters- they disrupt traffic when ridden in traffic lanes, cause conflict when taken on the sidewalk by scofflaw riders, and cause accessibility issues when parked in all kinds of inappropriate places.

I understand these sentiments, because I see all the same issues on our streets and sidewalks — with cars. Cars clog our streets everyday in traffic jams which are only made worse when collisions occur. I see cars parked on the sidewalk and on front lawns all the time.

The worst part about cars is the manner in whic*h people are severely injured or even killed due to vehicle collisions. This isn’t some abstract problem — we have good hard evidence that children in America are twice as likely to die in traffic collisions relative to other affluent nations. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children ages 2-14 in Los Angeles.

So while I get the concern for safety on scooters, it strikes me as misplaced to blame the scooters rather than the 4,000-pound steel machines that are actually hurting people.

It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing. And maybe remembering his name when Eric Garcetti is termed out as mayor in 2022.

In another great take, a writer for a governing website says cars cause all the same problems that people complain about e-scooters causing, but scooters don’t pose a risk to others. And smart planners will make room for them.

An Oakland panel discussion tackles the topic of e-scooters, saying they pose the potential to divert drivers for short trips up to three miles, and could be the key to getting safe bike lanes.

And an Op-Ed in the LA Times says let tech solve the problem of e-scooters.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the Bird website.

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As we’ve mentioned a few times, the long-delayed MyFigueroa project is finally getting an official unveiling on Thursday, after nearly a decade of planning and too many compromises.

Which have left some people ecstatic over the new protected bikeway, and others wondering why the city even bothered.

Fortunately, the LACBC and other bike advocates have made progress in addressing those complaints directly with LADOT.

Here’s what Michael MacDonald of Bike the Vote LA had to say.

We’ve been working behind the scenes in dialog with our local representatives and LADOT about the concerns that many have communicated in this group and on Twitter. We still have work to do, but we’ve made some significant progress that I wanted to share.

Most notably, those of you who visit 7th and Figueroa should find that the ‘beg buttons’ are gone. There are still pedestrian buttons at this intersection, but they aren’t mandatory in order to receive a green walk signal. Similarly, by Thursday the bike signals at Olympic and 9th St should default to a green light on every signal cycle.

We’re hoping to continue to make some progress on the signal design, illegal parking in the bike lane, and improving the look and feel of bike infrastructure to be something that people of all ages and abilities can use comfortably.

If you care about this project — and I believe all in this group do — I would encourage you to attend the opening event on Thursday morning.

Hope to see you there.

 

And this is how LADOT responded to the complaints, in addition to offering a detailed explanation of what was done and why.

Based on community comments, LADOT has made these adjustments to MyFigueroa:

  • Added bollards in areas where the bike lanes are generally unprotected and do not operate with bicycle signals, and for more physical separation and to discourage vehicles from stopping in the bike lane to load or unload or to park illegally
  • Allowed for better signal progression and reduced travel time for bicyclists by adjusting signal timing and instituting rest-in-red for the bicycle and right turn signal indicators
  • Extended the MyFig project north to facilitate a continuous protected northbound bike lane from 11th Street to Wilshire Boulevard (bike lane previously became unprotected at 8th Street and terminated at 7th Street) to allow for a more robust connection to bike lanes on 7th Street and the bike lane on Figueroa Street which continues to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue/Sunset Boulevard

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Richard Rosenthal forwards word that Long Beach has installed a much needed parking-protected bike lane on Bellflower Blvd.

But not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

Although you’d think the bike symbol right behind his car might have been a clue.

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CicLAvia is holding a meeting to discuss the next event on September 30th, which will end in my figurative backyard.

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LAPD Sgt. Helper has more than lived up to his name, going out of his way to help LA’s bicycling community.

Now it’s our turn to repay him.

A bike cop and bicyclist himself, Helper is raising funds to ride in next year’s Police Unity Tour to honor fallen officers and raise funds for a National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.

In other words, a good guy riding his bike to raise funds for a great cause. If that doesn’t make you open your wallet and make a donation, I don’t know what will.

And yes, I may be broke these days. But I still managed to scrape a little together to help him out.

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Local

Now it makes a more sense. Yesterday we linked to a story saying the Gabriel National Recreation Trail was reopening this weekend thanks to the efforts of volunteers. But make that the popular Gabrielino Trail singletrack path through the Angeles National Forest.

TMZ reports actress Maura Tierney appeared to be okay a day after she was hit by a driver while riding in the Washington Blvd bike lane in Marina del Rey, as a paparazzo catches her walking gingerly near her home. Just be glad you don’t have photographers waiting in the bushes outside your door after your next crash.

Bellflower is looking for input as they develop a new active transportation plan. Thanks to Bike SGV for the link.

 

State

No news is good news. Right?

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a Utah endurance cyclist was the victim of a jerk in a truck rolling coal — and they have a photograph to prove it. But the state police apparently don’t give a damn.

This is who we share the roads with. A Colorado Springs CO news team was lucky to survive when they were nearly run down by a driver while reporting live from a crime scene — even though they were standing in a bike lane. Or maybe because they were in a bike lane. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A Fargo ND city commissioner calls for raising bicycle traffic tickets from $5 to $20, saying traffic infractions committed on a bike should be treated the same as those committed in a motor vehicle. Because bikes pose just as much risk to others as cars and SUVs, right? And if they’re charging drivers just $20, something is seriously wrong. 

A San Antonio company is offering ebike conversion kits to transform your ride into an up to 30 mph speedster for a mere $800 to $1,200.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Indiana man got a gentle caress on the wrist for running down a bike rider while high on methadone, leaving his victim seriously injured. Somehow, the judge was convinced to allow him to serve the paltry one year sentence at home, despite two prior convictions.

The NYPD is targeting delivery riders for using illegal throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than ticketing the companies they work for — even though the law clearly says the employer is responsible.

The New York driver who left a car parked in a bike lane with a note saying it predated the lane explained himself, saying the bike lane was painted around the car two days after he left on a weeklong vacation.

You’ve got to be kidding. A DC police spokesperson calls dead pedestrians lazy for getting killed by drivers, and the unquestioning local ABC affiliate runs with the demonstrably false story.

 

International

Vox talks with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, the couple behind Vancouver’s Modacity, and authors of Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality.

Nova Scotia businesses are discovering the benefits of catering to bike tourists.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Mobike is bringing their new ebikes to the streets of London to offer “sweat-free cycling.”

It’s happened again. A London bicyclist fled the scene after critically injuring a woman in a collision as she was crossing the street; police found his abandoned bike a mile away. Just to be clear, people on bikes, scooters, skateboards or anything else have just as much responsibility to remain at the scene and help a victim as drivers do, but too often don’t. So just stop already.

A British HuffPo writer says you shouldn’t listen to pro cyclists about the helmet debate, noting that bicycling is safer than walking.

Now that’s how you make a point. Two weeks after the Lord Mayor of Dublin was caught parking his official car in a bike lane, Irish bicyclists gave him a new bike so he can use the lane legally next time.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 97-year old Dutchman rides his bike to old folks homes to play piano five days a week. Of course, that means I’d have to learn to play one.

It was a dark and stormy night. A bike tour in a Mumbai suburb gives riders a thrill with scary stories as they travel the city on two wheels.

A New Zealand city see sharrows as the bicycling solution to narrow streets and parked cars.

Caught on video: A New Zealand security camera captured a bike-riding boy getting hit by a van driver; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured. As always with videos like this, be sure it’s really something you want to see before you click the link, because you can’t unsee it.

Caught on video too: A pair of helmet-less bicyclists ride through an Aussie freeway tunnel on bikeshare bikes, apparently changing their mind halfway through and jumping on a ledge before transportation workers pick them up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time national road champ Megan Guarnier announced her retirement from pro cycling after next month’s world championships. Her eleven-year career included wins in the Giro Rosa, Tour of California and Emakumeen Saria, as well as this year’s Women’s Tour de Yorkshire; she’s leaving to pursue an MD/PhD in neuroscience.

Screw spoilers. Popular American cyclist Ben King made his mark on the Vuelta, winning Tuesday’s stage in a sprint to the finish after what ended up as a two-man breakaway.

The folding of the Aqua Blue Sport Continental cycling team means there’s now another 15 riders and support staff looking for work.

Former Jelly Belly and US team member Corey Steinbrecher says he’s glad he raced clean; he’s now a resident at a Tennessee hospital after graduating medical school.

 

Finally…

At least we don’t have to dodge tigers. Maybe there’s an explanation for LA drivers after all.

And why did the chicken cross the road? Apparently to creep out and harass kids on the way to school.

Morning Links: Council splits on speed for scooters, cabs banned from bike lanes, and 10 years for Oceanside driver

The city council’s Public Works Committee recommended that e-scooters be allowed on LA streets with their current top speed of 15 mph, rather than the 12 mph limit recommended by the Transportation Committee.

The full city council will now have to make the final decision.

The committee also approved a lengthy laundry list of other proposed scooter requirements, while leaving the door open for other providers to step in, in addition to the current Bird and Lime.

You can thank bike-friendly Joe Buscaino if the higher speed limit gets approved.

https://twitter.com/JoeBuscaino/status/1029859925218930688

Today’s photo reflects a more subtle form of vandalism, spotted on the streets of Hollywood.

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As long as we’re talking about scooters, we might as well keep going.

The Santa Monica Daily Press looks at Tuesday’s demonstration at SaMo City Hall in support of Lime and Bird scooters, and finds somewhat underwhelming. Although the 20,000 or so form emails city leaders received were just the opposite.

Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole reminds us that even though the process for legalizing scooters hasn’t been easy, few remember how the first motor cars turned cities upside down.

Streetsblog says the hyperventilating stories about scooters have been blown out of proportion, because the rollout is going well in most places.

And an Atlanta doctor gives a e-scooters a negative review, calling them dangerous to people on and off them, and recommends giving them the boot.

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The Los Angeles Taxi Commission has officially barred cab drivers from parking or waiting in bike lanes for any reason, other than to pick up or drop off handicapped passengers.

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The stoned driver who killed 70-year old endurance cyclist Paul Cornish in an Oceanside bike lane last year will spend 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Twenty-six-year old Felix Ruiz Bazan was high on meth, and driving a stolen car without a license when he ran down Cornish, who once set the record for fastest crossing of the continental US by bicycle.

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While we’re at it, let’s catch up on a few other updates on more recent crashes.

A young father of two has been identified as the victim of Monday’s collision in Bellflower; Timothy Maurice Lewis was allegedly riding against traffic when he was struck and killed. A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay his funeral expenses.

A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for funeral expenses for Apolinar Venancio; the popular Glassell Park resident known as Don Polo was killed while riding his bike last week.

And the road cyclist killed in East San Diego County earlier this month has been identified as 61-year old Daniel Lusteg of La Mesa.

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Forget the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. Security video shows a British bike thief making off with one in about four.

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Local

Curbed suggests five ways to make isolated Dodger stadium more accessible that aren’t Boring, including improving bikeways and making Vin Scully Ave a pedestrianized street.

The Morning Ride Cycle Club presents photos from last weekend’s LA Handmade Bicycle Show.

Santa Monica-based Bird has established a global safety advisory board to help improve safety for e-scooter users — and presumably, those around them.

A Malibu program teaches kids how to be safe on PCH, where even adult bicyclists take their chances with drivers distracted by topless selfie takers.

 

State

Seriously, what’s the point of doing a story about a San Luis Obispo bike show if you’re not going to include photos?

The JUMP dockless e-bikeshare has been a success in Santa Cruz.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 65-year old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in the city’s Tenderloin district; the driver was later arrested on DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

San Francisco unveils plans for a protected bike lane along the Embarcadero, where a pedicab operator was killed earlier this year.

Richmond’s mayor and at least one councilmember decry the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari “Naj” Smith in neighboring Oakland for apparently Biking While Black.

 

National

No, the problem isn’t that self-driving cars can’t spot humans, on two wheels or two feet. It’s that human beings are too unpredictable. So autonomous car makers want to make us follow the rules, or else.

Strong Towns makes the case for why drivers should support bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five scientific reasons why riding a bike is the best way to get around. And why you get addicted to bicycling social media, and what to do about it.

Portland’s master bike thief is at it again, getting 25 months in prison for violating his probation with his 80th arrest in 20 years of stealing bicycles. Yes, eighty.

Reddit solved a Washington hit-and-run, as an online discussion helped identify a tiny part left behind by the driver who killed a bicycling grandmother.

The Seattle Times recommends adding a ferry to your rides.

If you have a little extra cash lying around — preferably in pounds — consider investing in a documentary about a 75-year old man’s attempt to break the record for a human powered vehicle at Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Three hundred fifty bike riders turned out for a 350-mile ride around the Yellowstone region.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a speeding, allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider got seven years behind bars — but will probably only serve four months.

Illinois will now teach the Dutch Reach to all student drivers, as well as adding a question about it on the driver’s test to help reduce dooring.

Minneapolis is preparing to take the middle ground between docked and dockless bikeshare, while providing marked parking spaces for the latter.

A local paper talks with Massachusetts custom bikemaker Alex Meade, who took over an old factory for his business.

A Gettysburg PA bike rider explains for motorists why we do the things we do.

 

International

Fifteen cities around the world are fighting air pollution by curbing the use of cars. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A story in Outside tells how bikepacker Kate Harris saw more than Marco Polo ever did. On the other hand, no one’s ever played “Kate Harris” in the swimming pool.

Cycling Tips‘ Angry Asian says enough with the ebike hate. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a damn good rant, and damn well worth reading.

Can’t decide whether to buy a roadie, commuter or mountain bike? Then just get all three in one. Or maybe you’re tired of riding everywhere and want to go un-carfree.

A crowdfunding campaign for the five Edmonton, Canada bicyclists injured by a driver who couldn’t manage to see two lines of riders directly in front of her has raised over $10,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Forget whether it’s safer for Edmonton bicyclists to ride single file or two abreast; real safety requires separated bike lanes.

Winnipeg bans right turns on red lights to protect bike riders and pedestrians. But only in one district.

A Toronto city counselor and a Vision Zero advocate debate how to make the streets safer. Hint: Don’t do it the first guy’s way.

A Toronto man walked away from his MBA and law degree to co-found titanium bikemaker No. 22.

A Guardian writer goes fat biking on the beach.

Talk about blaming the victim. London’s Daily Mail urges the UK government to crack down on Ofo’s yellow dockless bikeshare bikes because people are vandalizing them and dumping them in lakes and trees. Because God knows, they wouldn’t want to go after the vandals who are destroying them or anything.

Not even people a heartbeat away from royalty are safe on the streets, as the Queen’s personal homeopath was killed in a crash while riding his bike just seconds from the hospital where he works.

Oxford, England shut down its docked bikeshare in the face of competition from dockless bikeshares.

A British man is riding 211 miles on his daughter’s little pink bicycle to raise money in her memory, after she died of a brain tumor at age seven.

The Chicago Tribune asks if Tajikistan is safe for American tourists after terrorists killed four bike tourists, including an American couple. And no, they weren’t trying to make a point by riding through ISIS-controlled territory — and no, they weren’t naive to try.

An Indian website talks with bike clubs across the country to take the temperature of India’s bike scene.

An Aussie website explains how riding two abreast improves safety. And why it’s good for drivers, too.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a judge tells a driver who smashed into a bike rider that driving with a windshield so frosted over he couldn’t see where he was going was a mistake anyone could make.

Forget a custom bike. What you really need are custom Kiwi bike shoes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The four-day Colorado Classic bike race kicked off on Thursday, as women cyclists wonder what they have to do to get a little attention, and one rider asks who you’d rather see in spandex. Good point.

Chris Froome and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas will skip the Vuelta in favor of the Tour of Britain.

Ritchie Porte will ride for redemption at the Vuelta and the World Championships.

A New York cyclist got tired of bike races. So he created his own.

A 20-year old Israeli cycling champ was killed in a left cross when a turning driver cut her off.

A writer for VeloNews says Donald Trump’s alleged Russian connections date back to his sponsorship of the Tour de Trump bike race in the 1980s.

 

Finally…

Yes, you’re invited to ride on a new highway before it opens — just don’t bring your own bike. If you name your company Cycling Porn, don’t be surprised when it gets blocked on social media.

And your next bike helmet could text for help if you crash.

Note: We originally ended with a police report that turned out to be a hoax. Thanks to Sam for the correction.

 

 

Morning Links: LimeBikes dockless bikeshare lands in LA, and work underway on Arroyo Seco bike path

They’re here.

Just one day after the unexpected announcement that ofo had introduced dockless bikeshare to Griffith Park, came the equally unexpected announcement that LimeBike had established a beachfront in Councilmember Joe Buscaino’s 15th District.

According to a press release, LimeBike has partnered with Buscaino for a three-month pilot program, calling it the first time a dockless bikeshare company has operated in any of America’s five biggest markets.

Or maybe the second, since it comes a day after ofo’s landing in the City of Angels.

The bikes cost $1 for 30 minutes, or 50 cents for students; entering the code LIMELA after downloading the iOS or Android app will get you 25 free rides until November 20th. The bikes can be picked up anywhere one is available, and left anywhere once you’re finished.

Low income residents can pay just $5 a month for up to 100 rides, with an option for cash rather than credit card.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley searches for, and finds, the ofo outposts in Griffith Park — and nearby, on someone’s lawn.

And the Guardian looks at the epic battle being pitched behind the scenes between Silicon Valley-backed bikeshares like LimeBike, and their Chinese competitors, including ofo.

Let’s hope Angelenos take better care of the bikes than people have in other cities; bikes abandoned in creeks and trees could mean the end of what promises to be a very useful program that could benefit a lot of people.

And help make bicycling more accessible to everyone.

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Bike SGV posts proof that the South Pasadena extension of the Arroyo Seco bike and pedestrian path is on its way.

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Over 500 Phoenix-area cyclists turned out to honor former SoCal resident and Big Orange cyclist Rob Dollar, who was killed by a drunk and stoned teenage driver last week.

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Sad news, as promising 20-year old Belgian cyclist Bjarne Vanacker was found dead after apparently passing away in his sleep from unknown causes.

Alberto Contador looks at the changes in pro cycling over his career as he prepares to retire, including climbing 30% grades and the advent of motor doping.

Bicycling talks with SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera, saying she has the potential to become America’s best ever bike racer. Which would mean surpassing a certain Texan, who once was great but officially isn’t anymore.

Cycling News talks with former great American hope Andrew Talansky as he transitions to tri.

And probably not the best idea to attack the members of another cycling team, even if you do blame their team car for your crash.

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Local

Paranoid much? A dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member says the Venice Blvd Great Streets project is just a secret attempt to turn Mar Vista into another Wilshire Blvd.

A Medium post says the effort to recall Councilmember Mike Bonin is really an Alt-Right campaign in disguise, and calls recall leader Alexis Edelstein a flesh and blood version of a Russian Facebook bot.

The LACBC’s Operation Firefly light distribution campaign kicks off tonight in Van Nuys.

Claremont police are investigating a break-in at the Jax Bicycle Shop last week.

Long Beach will consider a road diet and parking protected bike lanes on a half-mile stretch of Alamitos Ave. Unlike Los Angeles, where road diets are in danger of becoming an endangered species.

 

State

The Voice of San Diego looks at how that city screwed up bikesharing.

San Francisco will vote on a proposal to remove parking spaces on 17th Street to install one-way protected bike lanes.

Sacramento State University campus police busted a pair of suspected serial bike thieves.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest of a Davis-area woman who apparently fled to Mexico after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter for a 2014 hit-and-run that killed a bike rider.

 

National

Streetsblog says distracted walking is a distraction from the real problem of distracted driving.

A crowdfunding campaign is offering a chance to buy a new $2,000 electric foldie for just $499. Unless you’d rather travel to Europe to buy a new BMW ebike for over six times as much.

A Portland letter writer complains about a red light-running, dog pulling bike rider who managed to flip him off anyway.

A Dallas writer says riding on carfree streets was great, unless you were in one.

A kindhearted Wisconsin woman gave her own three-wheeled adult bike to an 80-year old woman after hers was stolen in a burglary.

A Brooklyn writer says ebikes could be the future of transportation, but no one wants to let them on the road.

A HuffPo writer calls protected bike lane networks, like the one in Brooklyn, a breakthrough to make bicycling easy for almost everyone. Meanwhile, CityLab says European cities like Paris, Madrid and Lisbon have figured out how to live with ebikes, so why can’t New York?

A New Yorker movingly remembers a friend killed in last week’s bike path terrorist attack.

No surprise here, as Juli Briskman was fired from her job with a Virginia government contractor after they learned she was the bike rider who flipped off the president last week. Which doesn’t make it right. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

A Philadelphia writer learns how to ride a bike as an adult.

Buy a special North Carolina license plate, and help give a kid a new bike helmet. Although giving the kid a safer place to ride his bike would probably help a lot more.

Atlanta is attempting to become a top ten bicycling city, which would mean jumping 33 spots in Bicycling’s latest rankings.

Miami police are looking for a cape-wearing, bike-riding armed robber who shot his victim in the face.

A Florida paper examines the benefits of bike paths in terms of health, financial investment and crime, noting that rails-to-trails conversions generally have lower crime rates than the abandoned railways they replaced.

 

International

An Argentine city is mourning the deaths of five residents killed in the New York bike path terrorist attack, while the president of Argentina placed flowers at the site of the attack.

Toronto’s bike-riding parking cop is still off the job, and off Twitter, giving drivers a chance to park in the bike lanes again.

Montreal elects a new bike-friendly mayor, the first woman to lead the city.

A British dog walker uses his cam to record what he considers dangerous, speeding cyclists riding illegally through a park. Although they appear to be riding safely, slowly and considerately, even if they’re not supposed to be there.

An Australian website asks if Adelaide’s future as a bike-friendly city is already in its past.

 

Finally…

A cycling kit for bike-riding Beyoncé fans. Riding backwards while pedaling forwards.

And it might surprise many women to learn that riding a bicycle 75 miles is harder than childbirth.

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On a personal note, my wife will be having major surgery this week to correct a condition that has the potential to be life-threatening.

I’ll do my best to keep up with this site every day, but please accept my apologies in advance if I miss a day or two, or have to settle for a shortened post.

And if anyone would like to submit a guest post, now would be a great time to do it.

 

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Morning Links: Automakers build in deadly distractions; CD15’s Buscaino multi-modals his way to work

It should come to no one’s surprise that a new study shows in-dash phone and computer systems are dangerously distracting to drivers (pdf).

And apparently, Apple’s Siri is the worst.

Automakers are rushing to keep drivers connected behind the wheel, from providing the turn-by-turn directions we’ve come to expect, to reading and dictating emails and text messages.

Never mind that, as the study above makes clear — and common sense suggests should been have readily apparent — the more distractions drivers face, the less aware they are of what is happening on the road around them. To the detriment of everyone with whom they share the road.

It’s bad enough we have to dodge texting drivers, without getting run down by a driver surfing for Chinese restaurants on the heads-up display.

The feds need to step in to prevent automakers from designing deadly distractions into the dashboards and center consoles of their cars.

Because vehicle manufacturers are clearly unable to resist the temptation themselves.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at plans for a new bike and pedestrian friendly Sixth Street Viaduct.

Caught on video: CD15 City Councilmember Joe Buscaino goes to work by bike, bus and train to discover what it’s like to be carless in LA. He’s turned out to be one of the most open-minded and supportive councilmembers when it comes to transportation alternatives, two-wheeled and otherwise.

An article reposted on City Watch examines new LADOT head Seleta Reynolds, who says LA is moving beyond auto-centrism. And that bikes are a big part of the solution.

 

State

Once again, a writer who just doesn’t get it calls for licensing cyclists and their bikes, and requiring riders to carry liability insurance. Never mind that most adult cyclists already have a drivers license and carry insurance through their auto policies, and that a license plate large enough to be easily read at a distance would be too large to fit on a bike.

Is it still hit-and-run if a drunk driver takes his victim with him? A San Francisco driver hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk and flees with his victim hanging out of the car’s sunroof, then attempts to cover up his drunken state by tossing booze out of the vehicle.

A woman is suing Sacramento for $3.5 million for allowing sidewalk riding after she’s hit by a cyclist while walking; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

 

National

A bike advocate says we should refocus on recreation, rather than biking to work, to get more people on bikes. How about if we just focus on making bike riding safer and more convenient for everyone, then let people decide for themselves how and where to ride?

The brother of fallen cyclocross champ Amy Dombroski is channeling his grief into creating more equity for female cyclists and empowering young women through cycling.

Seattle Bike Blog talks in depth with one of the countless survivors whose life has been dramatically changed by a collision with a driver who claimed she never saw him.

A Wyoming letter writer says yes, animal cruelty matters, but so do the lives of bicyclists.

A Chicago writer says bicyclists have rights too, even if some break the law. And no one notices the ones who don’t.

An Examiner writer says the unwarranted prosecution of Kentucky cyclist Cherokee Schill for riding — legally — in the traffic lane is bringing unwanted attention to a state with a backward reputation.

New York’s city council votes to lower the city’s default speed limit to 25 mph, something LA will need to address if it’s serious about the newfound commitment to Vision Zero.

 

International

Caught on video: The page may be in Spanish, but the message is clear, as a cyclist confronts a motorist for driving in the bike lane.

A Brit cyclist videos distracted drivers and turns them into the police. Meanwhile, a writer for the Telegraph says cycling vigilantes aren’t doing themselves any favors by capturing such videos of dangerous drivers, insisting that we’re more likely to break the law than motorists are.

UK police arrest a racist bike rider who assaulted a woman, verbally and otherwise. Jerk.

Authorities in the UK are also looking for rider who punched a woman in front of her children when she didn’t get out of his way. Ditto.

A Brit writer is heartbroken after giving up her favorite ride.

Looks like Formula One driver Fernando Alonso won’t be fielding a cycling team on the pro tour after all.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: If you drop your iPhone in traffic, let it go; or maybe, don’t ride like a maniac if you can’t see what’s in front of you. Streetsblog offers up a Neighborhood Council bike lane bingo card. And if you’re going to return a bike to the store, make sure you paid for it.

 

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